best beaches portugal algarve

Selecting the best beaches in Portugal is a tough task, as the country has been blessed with thousands of miles of beautiful coastline. The Algarve region, in particular, boasts some of the best beaches in the whole Mediterranean area. Algarve seaside landscapes alternate between fine sand beaches and rough cliffs, all special in their own way, which is why I know you’ll find something to suit your taste.

So, if you are coming to Portugal this summer, this list of the 10 best Portugal beaches will help you find the perfect spot for you to relax and top up your tan.

BEST PORTUGAL BEACHES: MAP 

The beaches below are listed from East to West, forming a perfect road trip. I suggest starting your itinerary by flying into Faro International airport, heading West to explore the coast, then driving up North for a quick stop in Lisbon where you can catch your flight back home.

1. Falesia beach

2. Coelha beach

3. Albandeira beach

4. Marina beach

5. Benagil caves

6. Camilo beach

7. Dona Ana beach

8. Estudantes beach

9. Bordeira beach

10. Arrifana beach

1) Praia da Falesia (Falésia Beach), Albufeira

Stretching for 6 km from Vilamoura to Albufeira, Praia da Falesia is one of the longest beaches in Algarve. Its name can be translated as the beach of cliffs – looking at the beautiful red cliffs that protect this sandy oasis, one can clearly see why.
Falesia Beach is very popular among locals and tourists alike, but it’s so long and wide that it never feels crowded. With clear waters and incredibly photogenic rock formations, this beach definitely deserves a spot on your Portugal itinerary.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent  ✔   Beach bar/restaurant  

2) Praia da Coelha (Coelha Beach), Albufeira

Praia da Coelha is a small, secluded, sheltered beach nestled between golden cliffs in Albufeira. Coelha translates as female rabbit, which is why you’ll see a man-made image of a rabbit at the beach entrance. 

This beach is one of the best-kept secrets the Algarve has to offer, and you’ll encounter few people here – mostly locals – even in peak season. It’ll be very easy for you to find a quiet spot under the shade of the cliffs, or discover rock passages that lead you to even more remote sections.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent  ✔   Beach bar/restaurant  

3) Praia de Albandeira (Albandeira Beach), Lagoa

Praia de Albandeira is located in a fascinating area of the Algarve coast that is home to many little limestone bays and coves. All the beaches here have amazingly clear water, gold-colored sand, and scenic rock formations. However, what makes Albandeira stand out from the crowd is its perfect size, its accessibility, and the cute cafe standing right on top of it.

On the right side of Albandeira beach, you will also see a rock structure shaped like a perfect arch which makes for a great photography spot.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant   ✔     

4) Praia da Marinha (Marinha Beach), Lagoa 

Praia da Marinha is one of the most emblematic beaches of Portugal. It is boarded by golden cliffs and a huge variety of rocky formations such as caves, arches, and natural springs – the biggest of them being 50 meters high.

Before descending the very long staircase to the beach, make sure to explore a bit the area, especially the right side of the cliff. If you walk in that direction for a couple of minutes you’ll notice a peculiar rock that looks like the letter M, which is known as ‘the Cathedral’. When viewed from a specific angle, the structure actually resembles a heart!
Praia da Marinha is only 10 minutes away from another of Portugal’s must-see attractions – Benagil Cave – so it is easy to combine a visit to the cave with a stop at this stunning beach.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant   ✔     

5) Benagil Caves, Lagoa 

Benagil Cave is unquestionably one of Portugal’s most famous and recognized natural landmarks. Once you explore this beauty yourself, you’ll understand why. This huge cave was created by the continuous encounter of the sea with the rocks. A wide circular hole at the top lets natural light shine in, while two different entry points welcome visitors on the sandy beach right below it.

Photography-lovers would be foolish to pass on such an opportunity while visiting Portugal!

The best way to visit this cave is by renting a kayak or a paddleboard in the nearby Benagil beach, which will cost you $22-$30 USD for an hour. I wouldn’t recommend boat tours, as most of them don’t allow guests to get off the boat to actually visit the cave.

Whatever your choice, you will want to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds!

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant        

6) Praia do Camilo (Camilo Beach), Lagos 

Praia do Camilo is undoubtedly one of the most Instagrammable beaches in Portugal. In fact, chances are you’ve already seen this beach on your feed while looking for Algarve travel inspiration. Located in Lagos, not far from Praia Dona Ana, Praia do Camilo boasts beautiful cliffs, hand-dug tunnels, and very scenic rock formations. Still, the best part of this beach is actually the way that leads to it, that is the 200 wooden step stairway that descends from the cliff.

The view from up there is already worth a visit to this beautiful Portuguese beach – just make sure to get there early!

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant       

7) Praia Dona Ana (Dona Ana Beach), Lagos

Praia Dona Ana is one of the best beaches in Portugal in terms of facilities and accessibility, and a great place to relax with a glass of sangria after a day of sightseeing in Lagos.

The beach is absolutely lovely, with clear waters and beautiful rock surroundings that you can explore in search of magnificent grottos.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent  ✔   Beach bar/restaurant  

8) Praia do Pinhão

If you are looking for the bliss and relaxation that can only come from a quiet seashore, then Praia do Pinhão is the perfect beach for you. Pinhao beach is actually just a few minutes away from Praia Dona Ana and from Lagos town center, and yet is relatively untouched in terms of facilities. This praia has that authentic and natural aesthetic that many travelers seek in Portugal.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant        

9) Praia da Bordeira (Bordeira beach), Costa Vicentina  

Are you looking for an off-the-beaten-track beach in Portugal? Then Praia da Bordeira is the one. Located on the Algarve’s West coast, Praia da Bordeira is the perfect spot for surfers, nature lovers, and all those who enjoy vast beaches with plenty of space to roam. As opposed to most of the rocky beaches in Portugal, Bordeira is surrounded by extensive sand dunes which stretch for miles. There’s a very scenic wooden boardwalk that leads to the beach, plus a cute beach bar offering refreshing drinks.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant       

10) Praia da Arrifana (Arrifana beach), Aljezur

Right outside Aljezur, on Algarve’s West Coast, you’ll find another one of Portugal’s best beaches: Praia da Arrifana. This beach is particularly popular among surfers thanks to its sizeable waves, which are due to the fact that this side of the coast faces the full force of the Atlantic. Still, Arrifana beach is also a great destination for families looking to simply enjoy Algarve’s clear waters and soak up the sun.    

Ultimately, what everyone loves about Arrifana is the vibe – everyone here is a bit more chilled than in other touristic spots down the coast, and the hip restaurants of the nearby fishing village give the area a unique character.

Beach facilities:

Sunbeds/umbrellas available for rent        Beach bar/restaurant       

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