Portugal Travel Guides

11 of the Best Beaches in The Algarve

April 7, 2019

Praia do Beliche at Sunset

Best Beaches in The Algarve

Portugal is well known for it’s stunning beaches lining cost of it’s Algarve region, and with over 100 of them, it’s hard to decide on which ones are the best to visit on your trip there. So I’ve come up with a quick guide to the top 10 beaches that you have to visit in The Algarve.

The Algarve has mediterranean weather with hot summers perfect for swimming at the beach, but it’s also really great to visit in the off season too while the weather is a little cooler and the beaches are a lot quieter (though obviously not so great for swimming). But there’s also plenty of hikes and sightseeing around the area that you can fill your days with while taking in the stunning views!

Praia da Marinha, The Algarve, Portugal

Praia da Marinha, The Algarve, Portugal

Praia da Marinha

Frequently named as one of the best beaches in Europe and across the world, Praia da Marinha is the postcard picture of The Algarves beaches. Located in the central region of the Algarve, Praia da Marinha is located between the small towns of Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra. It’s great for anyone interested in photography and hiking, as there’s a great hiking trail that takes you over to Benagil caves (though you can’t see much other than a hole in the ground).

* We visited on a really windy day during February, therefore it had large waves. During the summer it’s a lot calmer!

Access: Best if you’ve got your own transport, as public transport doesn’t serve this beach very often. There’s a large car park at the top, but as usual with the Algarve, plenty of steps down to the beach.

Facilities: There’s a picnic area at the top by the carpark overlooking the viewpoint, and a cafe/bar on the beach, though there’s no toilet or shower facilities.

RELATED POST: Praia da Marinha Hike

Camilo Beach Stairs, Algarve

Praia do Camilo

One of my favourite beaches in the Algarve for views, Praia do Camilo is one of the smaller beaches but with towering rock formations and secret caves to hidden beaches, it’s one of my favourites. If you’re heading there for photos, the best time to visit is at sunrise! Located just outside of Lagos, it’s a little easier to get to, but still requires transport unless you’re staying in one of the nearby hotels.

Access: There’s a long staircase that heads down to the beach, so again, not the easiest beach to get down to. There’s a carpark at the top, though it’s pretty small so you may have to park on the road during peak season.

Facilities: There’s a restaurant at the top, but nothing on the beach. No toilets or showers.

Praia do Martinhal

Praia do Martinhal

Praia do Martinhal is located near to the town of Sagres in the far south-western point of The Algarve, therefore it can get a bit cooler with the northern winds that blow from the atlantic. It is a huge beach though, at almost 1km long, so it’s never very busy even during the summer, but the water can be colder than other beaches along the coast and on windy days it can increase the height of the waves making it not so desirable for swimming, but great for watersports like surfing.

* We visited on a really windy day during February, therefore it had large waves. During the summer on a normal day, it’s a lot calmer!

Access: There’s a large carpark behind the beach which leads straight onto the sand (yep, no stairs). There’s a small holiday area nearby, but nothing else around, so again, it is quite excluded so best if you have your own transport.

Facilities: There’s 3 restaurants in the area (2 in the dunes on the beach). Nortada is supposedly really good (we tried to eat here but as we visited iin February, it was sadly closed). There are toilets in the restaurants, but no showers.

Praia do Beliche at Sunset

Praia do Beliche at Sunset

Praia do Beliche

Praia do Beliche is a great beach for surfers, though the waves during the summer months do die down a little bit. As it’s on Portugals western coast just outside of the town of Sagres, it does get a bit windy here, and therefore the water temperature is a little colder than the rest of the beaches in the area. It’s my personal favourite for heading to at sunset, and there’s the Cape St Vincent lighthouse just down the road too!

Access: You need your own transport to get here, but there’s a huge carpark at the top of the cliff with plenty of room for parking. Beach access is by stairs some of which can be quite steep!

Facilities: There’s a small beach bar serving BBQ food at the bottom of the staircase, and a restaurant at the top on the opposite side of the road to the carpark. There are no toilets or showers on the beach, but there is a toilet in the restaurant at the top (though you must be a customer).

Carvoeiro Beach

Praia do Carvoeiro, Lagoa

This is a very popular beach located in Carvoeiro, lined by cliffs and fishermens houses and hotels. The water can be cold, and on windy days the waves can be quite high. It also gets very deep very quickly, but is popular among the residents staying in Carvoerio. There’s also plenty of hikes to do around the cliffs nearby – the boardwalk which leads to the caves is a must!

Access: There’s not really much parking by the beach so you will have to park in the town, which can be a 10 minute walk to the beach during the summer, but there’s easy access to the beach and boardwalk (with no stairs access available when entering from the town).

Facilities: Plenty of restaurants, shops and facilities around the area.

Boat Trip to Ilha Deserta (Barreta Island) Faro, The Algarve

Praia da Ilha Deserta

Praia da Ilha Deserta is one of the harder beaches to get to on this list – it requires a boat trip from Faro. I highly recommend getting the hop-on-hop-off boat ticket which lets you explore the islands that make up the Ria Formosa Natural Park – they’re stunning! Head to Isla Deserta for the best beach which during the summer months has crystal clear sea that would make you think you’re somewhere in the Caribbean and stretches for a whopping 7km! Then head over to Farol Island to see the lighthouse and cute holiday homes.

* We visited on a really windy day during February, therefore it had large waves. During the summer on a normal day, it’s a lot calmer!

Access: Access is only via boat. There’s a regular ferry direct from Faro which takes approx 45mins and costs roughly €5pp (€2.50 for children), or you can buy a hop on hop off boat ticket that lets you explore the other islands too.

Facilities: There is one restaurant on the island close to the beach, but it is said to be a little expensive so it’s best to bring your own water and snacks with you as there’s also no shade on the island. There are toilets and showers in the restaurant though.

Cove Redonda Beach, The Algarve

Cove Redonda Beach

This beach was a little surprise for us, as we had some time to waste before heading to the airport later in the afternoon, so did a quick google search and came across this little cove beach about 20-30 minutes west of Albufeira. There’s not much there, and it’s kind of hidden, but the views were lovely and I can imagine it being really nice on a warm summers day, and as it’s a smaller less known beach, there’s usually less crowds.

Access: Access to Cove Redonda is via a long stairway in a little alley through the hotels and apartments at the top. It’s quite hidden, but there is a sign near the top pointing you in the right direction. The stairs are easy and are paved and there’s parking bays on the road at the top of the stairs.

Facilities: There’s no facilities on this beach, but you can hire a sunbed. There’s plenty of hotels around the top of the cliffs, one with direct beach access through their own stairway.

Praia de Faro, The Algarve

Praia de Faro

Ok, so not one of the most stunning beaches in The Algarve, but it’s a good beach to visit if you’re located in Faro. There’s plenty of public transport that can get you here (bus, taxi or even hire a bike). It’s also perfect to spend a little time before your flight leaves being only a 5-10 minute drive from the airport terminal! We spent about 30 minutes here as we arrived a little early. Being Faro’s city beach and proximity to the airport it does get very busy here during the summer. But with 5km of beach, if you head left or right rather than staying in the central area, the crowds thin out. The water is quite cold here, and it does get deep fast, so it’s best for stronger swimmers.

* We visited on a really windy day during February, therefore it had large waves. During the summer on a normal day, it’s a lot calmer!

Access: Plenty of public transport options from Faro, and a carpark just as you arrive on the island, which you can then just walk straight onto the beach (no stairs).

Facilities: Plenty of restaurants, shops and facilities around the central part of the island, and also toilets and showers.

Lagos Beach in The Algarve, Portugal

Other Beaches to Visit in The Algarve

There’s obviously plenty of options when it comes to beaches to visit in the algarve, but during our few quick trips there we just haven’t got round to seeing them all. So here’s a list of a few others that are highly recommended, though I can’t comment on from personal experience.

Praia dona Ana, Lagos

Another beach located near Lagos, well known for it’s clear water, cliffs and rock formations. It’s quite a small, but popular beach so can get very busy during the summer months. The water is quite cold but very clear and good for snorkelling. The beach was artificially extended in 2015, so the sand is quite rough. Access is by stairs and there’s a very small car park at the top, but you can get there by bus or by walking from Lagos (2.5km). There is a restaurant, but reviews are not good. There’s also toilets and showers.

Praia da Falesia, Albufeira

Located near Albufeira, Praia da Falesia is a long thin beach, which gets very crowded during the summer months, so it’s best to get there early. The cliffs are a stunning red colour and changes as you walk along the beach. There’s a very small carpark at the top of the cliffs which can get hard to navigate during the afternoon. You can walk from Albufeira. There’s a few bars and restaurants in the area, and toilet and shower facilities.

What are some of your favourite beaches to visit in The Algarve?




  • Reply
    April 7, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    I feel really privileged for having grown in this place. Really good selection. Top tip avoid end of July and August because its too busy. Ideally June or mid September

  • Reply
    April 10, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    They’re all gorgeous, and I love your photos!

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