People select Portugal for a vacation taking into consideration many reasons: there is a surprisingly comfortable climate, delicious and varied cuisine, and beautiful cities. However, charming beaches are the most important feature of the region.
Although Portugal is a small country, it has a fairly long coastline – almost 1,800 km of luxurious ocean coast with 592 official beaches, including both sandy and pebbly ones.
Travelers, especially those who visit Portugal for the first time, often ask the question: “How to choose from almost 600 beaches?” Perhaps the following overview of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal is the key to make a final choice, while a car rental from Zit car hire will be a great way to find a favorite beach.
Praia da Marinha
Cliffs, trimmed by the waters of the Atlantic, natural grottoes, caves and arches of whimsical forms in a bay with a sandy beach Praia de Marinha is known to many travelers as the most beautiful beach in Europe. The sea is almost always calm there. If you rent a boat or a yacht from Albufeira, you can swim under the arches, see the red-orange rocks and look into the grottoes from the water.
Praia da Marinha is located 25 km away from Albufeira. Entrance to the beach is free of charge.
Address: Estr. da Marinha, Caramujeira, 8400-407 Lagoa
Praia da Adraga
Surrounded by black cliffs, Praia da Adraga is located near Cape Roca, which is an hour’s drive from Lisbon and 25 minutes from Sintra. The beach is part of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park – this is the westernmost point of continental Europe.
Praia da Adraga has cliffs, natural arches, dunes, white sand, and the fish restaurant Restaurante da Adraga, which is strongly recommended by the locals. It serves the freshest grilled ocean fish, Atlantic oysters, and a coconut pudding for dessert. Lunch for two persons will cost 65–90€ – it’s better to book a table in advance.
Unfortunately, it’s not always comfortable to swim on Praia da Adraga because of strong waves, but such conditions are ideal for surfing.
Praia da Adraga is located 13 km away from Sintra and 45 km from Lisbon.
Address: R. da Praia da Adraga, 2765-065, Portugal
Praia da Falesia
The popularity of the beach is confirmed by the fact that it’s visited by the travelers even in December. This 6-kilometers-long sandy beach surrounded by high red-orange cliffs is the best place for walking in Algarve.
Also, Praia da Falesia is one of the most beautiful beaches on the southern coast of Portugal – its landscapes are very unique and a bit seem unearthly. Swimming and sunbathing is better in a secluded bay, but windsurfing and kitesurfing can be enjoyed everywhere – the wind is constantly blowing on the beach. Next to Praia da Falesia there are many fish restaurants and nice hotels.
Praia da Falesia is located 10 km away from Albufeira.
Address: Rua da Falésia Mar, 8200-593 Olhos de Água, Portugal
Praia de Odeceixe
The sand spit of Praia de Odeceixe is part of the natural park. On one side it’s washed by Seixe Rover, and on another – by the Atlantic Ocean. The water temperature in the ocean is not very high even in the summer season. Therefore, it’s more comfortable to swim in shallow pools from the side of the river.
On Praia de Odeceixe you can go surfing, as this is a popular surf spot on the southern coast of Portugal. Also, canoeing and sightseeing are popular activities available on the beach.
Praia de Odeceixe is located 3 km away from Odeceixe village and 20 km from Aljezur.
Address: Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina, 7630-174 Odemira, Portugal
Praia do Porto Santo
(photo by Visit Madeira)
Porto Santo is an ideal place for a beach holiday complemented with stunning landscapes. The peaceful atmosphere of the island and the picturesque panoramas create wonderful conditions for relaxing and observing the seascapes.
Porto Santo is a quiet beach with volcanic sand situated in Serra de Fora valley. The stone coast offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the beautiful countryside of the island, thus the secluded beach is suitable for the fans of nature.
The beach is located in the northeast of Porto Santo Island near the village of Porto dos Frades. You can get to the beach by using a rental car or taxi.
Address: ER111 9400, Ponta, Portugal
Praia Dona Ana
Due to the rich natural landscapes, Praia Dona Ana attracts locals, tourists and photographers for its unforgettable panoramas. There are two ways to see the beach: the first is to get to the top of a cliff above the beach and see the sky, the ocean and the rocks in all its glory. The best time for photos is sunset or sunrise.
Another option to embrace the landscape of the beach is to see it from the water, traveling through the grottoes on a boat.
Swimming in the water and soaking up the sun on this beach is very comfortable, as it’s protected by rocks. On the beach you’ll find a large number of water activities, such as yachting and water skiing. Indoor fitness club and tennis court are also a perfect option to relax.
The next attraction of the beach is Ponta da Piedade lighthouse – it’s easily accessible on foot from the beach and provides fantastic views for your camera.
Address: Dona Ana, 8600-315 Lagos, Portugal