Praia Formosa | Santa Cruz Beach | Torres Vedras | Portugal
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The Beaches - Praia Formosa

Praia Formosa - Santa Cruz

The Praia Formosa is situated in the South part of Santa Cruz, at the start of the uphill of the Avenida do Alto da Vela and borders upon the South with the Praia da Amoeira and North with the Praia do Guincho.

Forming a small, but very beautiful and cosy bay, surrounded by steep cliffs, it is a very sheltered beach that protects the bathers from the cold, thereby making this stretch of sand a very much sought after spot all year round.

In the beginning of spring it is customary to observe the first oiled bodies stretched out on the Rampa dos Crocodilos, letting their skins acquire the “Bronze da Formosa”.

A beach with an extensive but narrow strand, with a beautiful bay for some inviting swimming laps.

Due to its localization, inserted in the urban environment, with various infra-structures and beach support, makes it convenient for the Santa Cruz residents – walking to the beach.


Direct access through the Rua Rui da Costa Lopes or through Avenida do Alto da Vela, with a parking lot on the top of the cliffs, and various parking spots spread throughout the streets. Of not so easy access to the beach, due to a long and beautiful stairway with a veranda halfway down the stairway with various stone benches, so important for a much needed short rest on the journey back up. Other alternative access can be made via the sand trail, close to the water mill, crossing on foot the Praia do Guincho, thereby avoiding the use of the stairs.

Beach Characteristics

É uma praia marítima, urbana, com rochas junto à Rampa dos Crocodilos, com um mar sem fortes correntes, com uma extensão de mais de uma centena de metros de areias finas e brancas. Junto à Rampa dos Crocodilos, quando se dá a elevação da maré, forma-se uma piscina natural indicada para os banhos de mar dos mais pequenos.
Apresenta uma temperatura média da água do mar, no Verão de 18 ºC e no Inverno de 16 ºC. Os ventos apresentam velocidades médias que rondam os 18 km/h.
Dotada de Bandeira Azul, é uma praia vigiada, com equipamento para socorro e salvamentos e, servida por nadadores-salvadores.

Infra-structures and Beach Support

It is a marine beach, urban with rocks next to the Rampa dos Crocodilos, with a sea with weak currents, with more than one hundred metres of extensive white strand.
Next to the Rampa dos Crocodilos, with the rise of the tide, forms a natural pool recommended for sea bathing for the younger ones.
Sea water temperature, in summer 18ºC and in winter 16ºC. Wind velocity is at 18km/h.
Endowed with the blue flag, it is a well guarded beach, with first aid, rescue equipment and lifeguards

Sports Activities:

Being a small beach it is not commonly used for any water sports activity or other sports usually practised on the strand.



Text: Afonso Diniz
Photos: Artur Henriques & Arquivo da Biblioteca Municipal de Torres Vedras
Published: 07-Ago-2005

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Praia Formosa in the beginning of the 20th century
Praia Formosa a century later
The Varandinhas and the Rampa dos Crocodilos
Going down the stairway you can enjoy the beautiful scenery
The Praia Formosa seen from the top of the Varandinhas
Wooden Sun-Shade
  Praia Formosa  
  Praia do Centro  
  Praia da Física  
  Blue Flag  
  Gold Quality  
  Praia Azul  
  Praia da Amoeira  
  Praia do Guincho  
  Praia da Mexilhoeira  
  Praia da Vigia  
  Porto dos Barcos  
  Praia de Porto Novo  


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