If you’re searching for a magical beach getaway, look no further than Portugal. Its located on the Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic Ocean has some of the best beaches and especially in Portugal. Whether you’re escaping the cities or the heat of Lisbon. Portuguese beaches are perfect to get away from the busy cities to unwind.
With a well-run system of nature reserves and protected waterways, it’s easy to see why Portugal boasts so many top beaches. Some are popular tourist destinations in resort towns.
Other beaches are protected coves in Atlantic bays with rocky outcrops and hidden caves. Some beaches are the perfect getaway spots for locals. The best beaches in Portugal are as unique as the region in which they’re found. Here is a breakdown of the 15 best beaches in Portugal. Check out our list and see which one is right for your next holiday. Also, don’t forget to check out what’s the best time to Visit Portugal.
Best Beaches in Portugal
Praia do Senhor da Pedra
Located in the town of Miramar, Praia do Senhor da Pedra is a popular beach escape from the city of Porto. As Porto beaches go, this is one of the best. That’s because it’s a direct and inexpensive train ride away from the city’s Sao Bento train station. Once you arrive, access to the beach is easy along the raised wooden footpath that lines the beach.
The laid back city of Miramar is dotted with cute cafes and restaurants as well as local shops. The beach itself is characteristic of the region, known as Costa de Prata (the Silver Coast). With golden sands, strong surf and the adjacent village of Miramar, this beach has it all, even a picturesque chapel.
Look for the Capelo do Senhor da Pedra (Chapel of the Lord of the Stone). It’s a small hexagonal chapel built on a rocky outcrop off the coast. It was built in the mid-1600s and has survived the mightly Atlantic storms since.
Praia de Mindelo
Praia de Mindelo, or Mindelo Beach, has a lot to offer any visitor. Located about 30 minutes north of Porto, the best way to access Praia de Mindelo is by car. When you arrive, you’ll be blown away by the clear blue water and fine sand beach.
This coloration separates Mindelo from most Porto beaches. While the coast is known to be windy, there are many rock formations offering cover from the wind.
They are also popular playgrounds for children visiting the beach. The best place to go swimming is located on the southern end of the beach. The water is calmer and most clear.
Praia de Matosinhos
While some Porto beaches outshine Praia de Matosinhos in beauty, none come close to the convenience of Praia de Matosinhos. Large enough to handle the epic summer crowds, the beach is huge.
From locals to tourists enjoying the Portuguese coast, Matosinhos has space for everyone. The waves at Praia de Matosinhos are ideal for surfing and the water is great for swimming. The beach is close to a shipping port, so the water could be better quality. No blue flag status, but the water is good for all your needs.
Also, the fact that you can travel to the beach from central Porto in 15 minutes by bus or train is exceptional. If you’re visiting Porto city center and want to quickly spend a lazy afternoon on the beach, this is the best choice for making the most of your time.
Praia da Armona
Off the coast of Faro, you’ll find Ilha da Armona, one of three islands known as the sandbank islands. Accessible only by ferry, an adventurous traveler can head to Armona for its gorgeous and remote beach, Praia da Armona. The ferry leaves from Olhao, a large fishing port adjacent to Faro, and is approximately 30 minutes.
Visitors are dropped off on the southern shores of Armona, about a 15 minutes walk to Praia da Armona. Accommodations are limited, but there is a campsite on Armona. Most visitors opt to stay in Olhao, which is a lovely town. There you can get lost in the winding streets or its busy market and establish a base to explore the sandbank islands.
5.Praia de Rocha
If you’re looking for a Lagos beach, find Praia del Rocha. During the summer months, it’s one of the most happening towns on the Algarve coastline. This is a beautiful town with a vibrant beach full of resort-happy sun worshippers.
Praia de Rocha is not a destination for someone seeking traditional Portuguese culture and local way of life. Instead, you will have a beach-focused holiday with all the amenities of a resort town that caters to resort-tourists.
You will have to save the cultural experiences for day trips from Praia de Rocha. The beautiful beaches are suitable for families, but the busy nightlife makes this a better destination for mature travelers.
Praia da Falesia
One of the longest and most relaxed stretches of beach in Portugal’s Algarve coast is Praia da Falesia. The Portuguese word “falesia” means “cliff.” As you might imagine, Praia da Falesia is lined with remarkable sandstone cliffs accessible by steep cliffside stairs.
The beach town you’ll find here has done a substantially better job of preserving Portuguese culture as well as the natural beauty of the landscape. Amongst the cliffs and sand, you will also find layers of pine trees and a quaint residential town.
You will still be able to find restaurants, bars, lodging and even golf in the town. Praia da Falesia is accessible by public transportation from nearby Vilamoura.
Praia da Dona Ana
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One of the best Lagos beaches is Praia da Dona Ana. The beauty comes from the stunning limestone cliffs jutting along the coast of golden sand. The calm waters make this wondrous beach perfect for swimming and families.
There is ample access to amenities like showers, toilets, and even parasols for rent. Additionally, there are restaurants and shops along the turquoise waters. While you can walk to the beach from Lagos in about 20 minutes, most visitors opt for the tourist-road train or the blue route bus.
Praia do Inatel
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Almost perfectly between Lagos and Faro, you will find the old town of Albufeira. Laying just to its east is a lovely and small stretch of golden beach known as Praia do Inatel. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Albufeira, past its main beach, Praia dos Pescadores (“neighborhood of the fishermen”).
Praia do Inatel gets its name from the Albufeira Inatel hotel which sits to the rear of the beach. The hotel is also a fantastic place to stop for lunch or a drink in one of their two lounge bars.
The beach is stunning, and not quite as busy as the main beach, even in the summer months. Visitors usually get there on foot, although there is some parking nearby.
This beach is perfect for families. The water is calm, it has blue flag status and provides showers, toilets, and parasol rental.
Praia de Faro
No list of the best beaches in Portugal would be complete without Faro Beach. This stretch of sand and surf is the top beach in the region and easily accessible.
You can get to Faro Beach by bus on the same route that takes you to the airport from the city center. With super soft sand, the beaches stretch 5 km with beautiful sea views and lagoon views to your rear. Unbelievably, Faro Island is only 5 minutes from the airport and is extremely laid-back and most popular with Portuguese tourists.
The Lagos answer to Praia de Faro is Meia Praia. It’s the quintessential Lagos beach and stretches 4 km as the largest beach in the Lagos region. Meia Praia encompasses the entire coastline from Lagos on the west to the Odia’xere River to its east.
At that size, there is always space on Meia Praia, even during the height of the tourist season. Another advantage is that it’s maintained its small, quaint charm despite extensive development along the Algarve coast.
The western end of Meia Beach is where most visitors prefer. It’s called Praia de Sao Roque, and is dotted with small beach bars and restaurants.
Sesimbra Beach is an ideal beach escape just 40 km south of Lisbon. With a natural harbor and surrounding mountains to protect it from the wind, Sesimbra is a magnificent beach town.
It’s home to a long stretch of turquoise water and golden sand that splits in two at high tide. You can also walk along the seafront to the original fishing port and feel its legacy at the daily fish auction.
Sesimbra beach is easily reached from Lisbon or Setubal by bus where the beach is a 5-minute walk from the bus stop. If you considering going from Lisbon to this beach then find out what to do one day in Linson.
Portinho da Arrabida
From the town of Setubal, you can drive a short distance to one of the best beaches in Portugal, Portinho da Arrabida. Because it’s difficult to reach by public transport, the beach is largely unspoiled by tourism.
With little by the way of foreign visitors, Portinho da Arrabida is still an undercover gem. The water here is particularly clear and the cove is well-protected.
Despite the remote location, the beach is patrolled by lifeguards in the summer and parasols are available for rent. Stay for sunset and enjoy dinner at the seaside restaurant, Beira Mar.
Praia do Barril
If you’re in search of a beach from the city of Tavira, Praia do Barril is the best of numerous options. It’s located on the sandbar island, Ilha de Tavira which is across the Ria Formosa waterway from the mainland.
You can access the island by ferry and it’s the westernmost of the three beaches on the island. It’s an excellent beach with soft, white sand that feels great on your feet. The water is clear and clean.
14. Praia de São Lourenço
Another of the fabulous beaches near Lisbon is Praia de São Lourenço. It’s a wide sandy bay with plenty of shelter and strong waves. If you like to surf, this is the beach for you to go surfing in Portugal.
Praia de São Lourenço is known for its large waves due to the formation of the sea bed along its coast. The sunbathing is also fantastic in Praia de São Lourenço. As an old fishing town, Praia de São Lourenço also boasts a well-known seafood scene.
Check out the nearby village of Ericeira, a small fishing town named after the sea urchin. It has beautiful ocean views from its high cliffs overlooking more beaches.
Praia do Alemão
Praia do Alemão means “German’s Beach” because the first house built on the beach belonged to a German family. This gorgeous coastal masterpiece is typical of beaches in the Algarve.
There are beautiful golden cliffs with matching fine sand and clear blue waters. The water temperatures are usually cooler than expected due to the impact of the Atlantic currents, but the sun is warm. Don’t be deceived by the cooling sea breeze, the rays are strong.
The western end of the protected bay is made even more beautiful by rock formations and caves. This leaves plenty for you to explore Praia do Alemão.
Wherever you opt to Portugal beaches, make sure to spend time on these best beaches in Portugal. From lush resort stays to beautiful nature reserves, there is a beach for every type of traveler.
Sun, surf, seafood, and saltwater are the perfect complement to the history, culture, and landmarks of Portugal. Make sure to set aside time to relax on the beach.
read my one week Portugal itinerary post before you go.