The Algarve is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is regularly voted as the best beach destination in Europe, so narrow down your options with our top 25 Algarve beaches run down.

What makes Algarve beaches so special is the huge variety on offer, from cove beaches only accessible by the sea, to enormous stretches that go on for miles, to white sands on the Algarve islands and the dramatic rock formations and cliffs along others.

A great way to discover as many Algarve beaches as possible in one go is to hop on an Algarve boat trip, with boat trips available from Vilamoura marina, Albufeira marina, Portimão and from Lagos marina all year round.

With so many beaches to choose from it can be hard to pick out a favourite but we have come up with a list of the top 25 Algarve beaches that we think shows off the very best beaches the region has to offer!

 

Tavira & Eastern Algarve

Beach at Cabanas’ Island

The beach on the ilha de Cabanas near to Tavira requires a little bit of work to get there but we all know that sometimes the best things in life are worth putting in some effort for!

The beach is located across the river from Cabanas village on a spit of land with the river on one side and the sea on the other, giving it a unique blend of fresh and salt water flora, fauna and wildlife and making it an ideal location for nature lovers.

To get to the beach you need to jump on to a water taxi, with many leaving regularly from the jetties in the town and costing very little for a return journey. The short trip across the river is great fun, especially for children and once on the other side it is only a couple of hundred metres over the boardwalk to the main beach itself.

The waters here are usually warmer than in many other parts of the Algarve and the beach is huge with a couple of beach bars on the ilha for drinks, snacks and ice creams.

How to get there? Taxi-boat or ferry 

Parking – At the beach there is no parking, but you can park the car near the place where you catch the ferry. 

Access – There is a wooden walkway connecting the port to the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Try going early to the beach so you can more easily catch the ferry 

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? There are toilets 

In the area – There are some bars and restaurants in the area 

Good for – nature lovers, and for a relaxing beach day away from civilization

Beach at Cabanas’ Island
Beach at Cabanas’ Island. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia da Ilha de Armona

The Ria Formosa national park is an area of outstanding natural beauty and within it are a series of small islands with Armona Island being one of the most beautiful and home to a stunning beach.

You can only access this island by water taxi or ferry, with regular boat trips taking place throughout the day and very reasonably priced. A water taxi from Olhão marina is the fastest way to get there but nothing beats getting on the ferry with the locals as they bring across their shopping for the week!

The island is only about 1 kilometre wide and once you pass through the cluster of little holiday houses and restaurants you walk along a little path that takes you out to the white sands of the beach.

This is a real castaway experience, even in the summer months, and Armona island offers a totally new perspective on Algarve beaches that is unique to this area of the region.

How to get there? Boat-taxi or ferry from the Marina of Olhão 

Parking – There is paid parking at the Marina of Olhão 

Access – There is a walkway that runs along the island all the way until the beach 

Lifeguards – No 

Tips – Rent a house on the island for a few days and enjoy the peacefulness of this island  

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? No shower or toilet 

In the area – There are a few restaurants and bars 

Good for – family beach days 

Amona Beach
Praia da Ilha de Armona. Photo by Guia da Cidade.

Praia de Tavira

Some beach goers prefer to let it all hang out and if you are looking for a naturist beach in the Algarve then head over to Tavira island.

The beach on Tavira island is known for being one of the five official naturist beaches in Portugal and while it is perfectly alright to go on the beach with your clothes, don’t be surprised if you see lots of people without theirs!

To get to the island you need to catch a ferry from the little port just outside Tavira, then once on the island if you are looking to be nude then the best place to head is about 15 a minute walk from the port on the ocean side of the island.

The beach is very beautiful and home to some bars and restaurants and also a large campsite for anyone who wants to stay over on the island for a break.

As well as being a beach for naturists, the beach is also a home to many chameleons and other wildlife , making this one for everyone!

How to get there? Ferry or taxi boat 

Parking – There is parking at the place where you take the ferry 

Access – Yes 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Enjoy camping at the fantastic campsite situated on the island 

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – Bars and restaurants 

Good for – groups of friends, families and campers 

Tavira Island Beach
Praia de Tavira. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia do Barril 

Praia do Barril is located on the island of Tavira and is undoubtedly one of the most relaxing beaches in the Algarve, with its silvery white sand and transparent blue sea. You can either walk the last kilometer of the route to the beach or take the picturesque mini train. 

How to get there? By train or walking. 

Parking – Yes, near the place where you take the train  

Access – Yes 

Lifeguard – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Take the occasion to see the graveyard of anchors that exists on the beach 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – families and people who like walking 

Barril Beach
Praia do Barril. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia de Manta Rota 

Praia de Manta Rota is located in the bay of Monte Gordo, in the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, and is one of our favourites.  

The extensive sand line invites you to play soccer, racquets, volleyball or rugby, to make constructions in the sand or to fly a kite. If you prefer to rest, you can also do it on one of the sunbeds that are available for hire.  

Praia de Manta Rota has another great advantage: when it is low tide, you can walk for dozens of meters in the sea before you are forced to swim, making it the perfect beach to take small children. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Yes, there is a wooden walkway that allows access to the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Enjoy playing beach soccer or beach volleyball with your friends 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – groups of friends, people who enjoy practicing sports and families with children 

Manta Rota Beach
Praia de Manta Rota. Photo by Sul Informação.

Praia da Fuseta 

Praia da Fuseta is located on Fuseta’s Island, which separates the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve from the Atlantic Ocean. This beautiful island enjoys a sea of enviable quality. Sometimes the sea gets very wavy, making it suitable for water sports like surfing or skimming. 

How to get there? On foot (when it is low tide) or by boat 

Parking – Yes, near the place where you take the boat 

Access – Yes, through a wooden pathway 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Take the boat to the island and enjoy the marvellous landscape 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – families 

Fuseta Beach
Praia da Fuseta. Photo by Blog Turismo do Algarve.

Praia do Farol

This beach can be found on Ilha do Farol (which directly translates to the Island of the Lighthouse), named because of Cabo de Santa Maria’s Lighthouse which was built on the island in 1851, is one of the quietest beaches in the Algarve.  

Not very popular, this is a beach visited only by locals, who spend the whole summer on the island, or by inhabitants of the city of Faro and Olhão who take the boat early in the morning to the island and return in the last boat of the day. 

How to get there? Boat 

Parking – Yes, there are parking spaces close to where you take the boat 

Access – Yes 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Rent a house on the island and enjoy a few days away from civilization 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – families 

Farol Beach
Praia do Farol. Photo by Blog Turismo do Algarve.

Praia Naturista 

At the far end of the Island of Tavira there is a naturist beach. This nudist beach enjoys a magnificent view over the other islands of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve. Praia Naturista de Tavira is one of the five official naturist beaches in Portugal. 

How to get there? Ferry to the island and then you have to walk to the beach 

Parking – Yes, close to where you take the ferry 

Access – Walk along the beach (there is no human construction that allows access to the beach) 

Lifeguards – No 

Tips – Have fun spending a day at the beach naked  

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – couples 

Naturista Beach
Naturista Beach. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Albufeira & Central Algarve

Praia da Marinha

Marinha beach is considered to be not only one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe but also as one of the 100 best in the world and it is not hard to see why!

Located along the coast between Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra, this beach is one of the gems of the Algarve and boasts golden sands, clear blue waters and some of the most amazing cliffs and rock formations around.

There is a large car park at the top and then it is on to the steps and down all the way to the beach.

Marinha is not a particularly large beach and in the summer months it can get very busy so it is a good idea to get there early and to tackle the steps when it is not the heat of the day.

A great one for photography buffs, but not so suitable for anyone who may find the steps a challenge, especially on the way back up.

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Stairs with several steps lead you to the sea level. People with reduced mobility will have difficulty climbing up the stairs to get off the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Praia da Marinha is not a particularly large beach and in the summer months can be very busy so it is a good idea to get there early, and to walk down the stairs before the hottest hours of the day. 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? No 

In the area – There is a picnic area 

Good for – Hikers or people who like to do snorkelling 

Marinha Beach
Praia da Marinha. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia de Vale do Lobo

For a taste of the high life, head down to Vale do Lobo beach located within the heart of the Golden Triangle.

You don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy the lifestyle down in Vale do Lobo and this has to be one of the best beaches in the Algarve for some celebrity spotting with sporting stars, tv personalities, models and the odd Hollywood A-lister all known for choosing Vale do Lobo beach to soak up some rays in the Algarve.

The beach has a number of famous restaurants, including Maria’s, Julia’s and Sandbanks, all serving up a glamorous beach experience, while there are lots of sunbeds and even a massage station for a touch of relaxation.

With the beach being only a short distance from Vilamoura marina and the Aquashow water park, it is really easy to find, although in the summer months you do have to pay to park near to the beach.

How to get there? By car 

Parking – Paid parking is available near the beach 

Access – There is a wooden walkway that allows access to the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Make sure you get to the beach early, especially during August, because of the number of people visiting the beach 

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes, during the summer 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – Several restaurants like the famous Maria’s or Sandbanks. 

Good for – families

Vale Do Lobo Beach
Praia de Vale Do Lobo. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia da Galé 

Located between the extensive beaches of Salgados and Armação de Pêra, Praia da Galé is very easy to find and is divided into two distinct areas, which makes it a great place for those who want more of their beach in the Algarve. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Yes 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Drink a beer at the terrace of a café facing the ocean and watch the sunset 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? There are showers 

In the area – There are bars, restaurants and the Zoomarine theme park 

Good for – campers and groups of friends

Praia Da Gale
Praia da Galé. Photo by Travel in Portugal.

Praia da Falésia 

Praia da Falésia is one of the most popular beaches in the Algarve, attracting thousands of visitors every year. The sunset parties that are organised on this beach every Thursday afternoon during summer months attract many people looking for a fun way to celebrate summer. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes, but it is not enough for the amount of people who attend this beach 

Access – Yes, there is an extensive wooden walkway that runs along the beach  

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Try getting to the beach early to avoid the confusion that sets during the afternoon 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – groups of friends and party-lovers 

Praia Da Falésia
Praia da Falésia. Photo by Sul Informação.

Praia do Vale de Centeanes 

Praia do Vale de Centeanes is surrounded by an imposing cliff that enters the sea. The sea is so transparent that one can see the bottom of the sea when standing on the golden sands. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – There is a wooden pathway leading to the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips– Because it is a small beach, we recommend that you arrive early so you can find a place 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – families 

Praia Vale Centeanes
Praia do Vale Centeanes. Photo by Travel in Portugal.

Praia dos Alemães 

Praia dos Alemães is located in Albufeira and is another example of the paradisiacal beaches that exist in the Algarve. The huge golden sand allows children (and not only) to play beach soccer or rackets without other people being bothered. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – There is a wooden walkway 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Enjoy eating a traditional Bola de Berlim or Bolacha Americana which are sold by the walking sellers (you’ll know who they are once they start shouting) 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – Families and groups of friends  

Praia Dos Alemães
Praia dos Alemães. Photo by Evasões.

Praia da Rocha

Praia da Rocha is the main beach for Portimão and has been a popular destination for visitors since tourism first began in the region.

This is a huge, wide and long beach, that runs all along the front of the Praia da Rocha resort up to the Portimão marina.

There are some beautiful rock formations along the beach, hence the name which means beach of the rock, but it is the sheer size and options for sports, surfing, boat trips, cafes, restaurants and even nightclubs on the beach in the summer, that make this a real hit with all ages.

The long boardwalk makes travelling from one end to the other really easy and children will love the play parks in the sand and the ample opportunities to stop for an ice cream.

Praia da Rocha is the Algarve beach that has it all, and even in the summer month when thousands of people arrive, the beach is still so big there is always a space to lay your towel.

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – There is a long walkway that crosses most of the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during the summer 

Tips – Watch the rock formations scattered along the beach  

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes  

In the area – Plenty of restaurants and ice-cream parlours 

Good for – Family and friends 

Praia Da Rocha
Praia da Rocha. Photo by Travel in Portugal.

Praia Grande

Praia Grande is located between Carvoeiro and Ferragudo in the central Algarve with the beach bordering both the Atlantic and the River Arade and ensuring gentle waves all year round.

The sheltered waters make this beach a great one for nervous swimmers or for anyone not keen on being taken unaware by a random wave while trying to get into the water.

Praia Grande is huge with one area near the river with rocks to climb on and views of the fort, another area with a dedicated sports pitch and even a small play park on the sand for younger children. You can even get to the beach by water taxi from Portimão arena if you want to cut out the drive around!

What draws most people to this beach however is the live music and entertainment. Head down on a Sunday and Club Nau on the beach holds music sessions, or move around the corner and relax with chill out tunes on the sand at Escondidinho.

How to get there? Car or boat from Portimão Marina 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Yes 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Watch live music shows during summer months 

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? Yes 

In the area – Restaurants and bars 

Good for – photographers, geologists or families

Praiagrande1
Praia Grande. Photo by  CM Lagoa.

Praia do Ancão 

Praia do Ancão, located near Quinta do Lago, is one of the best beaches in the Algarve because of its size. Since it is a beach with a huge amount of sand, people find themselves spaced far from each other, which ensures there is always space for you to lay down your towel. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – There is a wooden walkway that allows access to the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Rent one of the pedalo boats or try reaching the floating platform in the middle of the sea 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? There are showers 

In the area – There are a few bars and restaurants 

Good for – families and friends 

Praia Do Ancão
Praia do Ancão. Photo by Sapo Viagens.

Lagos & Western Algarve

Meia Praia

Meia Praia is the largest beach in Lagos and this enormous, sweeping beach that spans the entire bay is a favourite with locals and visitors at any time of the year in the Algarve thanks to it offering space even in the peak of the season.

The beach is only a short distance from Lagos marina and you can access it from various different points without having to negotiate any steps, which makes it fantastic for anyone with accessibility issues.

It can get windy at this beach but that only makes it more appealing to the surfers and windsurfers who head out to catch the waves.

The beach has something for everyone, including water sports options, restaurants and bars but it is knowing that you never have to struggle to find a space on this beach, even though it is right next to a major city and tourist hotspot in the Algarve, that makes it so special.

How to get there? On foot 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Several accesses (the main route to reach the beach is from near Lagos Marina) 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Take a kite with you and try using the strong winds that usually hit the beach to make it fly 

Are there sunbeds for hire – Yes 

Are there showers or toilets? No  

In the area – There are restaurants and bars 

Good for – people who enjoy practicing sports, families and friends 

Meia Praia Beach Lagos
Meia Praia. Photo by Lagos Portugal Guide.

Praia do Camilo  

Praia do Camilo, in Lagos, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Cliffs and rock formations surround the beach, making this one of the smallest beaches on this list. However, we can’t help emphasizing the stunning natural beauty of this small beach of Lagos, where there are caves and hidden beaches that can only be accessed by swimming. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Access is via a wooden staircase. Please note that this staircase has several steps, and therefore should be avoided by families with baby strollers or people with mobility difficulties 

Lifeguards – No 

Tips – Explore the rocky tunnels and secret beaches  

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – In the area there is a small urbanization of houses 

Good for – groups of friends and couples 

Praia Do Camilo
Praia Do Camilo. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia Dona Ana 

Praia Dona Ana, like all beaches in Lagos, is incredibly beautiful. The bizarre cliffs and rocks that surround this beach offer fantastic landscapes that have long inspired painters from all over the world. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Access is via wooden stairs 

Lifeguards – No 

Tips – This is the time to take those amazing Instagram pictures or to take those perfect family photos that look great on the shelves of the living room  

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

Good for – families, friends and photographers 

Praia Dona Ana
Praia Dona Ana. Photo by Michael Sweet.

Aljezur & West Coast 

Praia da Arrifana

Not everybody goes to the beach to sunbathe and build sandcastles and while Praia da Arrifana is a great spot for both, what it is really famous for is for being a top surfing beach in the Algarve.

Located along the western coast of the Algarve, beaches in this area feel the full force of the Atlantic which makes them not great for swimming but exceptional for surfing and Praia da Arrifana has to be one of the best.

The water quality here is very good and the beach is considered to be accessible for everyone but if you are not a fan of surfing there is still plenty to love about this beach, including the dramatic cliffs that surround it and even the ruins of a fort that sit above the beach that you can explore.

This is a fantastic beach to visit at any time of the year and looks especially dramatic in the winter when the waves crash onto the sands and because it is locate within a national park, the wildlife, flora and fauna are all outstanding too.

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Access is by a ramp or by a set of wooden stairs 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Ideal beach for surfing. Enjoy signing up for your first surf lesson or renting the equipment to catch some waves 

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – In the village of Arrifana there are restaurants and cafes 

Good for – surfers and campers 

Praia Da Arrifana
Praia da Arrifana. Photo by CM Aljezur.

Praia de Odeceixe 

In 2012, Praia de Odeceixe was elected as one of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal. Its extensive sand and the absence of buildings or constructions nearby makes it a little heaven still untouched by Man.  

Praia de Odeceixe has the particularity of containing a river beach, since it is delimited to the northeast by Ribeira de Seixe, thus offering both the sea and river to relax and cool down in. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Access is through a wooden walkway and stairs 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Ideal beach for surfing 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? There is a shower 

In the area – Village of Aljezur 

Good for – surfers and campers  

Praia De Odeceixe
Praia de Odeceixe. Photo by Vortex Mag.

Praia da Amoreira 

Praia da Amoreira is bathed by the mouth of the Aljezur river, giving rise to a breath-taking landscape. This is another perfect beach for surfing, as it is located in the western coast of the Algarve and not on the south coast of the region as with most beaches on this list. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Access is via stairs and a wooden walkway 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Enjoy taking your first surf lesson or camping in the dunes of the beach 

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? No  

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – surfers and campers 

Praia Da Amoreira Aljezur 001
Praia da Amoreira. Photo by The Guardian.

Praia de Monte Clérigo

Praia de Monte Clérigo is located on Costa Vicentina. The expansive white-sand beach invites you for a lazy afternoon spent with your family watching surfers riding waves. Through the dunes of this beach flourishes a vegetation rarely found elsewhere in the Algarve. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – Yes 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Enrol in a surf class 

Are there sunbeds for hire? Yes 

Are there showers and toilets? There is a shower 

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – campers, surfers and families 

Praia Do Monte Clérigo
Praia do Monte Clérigo. Foto por Vortex Mag.

Praia da Bordeira 

Praia da Bordeira is located at the mouth of Ribeira da Bordeira (which is where the beach’s name comes frome), in Aljezur, and is almost 3km long. This is another beach placed at Costa Vicentina. This is such a peaceful beach that you will get lost in the breath-taking combination of the blue sky and sea. 

How to get there? Car 

Parking – Yes 

Access – There are two wooden boardwalks that allow access to the beach 

Lifeguards – Yes, during summer 

Tips – Try to do bodyboarding on this beach (similar to surfing, but easier to practice) 

Are there sunbeds for hire? No 

Are there showers and toilets? There are toilets 

In the area – There are bars and restaurants 

Good for – surfers and campers 

Praia Da Bordeira
Praia da Bordeira. Photo by Portugal Notável.
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