12 Best Beaches in Southern Portugal: Top Picks for Sun, Sea and Sand

12 Best Beaches in Southern Portugal: Top Picks for Sun, Sea and Sand

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Overview of the article’s structure and topics to be covered

In this article we seek to present to you the best beaches in southern Portugal. We present tips to enjoy with family, friends, how to get to these beaches and tips for cool spots. As this is the first version of the article, we have not yet presented average prices to enjoy each destination, but we do plan to present updated prices for each destination and we are already working on this research.

What you gonna see in this article?

  • Tips for visiting these locations, including the best times to visit and how to get there, prices(soon), inspiring pictures.

Brief overview of Southern Portugal’s coastline and its popularity among tourists

Portugal has always been a summer destination much sought after by tourists from all over Europe. However, in recent years it seems that there was a very large growth in demand for the country, either to enjoy the summer, to discover sights, to live, for those who plan to live in Portugal, for those who plan to buy a house, to invest, anyway.

The south of Portugal is full of wonders to discover and visit. In our research, the best beaches to visit in southern Portugal are:

  1. Praia da Falésia, Albufeira
  2. Praia da Marinha, Carvoeiro
  3. Praia de Odeceixe, Aljezur
  4. Praia da Ilha de Tavira
  5. Praia de Cordoama
  6. Praia do Barril
  7. Praia do Carvalho, Benagil
  8. Praia de Cabana, Tavira
  9. Praia da Bordeira
  10. Praia da Rocha
  11. Praia Dona Ana
  12. Praia do Camilo

The Algarve is a beach lover’s paradise, boasting over 100 stunning beaches that showcase some of Europe’s most picturesque coastline. With famous resort towns like Albufeira, Lagos, and Vilamoura, the region has plenty of hotspots to visit. But, if you’re looking to escape the crowds, there are plenty of undiscovered gems waiting to be explored.

Imagine discovering a secluded cove tucked away amid golden cliffs, a long stretch of undeveloped island or a rugged, western-facing oceanfront, where you can witness the power of the waves. You’ll find kid-friendly beaches with calm seas, intimate spots perfect for a romantic sunset stroll, and remote getaways that are overlooked by the crowds in peak season. With so many options, deciding where to start your beach adventure can be a challenge. But, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our top 10 picks for the best beaches in the Algarve.

Portugal is also home to an array of beaches that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking for a thrill surfing the famous breakers or seeking a tranquil spot to wade and paddle in crystal clear waters, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect beach. In fact, no matter where you travel in Portugal, you’re never too far from a beach, from the sizzling hot sands of the Algarve to the coastline of Porto.

Exploring Algarve: Best Beaches and Beach Clubs

Falésia Beach, Albufeira


First up is Praia da Falésia, located in Albufeira, a popular tourist destination in the Algarve. This stunning beach stretches for miles, with golden sand and crystal-clear waters. If you’re looking for a beach with plenty of amenities, Praia da Falésia won’t disappoint. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars in the area, as well as plenty of accommodations to choose from.

Marinha Beach, Carvoeiro


Next on our list is Praia da Marinha, located near the town of Carvoeiro. This beach is known for its dramatic cliffs, turquoise waters, and hidden caves. If you’re up for an adventure, take a boat tour to explore the caves and coastline. Or, simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun. Praia da Marinha is a quieter and more secluded beach than Praia da Falésia, perfect for those looking for a peaceful escape.

Odeceixe Beach, Aljezur


When thinking of Portugal, it’s hard not to conjure up images of delicious cuisine and stunning beaches. Known for its exceptional food culture, Portugal is a true standout. And when it comes to beaches, Praia De Odeceixe is my top pick. Located just 4km west of the village of Odeceixe, this beach truly comes alive during the summer months. With its temperate weather, it attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Aside from the picturesque scenery and crystal-clear waters, this beach is also a foodie’s paradise. Indulge your taste buds while basking in the beauty of the Algarve, a region of Portugal known for its breathtaking coastline. The Algarve region, where you’ll find Albufeira and Tavira, is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Faro and the rest of Portugal. Don’t miss out on the stunning beaches and incredible cuisine that the Algarve region has to offer. Praia de Odeceixe is also surrounded by cliffs, offering stunning views of the coastline. This beach is a bit more remote than the other two, but it’s definitely worth the journey.

Tavira Island Beach


Are you dreaming of a tropical paradise with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters? Look no further than Ilha de Tavira, a stunning island located near the town of Tavira in the Algarve region of Portugal. This island is a part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and is famous for its breathtaking beaches. In this article, we’ll explore the main beach on the island – Praia da Ilha de Tavira.

The Island, what is have to offer

Ilha de Tavira offers visitors not just one, but three gorgeous beaches to choose from. The main beach is Praia da Ilha de Tavira, located in the east. It’s the beach you’ll arrive on when you take the boat to the island. The center of the island boasts Praia da Terra Estreita, a quieter beach with fewer facilities. Finally, in the west, there’s Praia do Barril, famous for its anchor cemetery and an old tuna factory. But for now, let’s focus on the main attraction, Praia da Ilha de Tavira.

The Beach of Tavira

Stretching for about 11 kilometers, Ilha de Tavira is one of the best beaches in the Algarve. The sand is soft, white and perfect for building sandcastles. The beach is very clean and the water is calm and crystal clear, making it ideal for families with children. However, the water can be quite cold, even during peak summer.

One unique feature of this beach is that it’s backed by sand dunes, making it stand out from the typical cliff-backed beaches you’ll find in other parts of the Algarve. It’s no wonder that Praia da Ilha de Tavira is so popular among families with children, who come from all over Portugal to spend their summer holidays here. And the beach is also a popular destination for tourists.

Day Trip in Tavira

Ilha de Tavira is the perfect destination for a day trip. Lounge chairs and parasols are available for rent for around € 17 per day. Be sure to either rent a parasol or bring your own, as the sun can be very strong. During the summer, the beach is supervised by lifeguards. While there are restaurants on the island, many visitors bring their own snacks and coolers since they plan to spend the entire day on the beach. And for the adventurous, several water sports like jet skiing and banana boat rides are available on this beach.

If you’re planning a trip to the Algarve region of Portugal, be sure to add Ilha de Tavira to your itinerary. With its stunning beaches and pristine waters, it’s no wonder that Praia da Ilha de Tavira is considered one of the best beaches in the area.

Praia da Cordoama

If you’re looking for a stunning beach with an endless shoreline, then look no further than Praia da Cordoama in Vila do Bispo, Portugal. This expansive beach is a paradise for surfers and bodyboarders alike, but despite its popularity, there’s always a peaceful spot to be found.

As you approach the beach, you’ll be struck by the towering cliffs that rise over 100 meters high. These cliffs offer breathtaking views that gradually fade into the distance, leaving you in awe of their majesty. There’s even a natural hill on the beach that serves as a paragliding launch pad for the adventurous at heart.

The north-facing rocky walls are covered in glistening white layers of lichen, adding to the already stunning scenery. You’ll also find a small stream that runs down a ravine and onto the beach, adding to the area’s tranquility. The scent of the esteva plant combines with the sea breeze, creating a unique aroma that you won’t forget anytime soon. Walking along the dunes, you’ll also spot the beautiful estorno, the sea thistle, and the striking beach narcissus.

It’s worth noting that during high tide, the beach narrows considerably, so plan accordingly. As a safety precaution, it’s recommended that visitors maintain a safe distance from the cliffs due to the risk of rockslides and falling rocks. To preserve the delicate dune ecosystem, it’s essential to stick to designated paths.

Getting to Praia da Cordoama is easy as it’s accessible via a paved road from Vila do Bispo’s Municipal Market. After driving for approximately 5 kilometers in the direction of the beach, you’ll find ample parking and facilities, including a restaurant, restrooms, and a surf school, all monitored during the summer season.

If you’re looking to escape the crowds and experience a truly breathtaking beach, Praia da Cordoama in Vila do Bispo is undoubtedly worth a visit.

How to Visit Praia do Barril in Ilha de Tavira, Algarve: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you planning a trip to Tavira, Portugal and looking for a beautiful beach to visit? Look no further than Praia do Barril, a popular destination for couples and families alike. With its extensive white sand beach and clear blue water, it’s no wonder Praia do Barril has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag designation. But it’s not just the natural beauty that draws visitors here, Praia do Barril also boasts great accessibility, shops selling tourist souvenirs, and beachside amenities such as restaurants, bars, and restrooms.

Located on Ilha de Tavira, near the village of Pedras D’el Rei, Praia do Barril is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, which has been named one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal.

When is the best time to visit Praia do Barril? While you can visit any time of the year, the summer months (June-September) are ideal if you want to enjoy the sun and sea.

One fun way to get to Praia do Barril is by taking the mini-train that runs from Pedras d’El-Rei to the beach. This option is particularly helpful for those with mobility issues. Here’s how to get there:

  1. Drive to Pedras d’El-Rei, which is located near the town of Santa Luzia and 4km north of Tavira.
  2. Once you arrive at Pedras d’El-Rei, park your car and cross the pedestrian bridge over the Ria Formosa.
  3. Take the mini-train to the beach. The ride only takes 5 minutes.

The train ticket costs around €3 for a round trip, and children under 4 years old can ride for free.

One of the unique attractions of Praia do Barril is the Anchor Cemetery, located on the sand dunes. This site features more than 200 anchors used in the old tuna and sardine fishing operations from 1841 to 1967. At that time, around 80 fishermen and their families lived in Praia do Barril. The old buildings have been restored and turned into a museum, local shops, and traditional restaurants.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Praia do Barril and enjoy the beautiful beach and rich history of this amazing destination!

Praia do Carvalho, Benagil

This small, secluded beach boasts golden sand and crystal-clear water, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and cliff diving. However, due to the high cliffs, it’s essential to keep a safe distance from the cliff face to avoid falling rocks. There are no lifeguards on duty, so visitors need to take care of themselves.

While Praia do Carvalho lacks facilities or amenities, it’s easy to get to by car, and parking is free. Just follow the signs for Carvoeiro, and you’ll see signs for the beach as you get closer. If you put the coordinates (37° 5’12.41″N 8°25’55.10″W) into Google Maps or your GPS, you won’t have any trouble finding it. Once you park, you’ll see signs pointing you towards the steps that lead down to the beach. But first, you’ll need to walk through a man-made cave or tunnel that’s home to fascinating marine fossils.

When to visit Praia do Carvalho?

Praia do Carvalho is a popular spot in the summer, from July to September, when the weather is warmest, and the water is at its most inviting. However, it’s best to arrive early to secure your spot, as the beach can get crowded quickly. If you arrive later in the day, be prepared for larger crowds and less sun-soaked spaces.

What to do in Praia do Carvalho?

Even though there are no facilities on the beach, there’s plenty to do in and around Praia do Carvalho. The calm, clear waters are ideal for snorkeling, so don’t forget your gear. The cliffs offer plenty of shade, so you can take a break from the sun when needed.

So, if you’re looking for a quiet retreat with breathtaking views, Praia do Carvalho is the perfect destination. Just remember to pack everything you’ll need for the day and take extra care when walking through the tunnel.

Cabana’s Beach, Tavira

If you’re looking for a beach vacation that offers tranquility and stunning natural beauty, then look no further than Cabanas beach. Located on the eastern edge of the Ria Formosa Natural Park in Portugal, Cabanas was founded in the early 20th century by fishermen who came from other regions of the country to settle here and catch tuna.

Today, Cabanas is a charming village that serves as a gateway to the dreamy Ilha de Cabanas, a 7 km long sandy island that’s accessible by boat. The island boasts warm and placid waters that make it a perfect destination for beach-goers who want to unwind and enjoy the stunning scenery. You’ll find all the necessary amenities on the island, including restaurants, medical facilities, and toilets.

From the long promenade of Cabanas, you can catch a glimpse of the traditional fishing boats anchored in the Ria Formosa and the houses where the fishermen store their gear. The beach is known for its excellent conditions for windsurfing and sailing, so it’s perfect for those who love water sports.

To access the beach, take a small fishing boat from Avenida Ria Formosa and Rua da Fortaleza. There’s free parking available on the public streets nearby, and the beach is supervised for your safety. While the beach is not accessible to people with reduced mobility, it’s a fantastic place for those who can enjoy it.

Cabanas beach has been awarded both the Blue Flag and Gold Quality awards, so you know that the water quality is excellent and the beach meets high standards. There are also plenty of marina-based activities available, so be sure to check them out if you’re looking for adventure.

In conclusion, Cabanas beach is a fantastic destination for those seeking a peaceful and picturesque beach vacation with all the amenities they need. Don’t miss out on this gem on the eastern edge of the Ria Formosa Natural Park!

Discover Praia da Bordeira: A Hidden Gem on the Algarve Coast

Are you looking for a remote and unspoiled beach to escape the crowds? Look no further than Praia da Bordeira on the west coast of the Algarve. Located in the Costa Vicentina natural park, this hidden gem is a must-visit for surfers and nature lovers.

The Beach of Bordeira, Aljezur

Praia da Bordeira is a massive beach, stretching for three kilometers, making it the longest beach in the municipality of Aljezur. The beach is quite wide, perfect for long walks on the sand. The sand is soft and inviting, but the beach is also exposed to the wind, so it can be quite windy at times.

What sets Praia da Bordeira apart is its wild and natural setting. The beach is backed by sand dunes and rugged limestone cliffs, and a forest of ancient pine trees is situated behind the beach. This creates a stunning landscape that is relatively unspoiled, making it one of the most beautiful beaches on the west coast of the Algarve.

Surfing in Bordeira, Aljezur

If you are a surfer, Praia da Bordeira is a must-visit destination. The beach is popular for water sports, particularly surfing and kitesurfing. The winds and waves on this beach are consistent, making it a great place to catch some waves.

The beach faces northwest, and the sea here has a lot of swell. Depending on the time of year and the swell size, the waves range from beginner-friendly to only suitable for experienced surfers. In the winter, the waves can be rough, so it’s not recommended for beginners to surf here.

For experienced surfers, the right side of the beach offers even bigger waves. You can rent surfboards and other equipment from a wooden hut on the beach if you want to hit the waves.

How to Get There

To get to Praia da Bordeira, head to the village of Carrapateira. From there, you can access the beach via a paved road. The beach is relatively unspoiled, so it’s essential to bring your own food and drinks.

Discover Praia da Rocha: A Perfect Destination for Beach Lovers

Praia da Rocha is a beach located in the municipality of Portimão, in the Algarve (Portugal). This beach covers a large area of approximately 146,000 m², stretching along 1.5 km of coastline. The Santa Catarina Fortress, built in the 17th century to defend the mouth of the Arade River, stands next to the beach.

Beach Access and Amenities

Praia da Rocha is a popular destination for holidaymakers, boasting a vast and spacious sandy beach that spans over 1 km. The beach is protected by warm and aesthetically carved cliffs, and there is a network of wide walkways that run through the entire area. Along these walkways, visitors can find various beach amenities, including a sports area.

The beachfront avenue of Rocha is packed with hotels, bars, cafes, nightclubs, and a casino, culminating in the Portimão Marina. These spots offer visitors a diverse range of activities and entertainment options, adding color and liveliness to the beach.

From the high viewpoints located at either end of the beach, the Três Castelos to the west, and the Santa Catarina Fortress at the entrance of the Arade River, visitors can enjoy a fabulous panoramic view of the coastline between Ponta João d´Arens and Ponta do Altar. Despite the urban and touristy environment that characterizes the Rocha surroundings, the natural landscape still stands out for its grandeur and beauty.

What You Need to Know Before You Go to Rocha Beach – Praia da Rocha

If you’re looking for a fun-filled vacation destination with plenty of relaxation, sunshine, and excitement, then look no further than Praia da Rocha. This beach is one of the most well-known beach resorts in Portugal, located on the Algarve coast in the city of Portimão, about an hour’s drive from Faro Airport. While it may not provide much in terms of traditional Portuguese history and culture, it offers a lively and bustling atmosphere, especially during the summer, with plenty of water activities, stunning golden cliffs, nightlife, and excellent food to enjoy.

Praia da Rocha is an excellent destination for families and couples alike, and it’s the perfect starting point for daily trips to the surrounding areas in the Algarve.

How to Get There on Rocha Beach – Praia da Rocha

The nearest airport to Praia da Rocha is located in the capital of the Algarve, Faro. Although it is inconvenient, you can get there by public transport, taking a bus to Faro, and then another bus or train to Portimão. It’s recommended that you book a transfer in advance to reduce travel time, either through a shared bus or private transport.

If you’re coming from Lisbon, you can take a train or bus to Portimão and then take a taxi or another bus to Praia da Rocha.

When to Visit Rocha Beach – Praia da Rocha

Located in the south of the Algarve, Praia da Rocha benefits from good weather for most of the year. The ideal time to visit depends on the type of atmosphere you’re looking for during your vacation. Summer is the most popular time for tourists to visit, which is perfect if you enjoy a lively, sometimes crowded, beach city, especially if you’re traveling with children. For those who prefer a more relaxed environment, spring and fall are the best times to visit. During winter, the climate is more unpredictable, and the resort is less crowded.

Discover the Beauty of Praia Dona Ana in Lagos, Portugal

If you’re looking for a picturesque beach in the Algarve region of Portugal, Praia Dona Ana in Lagos is definitely worth a visit. Nestled between cliffs, this stunning beach boasts clear and calm waters and rocky formations that provide shade and a picturesque touch to the landscape.

But what makes Praia Dona Ana truly special is its proximity to Lagos, one of the most important cities in the Algarve, which can be reached with a 25-minute walk. Not only does this beach have excellent infrastructure, but it also offers stunning views of the coastline and curious rock formations carved by fresh and saltwater. You’ll see leixões, algares, and grutas, and in the distance, white spots shine on the rocks where seagulls, herons, and other birds rest.

Once you step onto the beach, you’ll notice that the sand stretches into coves created by the cliffs, providing sheltered spots for sunbathing. A snorkeling adventure will reveal an array of marine life such as algae, anemones, starfish, sea urchins, shrimp, and schools of small fish that inhabit the submerged rocks. No wonder Praia Dona Ana is renowned and considered one of the world’s best beaches by specialized publications.

Getting to Praia Dona Ana

If you’re traveling without a car, Lagos is the best city to use as a base due to its organized public transportation. The Praia Dona Ana bus stop is right across from the beach, where you can catch line number 2 (the blue line). The ticket costs 1.20 euros and is valid for an hour, allowing you to transfer to other lines without additional payment. If you plan on visiting several beaches, consider purchasing a three-day ticket for 9 euros.

Another option is taking the Lagos tourist train, which stops near Praia Dona Ana and circulates through other beaches at predetermined times, similar to the Carreta Furacão train.

Exploring Praia Dona Ana

The beauty of Praia Dona Ana is undeniable, and its unique landscape differs from what we’re used to in Brazil. As you arrive, stop at the viewpoint for a panoramic view before descending the staircase to the beach. The sand strip is extensive, providing ample space for sunbathing and relaxation. Keep in mind that there is a private area where you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas.

While some publications consider Praia Dona Ana one of the world’s best beaches, it’s worth noting that opinions may vary. Nonetheless, this beach is undoubtedly a breathtaking destination in Portugal’s Algarve region, offering clear waters, rock formations, and marine life that you won’t forget.

Praia do Camilo

This small beach is nestled between cliffs and can be accessed via a staircase with around 200 steps. Before making your way down, take a moment to admire the stunning scenery.

If you drive down the same road, you will also find Ponta da Piedade, an impressive rock formation with various caves and small beaches. This is one of the most iconic attractions in the region, which can be fully appreciated on a boat tour. On this tour, you can explore the interior of the caves and admire the secluded beaches that are tucked between the rocks.

The beach itself is lovely, with soft sand that feels great to walk on. However, it’s relatively small, so it can get crowded quickly, especially during the high tide when half of the beach disappears. Therefore, it’s best to visit during low tide or arrive early to secure a spot.

If you’re looking for a peaceful beach experience, Praia do Camilo is perfect for you. The sea is very calm here because of the rock formations of Ponta da Piedade that protect the beach from waves coming from the southwest. The water is shallow and not too cold, with a beautiful green color and almost transparent. It’s the perfect place for swimming or snorkeling, as you can see various fishes underwater.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak and explore the crystal-clear waters near the beach. There are several places nearby where you can rent a kayak. While kayaking, make sure to visit Ponta da Piedade, which is also an amazing sight.

One of the unique features of Praia do Camilo is a famous rock on the left side of the beach that has an arch in it. You can walk through the arch and explore its peculiar shapes. There is also a tunnel that connects the two small beaches of Praia do Camilo. The tunnel is located on the left side of the beach and is a fun adventure to explore.

From the top of the cliffs, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the beach and the bay of Lagos. This is also where you’ll find the restaurant O Camilo, which serves delicious regional fish and seafood dishes. The restaurant’s location on the cliffs gives you a panoramic view of the beach and the ocean.

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