Explore the top beaches of the Algarve
The Algarve in Portugal is home to some of the most beautiful beaches of Europe and one or two must be amongst the most beautiful in the world. The combination of golden sand, turquoise and blue sea and dramatic red rock formations is simply superb. These are amongst our favourites.
Praia da Marinha
The Praia da Marinha beach is absolutely not to be missed in a visit to the Algarve it is simply stunning.
There is parking at the top of the cliff and steep steps to get down to the beach. From the top the views are superb and there is a coastal path that you can walk to enjoy the views all along this stretch of the coast. There is also a picnic area at the top overlooking the views.
This is a fabulous spot for snorkling. There is a kiosk selling ice-creams and drinks.
The closest town to the beach is Lagoa.
Praia da Dona Ana
Another iconic beach of the Algarve and this one is on the edge of Lagos town. This does mean it can get quite busy but it is worth it for views of the rocks in the sea all along the coast here.
Steep steps lead down to the beach where you can hire a sun lounger if you wish and drinks can be purchased on the beach. More cafes are available at the top of the cliffs near the car parks and there are also walks here looking out over the stunning scenery.
The Dona Ana beach is a blue-flag beach and has a life guard. It is great for snorkling.
Praia da Camilo
The Camilo beach is the next beach along from the Dona Ana beach and so shares much of the same gorgeous coastal scenery.
The Camilo beach is reached by steep steps from the top of the cliff where there is parking and a popular seafood restaurant.
The beach is a blue-flag beach and has some great caves and grottoes to explore.
Benagil beach is not in itself one of our favourite beaches however it is the starting point for the superb Benagil cave boat tours which are a favourite attraction when visiting the Algarve.
As the boat trips are extremely popular there is lots of parking here and a cafe and toilets. Be aware that the access roads are very steep. If you prefered you could go to the nearby Marinha beach and walk to here along the cliff top.
Praia da Falesia
Whilst not as beautiful as those listed above the Praia da Falesia is a very large sandy beach close to the popular resort of Vilamoura.
The beach is sheltered by a backdrop of the red cliffs of the region and is a blue flag beach with a gentle access to the sea. It is very popular with families and there is a lifeguard on the beach.
In the season there are sun loungers and near to the parking there is a snack bar.
Praia da Oura
Praia da Oura is another lovely beach close to the seaside town of Albufeira. It has a long stretch of sandy beach and then at the far end some attractive rock cliffs which can be explored to find caves and rock pools and climbed to get great views over the coast.
The day we arrived at the beach filming was taking place for "A Place in the Sun: Home or Away" and indeed this area is very popular with British holiday makers and second home owners. Albufeira is a lively resort to the west and Vilamoura a more upmarket destination to the east.
The Oura beach has lots of facilities including bars and restaurants, toilets and sun loungers. It is a blue flag beach with a lifeguard.
Praia da Amoreira
The Amoreira beach is in a different part of the Algarve altogether. It is on the west coast and can be approached down a long track from Aljezur. The beach is wild and beautiful with a lovely sandy beach, the moth of the river Aljezur as it enters the sea and a large area of black rocks with an altogther more savage look than the pretty red rocks of the south coast of the Algarve.
There are car parks on either side of the Amoreira beach and each has a restaurant/snack bar and toilets.