Outdoor Activities in Lisbon

Information on the facilities in Lisbon, Estoril, Cascais and the Setubal Peninsula for outdoors activities: walks, hikes and cycling activities in the area...

While the area around Greater Lisbon is particularly famous for surfing, water sports and golf, the Cascais-Sintra Natural Park and Serra da Arrábida Park have facilities for many popular radical sports organised by local associations, federations or private companies including ballooning, paragliding, hang-gliding, hiking and trekking, climbing, pot-holing, canoeing and horse riding.

Nature Reserves and Parks

There are three protected reserves in the Greater Lisbon area.

  • Monsanto Forest Park
  • Cascais-Sintra Natural Park
  • Serra da Arrábida Natural Park

It is advisable to check the weather report before going hiking or cycling since both the Serras of Cascais-Sintra and Arrábida have their own microclimates.

Parque Florestal de Monsanto

Often referred to as Lisbon’s ‘Green’ lung this Lisbon Municipal Council run expanse of pine and eucalyptus woodland is situated around the city to the north and west in the direction of Estoril and Cascais. Activities include walking and cycling, the park also has a skateboard park.

For further information see the Lisbon Municipal Council website

  • Parque Florestal de Monsanto, 1500-068 Lisbon 
    Tel:
    218 170 200 / 218 170 201 
    Fax: 218 170 245 
    email

Parque Natural da Arrábida

Protected in 1976 and covering 10,800 hectares of coast and forested mountains between the towns of Setúbal, Sesimbra, Palmela, the Arrábida Natural Park is 45 Km from Lisbon. This biogenetic reserve is protected under the Council of Europe and is a site of Special Interest for Nature Conservation. Activities include hiking, bird watching, guided visits and group activities organised through radical sports companies.

  • Parque Natural da Arrábida
    At:
    Praça da Republica, 2900 Sétubal 
    Tel: 265 541 140

Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais

Located 15 Km from Lisbon and situated between Sintra and Cascais this 14,583 hectare mountainous forested area of natural beauty was protected by the law in 1981 and became a national park in 1994. The area is particularly important because of its geomorphology, flora and landscape and includes the Sintra Hills, the coast between Cascais and the mouth of the River Falcão, the highlands around São João das Lampas, Cabo Raso, Cabo da Rocha, Pena, Moorish Castle, Sintra Town, Váreza and Colares.

  • Park Head Office
    At:
    Rua Gago Coutinho 1, 2710-555 Sintra
    Tel: 219 247 200 
    Fax: 219 247 227
  • Sintra Cascais Visitors Centre 
    At:
    Rua General Alves Rocadas 101F, 2710 Cascais

Outdoor Activities in Lisbon

Walking and hiking

There are so many sites to go walking in Portugal and the list is literally endless. Portuguese tourist offices (Postos do Turismo) in each area have suggested lists of pathways and routes. In the Lisbon region the Natural Parks of Sintra and Arrábida are ideal for hikes and hikers and ramblers can undertake a one day walking trip in the Sintra Hills taking in Sintra, Pena, Moorish Castle and the Peninha Sanctuary.

The Portuguese Camping and Mountaineering Federation (Federação de Campismo e Montanhismo de Portugal) has information on clubs and hiking areas in Portugal.

Cycling and mountain biking

There are many cycling trails around Sintra and along the coastal marginal road and further afield in Trás-os-Montes, Gerês, Minho, Douro, Arrábida and Serra de Estrela. There are several routes suitable for mountain biking in Arrábida and Sintra. Lists of permitted tracks are available from tourist and park offices.

  • Lisbon Cycling Association (Associação Ciclismo de Lisboa)
    At: Rua Barros Queiros 39-1º E, 1250-004 Lisboa.  
    Tel: 213 470 735 
    Fax: 213 427 673
  • Lisbon Cycle Tourism Association (Associação Cicloturismo de Lisboa
    At: Rua do Açúcar 42, 1900-605 Lisboa 
    Tel: 218 687 356 
    Fax: 218 687 359
  • Portuguese Cycling Federation (Federação Portuguesa de Ciclismo) (in Portuguese)
    At:
    Rua de Campolide, Nº 237, 1070-030 Lisbon
    Tel: 213 802 140 
    Fax: 213 802 149
    email

Horse riding

Portugal has a strong riding tradition and there are private companies, clubs and stables all over the country, particularly in Sintra, Cascais, the Algarve, Azores, and Gois Valley.

  • Portuguese Equestrian Federation (Federação Equestra Portuguesa) (in Portuguese)
    At: Avenida Manuel da Maia, 26 -4º Dtº, 1000-201 Lisboa
    Tel: 218 478 774/5/6
    Fax: 218 474 582 
  • Portuguese Lusitanian Horse Breeder’s Association (Associação Portuguesa de Criadores Cavalo Lusitano)
    At: Rua Sebastião José Carvalho e Melo, 157-1 Dtº, 2750-483 Cascais
  • Portuguese Association of Dressage (Associação Portuguesa de Dressage
    At: Rua do Alcaide 50, Acaidana, 2400-881 Milagres 
    Tel: 244 852 383
    Fax: 244 852 383

Canyoning

There are several fast-flowing rivers suitable for this sport, however most of them are outside the Lisbon area. The Radical Adventure Sports Association, (Associação de Desportos de Aventura Desnível) organises canyoning activities for those living in the Lisbon area.

Canoeing and kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking are popular sports on the many rivers in Portugal. The Canoeing Online website has a list of clubs in Portugal including in the Lisbon area.

  • For a list of canoeing clubs: Click here (in Portuguese)
  • Lisbon District Canoeing Association (Associação Canoagem do Distrito de Lisboa)
    At: Avenida Miguel Bombarda, 113, 2600-461 Alhandra 
    Tel: 219 511 407