There is an insufficient public transport network to go to Costa da Caparica’s beaches (a city in Almada municipality, on the south bank of Lisbon). The difficulty in finding online the existing routes and their schedules is another obstacle to making the trip between Lisbon and Costa da Caparica’s beaches difficult. Research for the recommended public transport route from Lisbon doesn’t bring any results from Google’s map service. For careless vacationers, it’s as if there’s no way to get there. But there is.
Here we detail the ways to get there without your car, by sea, by road, and on rails.
You can’t get to the beach by boat, but in combination with the bus, this can be one of the fastest ways to lay out your towel in Costa da Caparica.
At the end of July, however, the boats that usually leave Belém to make the connection to Trafaria suffered an unusual setback. Alleging “technical reasons”, Transtejo Soflusa, the company responsible for river transport between the Tejo’s banks, interrupted circulation on this route for seven days. Navigation was eventually restored on August 2nd.
From Cais do Sodré
Boat to Cacilhas (10 minutes trip)
Departures from Cais do Sodré river terminal are regular during the week, with a minimum of three trips per hour. At weekends and holidays, there are about three trips per hour in each direction (see timetable).
From Cacilhas to Costa da Caparica
3011 – Cacilhas – Costa da Caparica (34 minutes)
Departures take place approximately every hour between 7 am and 7 pm during the week. At weekends and holidays, the scenario is identical to Cacilhas. From Costa da Caparica, there is less supply during this period – between 8 am and 8 pm, there are only eight trips on Saturdays and six on Sundays.
Total traveling time: 44 minutes
3012 – Cacilhas – Fonte da Telha (50 minutes)
Total traveling time: 60 minutes
3507 – Cacilhas – Marisol – exit at Vale de Cavala Street stop (37 minutes)
Total traveling time: 47 minutes
The timetables of the various bus lines are available on the Carris Metropolitana website.
Boat to Trafaria (25 minutes trip)
Note: The departures, about one per hour, are from Belém fluvial station (see timetable).
Once in Trafaria, you have the choice of catching a bus or even making the trip to the beach by foot or bicycle. If you take a bicycle on the boat, the three kilometers between Trafaria and Praia de São João take only 10 minutes to cover, on a route that is entirely on a separate bike lane from the rest of the motorized traffic.
From Trafaria to Costa da Caparica
3030 – Monte da Caparica (FCT) – Fonte da Telha (15 minutes to Costa da Caparica and 30 minutes to Fonte da Telha)
Total traveling time: 40 minutes to Costa da Caparica and 55 minutes to Fonte da Telha
From Sete Rios, the trains operated by FerTejo cross the 25 de Abril Bridge and take passengers to Pragal in 11 minutes. From the Roma-Areeiro station, on Roma Avenue, the train takes 17 minutes, and from Campolide, only eight. Once in Prague, already on the south bank of the Tejo, there is a direct bus to Costa da Caparica.
From Pragal to Costa da Caparica
3024 – Pragal – Costa da Caparica (36 minutes)
Total traveling time: 44 to 53 minutes, depending on the train station of departure.
The bus is the only means of public transport that does not require a transfer to get to Costa da Caparica’s beaches, via Lisbon. It is not, however, necessarily the fastest option for the trip.
3709 – Lisbon (M. Pombal) – Costa da Caparica
3710 – Lisbon (Sete Rios) – Costa da Caparica
Note: Until September, this line will be back to Areeiro.
New routes and subway to the beach?
Early July marked the entry into the operation of Carris Metropolitana on Tejo’s south side, unifying the operation of the public road transport network under a single brand. The change, troubled at first, with protests from customers reaching the City Council, ended up bringing, however, the announcement of more routes that, according to Transportes Metropolitanos de Lisboa, should start operating “soon”.
Access to Costa da Caparica’s beaches from Lisbon should, therefore, be improved with the announcement of route 3708, which will make the connection between Cais do Sodré and Costa da Caparica’s bus terminal, as well as the future route 3025, which will make the connection between Pragal and Costa da Caparica, via IC20.
Although a slight increase in public transport supply is seen, the tourist train that used to connect Costa da Caparica to Fonte da Telha no longer operates since 2019.
Without foreseeing the return of the passenger transport, that since 1960 used to go along 20 beaches between the urban center of Costa de Caparica and the Fonte da Telha beach, in October 2021, the current Almada’s mayor, Inês de Medeiros, committed herself to the modernization and expansion of the Transpraia line until Trafaria.
Metro Sul do Tejo (MST) may also reach Costa da Caparica’s center and, consequently, ensure a direct connection between Cacilhas and Pragal to the beach line, bringing Lisbon’s population closer to the beach and reducing current travel times.
In a 2018 report, the Almada municipality was following up on its existing plan to expand the current surface metro line, with a terminal on the campus of the Faculty of Science and Technology from Nova University Lisbon (FCT-UNL).
The document (in PDF format) shows the “high potential presented by the extension of the MST to Costa da Caparica to attract users to individual transport to travel to the beaches” and to “reduce crossing traffic and congestion caused by intensive use of the car.
According to the local municipality, the expansion of the metro network to the beach area would also “reduce abusive and disorderly parking in the fragile dunes ecosystems”.
Still, without a start date and funding, the construction has long been planned by the local authority and the operator, Metro Transportes do Sul, which has not seen any expansion of the network since 2008. In February of this year, Almada’s Municipal Assembly unanimously approved a motion demanding the government to present a “calendar and funding for the extension of Metro Sul do Tejo”, including the arrival of these means of transport to Costa da Caparica.
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