22 of the Best Beaches in Portugal to Visit in 2024

 Portugal is a treasure trove of stunning beaches, with its coastline stretching along the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most popular regions for beach-goers is the Algarve, located in southern Portugal. Here, on the beaches of the Algarve you will find pristine golden sands, crystal clear waters, and stunning rock formations along the coast of Portugal that make for a picture-perfect backdrop.

 One must-visit area in the Algarve is Albufeira, known for its lively atmosphere, bustling beach bars, and water sports activities. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or party until the sun comes up, Albufeira has something for everyone. Make sure you visit Praia de São which is less crowded than other beaches on the Algarve and has bright white sand to play in.   

Beautiful beach at Praia Tres Irmaos in Alvor Portugal

Another top beach destination in Portugal is São Rafael, located near Albufeira. This small cove boasts turquoise waters and towering cliffs, making it the ideal spot for a peaceful and secluded beach day.

So pack your sunscreen and towel, and head to Portugal to experience some of the best beaches Europe has to offer.

The 22 Best Beaches in Portugal

A red umbrella on the sand at one of the best beaches in Portugal.

1. Praia da Marinha, Algarve

A bird soaring over one of the best beaches in Portugal.
  • Location: Lagoa, Algarve
  • Access: Car or bus from Lagoa; a short walk down a steep path.
  • Blue Flag: Yes
  • Accessibility: Steps and a steep path make it challenging for those with limited mobility.
  • Parking: Free parking available but limited.
  • Wind Protection: Surrounded by cliffs offering some protection.
  • Infrastructure: Limited; a seasonal beach bar and sunbed hire.

Located in Lagoa, one of the best beaches is the stunning Marinha beach is accessible by car or bus, followed by a trek down a steep path. This Blue Flag beach is not the easiest for everyone to access, but it’s worth the effort. Though amenities are limited, the natural beauty is unparalleled, offering perfect conditions for swimming and snorkeling. Parking is free but grab your spot early to avoid disappointment.The best time to arrive is before 10 am or after 3 to make sure you grab a parking spot. The beach is considered one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and makes for a perfect beach day.

Best Place to Eat: For a meal with a view, O Marinha serves up delicious seafood just a short drive away.

 Find it on the map

2. Praia do Guincho, Cascais

One of the best beaches in Portugal, with sandy shores and rolling waves.
  • Location: Cascais, near Lisbon
  • Access: Car or bus from Cascais or Lisbon.
  • Blue Flag: Yes
  • Accessibility: Accessible pathways and boardwalks.
  • Parking: Ample parking available.
  • Wind Protection: Exposed and windy, making it perfect for wind sports.
  • Infrastructure: Surf schools, beach bars, and restaurants.

The beach is located just a hop north of Lisbon, Praia do Guincho is a haven for surfers and windsurfers, thanks to its accessible location and ample amenities including several surf schools and beach bars. The beach is super clean and since it is a large beach there’s a huge expanse of sand to spread out on, making it a hit for families and adventure seekers alike. With plenty of parking, it’s an easy afternoon out. After riding the waves, don’t miss out on happy hour on the sand! The charges for Sun loungers can be expensive for a couple of hours but you can still enjoy yourself without them.

Best Place to Eat: Bar do Guincho, beachfront dining with fresh fish.

Three children frolicking on one of the best beaches in Portugal at sunset.

Hot Tip!! This is one of the closest beaches to Lisbon, and can be reached in about 30 minutes if you’re driving from Lisbon. If you’d like to do some surfing, check out Moana Surf School, it’s right on the beach! 

 Find it on the map

3. Praia de Santa Bárbara, São Miguel, Azores

One of the best beaches in Portugal, this black sand beach features a stunning cliff in the background.
  • Location: Ribeira Grande, São Miguel, Azores
  • Access: Car or bus from Ponta Delgada.
  • Blue Flag: Yes
  • Accessibility: Generally good with some accessible facilities.
  • Parking: Available and free.
  • Wind Protection: Moderately protected due to surrounding hills.
  • Infrastructure: Surf schools, beach bars, and lifeguards during summer.

This is a super cool spot that’s perfect for anyone looking to catch some waves, soak up the sun, or just chill on a beautiful beach. It’s easy to get there from Ponta Delgada, and once you arrive, you’ll be wowed by the stunning views of the black sand beach against the bright blue ocean. This beach is a favorite for surfers because of its awesome waves, and there are surf schools right on the beach if you want to learn how to surf or get even better at it. Plus, there’s plenty of space to lay out your beach towel and relax, or have fun playing in the sand.

Best Place to Eat: Restaurante Atlântico, ocean views with local cuisine.

Hot Tip!! Don’t miss out on the hot thermal Pools at Termas das Caldeiras about a 10 minute drive from the beach. It’s a great way to finish off a day of surfing!

Hot spring waters in Furnas, Sao Miguel. Azores. Portugal A Lush valley hot springs surrounded by green grass and flowers.

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4. Praia de Odeceixe, Aljezur

Odeceixe, Portugal - the Odeceixe beach.. One of the best beaches in Portugal, this sandy beach is bustling with people enjoying the sun and sea.
  • Location: Aljezur, Algarve
  • Access: Car or bus from Aljezur, followed by a walk.
  • Blue Flag: Yes
  • Accessibility: Accessible via a sloped path.
  • Parking: Limited free parking.
  • Wind Protection: Cliffs provide some shelter.
  • Infrastructure: Seasonal lifeguards, beach bars, and rentals.

A gem in the Algarve, Praia de Odeceixe lies where the river meets the sea. It’s a Blue Flag beach with a gentle slope, making it accessible and perfect for families. The area is great for kayaking and surfing, with schools nearby to gear you up. This beach is also perfect for families since the river is shallow and winding here and the abundant sand makes it a really pleasant place to spend the day.

A group of people enjoying one of the best beaches in Portugal.

Best Place to Eat: Restaurante Azenha do Mar for delectable seafood. 

Hot Tip!! Go camping when you visit this beach! The super well organized Camping Sao Miguel is one of the best places to pitch a tent in the area.

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5. Praia da Dona Ana, Lagos

One of the best beaches in Portugal with sandy beach and water.
  • Location: Lagos, Algarve
  • Access: Car or bus, followed by a descent via stairs.
  • Blue Flag: Yes
  • Accessibility: Stairs limit accessibility for those with mobility issues.
  • Parking: Limited and can be challenging during peak season.
  • Wind Protection: High cliffs provide excellent wind protection.
  • Infrastructure: Seasonal lifeguards, beach umbrellas, and chair rentals.

This Lagos beauty is accessible by car or bus, and then descending stairs to paradise. Its Blue Flag waves and sheltered sands make it a snorkeler’s dream. Though parking can be tricky, the views and crystal-clear waters are worth it.  This is one of Portugal’s signature post card beaches and is best visited before July or after August.

Best Place to Eat: Restaurante Camilo, offering spectacular views and local dishes.

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6. Praia da Foz do Minho, Caminha

A bridge over a body of water near some of the best beaches in Portugal.
  • Location: Caminha, Northern Portugal
  • Access: Car or bus from Caminha, then a short walk.
  • Blue Flag: Not listed as Blue Flag, but clean and well-maintained.
  • Accessibility: Good with wooden walkways.
  • Parking: Free and usually available.
  • Wind Protection: Partial; the beach is at the mouth of the Minho River, providing some shelter.
  • Infrastructure: Limited; seasonal beach bars.

This beach is a hidden gem where the Minho River meets the Atlantic Ocean, right at the northern tip of Portugal. This unique spot is famous for its stunning natural beauty, offering breathtaking views of both the river and the sea, and even Spain on the other side! It’s a peaceful retreat if you’re looking to escape the crowds, with its tranquil waters making it ideal for swimming and relaxing. If you love nature, you’ll appreciate the surrounding green landscapes and the chance to spot diverse birdlife. Plus, the beach’s wooden walkways make it easy to explore this picturesque area. 

Best Place to Eat: O Portinho, famed for its seafood.

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Continuing with the format provided, here are the details for beaches 7 through 13:

7. Praia de Miramar, Vila Nova de Gaia

One of the best beaches in Portugal with rocks and a building.
  • Location: Vila Nova de Gaia, 20 minutes south of Porto
  • Access: Easily accessible by car or public transport from Porto, followed by a short walk.
  • Blue Flag: Yes, known for its clean and safe waters.
  • Accessibility: Good, with wooden boardwalks and paths.
  • Parking: Ample and free, making it convenient for visitors.
  • Wind Protection: Moderately protected by surrounding buildings and dunes.
  • Infrastructure: Well-developed, with nearby cafes and restaurants, including the iconic Senhor da Pedra Chapel on the beach.

Praia de Miramar is a beautiful long stretch of golden sand right next to the fancy Miramar Golf Club. It’s very pretty and has this cool chapel sitting on a rock by the water that you’ve just got to see! If you like taking long walks on the beach or just relaxing in the sun, this place is perfect. It’s a big hit with the locals because it’s an amazing spot for a day not too far from the city. So, if you’re near Porto and looking for a great place to hang out by the sea, Miramar Beach is where you’ll want to go.

Best Place to Eat: Check out Casa Serrão, known for its tasty Portuguese cuisine.

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8. Praia do Camilo, Lagos

The stairs leading to one of the best beaches in Portugal at sunset in Algarve.
  • Location: Lagos, Algarve
  • Access: 15 minutes by car or bus, then a descent via wooden stairs.
  • Blue Flag: Not listed, but exceptionally clean and well-maintained.
  • Accessibility: Challenging due to stairs, but worth the effort.
  • Parking: Limited but available close to the beach entrance.
  • Wind Protection: Excellent, thanks to the high cliffs surrounding the beach.
  • Infrastructure: Basic, with a focus on preserving natural beauty; a beach bar and restroom facilities are available.

Praia do Camilo is one of the most beautiful hidden treasures in Lagos, with bright blue waters and soft golden sand that make it look like a postcard come to life. To get to this amazing little beach, you’ll need to go down a long flight of wooden stairs, but trust me, it’s really worth it. The cliffs around the beach keep it cozy and calm, perfect for a day of exploring, swimming, snorkeling, or just chilling out. Plus, the views are so cool, you’ll want to take a million photos. It’s one of those places that make you feel like you’re in on a secret because not everyone knows about it.

Best Place to Eat: O Camilo, renowned for its fresh seafood and spectacular views of the coast.

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9. Praia da Adraga, Sintra

One of the best beaches in Portugal, crowded with people.
  • Location: Sintra, near Lisbon
  • Access: 40 minute car ride, with a scenic drive through Sintra’s lush landscapes.
  • Blue Flag: Not listed, but it’s clean and offers a pristine natural environment.
  • Accessibility: Good, with parking directly behind the beach.
  • Parking: Free and usually sufficient for visitors.
  • Wind Protection: Moderate, with cliffs providing shelter from the north.
  • Infrastructure: Minimal, keeping its wild charm intact; there’s a restaurant and basic facilities.

Praia da Adraga, tucked away near Sintra, is famous for its wild and stunning scenery, with huge rocks and soft sand that make it look like something out of a fairy tale. It’s the perfect place for adventurers and families who love to explore, play in the waves, or just chill on the beach with a good book. You can also take epic walks along the shore to spot cool rock formations and caves. Praia da Adraga is not just any beach; it’s a place where you can have fun, relax, and feel like you’re part of something truly magical.

Best Place to Eat:  Restaurante da Adraga, is a spot right on the beach where you can enjoy fresh fish while watching the sunset over the Atlantic

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10. Praia do Carvoeiro, Algarve

One of the best beaches in Portugal, crowded with people and rocks.
  • Location: Carvoeiro, Algarve
  • Access: Easy access by car or bus, with the beach centrally located in the town.
  • Blue Flag: Yes, ensuring clean, safe waters for all.
  • Accessibility: Good, with direct access from the town.
  • Parking: Limited in town, but options are available.
  • Wind Protection: Good, with the town and surrounding cliffs offering shelter.
  • Infrastructure: Highly developed, beach rentals with numerous shops, bars, and restaurants nearby.

Praia da Carvoeiro in the Algarve is a vibrant spot known for its stunning cliff-backed beach and crystal-clear waters. It’s a bustling little village where visitors can dive into all sorts of fun, from splashing around in the gentle waves to exploring the colorful boats that dot the shore. The beach is surrounded by cliffs, offering amazing paths for those who love a good adventure with breathtaking views. Carvoeiro is also famous for its lively town square filled with shops, cafes, and places where you can try yummy local dishes. 

Best Place to Eat: O Pescador provides exquisite seafood dishes with a traditional Portuguese flair.

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11. Praia de Benagil, Algarve

A person standing inside a cave on one of the best beaches in Portugal.
  • Location: Near Lagoa, Algarve
  • Access: 15 minutes car ride, with a parking area atop the cliffs.
  • Blue Flag: Not listed, but well-regarded for its cleanliness and natural beauty.
  • Accessibility: Moderate; the beach is accessible by a path from the parking area.
  • Parking: Available but can fill up quickly in peak season.
  • Wind Protection: Good, thanks to the surrounding cliffs.
  • Infrastructure: Basic; the main attraction is the famous Benagil Cave, accessible by water.

Benagil is famous worldwide for its breathtaking sea caves, accessible only by water. This beach offers an adventure like no other, with boat tours and kayak rentals available to explore the caves. The small beach has a cozy feel, perfect for those looking to explore the natural wonders of the Algarve. If you want to see the caves but won’t be staying near Benagil beach, there are many tours that leave from neighboring beaches and villages.

Best Place to Eat: O Algar offers delicious local cuisine.

 Find it on the map.

12. Praia da Arrifana, Aljezur

A person is walking up a sandy dune on a sunny day in one of the best beaches in Portugal.
  • Location: Aljezur, Algarve
  • Access: A 15 minute drive from Aljezur, with a steep access road leading down to the beach.
  • Blue Flag: Not listed, but known for its clean water and great surfing conditions.
  • Accessibility: Challenging due to the steep descent, but manageable for most.
  • Parking: Limited at the beach level; more available at the top of the cliff.
  • Wind Protection: Excellent, with high cliffs surrounding the beach.
  • Infrastructure: Developed for surfers, with surf schools, rentals, and a few eateries.

Arrifana is a magnet for surfers, drawn by its consistent waves and the sense of community among the local and visiting surfers. Beyond surfing, its natural beauty makes it a favorite for families and nature enthusiasts who are looking for a more relaxed atmosphere. The beach is fairly sheltered by the surrounding cliffs, offering a respite from the wind and creating ideal conditions for sunbathing and swimming. The scenic beauty, coupled with the laid-back vibe of the nearby surf schools and seafood restaurants, makes Praia da Arrifana one of the best spots in the Algarve.

Best Place to Eat: For an unforgettable meal with a view, the Arrifana Sunset Spot offers fresh, local dishes that capture the essence of the Algarve.

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13. Praia dos Galapinhos, Setúbal

One of the best beaches in Portugal, with crystal clear water and fluffy clouds in the sky.
  • Location: Setúbal, within the Arrábida Natural Park
  • Access: An hour drive from Lisbon, and then a short hike from the park, offering stunning views along the way, or a free shuttle bus in high season.
  • Blue Flag: Yes, recognized for its exceptional beauty and clean waters.
  • Accessibility: Moderate; the hike may be challenging for some but offers incredible scenery. Not the easiest beach to reach with kids.
  • Parking: Available at the start of the hiking path.
  • Wind Protection: Good, with natural landscapes providing a barrier.
  • Infrastructure: Minimal, preserving its untouched beauty; there’s a small bar during summer months.

Galapinhos is a secluded paradise, and was voted Europe’s best beach for its unspoiled beauty and crystal-clear waters in 2017. The journey to the beach is part of the adventure since you need to hike there, but the breathtaking views of the Arrábida Natural Park make it worth your while. It’s a peaceful unspoiled beach that you’ll adore if you’re a nature lover! 

Best Place to Eat: Portinho da Arrábida, nearby, serves fresh seafood in a setting that’s as stunning as the beach itself.

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14. Fábrica Beach (also referred to as “Cacela Velha Beach” or “Cacela Beach”)

A white house on a hill overlooking one of the best beaches in Portugal.
  • Location: Cacela Peninsula, near the village of Cacela Velha, in the Algarve region
  • Access: By boat, from Sítio da Fábrica, near Cacela Velha. If the tide is low, you can also go and return on foot.
  • Blue Flag: Not listed but known for its beautiful beach and clear waters
  • Accessibility: Not easily accessible
  • Parking: No parking as access is by boat or on foot
  • Wind Protection: Gentle winds and some protection
  • Infrastructure: No facilities available just peace and quiet

Experience the allure of the Cacela Peninsula, a mesmerizing expanse of dunes hugging the eastern shores of Ria Formosa.

Discover the renowned Fábrica Beach (also referred to as “Cacela Velha Beach” or “Cacela Beach”), acclaimed as one of the world’s finest. There are no restaurants or cafes so pack a picnic to take with you.

Here are some wild beaches in the Algarve:

  1. Praia da Barranco das Canas: Located near Aljezur, this secluded beach is surrounded by cliffs and accessible via a trail, offering a peaceful retreat away from the crowds.
  2. Praia da Bordeira: Also near Aljezur, Praia da Bordeira is a vast, sandy beach backed by rugged cliffs and dunes. It’s a favorite spot for surfers and nature lovers.
  3. Praia da Amoreira: Situated within the Vicentine Coast Natural Park near Aljezur, Praia da Amoreira boasts a river estuary, sand dunes, and cliffs, providing a diverse natural landscape.
  4. Praia da Figueira: Found near Sagres, this hidden gem is accessible via a steep path and offers stunning views of cliffs, rock formations, and crystal-clear waters.
  5. Praia da Barranco do Martinho: Located near the village of Salema, this secluded beach is nestled between cliffs and accessible via a hiking trail, offering tranquility and natural beauty.
  6. Praia da Murração: Near Vila do Bispo, Praia da Murração is a wild beach with golden sands backed by rugged cliffs. Access is via a dirt road followed by a short hike.
  7. Praia do Castelejo: Situated near Vila do Bispo, this wild beach is popular among surfers for its consistent waves and stunning coastal scenery.
  8. Praia da Cordoama: Also near Vila do Bispo, Praia da Cordoama is a vast and wild beach flanked by towering cliffs, offering a secluded escape for nature lovers.

These are just a few examples of the wild beaches you can find along the Algarve coast. Each offers its own unique beauty and tranquility, providing an opportunity to connect with nature away from the hustle and bustle of more touristy areas.

Small boats on Ria Formosa, Algarve, Portugal

Best Beaches in Portugal to Visit in 2024: The Wrap Up

Each of these beaches offers a unique slice of Portugal’s coastal beauty, from the calm, family-friendly shores of the North to the surf-ready waves of the Algarve and the untamed beauty of the Azores. Whether you’re looking to catch some waves, explore underwater caves, or simply soak up the sun on pristine sands, Portugal’s beaches have something for everyone.


  • Here is my bio: A beachcomber, an avid bookworm, a runner and a teacher. Michelle is a Canadian travel blogger who writes about Portugal and helps people across the pond plan their trips to the beautiful Portuguese shores. She fell in love with the charming villages and the sunshine when she was enticed to move there years ago and never looked back. She can be found galavanting from beach to beach, with her son Luca and Leo the cat.

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