Algarve Beaches - Guide
Algarve, Portugal is a beautiful destination to select for your next holiday retreat. With the picturesque beaches, you will be able to bask in the bright sunlight while swaying in a gentle seaside breeze. However, having to pick from the long list of beaches can turn anyone indecisive. To help you make up your mind, here’s an overview of them all.
Praia de Albandeira, Central Algarve
Somehow, this beautiful beach has managed to remain untouched by the bustling tourism industry that lies just a few kilometers away. This beach is tiny and would be the perfect setting for a romantic lunch, dinner date, or photography session with that special someone.
There are no water sports, there are no umbrellas, there are no sunbeds. Very few people visit these white sands. Surrounded by ochre rocks, you will be able to soak up the sun and get a good look at the cliffs behind that separate you from the rest of Algarve.
You’ll feel like you’re in your own personal paradise.
Praia do Tonel, Eastern Algarve
If you plan on being near Sagres, this is a great beach to venture out to. Bear in mind, however, that it is quite popular–and for good reason. Not only does it have a great location and fantastic access, it’s also very large and even when crowded, it affords everyone enough personal space during the heights of the summer months.
A short stairway will take you down to the beach and you won’t have any issues finding parking nearby. When it comes to amenities, there are some cafes around the corner and the Sagres fortress has plenty of surf shops to get you out on the water and enjoying the waves. The summer months will actually bring the surf school straight down to the beach along with a few ocean-front restaurant options.
The waves are mild, so this is also a great place for those new to the sport of surfing to come practice.
Praia do Anção, Central Algarve
Seemingly endless, this beach is popular amongst family adventurers and features golden sands from tip-to-tip. The calm sea will wash away any worries you may have lingering in your mind as the attentive lifeguard makes your stay effortless, even with little ones in tow.
The dunes that lie beyond the beach are a wonderful sight to behold, but with the chairs, hats, and boats all for rent, you’ll hardly find time to take it all in. This is also a fantastic destination for water-skiing. Choose between wild surf or calming sand. You can’t make a bad decision here.
This is a continuation of Quinta do Lago, however, access requires taking a short walk down a rough track. The parking is free.
Praia da Amoreira, Western Algarve
Whether you would classify yourself as a naturalist or not, this beach is definitely going to bring out your love for mother nature and her sheer, untamed beauty.
Rock pools harbor the sea urchins and starfish while the undertow keeps children at bay and leads most families and watersports enthusiasts to choose elsewhere for their daytime activities. That makes this beach a fantastic escape for soaking up some sun in peace and quiet.
The surfing is fantastic here for experienced water lovers and the sand is endless, which makes for the perfect beach volleyball or frisbee setting.
Praia da Figueira, Eastern Algarve
While you will have to put in a little more effort to actually get to this beach, you will be rewarded with pristine waters and very quite lounging once you get here. However, keep in mind that the inaccessibility means older visitors and those with mobility issues should make alternative plans and skip this visit.
If you can get down to this beach, you will be required to park about a kilometer from your destination. You’ll take a serene hike down through a peaceful valley and, in no time at all, you’ll find yourself sitting in the sands of Praia da Figueira beach.
It’s definitely worth the bit of effort it takes to arrive here, and the short hike means you aren’t going to have to put up with any sounds from the city that lies beyond the rocks. Cliffs surround the beach acting as a natural barrier and their warm color adds to the serene setting.
This is by far one of the most seldom visited beaches on this list, and that makes it a definite must-see for those willing and able to reach it!
Praia do Barril, Eastern Algarve
Located on the island that forms the Ria Formosa Natural Park, this beach is a great retreat that can accompany your day of sightseeing activities and seaside lounging.
With the Anchor Graveyard behind a popular attraction, you’ll get to see a collection of antique nautical artifacts left by the old tuna-fishing boats that used to fix their nets to the area.
Today, this area is known for being one of the few nudist spots in the area and also offers excellent sailing and windsurfing opportunities.
Praia do Camilo, Western Algarve
Seated right next to Praia da Dona Ana, where you can participate in a stunning cave tour via boat, Praia do Camilo offers a view that is worthy of every postcard you ever plan on sending out.
The magnificent and jagged rocks stagger through the air, topping out at over 70-feet in height. They jut out of the Atlantic and offer a spectacular frame for the golden coast, or what locals call Costa d’Oiro. While here, be sure to set some time aside to get off of your sunbed and explore the mesmerizing coves and grottoes.
Praia do Zavial, Eastern Algarve
Some would argue that Praia do Zavial is the best beach to be found in Algarve. Zavial sits right inside of Vila Do Bispo, which is the location where the warm Mediterranean sea meets the Atlantic ocean. To the west, you’ll be able to see the cloudless blue sky as it surrounds the majestic tiers of limestone that poke out in the distance.
This is a beautiful place to lay out for a tanning session and simply take in the beauty of your surroundings. When you want to get up and move around again, you will be able to locate a few different trails that take you up the cliff sides, and on the eastern end of the sandy shores, you can lay out your blanket for a quieter experience.
Sunbathing is a fantastic pursuit on this beach, but it’s even better to come later in the afternoon (at about 4 pm) when the sun began to set and groups of surfers begin lining up to catch the waves. This is another top surfing destination in Algarve, and that’s no secret amongst the locals.
Praia da Marinha, Central Algarve
Have you ever visited one of the Michelin Guide’s top ten beaches of Europe? Be sure to stop by this white sand retreat to check that off your bucket list. It is surrounded by rocky outcrops and features a flight of beautiful stone steps that you will descend as you enter the beachfront paradise.
As you take your final steps down the staircase, your short walk will be instantly rewarded with the view of the translucent waters. These clean and clear waves actually make this an ideal beach for snorkeling. Boats often meet tour groups here and then depart to explore the nearby caves.
Praia de Odeceixe, Western Algarve
In 2012, this beach was nominated by locals and tourists into Portugal’s Beach Competition and soon declared one of the Seven Wonders. Set in the north-west end of the area, this beach is truly breath-taking.
Alentejo is nearby and so is Seixe, a river that wraps around the backside of the beach. Be sure to look above to take in a great secondary view as the peregrine falcons fly through the sky and the white storks nestle on the clifftops in the distance.
Praia do Amado, Eastern Algarve
This is the largest beach you will find on this list of beaches in Algarve. At first, that can sound off-putting and perhaps even intimidating, especially for those who are searching for a nice and quiet, peaceful retreat from the crowds. However, don’t be so quick to cross this beach off your list.
Located south of Aljezur, this is one of the longest stretches of beach in the entire area. It covers three different valleys and, all along its side, you’ll get to stare up at the jarring cliffs that glow a warm red in the summer sun. Waves are constant and they are in a constant state of change with no discernible pattern. As you may have guessed, that makes this beach yet another fantastic surfing destination for those visiting Algarve that want to get their feet wet.
As you visit, you won’t be surprised to learn that this beach is actually famous for being the gracious host of countless international competitions centered around none other than surfing. There is a surfing school to be found on the beach, which means you can learn how to participate too! You’ll also be greeted by a large parking lot that’s located very closely and, although it’s a popular destination, the beach’s sheer size means you can definitely tuck away into your own little spot.
When it comes time to eat, you won’t even have to leave the sandy shores since an all-seasons food truck is nearby, equipped with tables and benches for you to enjoy the eats. Wooden walkways are also located up above the beach where you can follow the winding paths and take in the incredible views from a new vantage point.
Praia do Martinhal, Western Algarve
This beach feels endless once you are on it, and the expansive sandy area makes it the perfect place for a game of football (soccer) or beach volleyball. In the waters, these waves are favored for windsurfing, body-boarding, and Hawaiian style surf adventures.
In fact, this beach is so ideal for enjoying the waves that a surf school has set up right on short. Don’t hesitate to participate in the fun.
Praia do Beliche, Eastern Algarve
Located in a bay that sits between Sagres Point and Cape St. Vincent, this beach is completely sheltered from the otherwise harsh winds that, here, won’t get a chance to disturb your sunbathing. With a parking lot located nearby, there are plenty of places to leave your vehicle and even 100 camper vans that are scattered around the area.
Coming down from the parking lot, you will take a gently sloping, wide stairway that goes straight to the beach. You will love the sunbathing opportunities, but the windy waters also make this location ideal for those who like to surf and bodyboard. When it comes time to call it a day and head into the nightlife of Algarve, be sure to come back here for the perfect sunset view.
On top of the rock formations, you’ll also get a beautiful show each and every day where you can see nature unfolding before your eyes. There is no way you can go wrong with this beach on your itinerary during your stay in the area!
Praia do Alvor, Central Algarve
Very popular amongst the locals, you’ll fit right into this beach if you choose to participate in the ever-popular area sport of kite-surfing. However, kayaks and pedalos are also very commonly seen since these shores are tranquil and calm. Perfect for the children to get out and feel the ocean against their toes for the first time.