Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and blessed with positive temperatures all year round, it is no wonder that Portugal has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
The Algarve area in the south of the country is famous for its fine stretches of sand and spectacular limestone formations; those on the western side of the country are beautiful as well. In this region, Portugal reveals some wide beaches, perfect waves for surfing, and surrounded by dramatic cliffs.
With dreamy landscapes, delicious food, warm and welcoming people, Portugal is the perfect country for a long road trip. So, after already talking about the 20 things to do in Lisbon, it is now time to mention the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
Some famous, others less known, but all equally worthy of being visited and enjoyed. We will reveal them one by one, starting from the south and going up to the North-West.
To better understand where exactly are these beaches located, let’s have a look at the map of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal
1. Praia da Marinha
One of the most famous and beautiful beaches in Portugal and especially in the Algarve is Marinha. A beach located near the town of Lagoa, just 10 minutes by car.
Marinha Beach is so special that it is often included in the top of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The Michelin Guide with the most beautiful beaches in Europe also added it in their top 10.
Its beauty is mainly due to the special formations of golden limestone and the intense color of the water, turquoise. The two elements, together with the green of the vegetation form a superb contrast.
Marinha is a perfect place for snorkeling because the water is very clear and calm in the area, and the marine life is diverse.
There are also some caves around the beach. Some of them connect Marinha with other wild beaches; for most tourists, they are still secret. The easiest way to get to Praia da Marinha is by car or boat, on an organized tour.
2. Praia de Benagil
Probably the most famous beach in Portugal is Praia de Benagil. The cave in the form of a dome with a hole in the middle, which seems to be a gate to heaven, has become known throughout the world.
The light penetrates so pleasantly through that space, leaving the feeling of an imaginary territory, not a reality in the Algarve and accessible to the public.
Benagil Beach has quickly become one of the most photographed beaches in Portugal and a sort of Instagram star. In general, it can be found on all leaflets and brochures presenting the Algarve area, both online and in physical format.
The cave beach is only accessible by boat, opting for a tour, or by kayak. The boat tour will also have a guide who will take you to the most impressive beaches and caves in Lagoa, explaining the history of each one, leisurely.
I have been on such a tour, and I highly recommend it.
3. Praia do Amado
Less known than the previous ones mentioned above, but at least as beautiful, is Praia do Amado. A beautiful wild beach, located south of the village of Carrapateira.
The reddish limestone, the wooden paths, and the vegetation here reminded me of the beaches in California. In fact, all the time spent on this beach reminded me of the beautiful stops on the famous highway next to the Pacific, the Pacific Coast Highway.
This is already a good enough reason to put Praia do Amado in my top of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
On this beach, many surfing schools run their courses and sometimes competitions or all kinds of events take place.
4. Praia da Bordeira
As you can see from the pictures below, Praia da Bordeira is loved by surfers and that’s because the waves here are excellent for that activity.
It is a real pleasure to watch the experienced surfers while they are fighting the waves in a fabulous spectacle of nature. You just have to sit on one of the imposing cliffs nearby and admire the activity of the people who do great on the surfboard.
Bordeira Beach is extremely wide, making it look more like a mini dessert with dunes near the ocean.
The sand patch is so big that the beach never seems crowded and turns it into a perfect destination for those who want more privacy and are not looking for a beach covered with umbrellas, towels, and sunbeds.
5. Praia da Arrifana
Number 5 in the top of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal is Praia da Arrifana, a beach located in the north of the Algarve region. The huge beach, delimited by an equally imposing cliff, is located about 10 km from the town of Alzejur.
This one is also an ideal beach for surfers, like most in this area of Portugal. If you arrive at Praia da Arrifana, don’t miss the Brisamar restaurant, where you can try the delicious acai dessert. The one that I’ve had for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, Portugal.
6. Praia de Odeceixe Mar
The 6th of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal is a unique beach, due to the union between a river and the ocean. A union that forms a patch of sand between them, called Praia de Odexeice.
The name of the river that flows into the Atlantic is Rio de Seixe. The Odexeice beach is also unique because of its position, right at the intersection between Algarve and Alentejo.
Although it is a rather isolated beach, Odexeice is very nicely arranged and can offer you everything you need. Right next to the beach is a small settlement, where you can sit at a terrace, drink something cold, and admire the sunset and the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
7. Praia da Aroeira
Far beyond the other 6 mentioned in the top of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Portugal is Praia da Aroeiro. A beach that you should visit when you go to Sintra, on a day trip that involves the westernmost point of Europe, Cabo da Roca.
Praia da Aroeira is part of a group of beautiful beaches in this region, the most famous of which is Ursa. But Ursa beach has been discussed before. So, I preferred to draw attention to a beach that I haven’t seen talked about, but which is splendid as well.
Access to the beach is quite difficult and even dangerous in some places. You will need to hike on some steep paths. So, equip yourself properly if you want to tan here.
On the other hand, the view is fabulous and worth the effort. The images below are a good testimony.
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