Top 5 of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve
With a coastline that spans 125 miles, Algarve is a top beach destination and a top favourite for many European holidaymakers.
The golden sandy shorelines combined with year-round sunshine make the Algarve a haven for beach lovers.
Add to the list a dramatic rugged landscape that offers a unique backdrop to each location and you have a variety of beautiful and interesting beaches to explore.
Whether you’re looking for a famed locale or you’d rather visit a secluded and hidden cove, here is the list of some of the most spectacular yet less well-known beaches in the Algarve;
Praia de Odeceixe, Costa Vicentina
Nestled within the beautiful Costa Vicentina National Park, on the north-western tip of the Algarve, Praia de Odeceixe is a popular option for both families and surfers.
The horseshoe-shaped beach is set at the mouth of Rio de Seixe, so there is a surf break formed as the river joins the Atlantic Ocean.
This makes Praia de Odeceixe a popular spot for surfers. On the other end of the river, you’ll find a small lagoon with calmer waters where kids can enjoy a swim.
Praia de Odeceixe is the beach where visitors can choose their spec and enjoy the big ocean waves or the calmer river water, play beach volleyball, go surfing or even do some fishing in their favourite spot where the freshwater river meets the salt water of the sea.
Praia Dona Ana, Lagos
With its coarse golden sand, azure waters, and rugged sandstone cliffs that engulf the area, Praia Dona Ana is hands down the most scenic of all Algarve beaches.
The beach is within a walking distance from the historic city of Lagos and it’s easily accessed through a set of wooden stairs.
Alternatively, you can opt to take a boat trip which will give you a chance to have a wonderful view of the rock formations in the area.
One word of caution, as there is a possibility of some rockfalls or stones falling loose and dropping onto the beach, you should try to keep a safe distance from the cliffs.
Always take care when walking along the cliff top, and stay well back from the edge. Although beach lovers do use the beach, it is designated as a restricted-use beach, as a large part sits within an area where there is a risk of rockfalls.
Praia de Benagil, Carvoeiro
Praia de Benagil is probably one of the best-known beaches in the Algarve. This is because it adjoins the famed Algar de Benagil, a picturesque cave that’s known the world over.
The beach is a great destination for water-sport activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking.
You can also combine this with a boat trip to the caves and later enjoy magical sunset from the beach.
The beach at Benagil never gets too busy as parking can be very difficult during the summer months. There isn’t an actual car park there, just street parking on the road which runs up and down the surrounding valley.
Praia da Bordeira, Costa Vicentina
Long, wild, and beguiling, Praia da Bordeira is the place to be if you want to enjoy nature in all its sublime seclusion. This is the best beach to visit if you want to dodge the crowds and enjoy some tranquillity.
Nestled on a hilltop is the quaint town of Carrapateira which has the typical whitewashed, tile-roofed homes that can be found throughout Portugal. I
f you climb the steps to the church at Carrapateira, you can see over the village rooftops an old windmill and Bordeira Beach in the distance.
The beach is just a few minutes away in the car, although driving there can take less time than walking from the car park to the sea!
It’s one of the most expansive beaches in the Algarve with dunes forming a picturesque backdrop, so for children, it’s a nice place to run around and explore.
The Bordeira River loops around the beach creating a calm lagoon where novice swimmers and kids can safely enjoy time in the water.
Right next to the beach there is a boardwalk, which offers unrivalled views of the ocean and the surrounding areas. as well as being the start of a trail frequented by hikers and nature lovers.
Praia da marinha, Lagoa
Located in Caramujeira approximately 30 minutes drive from Albufeira, Praia da Marinha is a small but popular beach with a stunning backdrop of brownish-gold cliffs.
Over the years, it has been named the best beach in the Algarve and the world, largely due to the breathtaking rock formations that give the area otherworldly beauty.
Thanks to the massive limestone cliffs that envelop the area, this beach is not windy so it’s a nice spot to chill as you wait for the sunset.
Unfortunately is not accessible to everyone, although there is parking at the top of the cliffs, from where you get a breathtaking view of the beach and sea.
Getting down to the beach involves walking down a steep set of stairs which can be found to the left of the beach.
Google Local Guide for the Algarve. Been living in the Algarve for over 20 years and loving the experience. Now writing about and photographing the Algarve experience to share with others. Contributor to all that is Algarve on Wikipedia