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23 Algarve Beaches You Have to Visit (Portugal)

23 Algarve Beaches You Have to Visit (Portugal)

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Algarve beaches are some of the most incredible beaches I’ve ever seen in my life.

There. I said it.

Hello! Professional beach bum, Nina, reporting here. I love a good beach. I’ve basked on the coastlines of France and Croatia to the beaches in Indonesia and Thailand, and oh, I’m from Florida!

So when I say a beach is damn good, it’s pretty damn good.

And I have to say, the beaches in the Algarve DO NOT disappoint!

The beaches in the Algarve are surrounded by craggy limestone cliffs topped with desert foliage while the mighty Atlantic crashes against their ever-crumbling facades.

The rough terrain is part of the area’s charm and it makes for a beautiful combo.

If you’re not a beach bunny and prefer your hiking boots as opposed to flip-flops, you will still love the Algarve. Luckily, the entire region is littered with hiking trails, many of which are located along the coast.

Algarve beaches are to die for!
Algarve beaches are to die for!

Peer over the edges of the cliffs and enjoy the beach views from up there, it’s breathtaking!

So regardless of whether looking for a tan or a good morning wander outside, the Algarve beaches listed here will be perfect!

Here are some of my favorites ordered from the Algarve beaches in the northeast to those in the southwest.

Algarve Beaches You Have to Check Out


First things first! Maps! Love me a good map, plus it’s nice to visually see where these beaches in the Algarve actually are. The good news is, most of these beaches are very close to each other, and even the two furthest beaches can be reached in an hour and a half from one beach to the next.

I have always based myself in Sagres, but basing out of Lagos would also be nice. I’ve also used Albufeira a bit. It really doesn’t matter where you stay, the whole area is beautiful. If you want to beach hop, you’ll need a rental car anyway, and it’s totally possible to drive yourself to a few of these in a day.

Not sure how to organize your stay in the Algarve? Check out my Algarve itinerary.

Map of Algarve beaches
Click the image to view the clickable map of Algarve beaches

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1. Praia de Odeceixe

If you’re coming from Lisbon, this is the first beach around the Algarve you’ll hit. It’s literally right on the line. The River Seixe (Rio de Seixe) hugs Odeceixe beach and helps nourish the lush greenery that surrounds it. It’s larger at low tide and nearly becomes its own little island when it’s high tide!

Aerial view of Praia de Odeceixe, Algarve beaches
The first Algarve beach you’ll reach when coming from Lisbon

What to do on Odeceixe

Surf,  beach bum, and go to Praia de Adegas, located in a cove, if you want to sunbathe naked.

If you want to check the surf for ANY of the beaches in the Algarve or in Portugal, the website to use is Magic Seaweed.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

2. Praia do Amado

Large waves, sandy shores and a hotspot in the Algarve surf scene. That’s Praia do Amado and that’s where you should go if you want to learn how to surf or at least, check out the surroundings.

The beach is quite large, and the nearby cliffs offer some great views. So even if you’re not hopping in the water, come over and hang out! This is definitely one of the best beaches in the Algarve for surfing.

Surfing at the popular Algarve beach, Praia do Amado
One of the best Algarve beaches for surfing

What to do on Praia do Amado

Surf and beach bum. There are a few surf schools here, but I recommend Algarve Surf School. Waves are good for all surf levels. Just beach bumming is great too. Most people will base in Sagres and head to this beach to surf.

Where to Stay Near this Algarve Beach:

3. Praia do Castelejo

This isn’t the most popular beach, which is a good thing! The beach is long and can get thin during high tide. Beautiful rocks are cast to the right; otherwise, the water is clear for surfing!

Footprints on Praia do Castelejo one of the best Algarve beaches
Black cliffs contrast with the sand at Praia do Castelejo

What to do on Castelejo

You can surf and fish here while being surrounded by schist black cliffs.

4. Praia da Ponta Ruiva

Ochre-colored cliffs and azure waters—gorgeous! Access this beach by walking the sandy trails. It can be a bit difficult to find and some of the roads are best accessed with a 4WD. Although a challenge to find, it’s one of the best beaches in the Algarve because it’s often pretty quiet.

Surfers entering water on Algarve beaches
Surfers always know how to find the best Algarve beaches

What to do on Praia da Ponta Ruiva:

Surf and beach bum to your heart’s content.

5. Praia do Telheiro

You can start here if you’re going to walk the Praia do Telheiro beach trail or just come to enjoy the sand and surf.

It’s yet another impressive Algarve beach that does not disappoint. It’s quite large and has plenty of space for sunbathers and surfboards.

A quiet and not too popular beach in the Algarve-Praia do Telheiro
Nobody here! This Algarve beach was usually not too crowded.

What to do on Praia do Telheiro

Beach bum and surf! You can also use the car park to hike around the cliffs along the trail and come back to the beach later to chill out.

6. Praia do Beliche

Golden sand beaches and incredibly blue waters surrounded by untouched nature. While the surf may be popular here, there’s plenty of room to share as the beach is set back into the cliffs. There’s a small restaurant at the entrance, and that’s it.

Beliche Algarve beach
Beliche almost gets split in two when the tide is high.

What to do on Praia do Beliche

Surf and beach bum.

The currents here are no joke and often the waves are a bit dicey. More often than not you need to be a pretty confident surfer to enjoy this Algarve beach unless you’re just taking in the sun on the sandy shores.

Woman overlooking Praia do Beliche, Algarve beaches
The view over Praia do Beliche

TIP: Check sunset out from Cabo de Sao Vicente while you’re right there!

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

7. Praia do Tonel

Another warm painted, cliff-sheltered, gorgeous beach. There a small beach hut that has food and there’s plenty of space to sprawl out as the beach is quite long. The water is pristine and this beach rarely gets too busy.

Tonel Algarve beaches
Tonel from the Cliffside

What to do on Praia do Tonel

Surf, kitesurf, and beach bum.

The beach here has some pretty strong currents so swimmers who aren’t strong should be aware. There are also some pretty big waves which is great for surfers. The waves are often larger in the winter and smaller in the summer.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

8. Praia da Mareta

A sandy bay right in the town of Sagres. Considering it’s right there and features a few beach restaurants, it does get a bit busy here. All and all it’s still great beach to visit while hanging out in Sagres.

Mareta is an Algarve beach in Sagres
Mareta is a great beach to chill on with a beer in hand.

What to do on Praia da Mareta

You’ll find most people just beach bumming, although it is possible to surf. The surf here isn’t the greatest and can get choppy with only a short ride in, if that. It’s an easily accessible beach, though, so that’s why people surf here.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

9. Praia do Martinhal

I questioned whether or not I should put this beach on this list. I kind of wanted to be selfish and keep it all to myself. It’s a very obvious beach when looking at the map of Sagres, and there is an access road and everything, but for some reason, it’s often empty (and I’d rather keep it that way)!

Woman on Praia do Martinal, Algarve beaches
Martinhal is one of the few Algarve beaches you might have to yourself

People will likely still flock to some more dramatic beaches, though, so I’ll put this one on the list anyway. While it’s not surrounded by towering cliffs (there are some off in the distance), it’s still a great beach to relax on.

What to do on Martinhal

Beach bumming is the best thing to do here. Hopefully, you’re a dog lover, people like to bring their dogs here to run around.

Something to note about Martinhal, it’s a lovely beach, but sometimes the tides bring in rubbish or rows of seaweed (which gets stinky)! Unfortunate but true. But also, luckily, not too often.

There is rarely surf on Martinhal, sometimes, if there’s a storm brewing, you can catch some, but even then, it’s a bit too messy. Martinhal has a SUPand kayak kiosk on the far end; sometimes, kite surfing can be enjoyed depending on the winds.

Grab a kayak and take a trip to the little cove to the left of Martinhal or out to the big rocks you’ll see in the distance.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

Martinhal Sagres Resort

View from Martinhal Sagres Resort where to stay in the Algarve
Private relaxation at Martinhal Sagres Resort

The 5-star Martinhal Sagres Resort features family-friendly villas overlooking the popular Martinhal Beach. In addition to large, luxurious lodgings, guests of Martinhal Sagres can bask in an array of high-end amenities, including five pools, tennis courts, children’s activities, and more.

Other Options:

10. Praia das Furnas

This Algarve beach is a bit hidden and can actually be quite difficult to find. This probably explains why this may have been the best beach in the Algarve for me.

IF you can find this spot, then you’ll have a MASSIVE beach, almost all to yourself. For me, this is one of the best beaches in the Algarve, but I hate playing favorites!

I LOVE this Algarve beach - Praia das Furnas
There’s a fun cave at this Algarve beach!

What to do on Praia das Furnas

Beach bumming is the best activity on this beach. This place is also popular with nudists.

There was a small sign when I was here stating there was a GPS mistake! So try to spot this sign so you can find the right way. Otherwise, you’ll be admiring the beach from on top of the cliffs.

11. Praia da Luz

This soft sand beach is the centerpiece of Luz, a holiday village just 7km from the better-known city of Lagos. Praia da Luz is known for its staggering cliffs and beautiful views like so many other Algarve beaches.

This is a popular spot with summer vacationers, and there’s a little something for everyone at this scenic shoreline.

Beach and town at Praia da Luz, Algarve beaches
Scenic Praia da Luz is one of the most popular Algarve beaches

What to do on Praia da Luz

The fine sand makes the beach a fantastic spot for beach bumming. Although the beach is large, it does tend to get pretty busy in the summer months. The water is cold but clear, perfect for cooling off on a hot afternoon.

In the summer, the water conditions are generally calm, so in addition to swimming, water sports like windsurfing, jet skiing, and wakeboarding are popular. You’ll likely see plenty of banana boats on the water.

The massive 230km-long Fishermen’s Trail backs Praia da Luz if you want to stay dry during your beach day. Lagos is about a two-hour hike away and offers up some stunning scenery along the way.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

12. Porto Mós Beach

Porto Mós Beach is surrounded by steep sandstone cliffs lined with soft golden sands. It’s also the second largest beach in the Lagos area, but you wouldn’t know it by the lack of crowds. Due to its further flung location and windy disposition, Porto Mós is rarely crowded.

Deckchairs on Porto Mos Algarve beaches
Rent a lounger and enjoy Porto Mós

What to do on Porto Mós Beach

Come here to escape the crowds and get out of the city center for an afternoon. The strong winds and unsheltered position of the beach also make it a popular spot for sports like body boarding and surfing.

Even with the strong winds, families and water lovers come here to swim in the clear water, and there are lifeguards on duty during the summer.

Porto Mós Beach is also great for beach bums. There are no steep staircases or trails to enter the sandy shoreline, and there are loungers and parasols for rent.

13. Praia do Camilo

Damn, too bad this beach is so tiny and gets full fast. Praia do Camilo is beautiful and dramatic. Encompassing a tiny sliver of sand is the sun-kissed sandy cliffside full of holes, archways, and random island pinnacles. There’s a small walkway to the left, bringing you to another small beach, which is equally as gorgeous (and crowded).

Camilo Algarve beach
It’s rarely this empty unless you visit during offseason like we did!

What to do on Praia do Camilo

Beach bum here all day long—IF you can find a spot. During low season it’s better enjoyed however you’ll doubtfully be adorning a bikini or swim trunks.

Staircase to Praia do Camilo one of the best Algarve beaches
Praia do Camilo is small but sweet

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

14. Praia de Dona Ana

Praia de Dona Ana is often considered one of the Algarve’s most picturesque beaches. It sits south of Lagos and features tall limestone cliffs, calm turquoise waters, and some seriously soft sand.

It’s also free from rowdy visitors and motor boats, including the banana boats and the crowds they tend to attract! What’s not to love?

Praia de Dona Ana one of the best Algarve beaches
Fun in the sun at Praia de Dona Ana

What to do on Praia de Dona Ana

Serious R&R. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you soak up the sun. Once you get a little too crispy, you can take a dip in the deliciously cool water.

Note that the relaxation only begins once you’re on the beach – you’ll need to take a steep set of stairs down to the sand.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

15. Praia dos Tres Irmaos

Meaning three brothers, for the three rocks that jut out of the water, this stretch of sand is breathtaking. Instead of one solid beach, Tres Irmaos is more like a set of mini coves all sheltered by dramatic ochre-colored cliffside making this Algarve beach a top choice.

Rock formations at Praia do Tres Irmaos, Algarve beaches
Beautiful rock formations at Praia dos Tres Irmaos

What to do on Praia dos Tres Irmaos

Beach bumming is the thing to here and there are plenty of facilities alongside the shores.

Take a wander in the cool holes and caves and come around mid to high tide to see the waves crashing against the famed “Praia dos Tres Irmaos” off shore.

16. Praia de Carvoeiro

Limestone cliffs flank both sides while the quaint fishing village with terracotta cottages sits just behind. This isn’t the biggest beach on this list, and it’s certainly popular, but it shouldn’t stop you. Carvoeiro is one of the Algarve’s best beaches for a reason.

Praia de Carvoeiro Algarve beach
OK, Portugal, we get it! Algarve beaches are the best! | Photo credit: Bengt

What to do on Praia de Carvoeiro

A beach bums paradise with plenty of facilities, fun water toys to enjoy, and the center of town just a few feet away from the beach. Head up to the right side of the beach to get to a viewpoint where you can see the town and the beach.

Cliffs at Praia do Carvoeiro, Algarve beaches
You’ll be right near town at Praia de Carvoeiro

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

17. Praia da Carvalho

Pretend you’re India Jones for a second, find the hole in the ground, and climb through the rocky staircase cave down to the beach below!

Carvalho is a snug beach found along the regular cliffside trails you’ll come across when visiting Algarve beaches. The beach goes pretty deep but it’s narrow. There is a small staircase to the right of the beach where there’s a little lookout cove!

The beach has its signature single rock jutting out of the water right in the middle.

A beautiful and popular Algarve beach - Praia da Carvalho
One of my fav Algarve beaches! Dammit… I keep saying that. They are all my favorite!

What to do on Pria da Carvalho

This beach is for beach bummers and semi-adventurous sand seekers! The staircase down is quite steep and claustrophobic for some. The lookout point to the right isn’t something you have to do, but if you do, take care. The walkway is very narrow and you’d be plunging to your imminent major injury/possible death with one misstep.

If you can handle the stair tunnel, this will probably be one of the best beaches in the Algarve that you’ll get to see!

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

18. Praia da Marinha

This just might be Portugal’s most popular beach! And with that comes the crowds. Luckily it’s not as small as Camilo. It’s quite long, so have a wander down to the very end so you can catch a glimpse of those two arches getting mauled by waves which you’ve surely stumbled upon when stalking pictures of the Algarve!

Marinha - best beaches in the Algarve
Marinha is popular because of these arches, the actual beach is just to the left.

What to do on Praia da Marinha

This place is a beach bums paradise but it’s definitely not the quietest beach.

TIP: Regarding the two arches, if you go at low tide, you can actually get closer so you can see them. If it’s high tide, don’t dare try and go unless you want to be rocked by waves.

Instead, if you come during high tide, just walk along the cliffside, and you can get an aerial view of the arches (safe and still pretty!)

19. Praia da Galé (Oeste)

This Algarve beach is situated just far enough off the beaten path – about 4km west of Albufeira. It maintains an undeveloped feel while still offering several beach bars and restaurants.

There are also some environmentally protected dunes at Praia da Galé that you can check out as you walk along the boardwalks.

Woman on sunlounger on Praia da Gale, Algarve beaches
Another day, another Algarve beach to enjoy

What to do on Praia da Galé

Lay your towel out, rent a sunbed from one of the beachfront restaurants, or take a walk along the extensive shoreline. Praia da Galé is also an excellent spot for water sports like jet skiing and surfing, especially along the western end.

In addition to the classic beach day activities, you can explore the environmentally protected dunes surrounding the boardwalk. There are also swamps and tons of different plant and animal species that call this area home. If you have time, stick around Praia da Galé to catch an epic sunset!

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

Salgados Dunas Suites

Pool at Salgados Dunas where to stay in the Algarve
One of the awesome pools at Salgados Dunas

Salgados Dunas Suites caters to every type of traveler. Whether you want to relax by the pool (there are six of them!), indulge in a spa treatment, or sample the regional cuisine, this beachfront resort has you covered.

Other Options:

20. Praia da Coelha

This small, protected beach sits a few kilometers west of the much-loved Albufeira. The sandy stretch isn’t large and extremely popular with locals.

But even during the busy summer weekends, Praia da Coelha is never as crowded as the better-known Albufeira beaches. The water is calm, the scenery is stunning, and even some hidden coves you can check out.

Rock arch on Praia da Coelha best Algarve beaches
A hidden cove at Praia da Coelha

What to do on Praia da Coelha

Swimming, snorkeling, and shell collecting.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a walk along the beach and discover some hidden coves tucked into the rocks surrounding the beach. You could also make your way to the top of the cliffs and catch a sunset across the ocean.

RELATED: 10 Must-Visit Beaches in Albufeira, Portugal!

21. Praia de Albufeira

A perfect typical tourist beach, if that’s your thing, awaits you at Peneco or Albufiera Beach. Located in the center of Albufeira and surrounded by whitewashed structures above a cliff is a sandy and tame beach to play in. The promenade features plenty of shops and eateries.

It’s so long, they have several names for it depending where on the beach you’re located.

What to do on Praia do Albufeira

Crowds at Praia do Peneco one of the best Algarve beaches
Praia de Albufeira offers classic beach holiday vibes

Hardcore beach bumming.

There are umbrellas to rent here for your ease and when you need a break from toasting yourself, take a walk to Xorino Grotto, a cave that was apparently used as a shelter by the Moors.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

22. Praia da Falesia

Considering over 6km of a gorgeous cliff-flanked coastline is on offer, it’s hard to go wrong at Falesia. It’s a very popular beach, particularly in summer and it can get a bit busy. The orange rock and the verdant pines make for a beautiful contrast.

Overhead view of Praia da Falesia, Algarve beaches
The narrow strip of beach at Praia da Falesia

What to do on Praia da Falesia

Beach bumming, surfing, paragliding and more.

Towards one side (Vilamoura) is where the water sports take place, and on the other is where families and swimmers can hang out as the water conditions are shallow and tame.

Where to Stay at this Algarve Beach:

Pine Cliffs Resort

Woman at pool at Pine Cliffs Resort where to stay in the Algarve
Enjoying resort life at Pine Cliffs

Situated atop the dramatic red Algarvarvian cliffs, the Pine Cliffs Resort boasts one of the most privileged locations in the Algarve. In addition to the stunning scenery, a stay here will give you direct access to the lovely Praia da Falésia along with all the top-notch resort amenities like golf and tennis courts, multiple bars and restaurants, a spa, and so much more.

Other Options:

23. Algar de Benagil

You’ve definitely seen photos of Benagil! This is the Algarve’s gem. Tucked away in a sunken cave is this incredible little beach that can only be reached by water.

Algar de Benagil is a cathedral-like cave with its top gaping open providing a skylight for the cave beach below. This is certainly one of the best beaches in the Algarve AND the most popular because of its unique features.

Woman in Benagil Cave, Algarve beaches
Benagil is worth the boat ride to get there

How to get to Benagil

There are numerous ways to get to Benagil…

Find a kayak or boat tour to take you. This is the SAFEST (see below) and most recommended way to reach Benagil.

Here are some recommendations:

People sometimes try to swim as it’s not that far from the nearby beach but let me urge you to please be careful. Make sure the sea is calm and you check the tides. People have died, and others needed to be rescued. The waters around the Algarve can be relentless!

Benegil Cave is one of the best beaches in the Algarve.
One of the most unique Algarve beaches, that’s for sure! This was taken from above.

If you don’t want to get in the water, you can climb around the cliffs. There are trails all over this area, and you can get a peek at the hole on top of the cave and peer inside to see the beach.

Where to Stay in this Algarve Beach:

It’s hard for me to really say which one of these are the best beaches in the Algarve! So I’ll say they are all the best! What are your thoughts?

 Which of these Algarve beaches are you most excited to visit? 


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  1. Samantha says:

    Is it warm all year round?! Looking for somewhere warm end of February!

  2. Nina Ragusa says:

    It is not but it’s mild in terms of winter in Europe. It can get windy too which makes things colder. Just check the weather for the month of Feb… I can’t predict 🙂

  3. Magnus says:

    One of the last pictures in your post, of the beach and the two arches… which beach is this? Looks like heaven!

    Great post as well! The girlfriend and I have been reading your posts to really plan out our trip, its been really helpful!

  4. Nina Ragusa says:

    So glad it’s been helpful! I believe it’s in Lagos if I remember right.

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