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Your Guide to the Best Algarve Beaches in Portugal


Golden mountains, rich blue seas, and enticing sandy beaches line the southern coast of Portugal in the region known as the Algarve. Taken from the Arabic word for “the West,” it’s easy to compare the stunning landscape to the neighboring Andalusia region of Spain. Both invite visitors from around the world to enjoy the endless beauty they have to offer. Dip your toes into the most magical beaches of the Algarve Coast and let us be your guide.

Whether you want to enjoy a boat ride along the Algarve shores, admire from a paratrike above, or explore the beautiful beachside caves, these South Portugal beaches should not be missed.

Praia da Marinha

Where is it?

Just a few miles south of the charming town of Lagoa, Playa de Marinha rests along the southern Portugal coast amidst the Benagil Caves. For visitors staying in Lagos, it’s only a short 40-minute drive to experience what is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world! For those looking to escape the city life of Lisbon, you can easily visit the Algarve coast by car, plane, train, and bus. See travel options here.

Why should you visit?

If the stunning pictures aren’t enough to lure you in, imagine walking amongst the richest blue hues framed by picturesque rock formations. The cliffs and calming waters make for an alluring escape, protecting you from the stress of the outside world.

One of the most unique sightings is the “M rock” or “cathedral” rock with two arches that can be admired up close during low tide and from afar if you’re hiking the Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos (Seven Hanging Valleys Trail).

Praia de Marinha is award-winning and has been famously listed among the best in the world by CNN. It’s also close to the intriguing Benagil Caves, which can be explored along with Marinha beach through these boat tours. The caves are considered to be one of the top ten wonders of the world. All in all, Praia de Marinha is a captivating spot that can be enjoyed by families, couples, and solo travelers alike.

Praia da Falésia

a canyon with a mountain in the background


Where is it?

As you continue east down the Algarve Coast, you will encounter another of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. Praia de Falésia is only a short walk from the resort town of Vilamoura, a quick and scenic drive from Olhos de Água, and a 50-minute drive from Lagos. You can make your way down from Lisbon by exploring these transportation options.

Why should you visit?

The majestic red rock cliffs of Praia de Falésia have also ranked it amongst the best beaches in Portugal and the world. Its Blue Flag Beach status means it’s very well-kept, making this treasure a wonder to explore. The beach is also surrounded by gorgeous green pines and hiking trails giving you the best nature has to offer.

You can also take in the whole view overhead by enjoying a paratrike tour here. Tours are also offered during sunset to witness the colorful golden red hues. The expansive beach takes about two hours to walk by foot, so we’d recommend catching a ride to get a bird’s-eye view.

Praia Dona Ana

Where is it?

Heading back to the western metropolis of Lagos, Praia Dona Ana is one of the southernmost beaches sitting about a mile inland from the grand rock formations of Ponta da Piedade. It’s possible to walk to the beach from Lagos’s historic centre or to reach the beautiful entrance through public transportation. If you’re traveling from Lisbon, there are several ways to reach Praia Dona Ana and neighboring Algarve beaches by car and public transportation.

Why should you visit?

Dona Ana is not only very close to the city, but it also hosts gentle, turquoise waters shielded from the wind by the nearby Ponta da Piedade limestone grottos. After lounging or taking a dip in the cool waters, you can explore the Ponta de Piedade caves through a kayak tour or sunset cruise here.

Dona Ana is the largest of the southern beaches in Portugal thanks to a recent expansion and offers visitors lovely beachside restaurants, showers, and facilities to spend a full day here.

Once you descend the wooden stairs to reach the gem of the Costa d’Ouro, you will be in awe of all the gold coast has to offer. Its Blue Flag Beach certification means this sandy oasis is being cared for and provides a clean attraction for everyone to enjoy.

Do you have your beach bag packed yet? The best beaches in Portugal are waiting for you to explore on a solo trip or with your loved ones! Now that you have a better idea of the best places to visit, dive into some of our favorite featured activities to experience the Algarve coast with a local guide.