Praia da Marinha, Portugal; a fabulous beach on the Algarve in Portugal

Photo of Praia da Marinha (Algarve region)

Praia da Marinha Hotels

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Visit Praia da Marinha

The Praia da Marinha beach is probably the most beautiful beach in Portugal and absolutely should not be missed on your visit to the Algarve. It is located between Lagos and Albufeira on the southern coast of Portugal. Head for Lagoa and then follow the signs for the beach.

Explore the Praia da Marinha

The Praia da Marinha is a small golden beach with a backdrop of red-gold cliffs which have been eroded into amazing shapes including arches and rocks in the water. From the viewpoints at the top of the cliffs they are truly spectacular.

The Praia da Marinha beach has been classified by the Michelin Guide as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and one of the top 100 beaches in the world. Certainly from our travels around Europe we cannot think of one more beautiful.

rock arches on the Marinha beach

The beach is emblematic of Portugal and you will often see photos of it on tourist publicity for the Algarve and for Portugal in general. You may also see it on tv featuring in commercials for various different products!

When you arrive at the beach there is parking in amongst the scrubby vegetation at the top of the cliffs. Parking is free which is great. When we arrived in late April the parking was already quite full. I can only imagine it is more difficult in July and August though the location of the beach is a bit out of the way and so apparently the beach never gets too crowded.

From the car park turn left to the steep steps that lead down to the beach. Otherwise turn right for a breathtaking clifftop walk with ever changing views over the sea and rocks.

At the start of the trail there is a picnic area with picnic tables and great views over the sea. The trail is easy to follow and one day we would love to come back for a proper walking holiday along this beautiful coast. One walk you might want to consider is the walk to the Benagil beach from where you can do boat trips around the Benagil caves.

If you head for the beach be careful with young children as the steps are quite steep, especially near the bottom. However once on the beach you are rewarded with the deep golden sand and crystal clear waters of the Praia da Marinha. The beach is great for snorkling as the sea here is full of marine life.

On the beach there is a snack bar selling refreshments and you can organise various water sports.

If you wander far from the cove with the steps do pay attention to the tide. It comes in inconspicuously and can cut you off from the steps back before you have realised.

path above the Marinha beach

Places to Visit Nearby

One of the highlights of our trip to the Algarve was a boat trip to the Benagil cave and about 20 other caves along this stretch of the coast.

The town of Lagos is a good base for a holiday in the area. It has a couple of good beaches and a quaint old town.

Albufeira is very popular with visitors from the UK and you will hear many English voices but it does manage to maintain its Portuguese character.

See also:

Photos of Praia da Marinha

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • arched-rocks
  • arches
  • beach
  • cliff-top
  • path
  • rocks

Map of Praia da Marinha and places to visit

Praia da Marinha places to visit

See more places nearby in the Algarve guide