Buying property in Portugal: follow the locals to boltholes with nature reserves and sandy beaches — within two hours of Lisbon

While Lisbon has become a city break favourite, grabbing the headlines for its remarkable value and architectural beauty, there are also compelling reasons to leave those pretty tiled streets behind and head further afield from Portugal’s waterfront capital.

Follow the residents of Lisbon to their favourite retreats and you’ll discover empty beaches, elegant estates and peaceful countryside, all within two hours of the city. 

Cascais and Estoril

Drive 30 minutes west from Lisbon along the River Tagus and you reach the Atlantic beach resorts of Cascais and Estoril.

These are elegant and prosperous commuter towns on the Portuguese Riviera, with sandy beaches and an established infrastructure of shops, hotels and restaurants.

Cascais and Estoril are linked by a direct train to Lisbon, and also popular weekend escapes with families, surfers and older couples.

Close to the towns’ famous golf courses, Quinta da Martinha is a newly built gated collection of 12 flats 10 minutes from the sea and 17 miles from Lisbon airport. 

The three-bedroom duplex homes are divided between six buildings around a communal pool with well-landscaped gardens and umbrella pine trees.

From £1.3 million: three-bedroom duplex villas at Quinta da Martinha, near the famous golf courses of Cascais and estoril 

Starting at £1.3 million for generous 2,690sq ft homes, all with underground parking, annual service charges are £2,500.

Between Estoril and Cascais, four minutes from the highway and 25 minutes from the airport, Marinha Guincho is a peaceful, low-density resort stretching to the sea in Unesco-protected Sintra-Cascais Nature Park.

There are 60 finished villas with another 60 planned, all with sea views. Prices start from £816,000 for a three-bedroom 3,767sq ft house with garden.

“Demand for rental homes here is huge,” says Frederico Mendoca of Cluttons. “There are four good golf courses within 10 minutes and the dunes and waves of undeveloped Guincho beach are a big attraction for families.”


Style-conscious Portuguese know and love Comporta, 90 minutes south of Lisbon. They say it reminds them of the Algarve before it became built up. The beachfront region has only recently won wider global recognition.

Comporta is both a village and an area on a low-lying, narrow peninsula ringed by 30 miles of gloriously soft sandy beaches and dunes.

It is wide and empty with casual yet sophisticated restaurants serving the freshest seafood amid undeveloped pine forests and a deliciously low-key — if chichi —atmosphere.

That’s Comporta’s appeal, with the only downside coming from some persistent summer mosquitos.


From £447,000: villas with open-plan modern interiors, spatia, Comporta (Cluttons)

Spatia, Comporta is a planned scheme of 25 villas, each in two  peaceful acres of land, beside a 25-room hotel 15 minutes from Comporta Village.

Villas with handsome open-plan contemporary  interiors are 2,368sq ft to 3,230sq ft with two to six bedrooms, starting from £447,000 through Cluttons.

These are private, single-storey homes — no building can be above two floors in Comporta — hidden among tall pine trees. Owners can let their homes through the hotel. 

Five minutes from one of Comporta’s eight beaches, La Réserve is a development of 148 apartments, villas and hotel rooms.

Two-bedroom apartments start from £211,500 and three- to five-bedroom villas from £355,000 through Erna Low Property.


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