Did you know there are more than 150 beaches to choose from in Southern Portugal? But what are the best beaches in Algarve and where can you find them? 🙂
Read our guide to the best beaches in Algarve, Portugal to find your favourite South-Portuguese beach!
Where is Algarve actually located?
This stunning and sunny region is located just on the edge of Europe, in southern Portugal. It’s been a very popular holiday destination among Brits for several years.
Algarve coast, with its beautiful beaches and surrounded by picturesque red cliffs, is considered as one of the most beautiful regions in the world – and we totally agree with that! 🙂
If you are thinking about visiting Algarve, you will definitely love this stunning region of south Portugal! Golden sand and many little towns and cities (like Albufeira, Lagos or Carvoeiro) are really worth to visit. In addition, they are all surrounded by the best beaches in Algarve Portugal.
Just book a ticket and fly to Faro airport – your gate to Algarve in Portugal!
When to go to Algarve Portugal?
You can easily consider Algarve, and the whole of Portugal, as the all-year-round holiday destination. Yes! – winter is also a great time to visit Portugal 🙂
But the best time to visit Algarve will be between April and October. The high season is from mid-June till the end of August – this is also the hottest and most crowded time of the year. So, if you prefer to have more golden sand to yourself visit Algarve in September, just as we did 😉
The weather in September was very pleasant with the temperature reaching 28-30 Celsius and many hours of sunshine 🙂
Definitely, the weather forecast will not disappoint you during your September holiday in the Portuguese region of Algarve.
Rent a car to explore Algarve!
It is worth to say that car is the best option to travel in Algarve Portugal! It will give you much more flexibility in organising your days – so exploring less crowded places will be much easier.
Nothing against buses in Algarve, as they go to many places as well, but unfortunately do not run too often.
If you want to explore hidden beaches and get to places that can’t be reached by bus – travelling by car will work perfectly!
(read our guide to renting a car in Europe)
As always, we booked a car via rentalcars.com before our trip – we have collected it at the Faro airport 40 minutes after we landed in Portugal 🙂
And the adventure began! 🙂
Where to find the best beaches in Algarve Portugal?
Due to its long coastline, Algarve has hundreds of diverse beaches. You can rest on some, others are better for sports like surfing. Whether sandy or stony, crowded or secluded – everyone will find the perfect beach for themselves. You just have to know where to look 🙂
But which one is the best?
It is very hard to say which of the beaches are the best beaches in Algarve – there are simply way too many nice beaches! 🙂
Honestly! Just choosing those you want to visit during your trip to Algarve is a huge task itself.
We have grouped them into 4 categories, based on the regions – so you can see below the top beaches around Lagos, Albufeira, Portimao and the West part of Algarve.
Fan of small hidden beaches? Or maybe endless long beaches with golden sand? You will definitely find any sort of beach in the south of Portugal.
So, enjoy our list of the best of the best beaches in Algarve:
Best beaches near LAGOS:
If you will be based around Lagos, you can consider yourself as being very lucky – so many incredible beaches with breathtaking views from the cliffs! 🙂
We have visited 3 amazing beaches near Lagos in Portugal:
Praia Dona Ana
Praia Dona Ana Beach is located around 2 km from Lagos. It’s a beautiful, and at the same time a small beach which is full of shells 🙂
Amazing views with picturesque cliffs and rocks emerging from the turquoise waters of the Atlantic.
Another beach with spectacular views! It is very charming as it’s situated among the rocks.
An ideal place to spend a lazy day on the beach – only the sand is a bit rough, so make sure you take with you a large towel or blanket to lie on 🙂
Praia do Camilo
This is definitely THE beach! The best and nicest beach in Lagos and the whole of Portugal! – another tick on our bucket list 🙂
We did love it so much that we visited it twice during our holiday in Algarve 🙂
The beach is located near Ponta da Piedade. It’s very small and it consists of two parts connected by a short tunnel cut into the rock. There is lots of free parking available but gets crowded from around 11 am.
It is worth to note, that it will get very very busy around lunchtime. So, if you are not an early bird, you might have difficulty with finding a spot on the beach.
Honestly! It gets very busy. Everybody wants to visit this remarkable beach!
We have found a small place just in the 1st line and were very happy with it until… the tide did raise the level of the water and our little spot disappeared in the ocean 😉 Well… the 2nd time we visited Praia do Camilo we were one of the first people on the beach – it’s always worth to wake up earlier! 🙂
Praia de Porto de Mós
This beautiful sandy beach is only 10 minutes by car from Lagos. It is generally safe for swimming and also great for walking. There are no stones or rocks but beware of the current at times!
When the tide is low, you can access the next beach called Praia do Canavial. Much smaller and also a lot quieter beach. Don’t worry if you get trapped by the high tide, there is a small path back up the cliffs 🙂
Which of those beautiful beaches near Lagos is your favourite one? 🙂
Best beaches near ALBUFEIRA:
Below, you can see 3 best beaches in Albufeira Portugal we have visited:
Praia da Falésia
This was the first beach we visited in Algarve. Praia da Falesia is over 6 kilometres long so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot for your towel 😉
Blue-green-ish water of the Atlantic, red and orange cliffs with dark green pinewoods is an amazing combination creating this spectacular landscape.
The beach has been awarded in many rankings as one of the best in Portugal.
We definitely think is one of the best in Europe too!
A perfect start to your holiday in Algarve!
Praia da Cova Redonda
A very long brick staircase will lead comfortably down to the beach. Praia da Cova Redonda is really gorgeous and was not crowded when we visited it. There is a small kiosk where you can buy drinks, ice cream or some snacks.
We tried Brazilian Super-food over there – ACAI – Mmm… Yummy! 🙂
Umbrellas, sunbeds and water sports activities are also available and can be rented there cheap.
Praia de Sao Rafael
The beach lies in the middle of the Algarve coast and is surrounded by cream-red cliffs. Its most characteristic features are the rock formations located on the beach and in the water – some of them have even names (like Ponte Pequena – a small bridge).
The water here is crystal clear and has a lovely turquoise colour. You will find there everything you need to spend a whole day on the beach: showers, toilets, umbrella and sun loungers rental. There is also a bar and restaurant – what else would you need? 😉
So, which of those top beaches in Albufeira would you visit? 🙂
Best beaches near PORTIMAO:
We have seen those four amazing beaches located around Portimao Portugal:
Praia de Carvoeiro
We visited Praia do Carvoeiro, known to locals as the town beach, during our visit to the town of Carvoeiro. The beach is small, and it’s sheltered by cliffs on either side – a great place to watch the sunset 🙂
Praia de Benagil
If you are staying in Lagoa region you will only need 15 minutes by car to get to the small Portuguese village of Benagil. There are few parking spaces next to the beach, but it will be much easier to leave your car at the top of the hill – just 5 minutes walk to the Benagil beach.
This beach is very tiny and it’s mostly famous due to the proximity to the Algar de Benagil – but we will cover this trip a bit later in this blog post 🙂
But hey! It’s still worth to spend few hours there 🙂
Praia de Carvalho
It is less popular, a small beach surrounded by high cliffs – also known as smugglers’ beach. Sounds great, right? 🙂
There is no tourist infrastructure around the beach which is also a great sigh as there will be fewer people visiting it.
Yes, it is a bit difficult to find the beach but that only adds to its charm!
To get to the beach, you will have to go through a tunnel carved in the rock – very adventures.
Unfortunately, we have only seen the beach from the water, during our boat trip.
But hey! There is nothing stopping you from visiting Praia de Carvalho 🙂
Praia de Marinha
Praia da Marinha is one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe – it is definitely a place that you have to visit while staying in the Algarve!
Yes! A MUST have! 🙂
It has been on our bucket list for a while so we were very happy to be able to cross it over after we visited this remarkable beach! 🙂
The beach is located 16 kilometres east from Portimão, just a short 25-minutes drive. If you have rented a car, this will be the best way to get to Praia da Marinha. There is a sufficient amount of parking spaces but make sure you get there in the morning as in high season it will be very crowded later in the day.
The surrounding 30-meters high rocks makes the beach famous not only in Europe but also in the whole world.
You will definitely recognise the views – I bet, you have seen them in many catalogues before 🙂
Would you call any of the Portimão beaches the best beach in Portugal? 🙂
Best beaches in WESTERN ALGARVE Portugal:
Western Algrave is a home to the best surf beaches in Portugal – just a haven for all surfers 🙂
Make sure you visit west part of Algarve for a day. We were a bit unlucky with the weather – where all that fog came from?!
But still, we would highly recommend visiting this remarkable part of Algarve.
When the weather is nice, the Castelejo Viewpoint is one of the most beautiful viewing points along the amazing Vicentine Coast in southwestern Portugal.
Right, but first, you must have nice weather… 😉
On the day we went to Castelejo Viewpoint the whole west coast was covered in fog! A bit unlucky, but from the other side, we were able to take those amazing pictures 🙂
Praia da Amoriera
After a foggy trip to Castelejo Viewpoint, we really hoped that 45km north from there, the weather will be much better. The beautiful Praia da Amoriera was our target 🙂
But also this time, a bit unlucky 🙁 Fog didn’t want to leave us and was covering the whole Praia da Amoriera. We have still managed to take a few stunning pictures – just imagine, how it looks like on a sunny day! 😀
Praia do Martinhal
Praia do Martinhal is a lovely beach and wasn’t very busy when we were there – a definitely less crowded area of Algarve. The beach is long and has very nice sand – perfect for lengthy strolls 🙂
But be aware of the strong currents, which are often present at the west coast of Algarve.
So, is west part of Algarve home to the top beaches in Portugal? 🙂
Other THINGS TO DO IN ALGARVE
You probably know where to go in Algarve to find the best places to visit, right?
In case you don’t, we have put a list of the main Algarve’s tourist attractions and activities. From hiking in Algarve’s coast to all the top places of interest in the Algarve.
So, what to do in Algarve Portugal? See below 🙂
Farol da Ponta da Piedade
One of the most beautiful places in Europe – cape Ponta da Piedade. It’s full of small caves and bays, which are definitely worth seeing either from the top of the cliffs or during a cruise by motorboat 🙂
Taking a stroll around Ponta da Piedade was absolutely amazing – ahh those breathtaking views! 🙂 The sights were just stunning, we really recommend walking there. There are many great walking trails to explore, so you can easily spend a few hours over there.
Wow! Amazing rock formations providing a perfect setting for photos 🙂
We visited Algar Seco early in the morning, which was a great thing to do. There were only two other people – so we had plenty of time to appreciate the caves and beautiful scenery!
Make sure you go through a tunnel carved into the rock to see Gruta da Boneca – the eyes are watching you! 😉
Visit Zoomarine and swim with dolphins!
Out of this world experience! One of the tops on our bucket list 🙂
Dolphins are one of the most amazing and clever animals in the world. Just having the opportunity to swim with them makes your day very special – honestly! If you go to Algarve, make sure to book this amazing experience: swimming with dolphins – you will love it! The price is a bit high, €125 per person, but it’s worth it! 🙂
You, together with ~6 other people, will get the opportunity to learn about dolphins and spend around 30 minutes in the water with them. During that time, you will be introduced to the dolphins and get to perform two figures with them (e.g. dance with a dolphin!) – simply STUNNING experience. 😀
The whole experience was really amazing! Apart of one lady from the shop, who was kind of rude to us as we wanted to buy only digital version of the pictures (yes, you have to pay for them on top on the entry fee).
But hey, you go there for the dolphins, not people 😉
Fortaleza de Sagres
A very enjoyable walk along cliffs with amazing views. The parking was free.
We visited Fortaleza on the way to Cape Saint-Vincent and spent there one hour admiring the magical view of the surrounding landscape.
Perfect place for just chilling out or watching the surfers at Praia do Tonel.
Cape Saint-Vincent – Best Sunset spot in Portugal
You can’t get further southwest in continental Europe than to Cape Saint-Vincent!
It is definitely worth coming here to see the lighthouse from 1846 and watch the sunset. On both sides of the cape, Cabo de São Vicente offers amazing views! Just make sure you have time to admire the astonishing landscape of the high cliffs that fall steeply into the dark-blue water of the Atlantic.
The best place to watch the sunset in Portugal?
Well… end of Europe of course!
But don’t even think that you will be the only one who has that idea!
No! There will be probably 100s other people waiting for the sun to go down 🙂 Well, this must be then one of the most romantic places in Europe!
Don’t worry – there is enough space in Cape Saint-Vincent for all of them 😉 You will still be able to take a few amazing pictures.
If you are a big fan of pastel de nata (as Gosia is) – you probably think that Algarve is a heaven! 😉
Good news! You can buy the Portuguese Custard Tarts almost everywhere in Portugal.
There are many great little cafes and bars in Algarve. If you are in Lagos make sure you go to Al-Bravo Cafe & Shop for a lunch:
In Lagoa, Tapas no BUCHO is a must on your list!
Boat trip to Algar de Benagil (Benagil Cave)
A HIGHLIGHT of Algarve cost! 🙂
The grotto is only accessible from the ocean, but you can rent a motorboat or a kayak to explore the Benagil Cave.
We went for an organised boat trip which costed us €25 each. 70 minutes of exploring the coastline and many other caves (not only the Algar de Benagil) was definitely worth it! 🙂 But yes, you are right, the Benagil Cave is the highlight of the boat trip 🙂
Make sure you reserve your ticket earlier as the guys as super busy in the high season. All you have to do is booking online a spot for a specific day – you will pay on the day of your trip but make sure you take cash with you!
ALGARVE ACCOMMODATION – where to stay in Algarve Portugal
Whether you are planning a short break in Algarve or all-inclusive holiday in the south of Portugal, you will find a huge range of accommodation.
The hospitality is very advance in Algarve and you can find them one of the best resorts and hotels in Portugal.
In our opinion, Lagoa is the best area to stay in Algarve. It’s located just in the middle of the region so will need max one hour by car to get to all the top attractions in Algarve. We have stayed in the Lagoa Hotel in Lagoa – yes, we know – they were not very creative with the name 😉 But we had a very nice duplex apartment with a parking space underneath and buffet breakfast! All at a very reasonable price.
As we always advise, check the latest deals and book your favourite type of accommodation 🙂 It’s OK to book a 5* hotel in Algarve if you can afford 😉
Fun fact: Did you know you can wash your clothes at a bus stop?! 🙂 – we love Algarve 🙂
So, what are you waiting for?
Book your flight to Faro & accommodation today! And once you get there, please say HALLO to Algarve from us! 🙂
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