The Algarve coast in southern Portugal is home to a seemingly endless array of stunning beaches. Studded with dramatic cliffs and world-class views, it would be easy to spend an entire summer beach-hopping the coastline. Unfortunately most of us don’t have that luxury, so I’ve narrowed it down to 5 beaches that epitomize the best of the Algarve.
- The best way to explore the region is by rental car. The roads are easy to navigate and rentals are quite affordable.
- Lagos makes for a great home base. The town itself is lively and offers great accommodation and restaurant options. It also boasts some of the best beaches and cliff views in the Algarve.
- May-June and September-October are the best times to visit. Avoid July and August unless you enjoy extreme heat and crowds.
5 Beaches That You Cannot Miss In The Algarve
1. Praia do Camilo
This is the classic Algarve beach of your dreams, complete with a long and winding staircase, turquoise waters, and scenic rock formations. Its convenient location in Lagos makes it one of the most popular beaches in the area, yet it still feels very secluded. The beach itself is quite small so be prepared to arrive early for a spot.
2. Praia da Bordeira
Looking for a beach with dramatic boardwalks that lead you through shallow rivers and sand dunes? Then this place is for you. It is one of the most beautiful places I have been and was my favourite stop in the Algarve. It’s located on the more rugged western coast near the town of Aljezur. Enjoy sharing the beach with a couple of surfers and locals rather than hordes of tourists.
3. Praia da Marinha
Another classic Algarve beauty, Praia da Marinha was named one of the top 10 beaches in Europe by the Michelin Guide at one point. Dramatic orange cliffs? Check. Iconic rock formations? Check. Calm turquoise waters? Check. What more can you ask for? It’s also usually not very crowded, in part because it requires a bit of a drive from any major town. After you arrive, make sure to walk around the top of the cliffs to take in the views, before descending down to the beach via a steep but scenic set of stairs.
4. Praia da Falesia
Located in popular Albufeira, this is one of the more developed beaches in the area. Unlike most of the others it actually has beach facilities such as sunbeds and water sports rentals. The beach is very long and is bordered by tall red cliffs. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a relaxing beach day.
5. Praia Dona Ana
Often named one of the best beaches in the Algarve, Praia Dona Ana is centrally located in Lagos and within walking distance to town. The beach is much bigger than Praia do Camilo and perfect for sunbathing. There is also a walking path above this beach that takes you along the cliffs of Lagos and provides stunning views of the entire coast.
I was amazed at the variety of beaches that the Algarve had to offer. Whether you’re looking to surf, swim, or simply sunbathe, I guarantee you will find the beach of your dreams there. I know I had a lot of trouble narrowing down which beaches to visit, so I hope this list was helpful. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!