Hugging the westernmost coast of Europe, Portugal has an arid landscape that is met by undulating cliffs and white buildings perched on its coastline. While the north is perhaps a little too cold to head to the beach, by the time you hit the south, laying in the sand and listening to the sound of the sea is just about all you will think about.
Portugal’s coast will charm you. By hopping on a bicycle, you can head out in search of untouched beaches surrounded by rugged cliffs. Some are well-facilitated with boardwalks leading you to the sandy shores; some lie in front of coastal towns, whereas others see you almost free-climbing to get to the sand – this is what makes Portugal’s beaches so alluring.
Beaches to Relax On
Praia de Falesia
Capturing all of the alluring characteristics of a beach in Portugal, Praia de Falesia slips down to to the sand on craggy red rocks that set a dramatic backdrop for your seaside experience.
Praia de Falesia is often referred to as one of the best in the world. Soft white sands meet crystalline blue waters that facilitate a refreshing dip on a hot summers day. A day on this beach is one of the most picturesque in the Algarve.
While there are facilities on the beach, it is also possible to have a more natural experience by exploring a little further along the six-kilometre stretch.
Praia do Carvahlo
A secret among locals, Praia do Carvahlo is for those who like a little adventure to reach ultimate relaxation.
Protected by cliffs, you can access the beach via a walkway that takes you through a man-made tunnel, where it is possible to see some fossils to add to the magic. Once there, the beach is yours.
With a slightly remote location and unique way to access the beach, Praia do Carvahlo remains quiet. There are no facilities on the beach, and no hotels or resorts found here, despite being in the centre of Algarve!
The water in Praia do Carvahlo is clear and warm and offers some of the best conditions for snorkelling in the Algarve. For the slightly more adventurous, there are also cliff jumping opportunities around the area.
Due to its closeted positioning, it’s recommended to visit the beach in the morning; early afternoon, half of the beach is in the shade of the cliffs.
Praia do Camilo
Red cliffs topped with greenery fall to Praia do Camilo, one of the most highly reputed beaches in and around Lagos.
Descending a long staircase, you can stop to take breaks to admire the endless horizon that presents itself to you before arriving at the beach.
Praia do Camilo is natural, offering you the chance to freely explore the eroded archways and embrace the beauty of this cove while swimming, snorkelling, kayaking or lying on the sand.
The beach is separate by a rock face that juts out from the landscape; during low tide, it is possible to access this; however, during high tide, it is not. Please take care to get back to safety before you get stuck.
While there are no facilities at Praia do Camilo, in summer, it gets incredibly crowded as it is so small. In winter, you would think no one knew about it.
Surfing Spots in the Algarve
Praia de Odeceixe
Sitting on the border between the Algarve and Alentejo in the north of the Algarve, Praia de Odeceixe is a vast beach protected by cliffs and surrounded by the Ribeira de Seixe.
The beach is well facilitated with boat and canoeing tours, as well as numerous surf schools if you are looking to learn the way of the waves. Praia do Odeceixe is particularly popular for beginners with smaller waves that are ideal for perfecting your skills.
A nature lovers paradise, the beach is at the mouth of the Ribeira de Seixe and, during low tide, small lagoons form in the sea that are ideal for children to play in on summer days.
Praia do Beliche
One of the finest in the western Algarve, Praia do Beliche is a hot spot for surfers just moments from the town of Sagres, on the south-western tip of Portugal.
Snuggled into the cliffs, Praia do Beliche is one of the few beaches in the area surrounded Sagres that does not get a lot of wind, making it perfect for a day of sunbathing. It lures in nature lovers who like to like they are the only one there.
Attracting only the more advanced surfers with its strong riptide, Praia do Beliche has earned a reputation as a surfing hot spot; however, the strong riptide does mean that the beach is not for younger families.
Just moments from the lighthouse that marks the end of the world, walking down 100-odd steps to the beach transports you into a world of remote relaxation.
Looking to hit the beach in Portugal? Customise your own trip!