Find out about award-winning beaches in Portugal
The Algarve: voted Europe’s best beach destination 8 years running and the world’s leading beach destination 2, and for good reason. But when you look closer, you’ll find there’s more to Southern Portuguese beaches than simply finding your nearest sandy enclave. From hidden beaches only accessible by sea to long stretches of golden sand and picturesque rock formations rising out of the Atlantic to tides that make daily changes to the landscape, each beach in the Algarve has its own story to tell. And each deserves a visit.
Find out about each of the best, award-winning beaches in the Algarve, ensuring you soak up everything the Algarve has to offer.
Explore the Best Beaches in the Algarve
From the Spanish border to the Algarve’s westernmost tip at Sagres, every corner of the coastline presents something new and exciting. From warmer, calmer waters in the east to choppier seas and more dramatic sceneries in the west, there’s certainly something for everyone in the Algarve, but keep reading to find out which beaches you simply won’t want to miss.
Award-winning Beaches in the Algarve
Praia da Falésia
Named “cliff beach” in Portuguese, this 6 km stretch of sand between Albufeira and Vilamoura is known for its impressive red cliffs and golden sands. In fact, voted among the 10 best beaches in the world by TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice Awards, its impressive length means you’ll find concessions and beach bars, quieter stretches, and even a range of watersports if you head to the beach’s easternmost point at Vilamoura, including paragliding, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet-skiing, and some of the best surfing in the Algarve. Proudly one of the Algarve’s 85 blue flag beaches, Praia da Falésia meets the highest environmental and safety standards.
Praia da Marinha
Heading west from Armação de Pêra is Praia da Marinha, which is famous for its unique, heart-shaped rock formations and crystal-clear waters. Named one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world by the Michelin Guide, it always makes it onto lists of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe. Whether hiking along the cliffs to take in views of glistening blue waters or going for a splash to cool off, this beach is breathtaking from every angle.
Unique Beaches in the Algarve
While every beach in the Algarve has something new and different to offer, some stand out for their unique features and are certainly worth stopping at for a day or even two. From west to east, these include Praia do Amado, on Portugal’s western coast, its colder waters and bigger waves making it an ideal surfing destination. Then, as you make your way around Portugal’s western edge, you’ll find a big stretch of white sand and calmer waters perfect for a family day at the beach at the Praia do Martinhal Cove near Sagres. For those looking for an adventure, Praia de Camilo, just out of Lagos city centre, provides both relaxation and excitement with its unique rock formations and long staircase down onto the smaller stretch of sand. Then, when nearing Carvoeiro, wander down the village’s main street and straight onto the sand, where you can enjoy the waves lapping at your feet as whitewashed houses line the clifftops above you.
Into the eastern Algarve, boat trips from Olhão can take you out to the Algarve’s barrier islands, including Ilha Deserta – “Desert Island” – which is just as picturesque as you would imagine, with its long stretch of sand, single wooden walkway, and natural vegetation. Heading further east towards Tavira, a short train journey from Pedras D’el Rei will take you across the Formosa lagoon and through the dunes, allowing you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Algarve in peak season onto the white sand of Praia do Barril with its anchor cemetery, a striking remnant of the area’s rich tuna fishing history. And finally, as you approach the Spanish border, you’ll come to Praia de Cacela Velha, known for its warm, calm waters. In low tide, you’ll be able to walk across swathes of sand, enjoying shallow pools before reaching the beach’s edge, which quickly turns into a sandbank as the tide comes in and a boat starts ferrying beachgoers back to the mainland.
The Rocha Brava Village Resort – in the midst of it all
Whether you want to explore a couple of beaches or tour a list of the region’s best coastal locations, you’ll want to stay somewhere accessible and in the midst of it all. Located only minutes from Carvoeiro, in the heart of the Algarve, the Rocha Brava Village Resort positions you perfectly to pop to any beach that takes your fancy. All while ensuring you enjoy the comforts of a home away from home.
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