Algarve coastline extends for over 210 km and comprises many varied beaches. There are vast sandy beaches, deserted sandbar islands, picturesque cove beaches, and dramatic surfing beaches. Wherever you go in the Algarve, you will never be far from an outstanding beach! There are pristine beaches with idyllic settings, wild and rugged beaches for surfing, and family-friendly beaches with great amenities. Here is our list of the best beaches!
- Praia da Falésia
This stretch of beach is some of the most unspoilt of the central Algarve and Praia da Falésia is the largest beach in the central Algarve region. It is the main beach of Vilamoura. A wonderful location for a day on the beach. This vast beach extends for 5 km between Olhos de Água and Vilamoura and is unique for its orange-colored cliffs.
- Praia dos Caneiros
The Praia dos Caneiros is a beautiful beach, positioned at the mouth of the Arade River. This beach is set within the characteristic golden cliff of the western Algarve and overlooks a rocky islet, the Leixão das Gaivotas, 200 m out to sea. The Caneiros beach has a beautiful natural setting. Leading from the beach are many great coastal walks.
- Praia do Burgau
The far western Algarve is dotted with many scenic villages, each set around a sheltered sandy beach. The tiny village of Burgau overlooks the wonderful Praia do Burgau beach. The beach is beautiful, sandy and sheltered from the strong winds of the region, while the peaceful atmosphere of Burgau is ideal if you are holidaying with young children.
- Praia da Galé
This is another massive beach, which is surprisingly quiet considering its close proximity to the major resort towns of Armação de Pêra and Albufeira. It is a wonderful beach close to the village of Galé. If the main beaches of the resort towns get too hectic for you, the Praia da Galé is where to head.
- Praia de Carvoeiro
The Praia de Carvoeiro is the delightful beach of Carvoeiro. The beach is nestled between two golden cliff headlands and is backed with traditional whitewashed houses, which now are bars and restaurants. This beach is pretty, sheltered, and ideal for families.
- Meia Praia beach
The Meia Praia is the vast expanse of sand that extends eastwards from Lagos. This huge beach offers kilometers of golden sands, and this is fortunate as it is the main beach of Lagos, a bustling city that is popular with tourists. Meia Praia is referred to as half (Meia) beach as it is divided into two by the Alvor estuary, with the opposite side (the Praia de Alvor) leading to the family-friendly resort town of Alvor.
- Praia do Beliche
The Praia do Beliche is the best surfing beach in the far western Algarve. It is to the north of Sagres, a ramshackle fishing town that has an underlying trendy surfing vibe. The beach faces a westerly direction and is exposed to powerful Atlantic waves that roll onto the vast expanse of sand. Surround the beach are 40 m high cliffs, and these provide shelter from the strong sea breezes that buffer the Sagres region. Found within the town are surf rental shops, hostels, and decent surf schools.
- Praia do Barril
The Praia do Barril was originally the site of a tuna fishing village, which was abandoned during the 1960s due to depleted fishing stocks. Today, the fishing huts have been converted into beach bars and restaurants, while the anchors used for tuna fishing have been placed in the sand dunes as a permanent memorial. Now it is called the Anchor Cemetery. Praia do Barril is a calm beach with an idyllic natural setting, which rarely gets crowded with tourists. It can be walked to from the mainland, there is even a mini-train if you don’t fancy walking the 1 km.
- Praia de Dona Ana / Praia do Camilo
The Praia de Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo are two stunning beaches on this coastline at the Ponta da Piedade headland, surrounded by golden cliffs and offering calm, turquoise waters. Their setting is stunning, and these are some of the most beautiful beaches of the Algarve, but unfortunately, they will be crowded in the summer as they are close to Lagos.
- Praia da Ilha de Tavira
The Praia de Tavira is the pristine beach on the southern side of the Ilha de Tavira (Tavira Island). The island lies within the protected Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, and the beach retains its unspoiled natural appearance. The Praia de Tavira is the main beach of Tavira, and during the summer there is a regular ferry service from the town center. Most visitors crowd around the area closest to the beach bars and campsite, but a short stroll southward leads to deserted beaches.
- Praia dos Pescadores
The Praia dos Pescadores is the main beach of Albufeira. The beach itself is massive, boasting golden sands, and safe seawater, and is only a short walk to the center of Albufeira. It is always a lively place to hang out, with sea inflatables, banana boat rides, and beach bars packed with tourists.
- Praia da Torralta
At the opposite end of the Meia Praia is the stunning Praia da Torralta. This is a beautiful beach if you are based in one of the sprawling villa complexes that surround Alvor. This beach combines a vast expanse of golden sands along with the distinctive sandstone cliffs of the central Algarve and creates an almost perfect beach setting.
- Praia de Monte Gordo
The seawater of the eastern Algarve tends to be much calmer, with no strong currents or large waves, as it is sheltered from the power of the Atlantic Ocean. The Praia de Monte Gordo is the finest and largest beach of the eastern Algarve. It lies at the center of an 8 km continuous sandy coastline and is backed by the modern resort town of Monte Gordo. Because of the calmer seas, the beach sands tend to be softer and finer-grained here than in the western Algarve.
- Praia da Marinha
The stunning Praia da Marinha is the most beautiful beach in the Algarve. It nestles at the base of a jagged sandstone cliff, which has been eroded into misshapen cliff formations. There are sea pillars, jutting golden rocks, and a unique double sea arch, all lapped by the calm turquoise sea waters. Below the waterline, the rocks are teeming with life, and the Praia da Marinha is a wonderful location for snorkeling.
- Praia da Rocha
This magnificent beach sits at the base of a lively beach resort and offers everything possible of a modern resort town. There are classy lounge bars, a beach sports complex (football/volleyball), beach bars, and every conceivable sea activity. The beach also regularly hosts major festivals. Praia da Rocha is a popular holiday destination with vivid orange cliffs and crystal clear waters. The beach itself is over 200m wide. If you want an exciting beach to visit, then the Praia da Rocha should be your choice.
- Praia da Ilha Deserta
The beach of Deserted Island is as remote and unspoiled as the name implies. The beach lies on the southern side of the Ilha Deserta, one of the sandbar islands within the protected Parque Natural da Ria Formosa coastline. The island is only accessible by tour boat or water taxi, and there will only ever be a handful of visitors here, even at the peak of the season. Along the 6km pristine beach, is the most southerly point of mainland Portugal, the Cabo de Santa Maria. The cape is marked by a driftwood sculpture, which matches the isolated ambiance of the island.