How to choose the best beaches in Portugal? In addition to its kilometer-long coastlines and landscapes, Portugal is a beautiful country wherever you look at it: natural images that appear as wallpaper, historic cities, incredible gastronomy and calm music that “decorates” any postcard alive we can imagine. Its beaches, meanwhile, are a unique feature of the Iberian Peninsula and win the hearts, photographs and stays of millions of travelers a year, attracted by their beauty, good weather and long sunny days per year distributed in exactly 832 kilometers of coastline.
As difficult as it may be to choose one, in this post we will rank the 30 best beaches in Portugal, those that have something special that make them a reason to visit of many and reason for publication on Instagram. Grab your sunscreen for a scent of summer, put a fado song in the background and let’s find out.
The best beaches in Portugal
1. Praia da Marinha, one of the best beaches in the Algarve
Located in the south of the country, this scenic wonder, as some comments characterize it, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with a natural beauty that is not only limited to its sands and waters crystalline but also by the rock formations and cliffs that recreate a kind of orange amphitheaters, protecting the coasts from the wind and forming perfect places to rest on the shore. This allows its waters to be calm, crystal clear and ideal for a relaxing bath.
- Traveler advice: arrive early because the parking lot tends to fill up, especially on weekends.
2. Porto Santo Island, Madeira
Heading towards one of the archipelagos of Portugal, in Madeira, is located the island of Porto Santo, definitely one of the best beaches in Portugal, especially for its long 9 kilometers of sand, with infinite possibilities to rest and relax (the sand looks like flour and has high doses of calcium, iodine and magnesium with healing properties) its warm waters and its dive sites.
- Traveler advice: being on an island 42 kilometers long, the beach is not the only activity to do, if the itinerary allows it, a great recommendation is to explore the different points of Porto Santo.
3. Praia da Rocha, a beach to rest (or not) in the Algarve
A few kilometers from its neighboring beaches in the region, is Praia da Rocha, a tourist icon within Algarve, in southern Portugal. Its nightlife and its characteristic of a “ place to go ” during the belle Epoque, makes it a great image of the region’s beaches, made up of the infallible viewpoints for selfies and posts of Instagram.
- Why visit Praia da Rocha? Being a great holiday resort, Praia da Rocha has a special nightlife, places where you can do water activities such as speedboats or places to relax like theme bars or even water parks just a few meters away where the whole family can enjoy.
4. Praia dos Caneiros, Algarve
Also located in the south of Portugal, Praia dos Caneiros is characterized by the blue-green color of its waters, culminated by the characteristic cliffs of the region, with sandy areas where you can rest and enjoy the good climate that characterizes the country.
- Traveler tip: the beach makes you hungry and diving into the sea, of course also, Praia dos Caneiros has restaurant and bar services for lunch, showers and even the possibility of renting boats for the most active travelers.
5. Praia do Amado, one of the best beaches in Portugal (and Europe) to surf
Come on, let’s not just surf, Praia do Amado is one of the best beaches in Europe to practice any type of water sport that requires wind and waves due to the sea conditions that they occur frequently. The best thing: it is an almost jungle beach, so, except for athletes, it is not very visited by tourist crowds.
- Traveler advice: in addition to spending the day on the beach, it is possible to visit the town of Carrapateira, located 5 minutes from the road, super instagrammable.
6. Praia do Camilo, a stairway to paradise in Lagos
Lagos is one of the cities where, in addition to the beauty of its streets, has several accesses to the beaches around it. Praia do Camilo is one of them, which is Necessary to access via a Stairway To Heaven, or a stairway “to heaven” (how about Led Zeppelin?). Returning to reality, Praia do Camilo is integrated with somewhat cold but crystalline waters and nothing that the high temperatures of Portugal do not encourage to take a bath, practice diving or to rest in its wide clear sands.
- Traveler advice: the stairs are ideal for taking pictures but be careful, the return from the beach (that is, the ascent by the stairs) can be difficult for those who do not use to walk so much.
7. Praia da Comporta, peace and quiet in Troia
Located within the Sado Estuary Natural Reserve, Praia da Comporta is classified as another of the best beaches to visit in Portugal, especially by those seeking peace and tranquility, despite its high frequency of travelers, but relaxed by the natural jungle environment protected by the reserve itself.
- Fun fact: Praia da Comporta is an ideal place to practice kitesurfing, due to its significant waves.
8. Praia do Carvoeiro, a family beach in the Algarve
Moment of urban beaches, postcards of picturesque houses and outings to the sea with golden sands, turquoise waters and the inexplicable need to photograph everything. In this case, Praia do Carvoeiro, a quiet destination, chosen especially by families and retirees to spend a relaxing vacation out of high season. Despite this, the towns distributed around it are charming and full of options for entertainment.
- Traveler tip! Excursions can be made to the Benagil Cave, Portugal’s hidden gem.
9. Praia das Azenhas do Mar, one of the best beaches in Portugal near Sintra
Continuing with the “charming” beach postcards we find Praia das Azenhas do Mar, one of the photographs of the beaches of Portugal with the little houses that “fall” down the cliff, culminated By the sea. Despite being a small beach, compared to the ones we have already mentioned, the beach is a quiet and ideal place to visit with the family.
- How to get to Praia das Azenhas do Mar from Sintra? It can be accessed by car, for about 15 kilometers (or 10 minutes) or, by bus, using the number 441 for about 35 minutes, making it an ideal walk for a hot day in the city.
10. Praia do Carreiro do Mosteiro, in the Reserva Natural das Berlengas, a “little piece of heaven” in front of the continent
As there are beaches near cities, there are also beaches outside the most touristic places, ideal for adventurous travelers and those who prefer contact with nature. Praia do Carreiro do Mosteiro (named after an old monastery that was in the vicinity) has a single access by boat from May to October (coinciding with the summer months), being a place ideal for admiring marine life and enjoying the calm turquoise and crystalline waters preserved by the reserve itself.
- Where is Praia do Carreiro do Mosteiro? The beach, also known as Berlenga Grande, is close to the anchor point for the boats that arrive at the reserve.
11. Praia do Norte, the biggest waves in the world in Nazaré
Surely many do not know, but have heard about this place since its strong and wild sea is home to one of the biggest waves in the world, a paradise for professional surfers and awarded by the < em> Global Big Wave Awards. Praia do Norte is also visited by the most adventurous travelers since does not have security or services, but is surrounded by a wild and jungle environment.
- Traveler advice: for those who do not surf, the best thing about the beach is to enjoy nature and the waves from the shore, ensuring the safety of travelers.
12. Praia do Beliche, a perfect postcard from Portugal in Sagres
Also located in the magnificent Algarve beach area, Praia do Beliche is wide, with white and golden sands and turquoise green waters, with the coasts washed by the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the tourist influx from southern Portugal, Praia do Beliche is one of the best beaches to visit in Portugal to enjoy the tranquility, wide and with small galleries and natural caves to investigate.
- Traveler tip! There is a small beach restaurant that offers the typical grilled sardines, but also sandwiches, beers and sangrías to spend the afternoon.
13. Praia dos Três Castelos, three castles in the Algarve Sea
Characterizing the Portuguese landscapes almost perfectly, the Beach of the 3 Castles is another of the postcards that you should not miss in Portugal. A beauty both photographic and for those who seek to descend to the beach to rest, starring the 3 gigantic rocks (the castles) that can be seen from the cliffs or descending the stairs towards the coast.
- Traveler fact: the beach has service facilities such as bathrooms and surveillance and also restaurants where you can have lunch.
14. Praia da Falesia, one of the best beaches in Portugal that you must visit in Albufeira
Imagine the Colorado Canyon or the landscapes of the Far West of the United States but bordered by a turquoise sea, something like that? Of course, Praia da Falesia is one of the most spectacular beaches in Portugal for having these reddish canyons that contrast almost perfectly, not only with the blue of the sea, but also with the fantastic < strong> sunsets seen from its shore.
- Traveler advice: the beach has almost 6 kilometers of beach and was awarded as one of the best beaches in Europe, so visiting it is almost an obligation.
15. Praia de Salema, a family beach in Portugal
A calm, relaxed atmosphere, full of services and with cliffs bordering the golden sand. According to the newspaper The Guardian, it is one of the best beaches in Europe to visit with the family, especially for its surroundings and its characteristic tranquility.
- Family travelers? Don’t miss: the marks on the rocks. The place was inhabited by the giants of the world, the dinosaurs, so on the cliff walls you can see traces of those who populated the region more than 140 million years ago.
16. Praia da Balança, an almost virgin beach in Lagos
Let’s go back to the typical postcard of the beaches of Portugal: turquoise waters, golden sands and cliffs and rock formations that make the imagination fly. Praia da Balança is one of the few “almost virgin” beaches that surround the country so visiting it makes the natural environment and the beach itself one of the best things to do. near Lagos.
- Traveler advice: be careful, the parking is quite far from the beach access so, for travelers who are not used to it walking, it can be a bit complicated.
17. Praia de Dona Ana, Lagos
Staying in the same region, we headed towards Praia Dona Ana, considered one of the 50 best beaches in the world, where the turquoise sea and the number of photographs on Instagram make it popular within the Algarve beaches. Almost like a poetic phrase, the rocks emerge over the sea forming an extremely beautiful postcard to see.
- Traveler information: is less than 25 minutes walk from the center of Lagos, so, if conditions allow it, It is advisable to access walking.
18. Praia do Castelejo, thousands of colors on the beaches of Portugal, in the Algarve
Unquestionably the Algarve region has the best beaches in Portugal, don’t you think? Praia do Castelejo is one of the best beaches in Portugal, especially the contrast of colors within the “artist’s palette” that nature has given: green vegetation, dark cliffs and the turquoise sea that As always, the postcard ends.
- Caution: the road is winding but not impossible, it is advisable to settle away from the cliffs due to possible rockfalls.
19. Praia del Pego, nature without moving away from “civilization”
For those who enjoy contact with nature but prefer to stay close to the “urban” limits, Praia del Pego is one of the best recommendations to visit, led by wide sand, white sand dunes and the sea that serene, lends itself as a great place to vacation with the family.
- Travelers with flexible itineraries: This beach is located in the central region, almost 140 kilometers from Lisbon, so it is a great “Getaway” from the Portuguese capital during the summer season.
20. Praia Puerto Pim, an island beach more than recommended to visit in Portugal
Located on Faial Island, Praia Puerto Pim is one of the busiest on the entire island, especially by families, since the sea is also calm and allows visitors to children enjoy without worries. In addition to its tranquility and charm of the neighboring town, it is a place that, according to history, was where the first settlers of the island arrived, there in the 15th century.
- Traveler fact: is a beach that has all the necessary services, from bathrooms to security for its inhabitants and, a detail no less importantly, it has access for people with reduced mobility.
21. Praia da Barra, located in Aveiro, ideal for surfers
Returning to the beaches preferred by surfers for its high waves, Praia da Barra is characterized by rough Atlantic waters and picturesque landscapes. The waves are produced by the winds that hit the region, which, be careful, during the summer are usually strong. A few meters from the beach, it is possible to visit the Aveiro Lighthouse, 62 meters high, the highest in Portugal.
- Traveler advice: around the beach there are various bars and nightclubs that make up the great nightlife of the region.
22. Praia de Guincho, a call for kitesurfers!
Less than 30 minutes from the center of Lisbon is Praia de Guincho, an ideal place for kitesurfers, although the waves are also ideal for surfing and more water sports. Despite appearing to be a natural and jungle environment, it has tourist services for all travelers.
- Traveler advice: if there is a lot of wind, especially during July and August, it is advisable to go to the north end of the beach where the cliff works as a refuge.
23. Praia do Barril on Tavira Island, one of the best beaches in Portugal
As its name says, the beach of Isla Tavira is located, where? Of course, on an island. This means that the only possibility of access is by boat, from the Tavira pier itself, disembarking in diving areas and even a campsite where it is possible to spend the night. The surroundings of the campsite are usually the places more crowded so it is recommended to move away a few meters to enjoy the tranquility.
- Traveler fact: Praia do Barril is naturist and a completely accepted (and legalized) situation, so almost nobody wears a suit bathroom.
24. The Benagil Cave, the jewel of Portugal
Okay, it’s not a beach per se, but it does contain a beach and is one of Portugal’s best-kept jewels, a natural wonder created solely by the erosion, creating a magnificent hole in the rock through which the light passes and illuminates the beach, the sea and the environment that surrounds it. It is possible to access by boat, kayak or even swimming, if you are in good physical condition.
- Traveler information: if you want to discover more about the wonder of Portugal, visit our practical guide to visit the Cave of Benagil.
25. Praia de Figueirinha, a great beach near Lisbon
With shallow waters and almost no marine current, Praia de Figueirinha, located just 30 kilometers from Lisbon, is a great alternative to visit, especially if you visit Portugal with the family. The beach can be quite crowded during the summer but nothing that, with arriving very early, cannot be avoided.
- Traveler fact: if there is low tide, a crystalline lagoon is formed on the beach before the sea that generates a very beautiful environment to visit.
26. Praia de Portinho da Arrábida, fans of snorkeling, this is the best beach in Portugal
A beach that seems unspoiled, the formation of pine trees around it and the different colors of blue of the sea create a perfect place to also enjoy the underwater world of the coasts of Portugal. Praia de Portinho da Arrábida is protected by the Arrábida Natural Park, less than an hour from Lisbon, a great opportunity to enjoy marine nature.
- Travel tip: on the beach there is a place where you can buy take-out food and have a picnic on the sand.
27. Praia de Odeceixe, the place where the river meets the sea
At the mouth of the Seixe River, is the Praia de Odeceixe, an ideal beach for those looking for a perfect place to bathe, formed by lagoons when the tide goes out and surrounded by rock formations to Let the imagination fly. The beach is an ideal place to rent boats and explore the different sectors.
- Travel information: for lovers of freedom, a few meters away is Praia das Adegas, an officially naturist beach where, if low tide, accessible on foot.
28. Praia da Aguda, called for surfers (yes, again)
As you can see, the swell of some beaches in Portugal means that there are several options for surfers and Aguda Beach is one of them. Of course, this does not mean that those of us who are not familiar with the sport cannot enjoy it at all, but that the vast kilometers of wide sand allow there to be a lot of space to rest.
- Traveler advice: the beach preserves an interesting underwater life, especially among the rocks, so taking your snorkel glasses is a great advice.
29. Praia Sao Pedro de Muel, hiking and cycling before bathing
The beach is located on the fishing village of the same name that, almost like a story, the white houses and its cobbled streets, many of them dating from the colonial era, flow into the Ocean Atlantic and in small exits where it is possible to rest and photograph.
- The best: being a “summer town” in season, the only activity is not limited to the beach but also to research the historical corners and the charms of the town. & nbsp;
30. Praia dos Tres Irmaos, caves, cliffs and crystal clear waters, one of the most famous beaches in Portugal
Praia dos Tres Irmaos (of the three brothers, in Spanish) is one of the most visited beaches in Portugal where, in addition to having the 3 gigantic rocks, which represent their name, erosion has created caves where children play, small coves where you can rest and viewpoints where you can enjoy the environment.
- Traveler advice: O Caniço is the only restaurant on the beach that, in addition, is characterized by being embedded in the cliff, which provides spectacular sea views (the price per person is expensive, but if you has a flexible budget, the visit is completely worth it).
Of the s more than 380 beaches that Portugal has, ideal for to enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, with more than 830 kilometers of coastline and The possibility of discovering these secret corners of charm, choosing the best beaches in Portugal can be a more than complicated task. One’s experience as a traveler means that each one of them can find charm and, despite not knowing all of them in a single trip, being able to enjoy one of the wonders that characterizes the country so much: sun, sand and sea of different shades of blue, forming a perfect natural Portuguese postcard.