The beach,which has a shoreline of approximately 800 metres, has preferred surfing conditions and is popular for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing. Strong northern winds are predominant during summer time as well as smaller north-west swells, making this beach ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing. During winter, the predominant winds are from the east, and swells increase in size, making it a perfect spot for surfing, with multiple beach-breaks providing powerful lefts and rights. There are also several surfcamps and surfschools in the area that provide accommodation and services including rentals, repairs and surfing classes. However, Guincho is situated on the western edge of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and this designation has protected the beach from excessive tourism development, as has the fact that the waves and wind mean it is not suitable as a beach for swimming and sunbathing, particularly for people with young children.
There is camping available at nearby Orbitur Point, approximately 1 km from the beach.
This beach was famously featured in the pre-titles sequence of the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service, wherein James Bond rescues Contessa Teresa de Vicenzo from a suicide attempt and foils off two attackers in the surf; the beach still looks as it did in 1969. More recently, the beach served as location for the shooting of the film This Side of Resurrection, directed by Joaquim Sapinho.
In the '90s, Guincho was one of the locations for the windsurfing world cup. Today, several sporting events are held at Guincho regularly, including the Portuguese National Surfing and BodyBoarding Championships.