The 4 Best Beaches That Portugal Has to Offer

Confined to our homes, as we are, what better time to plan a getaway, and what better antidote to the cares of the world than a beach bathed in sunshine?  Warm sand, the sound of the sea and nothing to do except relax, it’s hardly surprising that so many of us choose a beach holiday as the best way to de-stress.  With over a thousand miles of coastline, Portugal has a rich variety of beaches. On the Atlantic coastline you’ll find sleepy fishing villages and sweeping sandy beaches with huge waves, so beloved by surfers and on the Algarve’s southern coast you’ll find a seemingly endless string of sandy coves and stunning rock formations.  With so much variety on offer it would be a shame to limit yourself to one location, so why not book self-catering accommodation in a couple of places, hire a car and do a little beach hopping.  Speak to regular visitors and you’ll find that everyone has a different favourite, but be assured, these four beaches are indisputably outstanding.

Praia de Marinha

The most famous beach in Portugal, rated by the Michelin Guide as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Europe.  On the Atlantic coast of the Algarve this breathtakingly beautiful beach, with its spectacular honeycomb cliffs, is absolutely stunning.  Before you descend to the beach, enjoy the amazing views which stretch before you in every direction and it’s well worth exploring the cliff top trails.  Like many of the Algarve beaches, access is by means of a lot of steps, so unfortunately, it’s no good for wheelchairs, or pushchairs.  At the base of the steps is a small restaurant serving light snacks, though as you would expect, prices are a little higher than usual. You’ll need to walk around a large rock in order to get to the main beach and from there you will see the much-photographed rock formation in the shape of an M.  Sheltered from the wind, all you need to do then is relax on soft golden sand or maybe snorkel in the crystal-clear water.

Praia da Arrifana

The cliff top village of Arrifana has a range of cafes, bars and hostels.  Be sure to visit the ruins of the Arrifana fortress to enjoy panoramic views. From the village you can walk down the steep single lane track to the sweeping, 700 metre bay, sheltered from the wind by craggy cliffs of black schist.  To the south you can see the famous landmark Pedra da Agulha (needle rock) which rises dramatically from the sea.  To the north there’s a small harbour where you can enjoy good diving and surfing.

Praia Dona Ana

One of several fine beaches easily accessible from the water-sport centre of Lagos.  Surrounded by golden limestone cliffs, the calm turquoise waters and soft sand of this jewel of a beach attract large numbers of visitors in the summer, so pick your time carefully to enjoy this delightful little beach at its best.

Praia do Camilo

Another of the beautiful beaches close to Lagos, the sandy cove with its ochre coloured arched rocks is accessed by two hundred steps.  The sea is calm and shallow and excellent for snorkelling and kayaking, but the two beaches, connected by a tunnel, are small, so best visited at low tide.  

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