Its stunning coastline is one of the Algarve’s top attractions. In this area of Portugal, you can find some of Europe’s finest beaches and each one of them has a unique charm.
You can enjoy good waves and watersports alongside calm and family-oriented zones. There are more than 150 beaches available, so it’s hard to visit all of them. These are our favorites.
1. Praia Marinha
Praia Marinha is often considered not only one of the best beaches in Europe, but also in the whole world. Its double-arch limestone rock formation with its orange-brown color and crystal clear water make this beach breathtaking. It is popular among divers, snorkelers, and photographers, of course. It is situated 8 kilometers southwest of Lagoa.
Before you get down to the beach, don’t miss the view from the top of the cliff. However, be careful while coming down, because the steps leading to the beach are pretty steep. You can visit the caves via one of the boats, dive, take lots of pictures or just relax. If you are planning to spend a whole day here, bring something to eat, since you can buy only ice cream and drinks.
2. Praia de Alvor
If you have always wanted to visit a popular beach, which is both beautiful and not too crowded, Alvor beach should be your first choice.
The beach is several kilometers long, and that means you can enjoy your privacy even in summer. It’s popular with families whose children love making sand castles, because of its fine white sand. It is also popular among divers, thanks to the clear water and several shipwrecks in the vicinity.
You can rent pedal boats or kayaks, go windsurfing, water-skiing or sailing. When you want to freshen up and get something to eat, there is no shortage of cafes and restaurants. The beach is a short walk away from the idyllic riverfront in Alvor, and the accommodation options are also great. When visiting this beach, be sure to visit this cute fishing village as well.
3. Praia de Odeceixe
Odeceixe Beach is the perfect mix. On the left side of the beach the sea is rough and appreciated by surfers and there is even a surfing school at the beach. However, on the right side, the Seixe River flows into the sea, making this side more peaceful and perfect for families. You can paddle on the peaceful riverside or tackle the waves on the other side.
The river is also a boundary between the Algarve and Alentejo region. The Odeceixe beach is a huge stretch of sand, ideal for people who love long walks. You’ll have plenty of eating options in Odeceixe village, about 4 kilometers from the beach, along a charming country road. Praia de Odeceixe is a part of the Vicentine Coast Natural Park and if you want to enjoy the beauty of the landscape around the beach, climb the stone steps to the top of the cliff.
4. Praia do Barril
Praia do Barril is situated on Tavira Island and it’s a part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. This is actually one of the quietest beaches in the area. You can access it by crossing a bridge over the Ria Formosa or by a small tourist train. It is naturist friendly, especially the western part of the beach. Its soft sand and the deep-blue color of the water make the perfect scenery for taking long walks by the sea.
Try windsurfing or sailing too, since the water can be surprisingly cold. The Anchor Graveyard serves as a reminder that this was once a tuna fishing village and you can still see anchors in the sand. The houses of the fishermen have been converted into restaurants where you can try local dishes.