The Algarve is renown for its beaches with dramatic cliffs towering over many of them. In the heat of the summer, the Portuguese will arrive early at the beach, between 8am and 9:30am and stay until 12:30pm and then go home for lunch at 1pm Often the mother will stay home in the morning to prepare the three course lunch and do her chores. After eating the lunch, everyone will have a little rest, and then go out for an expresso. The whole family will come back to the beach at around 4pm and often stay until 7pm or even later. They would not consider eating dinner before 8pm at the earliest. In the summer dinner could be at 9pm or 10pm. As there are hundreds of beaches, try to discover some new ones to make your holiday all that much more special.
Praia da Rocha
One of the most famous and impressive beaches in the Algarve, this beach is a vast blanket of golden sand set against a spectacular backdrop of cinnamon coloured cliffs. Very crowded in the summer, it is a beach to see and be seen. Plenty of cafes and restaurants lining the top of the cliffs and along the beach, offering a wide variety of gastronomy options for every type of traveler. On Praia da Rocha map.
One of our favourite beaches in the Algarve.
Over 2.5 kilometers of golden beach, with some first class beach restaurants. Even in the summer it is possible to find a quiet corner. At one end are the rocky outcrops of Prainha beach, with the caves to explore at low tide and at the other the dunes and river break between Alvor Beach and Meia Prai beach. All types of water sports and beach activities can be found here as well as beach beds to rent. It still has serene quiet parts. The beach, within a stones throw of the lovely of village of Alvor (a 10 minute walk) with many fabulous restaurants and shops to spend the rest of the day in. Idyllically quiet from October to March for great beach walks. Like paradise.
A NEW feature of the Alvor beach is the long wooden board walks that take you across the dunes and to the beach, approximately 2 kilometers of boardwalk with wonderful beach and dune views. Wheelchair accessible, bikes & pets allowed. Location is Marked on Alvor FREEMAP.
Prainha Beach, Alvor
This beach is spectacular, the only word to describe it. Seen from above this is one of the most photographed beaches in the Algarve, you will encounter many postcards of this view. It is actually reached through the Prainha Holiday Complex, (going down the winding stairs to the beach, (remember in Portugal access to all beaches is public, even if in a private development) or by walking eastward (as you face the water walk as far as you can to the left) along the Alvor Beach. A fascinating myriad of hollowed out rock formations and little eddies of tide pools. Kids love to explore this beach. On Alvor FREEMAP.
Jumping for joy at Prainha Beach
Meia Praia Beach, near Alvor & Lagos
Drive to the middle of this beach where it is practically uninhabited (except in the very, very high season). The water is usually calm and beautiful here. This is great for families, as there are huge spaces for kids to run around and have fun, but be a bit careful as there are no lifeguards on duty except in the peak season. It is almost like being alone on a desert island. Plenty of parking in lots along the roadside. There are lots of typical beach restaurants, at either end of the beach but just one in the middle. Easy to get to via the public road that skirts Palmares Golf Club, or through the road past the Lagos’ old railway station.
Praia Dona Ana Beach is one of the most photographed beaches in Lagos with it’s beautiful rock formations, cliffs and the scenic beach with sandy coves, amazing for snorkling or even kyaking around the rocks.
Right in the center of town so everyone goes here at least once. Cafe sand restaurants on the beach square but take the time to walk to some a bit further out for slightly better prices.
Just outside Carvoeiro, this small picturesque fisherman’s beach is reached by driving down a very steep hill, one beach bar, lovely for photos.
Winner of the “Golden Beach Award”definitely one of the most outstanding beaches as picturedaboveyou can either take the trail along the top of the cliffs heading towards Armação de Pêra or go down the many steps to the beach. well worth it. this is a beach you don’t want to miss. be careful with your belongings in your car, do not leave anything even in the boot even if locked.
Old Town Albufeira
Known as the Fisherman’s beach, this hugely popular tract of sand is best known for its colourful fishing boats stationed at one end. Trendy and traditional restaurants line the square facing the beach.
Right in front of the town’s old quarter, the beach is reached through the tunnel next to the tourist information office. On Albufeira Old Town map. Plenty of restaurants etc, near the shops, so mum can shop while dad an the kids are on the beach!
Forte São João Beach
Also known as the Monica Isabel beach named after the overlooking hotel. This beach is situated in the center of Albuferia, within walking distance to the strip and the Old town. It is a lengthy beach ideal for long walks or jogging along the front. The beach has several restaurants overlooking the sea where you can choose from a light snack or a daily fresh fish. There are also beds and umbrellas to hire for the day which is a good idea if you have children or you just want to get out of the hot summer sun. As well, there is a life guard on duty. Even though the beach is very popular with the locals and tourists alike, you will always find room on this long beach. On Albufeira Old Town Map.
St. Eulalia Beach
On the outskirts of Albuferia; on the road to Olhos de Agua. There is parking space right out front which makes it much easier if you have children! You can hire sunbeds and umbrellas. There is a restaurant serving snacks all day and it has a large sunny terrace if you just want to enjoy the view with a coffee and grilled sandwich. It is a perfect beach for taking long peaceful walks along the front to Olhos de Agua. This is a very popular beach so it is always better to get there early in the summer time to have the best spot. On Albufeira Old Town FREEMAP.
Beaches in and Around Armação de Pêra & Galé
There are dozens of beaches in this stretch of coastline. Each one a bit different and with it’s own personality, to mention just two,
One of the great almost undiscovered beaches of the Algarve . In the summer quite busy but not overcrowded. You can go to the wooden beach bar restaurants (full service) which are very friendly, to see Joo or Jos, for a coffee, snack , ice cream or full grilled fish for lunch or dinner. Again a paradise for the walker or beachcomber! You can walk all the way to Armao de Pera beach from here, about 7 kilometers. Quite a few people do this exercise on a regular basis. Cool rocky coves at the end of the beach. Sun bed hire plus lots more. The FREEMAP of Gal & Armação de Pêra will tell you all about the equipment available. Great in the winter to take the dogs on long runs, (officially not allowed, bring water, poop and scoop please!) really long and great huge waves in the winter) Off season, after September the beach is almost deserted at time off season. Parking is not bad even in the summer.
Praia de Sao Rafael
This highly picturesque cove beach is studded with sandstone pillars. It offers ideal snorkeling territory and is often also popular with families. On Albufeira Montechoro map.
Praia do Barril Pedras D’el Rei
There are two ways to get to this beach: train or walking. The second way enables also a better observation of wide variety of plant and animal species. This beach has been since 1987, awarded Blue Flag , by train, it takes about 10 minutes. Timetable varies depending on the season.
Praia das Cabanas
Located on a peninsula of Ria Formosa Natural Park in front of Tavira. Nice dunes, boat access, from Cananas village.
Manta Rota beach
Very extensive beach, connected to Manta Rota village, which still conserves some of its original character of a fishermen village.
Ilha de Tavira
The most popular sand spit beach with some fourteen kilometres of soft sand that attracts families and a young crowd. There are two access points to the beach. From Pedras del Rei, you can walk across a causeway or catch a ride on a miniature railway. Alternatively, regular ferry boats depart from the jetty at Quatro Aguas.
The beach in Vilamoura. Huge, huge beach visited by portuguese and english. large car park. wheelchair and pram accessible but has long accessible wood to beach. plenty of restaurants and public toilets.
Praia da Odeceixe
This is a spectacular setting, up in the Northwest corner of the Algarve. Its sheltered, crescent-shaped beach is just a short drive from Odeceixe and even in the summer it is wonderfully uncrowded.
Plenty of soft sands offering water sports are to be found around the Western town of Sagres.
Praia do Amado
One of the Portugal’s premier surfing venues and its surf school enjoys international reputation. Sitting well off the beaten track, this beach also attracts families and the rock pool at low tide is often of special interest to children. Carrapateira
Praia da Figueira
This beach is popular with youngsters and windsurfers. There are also excellent dive sites nearby such as Boca do Rio to the East. The beach lies right in front of the village of Salema.
There can sometimes be a small charge for parking in the beach parking lots. Also NEVER leave anything valuable in your car OR trunk even if locked, thieves can get into your locked trunk in seconds. Don’t be easy pickings.