Beaches on the Portuguese Algarve
The Algarve on the south coast of Portugal is famed for its sandy beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, framed by golden cliffs and small coves sheltered by the rocks.
Whitewashed harbour towns and Moorish influences are common features of the towns along this coast. World class golf courses, surf beaches, and great seafood make this one of Europe’s most popular beach destinations as well as one of the best for value for money.
Here are 5 of our favourite beach towns on the Portuguese Algarve:
A popular beach town with a laid-back atmosphere, Lagos has a pretty Moorish-influenced walled town, a palm tree-lined promenade, and a marina. You can enjoy Piri Piri prawns, cataplana, and catch of the day at one of the many quality waterfront restaurants here. The coastline here is spectacular, with some of the most beautiful beaches you will see anywhere. Our favourite beaches near Lagos are Ponta da Piedade, with its iconic yellow-golden cliff-like rocks up to 20 meters high, and close by Praia do Camilo.
Both beaches are accessed by staircases, and in our opinion, the best way to explore this section of the coast is on a boat tour from Lagos, with fantastic snorkelling and kayaking available.
One of the prettiest towns in the Algarve east of Faro. Tavira is on both sides of the River Gilão, spanned by a Roman bridge with cobblestone streets, a hilltop castle, and many Gothic and Renaissance churches.
The coastline here has more than 11 kilometres of fine white sand beaches and some of the warmest waters on the Algarve. We love the long sandy Praia da Ilha de Tavira, the unspoilt Blue Flag beach on Ilha de Tavira/ Tavira Island, easily reached by a regular ferry or private water taxi.
The most popular beach town in Portugal for visitors, it has a vibrant nightlife scene, a marina offering boat trips, and lots of sandy beaches with plenty of water activities for kids and the young at heart. Praia dos Pescadores or Fishermans Beach, is the ‘town’ beach, a long beach with fine, golden sand that gets busy in high season.
For quieter nearby beaches, check out Praia da Galé, 4 km west of Albufeira, popular with locals, and the stunning Praia da Falésia.
Stunning clifftop hiking views and surfing are the main draws here.
The small town, Porto de Pesca da Baleeira, is famous for its lobsters, and it’s really the only town for miles around. Close by is the lighthouse Cabo de São Vicente, the westernmost tip of the Algarve and a great place for sunsets after a day surfing.