Why not visit the beaches of Sintra in Portugal - only a short trip down the coast from Lisbon.  They have been a popular destination for British tourists since the Christian crusaders first sailed to the region in 1147, yet most visitors remain completely unaware of the easily-accessible delights of the area.

Take a day trip and visit the beach Praia da Adraga, a sand crescent tucked between tall cliffs, wild and wonderful, with great surfing breakers pounding the shore.

From here there is a fantastic short walk along the cliff tops to the beach Praia Grande and back (50 minutes - 3.5 km).  Starting point is the car park at Praia da Adraga near the restaurant. Walk along the road in the direction of the village of Almoçageme, turn second left across a small stream and up the sand track to follow the official walk markings.

You will have great views of the Atlantic Ocean and a surprising treat as you reach the steps descending down to the beach Praia Grande. Dinosaur footprints imprinted into the rock face formed 120 million years ago by Sauropos dinosaurs. 

Take a well earned rest on the beach and return to Praia da Adraga restaurant to eat amêijoas à bulhão pato (clams in garlic and white wine sauce) accompanied by a chilled bottle of vinho verde (green wine) delicious.