Destinations Portugal

The 12 best beaches in Portugal

Benagil beach in portugal

The best beaches in Portugal will not leave you indifferent. In its 948 kilometers of coastline in the Atlantic Ocean , you will find very interesting beaches where you can enjoy your vacations. Especially in summer! The most famous are in the south of the country, in the Algarve region, but on the coast of central and northern Portugal you will also find other jewels to add to your itinerary. Especially if you like waves! In this post we present the 12 best beaches in Portugal for you to enjoy them to the fullest.

Praia da Marinha (Lagoa), one of the best beaches in Portugal

If we talk about the best beaches in Portugal, we couldn’t start any other way than by mentioning the spectacular Praia da Marinha . It is located near the tourist town of Lagoa and has been considered several times as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe for its beautiful cliffs and the quality of the water.

The scene is postcard. Like most beaches in the Algarve, it stands out for its incredible rock formations and the greenish color of its waters . The color contrast is magical! At the western end of the beach you will find the famous double marine arch (Arcos Naturais) , one of the most characteristic sites on the beach.

The closest city to stay near Praia da Marinha is Lagoa . From there buses leave for the beach if you decide not to rent a car.

Our advice is to get to the beach as soon as possible . Parking is limited and when it fills up, the police usually close the road 1 kilometer from the beach to prevent illegal parking.

Praia do Camilo (Lagos)

Lagos is the most touristic and beautiful town in the Algarve . And Praia do Camilo , one of the best in the region. This beach is surrounded by beautiful sandstone cliffs and curiously shaped rock formations. When you see it from the road, it won’t take long for you to want to go down to bathe in its waters.

The beach is very close to Ponta da Piedade , one of the emblems of the Algarve. Getting to Praia do Camilo is easy. You just have to go down a long wooden staircase that gives access to the beach. Its waters are warm and shallow, perfect for families traveling with their children.

The infrastructure is also good. There is a small parking lot with capacity for approximately 30 cars . However, it is best to leave your car at the hotel and walk from Lagos.

Also, if you want to eat, you will find a modern restaurant at the top that has great views and a fairly complete menu.

Três Irmãos Beach (Alvor)

This jewel of the Algarve is another of the best beaches in Portugal , although fortunately it is not as well known as the previous ones. It is a beautiful cove surrounded by rocks and caves that connect with other coves such as Praia da Prainha . The most amazing thing is the greenish color of its water. In addition, like most of the beaches in the region, being sheltered by rocks, the water is quite calm.

Três Irmãos Beach is located at the eastern end of the long Alvor Beach. You will see that it has several interesting rock formations, which even give it a name. Translated, “Três Irmãos” means “three brothers” and this refers to the three sea pillars that stand out in the water.

Regarding the infrastructure, being located in the tourist town of Alvor, you will not lack restaurants nearby. The best is There are even several hotels in case you decide to stay there.

Praia do Norte (Nazaré), one of the best beaches in Portugal for surfing

Praia-do-Norte-Nazare

Surely you have seen on the internet that some beaches in Portugal have huge waves that break world records . Well you’re in luck! You can see them with your own eyes if you visit Praia do Norte.

The beach rose to fame in 2011. Until then, Nazaré was just a small fishing village famous for its dangerous currents. However, surfer Garrett McNamara surfed an unprecedented giant wave (23.8m).

Since then, some of the best surfers on the planet have gathered on this beach . In fact, several Guinness Records have already been broken in its waters. The last one in 2020, starring the German surfer Sebastian Steudtner, surfing the world’s largest wave (26.2 meters).

Obviously, it is not one of the best beaches in Portugal for bathing. However, on a day when the sea is rough, head to the Promontorio da Nazaré lighthouse to enjoy the spectacle of nature. You will not regret it!

Portinho da Arrábida Beach

If you visit Lisbon in summer and are looking for a refreshing excursion, we recommend heading to the beautiful Serra da Arrábida . It is located just under an hour south of the Portuguese capital and is a perfect place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of Lisbon.

More than a beach destination, the Serra da Arrábida is one of the best places for hiking in the country. However, it also hides impressive beaches such as Praia do Portinho da Arrábida . Despite not being very extensive, its golden sand and crystal clear waters make it an idyllic place. The color of the water is gorgeous!

However, we recommend arriving early, especially in high season . Being small and well known by the locals, it is almost always full and finding a space to park your car can be a nightmare.

But don’t just limit yourself to knowing the beach. Nearby are several fishing villages , where you can enjoy traditional Portuguese cuisine and culture. Don’t forget to visit the Portinho da Arrábida viewpoint to be amazed by the views of the coast.

Dona Ana Beach (Lagos)

If we talk about the best beaches in Portugal, we cannot forget to mention the incredible Praia de Dona Ana . Along with Praia do Camilo, it is the most famous in Lagos. The rocks that go into the sea create a landscape without equal . Like the vast majority of beaches in the Algarve, being sheltered between rocks, the water is quite calm for family bathing. Although very cold!

It is quite close to the center of Lagos. And that has its pros and cons! Despite being quite large, it is usually packed with people, especially in high season. So we recommend you arrive as soon as possible. Although the positive is that it is very easy to access. It will hardly take about 25 minutes to walk from the center .

However, if you wish to arrive by car, there are several car parks available in the area . But if you don’t get up early, you’ll hardly find a spot. Being close to Lagos, there are many hotels and restaurants nearby, so you will not be short of facilities. Without a doubt, one of the best beaches in Portugal.

Praia da Rocha and Praia dos Três Castelos (Portimão), one of the best beaches in Portugal to go with children

Portimão is one of the great tourist centers of the Algarve . So if you sleep there, you won’t have to go far to enjoy good beaches.

Praia da Rocha has many amenities, especially if you are traveling as a family. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and other facilities to spend a great day at the beach with the little ones.

It even has soccer fields and a beach volleyball court. You will not miss anything! If you stay in Portimão you can walk there in about 30 minutes.

Access to the beach is very easy. It is done from the avenue facing the sea, a busy road full of hotels, cafes, restaurants and other facilities.

But we also recommend that you visit Praia dos Três Castelos, which is right next door. It is famous because it has three rock formations inside. If you want to have the best views, go up to the Três Castelos viewpoint, at its western end. The views are beautiful!

Praia da Falésia (Albufeira)

Praia da Falésia is one of the longest beaches in the Algarve. It has almost six kilometers of golden sand and its location, near Albufeira, makes it even more popular. So, even in high season, you will be able to find a quiet and uncrowded place to relax and soak up the sun.

However, its main distinctive feature is the impressive cliffs with earthy tones that guard it . The color of the water is not as beautiful as what you will see in the other beaches of the Algarve, but the landscape is very worthwhile.

Parking is available in Açoteias, 300 meters from the beach, and in the Alfamar complex, 250 meters from Falésia . In addition, next to the beach there are a series of first class tourist complexes where you can stay to enjoy this wonderful environment.

Galapinhos Beach

This is another of the best beaches in Portugal that is located in the beautiful Serra da Arrábida, near Setúbal . It is next to the Praia Portinho do Arrábida mentioned above. But it is not surprising that there are so many attractions, since the Parque Natural da Arrábida has been a protected area since 1976.

Do not miss this beautiful and quiet cove. It is surrounded by a very preserved environment and even on the beach next door (Galapos) there is a restaurant where you can eat something. Like Portinho do Arrábida, finding parking is difficult, although you can always get there on foot or by bus from Setúbal. This leaves you at Praia da Figueirinha and from there free buses leave to this paradise.

Corredoura Beach (Carvoeiro)

But if you are looking for a quiet beach, we are going to tell you a secret! Praia da Corredoura is one of the region’s best hidden treasures . It is a small but very quiet beach as it can only be accessed by sea. It is located right next to the famous Benagil Grotto, so you can easily reach it by kayak from there.

The vast majority of tourists stay at Praia da Marinha, Praia de Benagil or Praia de Carvalho, but few choose to reach this treasure. It is worth going and enjoying this natural paradise, full of caves and sea arches.

Regarding the kayak, you can easily rent it in Benagil and paddle quietly to the beach. You will be practically alone! Without a doubt, one of the best beaches in Portugal.

Praia de Miramar, one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal

There are two things that make this beach special: Capela do Senhor da Pedra and its incredible sunsets. In one of the limits of the beach and on a rocky stage you will find this chapel that adds a magical touch to Praia da Miramar, located in the north of Portugal. The beach around the chapel is large, not very crowded and offers exceptional sunsets.

Getting to Praia de Miramar is easy. It is just 15 minutes by car from Porto, one of the most touristic towns in Portugal. And if you want an even more fun plan, you can also get there by bike along the bike path from Porto.

Praia do Comporta

And finally, to finish this post about the best beaches in Portugal, we did not want to forget to mention Praia do Comporta. Located on the Tróia peninsula, just an hour’s drive south of Lisbon, makes it an attractive excursion from the capital.

Obviously it does not have the fame of the beaches of the Algarve, but that has some advantages. And you will not find large crowds or buildings nearby! In addition, the beach is super long , so it will not tell you to find a hole in its white sand dunes to stretch out your towel. Of course, as in many beaches on the Atlantic coast, be prepared because the water is usually cold.

If you like kitesurfing, it is one of the best beaches in Portugal to practice this sport . That means that the waves are moderate, since it is much more exposed to the wind.

Regarding the infrastructure of the beach, there is a fairly large parking lot where you can leave your car while you cool off in its waters and a couple of restaurants where you can recharge your batteries after a day at the beach. Although a little further up, in the town of Comporta, you will find more options.

To get to the top, located 147 meters above sea level , you will have to walk a bit. Make sure you bring water, especially in the summer months as it can get very hot. From the top you will have a perfect view of the Acropolis, even if it is the side with the most scaffolding. If you look to the south, you will see the Aegean. Without a doubt, a magical place!