A hidden treasure. Praia do Ribeiro Cavalo is located in the West part of Sesimbra bay, in the Natural Park of Arrábida. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful beaches of the Portuguese coast. If you only see the pictures, you will probably think that they are from a beach in the Caribbean, in Thailand or in another paradisiac place, but no… they are really from Portugal.
Until a few years ago it was almost an unknown beach that only the most adventurous explorers could reach. The tracks were hidden among the vegetation, and there were no parked cars on the side of the dirt road that could denounce it’s existence. The trail that leads down to the beach is about 600m but you should consider 25-30 minutes to descend and 30-40 minutes to climb. You must wear comfortable shoes (slippers or flip-flops are not recommended) and be careful where you put your feet (there are some parts with slippery rocks or with crossing roots on the trail).
Once on the beach, you should be aware that there isn’t any kind of service or support structure. The beach is not guarded, there are no bathrooms, showers or containers for waste. So for the beach to be preserved in its natural state and from the impact of human presence, all waste generated must be stored in a bag and taken back up with you.
There are no shadows, and it is recommended not to go near the cliffs too. The cliffs suffer the natural process of erosion and occasionally small (or larger…) rock fragments are detached and fall on the beach.
Because of the internet, and blogs like these (yes, I am guilty too), the beach is not so hidden anymore and can get quite busy especially in the weekends during summer. Boat rides are now also offered from the Sesimbra marina to and from the beach for the people that do want to experience this little piece of paradise but don’t want to climb there. As a middle way, you can also rent a kayak and make your way there yourself over the water. The ride will give you spectacular views of the cliffs. But for me, it is still the best to climb there and after about 10 minutes of climbing, see the gorgeous view of the beach open up below you.