15 Best Beaches in Algarve Portugal

Looking to uncover the hidden gems among the best beaches in Algarve Portugal? Search no more—I’ve got you covered!

As a seasoned European travel enthusiast with two immersive trips to Portugal under my belt, I navigated the vast array of over 100 beaches in the Algarve.

Picture this: golden sands framed by towering cliffs, crystal-clear azure waters, and captivating sea caves. Having explored during the tranquil months of late February and early March, I enjoyed the blissful solitude, allowing me to beach-hop without the usual hustle.

Let me be your guide to the top family-friendly spots, surfer’s paradises, and the most secluded gems—from the western-facing oceanfronts to the eastern wonders of the Algarve. Ready for an unforgettable coastal journey? Let’s dive in!

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Are the Beaches of Algarve Worth Visiting?

sandy beach with sea in best beaches in algarve portugal

Absolutely! The best beaches on Algarve are an irresistible blend of natural wonders, from the breathtaking cliffs to the pristine golden sands and azure waters.

Having personally explored this coastal haven during two trips to Portugal, I can attest to its unparalleled beauty.

A common question I get is whether you can take a day trip to Algarve from Lisbon and I always advise against it. It simply doesn’t leave you enough time to explore it. Instead, stay a few days and discover some of the prettiest villages nearby too.

Whether you seek family-friendly shores, surfer’s delights, or secluded retreats, the Algarve’s diverse beaches offer an unforgettable experience. Trust me, it’s a destination that lives up to the hype and is well worth a visit!

Best Beaches in Algarve Portugal

blue water and cliffs on beaches of algarve

1. Praia de Odeceixe is a favourite with locals

Praia de Odeceixe spans the border between the regions of Alentejo and Algarve regions and is considered a bit remote and not on the radar for most tourists.

The Odeceixe beach is known as one of the best beaches in Algarve for families because it offers a calm river safe for younger children and bigger waves on the ocean side for older kids.

2. Praia da Arrifana is best beach in Algarve for surfers

On the West Coast is where you’ll find one of the Algarve’s best surf spots for all levels to enjoy. Surf camps, restaurants, and hotels make Arrifana Beach the ideal surfer’s destination.

3. Praia Do Camilo is a must for photographers

water with white sand beach with rock formation on beaches in Algarve Portugal

One of the smallest beaches in the Algarve is the secluded Do Camilo beach which can be reached at a descent of 200 wooden steps.

It may be small, but it’s one of the most well-known Algarve beaches. That means if you want to capture the unique rock formations woven into the beach before the crowds you have to get there early in the morning.

4. Praia dos Estudiantes is for history buffs

This beach offers one of the most scenic views, and it’s bound to delight history buffs too.

To access the beach you walk through a rocky tunnel. As you step out from the tunnel you’ll be greeted with an incredible sight of two steep golden cliffs surrounding the beach with an ancient Roman bridge connecting two of the cliffs. I’m so curious about how long and why the bridge appears.

5. Praia Dona Ana is one of the most photographed beaches

This beautiful beach checks a lot of boxes. The soaring cliffs create a dramatic backdrop for photos and block the wind making for calm waters that families look for.

The views are stunning especially from above looking below to the clear turquoise water and rugged rock formations. This is one of the most Instagrammable places in Portugal! And, it’s a great beach to watch a stunning sunset from.

6. Meia Praia is everyone’s favourite

sandy beach with water and red cliffs in beaches of algarve

The beaches close to the party town of Lagos will always attract a younger crowd as they offer a fun, social beach that even young families enjoy. But that’s not all it’s known for.

This is the longest beach in the Logos area nearly 5 km and it’s one of the best beaches in Algarve for swimming. The water is clear and shallow and gets deeper very slowly. This is a popular beach, but because it’s so large, you can always find your private spot.

7. Praia dos Três Irmãos offers a unique surprise

The beach’s name, Três Irmãos, translates to three brothers. Visit this beach and you’ll soon realize why- there are three incredible rock formations. This long white sand beach with its impressive red-coloured cliffs and rock formations offers a unique surprise – a series of caves and passages.

During low tide, you can walk from one cove to another leading to a series of small beaches. The most famous one called Prainha features a gorgeous double arch. Have your cameras ready for this beach!

8. Praia da Roche is one of the most popular beaches

The striking yellow and red coloured cliffs hug the 1.5 km stretch of sand. The views from above are a great spot for photographers as are the tiny coves. This is one of the most popular beaches to visit as it is close to the town of Portimao and offers full amenities of showers and restaurants.

9. Benagil Caves is full of adventure

rock formation with water on best beaches on algarve

One of the few beaches in the Algarve that can only be reached by water is the Benagil Caves. Of all the Algarve beaches, this one is the most popular, and for good reason. The best way to see Benagil caves is by kayak. Be sure to book one of the boat or kayak tours to see it.

10. Praia da Corredoura is the perfect escape

Praia da Corredoura can only be reached by boat making this beautiful beach one of the most secluded beaches in the Algarve. Rent a paddleboard or kayak, from the nearby Marinha or Benagil beaches and make your way to your private oasis.

This beach is popular with couples and solo travellers who are looking for the privacy of their beach. Shhh, let’s keep this one a secret.

11. Praia Da Marinha offers that wow factor

Having earned a spot on the “Most Beautiful Beach in the World” list by CNN and Conde Nast Traveller you have to visit this one. The incredible cliffs have been cropped and changed into a series of pinnacles, crevasses and caves.

Aside from the incredible rock formations, the beach changes between low and high tides. At low tide, the beach becomes bigger, but during high tide, the sea turns an incredible turquoise colour.

12. Praia de Albandeira is a hidden gem of the Algarve

red cliffs overlooking sea and best beach in algarve portugal

This lesser-known, small, secluded beach is one of the best-kept secrets of the Algarve. The Albandeira beach offers calm waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Sitting in an alcove surrounded by cliffs with large dramatic arches in the sea makes this a dream for photographers and one of the best viewing spots at sunset.

13. Praia da Falésia is perfect for sunset strolls

A long 10 km straight strip of sand backed by incredible cliffs in white and ochre makes the Albufeira one of the best beaches in Algarve. This beach is easily accessible with nearby parking. You can walk along the cliff or down on the beach.

14. Praia do Ancao is for sun worshipers

Praia do Ancão is a long stretch of beach that sun worshipers flock to. Even though this is such a popular beach, there’s always lots of space to lay your beach towel down and have some privacy. For those that love to walk the beach, or run, this is a great long stretch of sand perfect for doing just that!

15. Ilha de Tavira, Tavira, is ideal for that island getaway

view of red cliff sand with people walking and sea on best beaches in Algarve

The eastern coast of the Algarve is drastically different than the west. Tiny sand inlets make up the Natural Ria de Formosa Park known for its migration of bird and marine life. A series of island beaches sit offshore, close to the charming town of Tavira, known for having some of the best beaches in Algarve.

Best Guided Tours in Algarve

yellow rock formation with turquoise water on beach in algarve
  • Benagil Caves Speed Boat Tour with Sunset. Discover the Algarve coastline and the famous Benagil Caves on this speed boat tour from Portimão. Look out for dolphins along the way and make a short stop for swimming.
  • Benagil Caves Kayaking Experience. Discover the fantastic scenery of the Benagil Caves with kayaks, to access even the most hidden spots. You can stop and get out inside at the famous Benagil Cave for some breathtaking pictures.
  • Boat Cruise to Ponta da Piedade. Admire the towering natural arches of Ponta da Piedade on a boat cruise from Lagos. Sail over turquoise water and see gems, like Dona Ana beach.
  • From Lagos: Algarve Cruise by Catamaran. Enjoy a cruise from Lagos to Praia da Luz and back. Relax aboard a catamaran and take in the views of the caves and unique rock formations of Ponta da Piedade and the golden beaches of the Algarve.

FAQ About Best Beaches on Algarve

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What is the meaning of the Algarve?

The name “Algarve” comes from the Arabic word “the west”. The name refers to the fact that the Algarve is the westernmost region of Portugal, located at the southwestern tip of the European continent.

How many beaches are in Algarve?

The Algarve has over 150 beaches, stretching along its coastline, which is close to 200 km stretching from the west to the east.

Are dogs allowed on Algarve beaches?

The rules for dogs on Algarve beaches vary depending on the specific beach and the time of year. Some beaches may have designated areas where dogs are allowed, while others may prohibit dogs entirely.

What beaches in the Algarve allow naturists?

Although there are no nude beaches in Portugal, there are a few beaches where nudity is more commonly accepted like Praia do Barril, Naturista and da Gale.

What is the best time to visit the Algarve?

The best time to visit the Algarve is during the spring and fall. The months of May, June, September and October offer the best balance of weather and crowds. The warmest and busiest months are July and August.

How many days to spend in the Algarve?

At minimum spend 3 to 4 days in the Algarve. A week is a reasonable amount of time to explore the beaches in Algarve as well as visit the best towns.

As a Holidaymaker

I hope this has inspired your planning for the Algarve region. With so much to do and explore be sure to give yourself several days to experience as much as you can. You’ll want to take your time to see the best beaches Algarve has to offer!

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For more inspiration for planning your trip to Portugal visit my Travel Guide page. With one click you will have every resource you need at your fingertips! Everything from booking flights, to train, to car and accommodations. Plus, it’s where you’ll find all my articles from the Douro Valley to Porto, and day trips from Lisbon to places like Coimbra, Cascais and Sintra.

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