15 best beaches in Portugal

People go on holiday to Portugal for many reasons: they have a surprisingly comfortable climate, delicious and varied cuisine, and very beautiful cities. But the main thing is first-class beaches.

Beach in the Algarve, Portugal

Portugal, although a small country, has a rather long coastline – almost 1800 km of a luxurious ocean coast. And on this coast there are 592 official beaches of Portugal, both sandy and pebble with stones.

The Blue Flag

Almost all Portuguese beaches are immaculately clean, and more than 300 of them have the Blue Flag – an award for excellent standards and safe swimming.

It is officially accepted that the beginning of the swimming season in Portugal falls on June 15, and the end on September 15, but in reality, vacationers begin to arrive in March-April, and the closed season falls at the end of October.

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Tourists, especially those who are visiting Portugal for the first time, often face the question: “How to choose from almost 600 beaches?” Perhaps you can help our review of the best beaches for swimming in Portugal – their location is marked on the map located at the bottom of the page.

Praia de sao rafael

San Rafael is a resort in Albufeira, and is a 30-minute drive from Faro Airport. For the cleanliness and safe swimming, he was awarded the Blue Flag.

Beach Praia de Sao Rafael
Holidays on the beach Praia de Sao Rafael

San Rafael is beautiful, like all beaches in the south of Portugal. It is surrounded by several limestone cliffs with unique water caves. Here, pure water and soft sand, however, at low tide and strong surf, it is very difficult to enter the water – immediately behind the sand strip, the bottom is lined with stones. You need to go down the stairs to the beach, although the descent is not big.

The infrastructure of de Sao Rafael is quite well developed: there are a lot of public showers, there are shops, there is an excellent restaurant serving fresh seafood. Nearby there is a large free car parking. But there is no place to rent sunbeds.

In the summer months, the water temperature can reach + 25 ° C, which creates the best conditions for swimming.

Coelha (Praia da Coelha)

5 km east of Albufeira there is a small Coelha beach with a sand strip length of 70-80 m, completely protected from the winds by high cliffs. Like many beaches in the vicinity of Albufeira, he was awarded the Blue Flag.

Praia da Coelha Beach

A clean and gentle entry into the water makes this beach attractive for a relaxing holiday with kids, and many adults will enjoy snorkeling among the coastal cliffs. In summer, the water warms up to an average of + 20-23 ºC.

One expensive cafe

Coelha has showers, you can rent beach umbrellas. Only 1 cafe with rather high prices works here, so it is better to take food with you. Near the cafe there is a free toilet.

Cologne is also notable for the fact that it leads to a picturesque path about 500 m long from the village of Sesmarias (there is a parking area). This path is surrounded by thickets of olives, sprawling oaks, dwarf palm trees, ancient carob trees, evergreen mastic and juniper bushes. You can go directly to the sand strip by a small staircase.

Falesia (Falésia)

The beach of Falesia in the resort of Albufeira is wide and quite long – almost 3 km. It is sandy, and the sand is very light and soft. Clear water, gentle sloping and the complete absence of stones at the bottom (in Portugal this is very rare) make swimming here especially enjoyable. The only thing that is inconvenient, especially when resting with children, is a too steep staircase leading to a sandy strip.

Falesia Beach

Conditions in Falesia are considered by many to be better than on other beaches in Portugal. It is really well equipped: there is a shower, toilets. For 15 euros per day, you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas for two, there is a catamaran rental. Rescuers tirelessly keep order, which makes swimming even safer. But what is almost absent along the entire Falesia beach line is restaurants and eateries – food must be taken with you.

Descent to the beach of Falesia

It is best to come here from July to September. It is this time of the hottest and best season to relax, when the water warms up to + 23-24 ° C, and you can stay in it for a long time.

But they come to this beach in the Algarve (province of Portugal) at all times of the year, and not just for the sake of swimming. The air here is healing, with the smells of the ocean and pine trees, and it is a pleasure to breathe with it. In the mornings, you can watch the ebb, about 50 meters away. And they come to Falesia to admire surreal landscapes with red striped rocks, on the tops of which pine trees grow. From the observation platform Falesia, which you can climb by elevator in the afternoon, the best, simply stunning landscapes, open.

Praia gale

About 4 km west of Albufeira is the small but thriving beach resort of Gale, with beautiful hotels and villas.

Praia Gale Beach

Gale is divided into 2 parts. The western part, where there are many rocks, is visited by many people, although most vacationers in nearby hotels prefer swimming in pools.

The east side is better; it is more spacious and open. Although there are many vacationers here, but thanks to the vast territory, maximum freedom is ensured – people do not lie “on each other’s heads”. The beach is sandy, very well-groomed, the entrance to the water is gentle and almost without stones – it is very good to relax with small children. Although the water is cool, it’s quite suitable for swimming.

Sand beach

Gale has equipped places with paid sunbeds and umbrellas, paid showers and free toilets. The entrances to the beach are good, free parking is available nearby, but after 9:30 it is quite difficult to find a place on it. On the beach there are bars with different drinks, there are several cafes that offer good food for lunch and a snack.

Odeceixe beach

Odesaiche is a popular beach in Portugal, awarded the Blue Flag. It is located in the northwestern part of the Algarve province, in a place where the Seisha River flows into the ocean. Between the channel of the river and the ocean, a small peninsula forms with sand dunes – this is where the beach is located, which, at high tide, completely goes under water.

Seisha river flows into the ocean
Surf School Odeceixe Surf Camp

The shore and bottom are sandy. Often there are strong waves that interfere with swimming, but attract many surf lovers.

The best time to relax on the Atlantic coast of Apgarve is considered to be the period from early July to mid-September. The water in the ocean warms up not too well, but you can swim in the river, it is warmer.

I must say that Odesaiche’s intensive advertising in all guidebooks as the best bathing beach in Portugal did its job: for all its huge area, it is almost always crowded. Many tourists come here, and even in October the parking lot is full.

Benagil

In the south of Portugal, in the Algarve region, there is a unique Benagil beach.

Benagil Beach

I must say that the beach itself is difficult to attribute to the best in Portugal for swimming. It is rather narrow, and there are always a lot of people here, there is no place to change clothes. Everything is not very good with parking: it is unrealistic to stay close, it is inconvenient to go to the beach from the parking lot.

Boat excursions

However, Benagil is always crowded and considered one of the most beautiful in Portugal! It’s all about the grottoes, which are located in the nearest coastal cliffs. Boat trips are regularly sent from the beach, the program includes an inspection of 20 grottoes, a fee of 20 euros per person.

If you look at the shore from the ocean, you will notice the most impressive Benagil Cave. You can get to it only by boat: the cave is separated from the main beach by 300 m, and it is simply not possible to walk them on foot, and swimming is undesirable because of the rocky bottom. Even not all boats with sightseers run the risk of approaching close to the cave, so it remains to examine it from afar. What’s so surprising about her? Directly in the rock, covered by a huge stone arch, a tiny beach hid. And in the arch there is a huge round opening through which the sun’s rays illuminate the waves incident on the sand.

Canavial (Praia do Canavial)

The Kanavial is located near Lagos, and from the center of the town you can easily walk to it. You need to move towards the lighthouse Ponta de Peidade, and then along the coast towards the more famous beach do Ponte de Mos, but not reaching it.

To get directly to the beach, you have to go down a very steep and long staircase. Descent-rise – about 100 steps.

Beach Praia do Canavial

Such access cannot be called easy, but the Canavial is really one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal! The sandy strip is wide, the sand is fine, the entrance to the water is shallow. There are high cliffs on both sides, perhaps this is one of the reasons why nudists like to swim and sunbathe here. The beach is not equipped with anything, there are no amenities – it is wild, but at the same time quite clean.

Camilo (Praia do Camilo)

Beach Praia do Camilo

Camilo is a small beach in the southernmost region of Portugal. It is located in the suburb of Lagos, and of all the local beaches it is the most remote from the center of Lagos – walk about 40 minutes.

Nearby there is an equipped parking lot, from which a very long wooden staircase leads to the water. It is so long that there are even several platforms with benches for relaxation.

But the beach is really the best and most luxurious, it deserves to be visited!

Descent to Praia do Camilo beach

Camilu is very small in area, divided by a wide rock into two sections. A tunnel has been made in this rock, on the walls of which ancient fossils are visible. The entry into the water is good, but in the western part of the beach there are many pitfalls. Despite the fact that the territory is surrounded by rocks, it is windy here, but the water is very warm.

There are no locker rooms and toilets on Camila. But there is a lifeguard in the booth, and you can buy drinking water from him and rent an umbrella.

Praia dona ana

Dona Ana Beach

Dona Ana Beach is located in the Lagos neighborhood of Costa D’Oiro, named for its golden cliffs. These rocks protect the beach from winds blowing from the south and west, so the ocean here is usually calm. The entry into the water is smooth and with a sandy bottom, and the water is even slightly warmer than on other beaches of Lagos. Not surprisingly, with these characteristics, Dona Ana is recognized as one of the best and most comfortable swimming beaches in Portugal.

But you can find a certain “minus” in this: there are many people here at any time of the year, especially in the season (July-August). That is why Dona Ana can be recommended to lovers of urban well-groomed beaches with entertainment and parties.

Descent to the beach of Dona Ana

Access to the sandy strip is possible only on wooden steps, which somewhat restricts access: families with wheelchairs and people with disabilities will not go down them.

There are umbrellas with sunbeds on Dona Ana – for two a day, such a pleasure costs 13 euros. Although there is a shower, it is almost always closed. There is a restaurant in which the service, even during peak hours, is quick and welcoming, and also serves delicious grilled fish. Very close is a large free parking. There is a boat rental on the beach – it is convenient to inspect the grottoes of Cape Piedade on them.

Praia Da Rocha

In the town of Portimão is the picturesque beach of Rocha. Praia da Rocha is sandy, out of the water and sand unusual high rocks rise everywhere. Sunset in the ocean is gentle and comfortable, but often there are high waves. Bathing water is not the best – its temperature does not rise above + 20-22 ºC.

Praia Da Rocha Beach

Rocha beach has comfortable relaxation areas with paid sunbeds and umbrellas (10 euros per day), but there are no changing rooms and showers. Toilets are only in cafes, of which there are many along the equipped boardwalk. There is a lot of entertainment for children, and in general this beach is perfect for families with children.

The best time to arrive in Portimao is considered the season from June to October.

Praia do guincho

At a distance of 5 km from Cascais (Lisbon region) is the most famous sports beach in the Lisbon area – Ginshu. Coordinates of this beach of Portugal on the map: Lat. 38.733199, Long. -9.473133.

Guincho Beach

They shot Bondiana here, but Guincho gained fame thanks to the constant winds that make it a sought-after surf spot not only in Portugal but also in Europe. In the 7 Wonders: Portuguese Beaches competition, Guincho was recognized as the best beach for sports. There are several surf centers in Ginshu that provide equipment for rent. Very clean and rather cold water (+20 ºC), luxurious waves – these are the ones that attract surfers and kitesurfers, which are always very numerous here. And although Ginshu is not very suitable for ordinary swimming, vacationers sunbathing far from sports are also enough here, because it is always interesting to watch surfers and enjoy the scenery.

There is practically no infrastructure on the beach: no toilets or locker rooms. There is nowhere to hide from the scorching sun, so be sure to take sunscreen with you.

Hotel Fortaleza do Guincho
Fortaleza do guincho

But there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby, from simple to “starry”: in the restored 17th-century fortress, the Fortaleza do Guincho hotel is equipped with a restaurant with the same name with two Michelin stars.

There is a convenient access to the beach along the best and most picturesque track in Portugal. Buses run from Kashkayte to Ginshu, but you can get there by bike – rent costs 3 euros per day.

Praia do barril

A spacious, even huge sandy beach with the “Blue Flag” is located on the island of Tavira, next to the city of the same name. This is a great beach for swimming, the water warms up to a fairly comfortable temperature in the summer. Entering the water is gentle and very comfortable.

The beach do Barril is really one of the best beaches in Portugal, the Portuguese themselves like to be here. On weekends, it is full of people, on weekdays it is calmer and fewer people.

Train to the beach

It will take just 10 minutes to get from Tavira to Santa Lusia de Tavira. From there, you can go to Barril Beach via a small pedestrian bridge that spans the Formosa River (it separates the island from the mainland). If you don’t want to go on foot, you can take the old train: in Santa Lusia, there is a railway that was built a long time ago to serve fishermen. An old train leaves from the pier Pedras del rei resort, the trip takes about 8 minutes, the cost of a one-way ticket is 1 euro.

The beach has all the necessary infrastructure: toilets, showers, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants with delicious food. He quite rightly enters the list of the best in Portugal.

Anchors cemetery at the end of the beach
Anchors Cemetery

A reminder of the fishing farm that worked here earlier is the “anchor cemetery” at the end of the beach: the anchors removed from the old fishing boats were simply laid among the sand dunes. This is a very interesting and photogenic place – perhaps, from all the beaches of Portugal, original photos are best obtained here.

Alvor (Praia de Alvor)
Beach Praia de Alvor

5 km from Portimão, not far from the Ria de Alvor National Forest, there is the resort of Alvor, once a former modest fishing village.

A sandy beach lies 1 km from the center of Alvor. It is located along a wide sand barrier that protects the Ria de Alvor lagoon from salty ocean waves. On this beach in Portugal you can not only take sunbaths, but also engage in scuba diving, diving, sailing.

Infrastructure: toilets, showers, a fairly large selection of good restaurants. Rental of sunbeds at 5 euros per day.

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Praia de galapinhos

Galapinhos Beach belongs to the Setubal resort and is located near the city center. Despite the fact that de Galapinhos is ranked among the most popular beaches in Europe, it remains one of the most peaceful places in Portugal. The beach is surrounded by the stunning Park of Serra da Arrabida, a favorite place for hiking by locals.

Galapinh Beach

Galapinyush has all the necessary infrastructure for a comfortable stay: showers, toilets, umbrellas and sunbeds can be rented, parking is open.

The entrance is shallow and the shore is shallow, thanks to which the water warms up to a fairly comfortable temperature – this makes de Galapinhos one of the best and most popular beaches of Potrugalia, where tourists with children like to come.

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Marinha
Marinha beach

Marinha Beach (Carvoeiro) is in the TOP 10 of the most beautiful and best beaches in Portugal and Europe. But it is more suitable for contemplation than for a classic beach holiday. White sand and rocks, with their bizarre shape resembling animals, create an amazing atmosphere. To this beach, like to most in Portugal, you need to go down, and from a height you can see unreal views.

Marinha Beach rarely has a lot of people. Swimming near the shore here cannot be called comfortable due to the large number of stones, and in some places there are algae. There is no soul here, no umbrellas and deck chairs either, but there is a boat rental – it is convenient to explore the caves and grottoes in the rocks standing in the water.

Top view of the beach of Marinha

There is a small cafe at the very entrance to the beach, prices are slightly higher than usual, but the food is delicious. There is also ample parking – wild, among the bushes, but you can park a car.

From July to September, the water off the coast warms up the most to + 22-23 ° C. However, even in August, the water temperature on this beach in Portugal, judging by the reviews and description of vacationers, can not be called too comfortable. And algae blooming during this period interfere with bathing.



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