Lisbonites have been flocking to Costa da Caparica for generations. The 15 km (9.3 m) coast line is a long row of beaches, each with its unique vibe. Nova Vaga is one such beach: it has fine, light-colored sand (pictures don’t do it justice) for sun bathers and great waves for kite surfers and surfers.
You’ll probably arrive by car on a dirt path as you get approach the beach, although there’s also a mini tourist train with frequent stops along Costa da Caparica if you happen to be staying in the vicinity. The parking lot is right next to the beach and when you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a colorful array of kites in the sky!
If you’ve never kite surfed or surfed before, you can do so right here. There are schools on the beach and you’ll be riding those waves in no time! I always like to try something new when I’m on vacation (and encourage others to do so), and kite surfing is still on my to-try list – Nova Vaga, which means “new wave”, may just be where I learn to kite surf!
For those with less sporty inclinations, you’ll be able to enjoy the warm sun and fine sand. You can rent beach umbrellas and lounge chairs for your comfort, which is particularly convenient if you’re traveling from abroad and don’t have your own with you. If you get tired of sunbathing and lounging, there’s a café with juices, tostas (toasted cheese or cheese and ham sandwiches), salads, burgers, fries and other treats. If you’re looking for a fuller meal experience (for example, typical Portuguese grilled fish), there are proper restaurants at other Costa da Caparica beaches.
Nova Vaga is approximately 35-40 minutes from Lisbon by car (unless you get unlucky and hit seasonal traffic crossing the bridge). But even though it’s so close to the hustle and bustle of the city, it actually feels like you’re a hundred miles away! Costa da Caparica beaches are a perfect little day trip for sun-seeking individuals, families and groups staying in the capital.