The gorgeous, sunny Algarve beaches (praias) are what draw many tourists to Portugal. But with the coastline stretching almost 100 miles, it can be impossible to choose just where to go on your next vacation. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the Algarve!
Whether you prefer to relax within easy distance of restaurants, bars, and cabanas, or if you prefer the seclusion of some of the smaller beaches, you will find someplace you love in the Algarve. Rest and relax, try out some watersports, or enjoy the picturesque cliffsides and stunning rock formations along the ocean.
Located in the beautiful seaside city of Portimao, Praia da Rocha is one of the most popular Algarve beaches. It can get a little crowded during peak tourist season, but usually this long-stretching beach offers lots of room to relax. The boardwalk along Praia da Rocha is home to a variety of delicious seafood restaurants and shops where you can get anything you need for a day at the beach. From Praia da Rocha, you can also embark on a variety of exciting boat rides to see the beautiful cliffs and caves along the seaside.
Praia de Dona Ana in Lagos is surrounded by picturesque cliffs. Access to this beach, along with many others in the Algarve, is by a set of wooden stairs down the cliffside. However, once you reach the beach, you will be amazed by the stunning views it has to offer!
A short distance away from Praia de Dona Ana is Praia do Camilo, one of the smallest Algarve beaches. You’ll have to climb down another steep staircase, but this spectacular beach is worth it. Additionally, swimming from this beach will reveal secret beaches and caves that can only be accessed from the water. Anyone who loves exploring and has strong swimming skills will love the seclusion and secrets of Praia do Camilo.
The beach at Praia de Benagil is also small, but the main draw for this location is actually the stunning cave right around the corner. Algar de Benagil is the landmark you have probably seen the most often when looking at pictures of Algarve beaches. You can access the cave by boat tour, or by renting a kayak or stand up paddleboard (SUP). It’s also accessible by swimming, but not in rough currents, and only if you are a very strong swimmer. Once inside the spectacular cave, you will be amazed by the “eye” in the ceiling that allows sunlight to shine in and illuminate the space.
Located outside of Carvoeiro, near Praia de Benagil, Praia da Marinha is another popular beach surrounded by beautiful cliff formations. The water here is exceptionally clear, and is great for snorkeling. You’ll want to get to this beach early, as it can fill up. However, you won’t want to leave it off your list of places to visit, since Praia da Marinha is often listed as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe!
Praia da Falesia in Vilamoura is another popular beach. The vibe here is more similar to that of Praia da Rocha than some of the more secluded beaches. At Praia da Falesia, the beach is easily accessible. A boardwalk stretches the length of the beach, and you can rent cabanas or sunbeds near the water. Also, during the summer months, this beach hosts exciting sunset parties every Thursday. If you’re looking to party while experiencing the amazing views, Praia da Falesia is the beach for you.
If you’re hoping to do some celebrity spotting along the Algarve beaches, check out Praia de Vale do Lobo. It’s here that you might get a chance to run into athletes, models, and even the occasional TV or movie star. The famous restaurants along this beach serve up delicious food that you won’t want to miss.
Praia do Vale de Centeanes is where you’ll want to go to see some of the clearest water in the Algarve. On a clear day, it’s easy to see the bottom of the ocean without even setting foot in the water. This beach is located near Carvoeiro, so it won’t be hard to travel from here to Praia da Marinha or Praia de Benagil.
Meia Praia is one of the largest Algarve beaches, which makes it easy to find a spot any time of the year. Its proximity to the Lagos city center also means you will have plenty of activities to do besides relaxing on the sand. This beach is also popular with surfers and windsurfers. If you love watching watersports, or want to try your hand at them yourself, Meia Praia is a great location.
Located along the Western coast of Portugal, rather than the Southern, Praia de Odeceixe is a beautiful beach that offers great surfing options. The most interesting aspect of this beach, however, is that it’s bordered on one side by the ocean, and on two others by the Ribeira de Seixe. You can relax in the cool ocean water, or play along the riverbed.