best Algarve beaches in Portugal

The southern coast of Portugal, known as the Algarve, has some of Europe’s most scenic beaches and coastlines. It offers breathtaking views and hundreds of activities that will make your vacation unforgettable. I explored the Algarve in the summer and walked alongside half of the coastline (and visited the rest by car). During this time, I saw many rock formations with caves and visited the best beaches.

Thanks to my experience, I’ve compiled a list of the 17 best beaches in Algarve for you. So check them out below.

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How To Choose The Best Algarve Beach For Your Vacation?

If you’re not sure which beach you should visit, consider the following factors and their importance for your holiday:

  • Remotness
  • Facilities
  • Access to the sea/swimming
  • Activities

Some beaches are more difficult to get to as they’re pretty remote. So you’ll need a car to reach these beaches. Some are close to a big city, where you can book accommodation and enjoy the beach from your hotel. Yet, these will often be more crowded than the remote beaches. So think about what is essential for you: easy access or a remote, quiet beach that is more challenging to reach.

Some beaches have excellent facilities such as toilets, showers, restaurants and bars. Some even have sunbeds that you can rent. Other beaches are natural, and you must bring your equipment.

Most of the beaches in the Algarve have great access to the sea. It’s easy to swim after you enjoy sunbathing. But if swimming is important to you, always double-check how accessible the sea from a beach is.

If you’re visiting Algarve with family or friends, you may want to do some activities rather than sunbathe the entire day. Many beaches have water activities such as kayaking, boat rental, or snorkeling. But some remote beaches don’t offer anything. So plan accordingly.

👉 READ ALSO: Best Of Portugal Itinerary 10 Days

17 Best Algarve Beaches In Portugal

Let’s jump straight into the list of the best beaches in Algarve. I’ve divided them into the best beaches with caves and the most beautiful rock formations, beaches for couples families, and those with sunbeds and more facilities. This way, it’ll be easier for you to find the perfect beach area.

Below is the list of the 17 best beaches in Algarve for your perfect vacation:

  1. Praia Dos Careanos
  2. Praia dos Três Castelos
  3. Praia Da Marinha
  4. Meia Praia
  5. Praia Da Luz
  6. Praia De Morto Mós
  7. Praia Do Camino
  8. Praia da Corredoura
  9. Praia do Vale de Centeanes
  10. Praia da Malhada do Baraço
  11. Praia do Carvalho
  12. Praia da Coelha
  13. Praia de Armação de Pêra
  14. Praia da Rocha
  15. Praia de Carvoeiro
  16. Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha
  17. Praia dos Alemães

NOTE: The Portuguese word ‘Praia’ in English means ‘Beach’.

Map Of Algarve Beaches

Here is a map of the best beaches in Algarve. Save it to your phone and use it to find the beach once you’re in the region.

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Algarve Beaches With Caves

First, I’ve got the best and most beautiful beaches for you in the entire Algarve. This is thanks to its stunning rock formations and caves that you can admire during your beach vacation.

Not only you’ll get to enjoy scenic views, but the beaches are amazing, with golden sand and great access to the sea for swimming.

1. Praia Dos Careanos

Praia Dos Careanos is one of my favorite beaches in the Algarve. It’s close to a big city called Portimão, yet many people skip it. This beach is smaller and perfect for those who want to be close to a city but enjoy the tranquillity without tourist crowds.

This beach has stunning caves and rock formations, so you can walk around and feel like in a fairy-tale. Bring your towels and sheets to lay down. You can also easily access the sea for swimming from the beach.

📍 LOCATION: Portimão

🏖 SIZE: Small beach with less crowds


🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Concorde Sea View

best Algarve beaches Praia dos Careanos

2. Praia Dos Três Castelos

Staying close to Portimão, this beach is a long stretch with white sand and caves. I loved the morning walk through the beach. There was nobody, only a few people running and me walking on the sand and listening to the ocean waves.

This beach is long, so you can find your perfect remote spot and relax. It has many caves and cliffs you can explore or hide inside from direct sun. It’s also one of the best beaches for swimming.

📍 LOCATION: Portimão

🏖 SIZE: Long sandy beach with caves

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Subeds with a restaurant in one section

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Concorde Sea View

Praia dos Tres Castelos Portugal
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3. Praia Da Marinha

Praia Da Marinha has been consistently ranked as the most beautiful beach in all of Algarve. No doubt, it’s stunning. This beach is long with white sand and many rock formations with caves. It’s slightly remote so you’ll need a car to get there.

It can be a perfect beach day trip from the nearby city called Armação de Pêra. Bring your equipment and food, and enjoy a day at the beach here. The access to the sea is perfect so you can easily go swimming.

📍 LOCATION: Close to Armação de Pêra

🏖 SIZE: Long sandy beach with rock formations and caves


🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Casa Marinha Beach

best Algarve beaches Praia da Marinha

Lagos Algarve Beaches

If you’re visiting Lagos and want a beach day, these are my top beaches around Lagos that you shouldn’t miss. Check them out below.

4. Meia Praia

Meia Praia is one of the longest beaches in Algarve. It’s close to Lagos, so don’t expect many rock formations and caves since the surface is pretty flat. But this beach is ideal for long walks, watching the sunset, and enjoying the sound of ocean waves.

It has many restaurants and cafes with sunbeds. But some sections are natural without facilities. So you can find your perfect, even remote spot on this beach.

You can easily access the sea, and it’s one of the best beaches for swimming.


🏖 SIZE: Long and wide beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: A few restaurants and cafes with sunbeds, but also natural places

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Boutique Hotel Vivienda Miranda

5. Praia Da Luz

Another great beach around Lagos is Praia Da Luz. It’s easy to find and has many shops and restaurants around. The beach is long and has some sunbeds that you can use.

It’s surrounded by rocks, so you can walk around and enjoy beautiful views of the area and the ocean.


🏖 SIZE: Long beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Sunbeds with shops, restaurants, and cafes nearby

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: The Fantastic Beach House Of Luz

Praia da Luz Algarve Portugal

6. Praia De Morto Mós

Praia De Morto Mos is one of the best beaches near Lagos for long beach walks, brown sand, and stunning nature. It has a few cafes and restaurants, yet it feels remote and wild. You can easily access the sea for swimming and find your favorite relaxing spot on this beach.

There are sections with sunbeds, and you can also collect seashells. This beach makes a perfect day trip from Lagos.


🏖 SIZE: Long beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Sunbeds, cafes and restaurants

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Belmar Spa & Beach Resort

7. Praia Do Camilo

If you’re in Lagos and want to enjoy a beautiful beach with rock formations and caves, visit Praia do Camino. It’s a small beach accessible by over 200 wooden stairs, so prepare for some exercise. It’s great for couples and individuals who want to enjoy a walk and visit the beach for a few hours to relax.

Access to the sea is shallow, and it’s perfect for swimming. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, with crystal blue waters and golden sand.


🏖 SIZE: Small beach


🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Carvi Beach Hotel

Praia do Camino Portugal

👉 READ ALSO: Portugal In October: Top 8 Things To Do & See

Algarve Beaches For Couples

As a couple, I know you want to enjoy a bit more remote beaches and don’t mind slightly challenging access to them. Importantly, you’ll have some privacy and a beautiful environment around.

So, I’ve selected some secluded and beautiful beaches for you if you want to enjoy a romantic gateway with your partner. I visited Algarve with my boyfriend and found the perfect spots ;).

8. Praia Da Corredoura

Praia da Corredoura is my secret beach in the Algarve for every couple who wants to enjoy more privacy and have a date in a romantic setting.

I’m not saying that you’ll be alone on the beach. But you can only reach it on a kayak or by swimming. It’s close to the famous Algar de Benagil Cave, so most people go to see the famous cave beach. Not many people make it further to Praia da Corredoura.

So, this beach can be a perfect gateway for couples looking to relax and enjoy an activity such as kayaking. Rent a kayak on Benagil beach, visit Algar de Benagil on the way, and stop by Praia da Corredoura to enjoy the beach.

📍 LOCATION: Benagil

🏖 SIZE: Small beach


🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Terracos De Benagil 20

best Algarve beaches Praia da Corredoura Portugal

9. Praia Do Vale De Centeanes

This beach is more remote and close to a few villas and hotels, making it a perfect romantic gateway for couples. It’s close to the famous Algar Seco and the beautiful Carvoeiro Boardwalk.

I visited this beach on foot, starting in Carvoeiro town. Following the boardwalk and the entire coastline, I reached Praia do Vale de Centeanes. The whole walk was stunning as I saw some of the most beautiful caves and rock formations. And the beach in the end was relaxing and refreshing.

You can stay in one of the nearby hotels and enjoy the beach, or do the walk as I mentioned above and visit the beach from Carvoeiro.

📍 LOCATION: Close to Carvoeiro

🏖 SIZE: Small beach surrounded by rock cliffs



Praia do Vale de Centeanes Portugal

10. Praia Da Malhada Do Baraço

Praia da Malhada is the perfect beach for relaxing. It’s only accessible by boat, kayak, or by swimming. It’s remote and less crowded. This beach doesn’t have any facilities, so only a few people come here. And you can enjoy privacy with your partner.

The beach is also close to Benagil, so you can, again, rent a kayak or a boat and get here on your own.

Another reason why this beach is so remote is because it’s close to Praia da Marina. Most people go to that beach, and Praia da Malhada remains a hidden gem of Algarve. So check it out.

📍 LOCATION: Benagil (close to Armação de Pêra)

🏖 SIZE: Small beach


🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Casa Marinha Beach

Praia da Malhada do Baraço

11. Praia Do Carvalho

Another secluded beach in the middle of the Algarve is Praia do Carvalho. It’s a smaller sandy beach you can access by the stairs carved in the middle of the rocks. The beach is near Bengail, so you can also visit the famous Algar de Benagil.

Yet it’s less crowded than other beaches, so you’ll have some privacy. The sea is easily accessible so you can go swimming.

You can also hike around the beach and follow the trekking path to enjoy the stunning coastline and breathtaking views.

📍 LOCATION: Benagil

🏖 SIZE: Small beach with rock formations


🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Casa Mulholanda

best Algarve beaches Praia do Calvarho Portugal

12. Praia Da Coelha

This beach is located in Evaristo, between the bigger cities of Armação de Pêra and Albufeira. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches thanks to its brown sand and great sea access. The beach has a cafe and a bar, where you can buy some snacks. There are also sunbeds that you can rent for the day.

Praia da Coelha is a small beach, so it might get crowded during the day. If you want privacy, come early in the morning and leave around lunchtime when the crowds come.

📍 LOCATION: Evaristo (close to Armação de Pêra)

🏖 SIZE: Small beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Cafe & Snack Bar with sunbed

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: W Algarve

👉 READ ALSO: Is Lisbon Safe For Travel? 23 Safety Tips

Best Beaches In Algarve For Families

I’ve selected these 3 beaches for families as they’re close to big cities. So you have plenty of opportunities to entertain your kids and be close to your accommodation if you need to leave the beach. So here are my top 3 beaches in the Algarve for families with kids to enjoy.

13. Praia De Armação De Pêra

Armação de Pêra is a beautiful vacation town with restaurants, cafes, and shops. There is a big beach with sunbeds that you can enjoy. The sea is shallow and easy to access, so it’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids how to swim.

You can do many activities and water sports from this beach, such as kayaking, banana, hopping on a water cookie, jet skiing, water skiing, or riding a scooter. So nobody will get bored.

📍 LOCATION: Armação de Pêra

🏖 SIZE: Long beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Restaurants, cafes, bars, water sports, sunbeds

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: AlgarPapa Rooms

Praia Armacao da Pera Portugal

14. Praia Da Rocha

Praia da Rocha is another great beach close to Portimão. Book your hotel in the city, so you’ll be close to the hotel room if your family needs anything. It’s a long sandy beach perfect for relaxation, but it’s often crowded, more than other beaches.

An agency called Swimm Together‘ teaches people how to swim in open water. That might be something you can sign up your kids and family members for. Otherwise, you can visit the nearby fortress for stunning views and enjoy delicious food in the local restaurants.

If you want to enjoy a bit of privacy, you can leave your kids in a baby club and visit some of the remote beaches near Portimão, such as Praia dos Três Castelos or Praia dos Careanos.

📍 LOCATION: Portimão

🏖 SIZE: Medium beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Restaurants, cafes, sunbeds, shops

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Algarve Casino Hotel

best Algarve beaches Praia da Rocha Portimao

15. Praia De Carvoeiro

If you don’t like big cities and too many crowds, go to Praia de Carvoeiro. It’s close to a small town which has the best vacation vibes. There are many shops, restaurants, and hotels.

The beach is small but perfect for a beach gateway with your family. It has sunbeds and shallow access to the sea.

Walking the Carvoeiro Boardwalk is one of the best things to do around this beach with your family. It’s a short wooden coastal walk with stunning views and unique rock formations. Your family will love it, I’m sure.

📍 LOCATION: Carvoeiro

🏖 SIZE: Small beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Sunbeds, restaurants, cafes, sunbeds, small shops

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Oasis Praia Carvoeiro Bay

Praia do Carvoeiro Portugal

Algarve Beaches With Sunbeds

Last but not least, I have two great beaches, which are smaller and less crowded but have sunbeds. So if you want to be closer to a bigger city but don’t want the beach to be too busy, these are the best beaches for your holiday in Algarve.

16. Praia De Nossa Senhora Da Rocha

This beach is stunning, with a cafe and sunbeds that you can rent. It’s located close to Vila Lara, and you’ll need a car to reach it. There are a couple of parking spots above where you can leave the car and enjoy your beach day.

The beach has golden sand and is less crowded, and you can also visit a small chapel nearby if you’re fed up with sunbathing all day.

📍 LOCATION: Vila Lara (close to Armação de Pêra)

🏖 SIZE: Small beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Sunbeds, cafe & snackbar

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spa

17. Praia Dos Alemães

If you prefer to be close to a city, stay in Praia dos Alemães. It’s in Albufeira, so you can visit it from your accommodation. It’s slightly more crowded, but fewer people will be than in Portimão or Armação de Pêra.

The beach has sunbeds, small cafes, restaurants, toilets, and showers, and you can enjoy some beach walks around.

📍 LOCATION: Albufeira

🏖 SIZE: Medium beach

🏄‍♂️ FACILITIES: Sunbeds, restaurants, cafes, shops

🏠 WHERE TO STAY: W Algarve

Algarve beaches with subeds Portugal

Practical Tips For Visiting Algarve Beaches In Portugal

To help you plan your beach vacation in Algarve, here are my top tips for visiting the southern coast of Portugal.

You’ll get all the information about getting there and around, the best places to stay, the best hotels, and the best time to visit the region. So check it out for those extra details.

Where Is Algarve Located?

Algarve is located in the southern part of Portugal. It’s the entire southern coastline that stretches from Lagos to Faro.

Algarve is famous for the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, stunning rock formations and caves, boardwalks, and coastline trails that you can follow and enjoy breathtaking coast views.

Best Time To Visit Algarve

The best time to visit the Algarve is May, June, September, and October. These months are less crowded than the summertime in Portugal.

May and June might be slightly colder, but you can avoid beaches with sea plants and be dirtier.

September and October are another great time to visit the Algarve. It’s warm, and everything is still operating, yet without crowds. However, it’s when you have to deal with dirtier beaches due to seaweed on the shores.

I visited the Algarve at the beginning of September. It was the perfect time as the beaches were clean, it wasn’t too crowded, and the weather was still warm.

How To Get To Algarve?

You can get to Algarve by car and a bus. So it only depends on what kind of transportation you prefer.

One of the best ways to reach Algarve is to travel from Lisbon by bus to major cities such as Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, or Armação de Pera. We took a bus from Lisbon to Portimão (Praia da Rocha) and started exploring Algarve from there.

So first, I recommend you choose the city from where you want to explore Algarve, and then book your transfer accordingly.

Note that no trains are running from Lisbon to Algarve. You can only take a few trains within the Algarve coast once you’re there.

Getting To Algarve By Bus

Buses from Lisbon to Algarve run to these cities:

  • Lagos
  • Portimão
  • Armação de Pera
  • Albufeira
  • Quarteira
  • Faro

Find the best bus connections to Algarve by clicking this link.

How To Get Around Algarve?

The best way to get around Algarve is by car. Some sections can be explored on foot if you follow beautiful boardwalks and trekking paths. However, visiting the most stunning places without a car is very challenging.

Getting Around By Car

So rent a car in a bigger city such as Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Armação de Pera, or Faro and drive to the beaches you want to visit.

Most beaches have a parking place where you can leave the car and enjoy the coastline.


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Walking Around

If you want to walk, I recommend staying around Carvoeiro. You can start walking on the Carvoeiro boardwalk, following the pathway until you reach Farol de Alfanzina and stay on one of the beaches around.

PRO TIP: My boyfriend and I actually walked the entire coast, starting in Portimão all the way to Praia da Marinha. We stopped once in Carvoeiro to stay overnight. The next day, we continued and reached Praia Marinha. It took us 2 days, and it was truly one of the most beautiful walks of my life. So you can do it, too.

best beaches in Algarve Portugal

Getting Around By Train

Surprisingly, there are also a few trains running through Algarve. However, these trains will only get you to major cities such as Lagos, Albufeira, and Faro. So if you want, you can reach these cities by train and rent a car to get to the remote beaches.

Where To Stay As A Base In The Algarve?

The Algarve Coast has amazing accommodation options, too. So I recommend you first choose the perfect beach for your gateway and then look for accommodation in the area.

PRO TIP: We stayed in Portimão, Carvoeiro, Armação de Pera, and Faro when I explored the Algarve.

My favorite place to stay in the Algarve is Carvoeiro. It’s a cute remote town where you can only get by car. From there, you can explore the most beautiful rock formations and some of the best beaches in the region.

If I were to pick from the bigger cities, I’d book a hotel in Portimão. It has some of the most beautiful beaches that are easily accessible.

Out of my experience, I recommend you book a hotel in the following places if you want to enjoy the best beaches in the Algarve:

Armação de Pera

Where To Stay In Lagos

If you want to visit the following beaches I recommend you to book a hotel in Lagos:

  • Meia Praia
  • Praia Da Luz
  • Praia De Morto Mós
  • Praia Do Camino

These are my top hotel recommendations for Lagos:

Dom Pedro Lagosbudget-friendly hotelbook here
Carvi Beach Hotelmid-range hotelbook here
Boutique Hotel Vivienda Mirandaluxury hotelbook here

Where To Stay In Portimão

If you want to enjoy these beaches, book your hotel in Portimão:

  • Praia Dos Careanos
  • Praia dos Três Castelos
  • Praia da Rocha

Here are my best hotel picks for your stay in Portimão:

Concorde Sea Viewbudget-friendly apartmentbook here
AP Oriental Beachmid-range hotelbook here
Bela Vista Hotel & Spa luxury hotelbook here

Where To Stay In Carvoeiro

To explore these beaches, you should book your hotel in Carvoeiro:

  • Praia da Corredoura
  • Praia do Vale de Centeanes
  • Praia do Carvalho
  • Praia de Carvoeiro

Check out these great hotels in Carvoeiro:

Algar Seco Parquebudget-friendly hotelbook here
Vila Welwitshiamid range hotelbook here
Oasis Praia Carvoeiro Bayluxury apartmentsbook here

Where To Stay In Armação de Pera

You can explore the following beaches if you stay in Armação de Pera:

  • Praia Da Marinha
  • Praia da Malhada do Baraço
  • Praia da Coelha
  • Praia de Armação de Pêra
  • Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha

I recommend booking the following hotels in Armação de Pera for your stay:

AlgarPapa Roomsbudget-friendly apartmentsbook here
Marsuitesmid-range apartmentsbook here
Vila Vita Parc Resort & Spaluxury hotelbook here

best Algarve beaches how to get around

FAQs: 17 Best Algarve Beaches In Portugal

I’ve also answered some of travelers’ most popular questions before visiting the Algarve. So check them out below.

What Is The Most Scenic Beach In The Algarve?

The most scenic beach in the Algarve is Praia da Marinha. It’s slightly remote, so not many people visit it. This beach is full of colors from its golden sand, turquoise waters, and beautiful orange rock formations, with caves carving the coastline.

Which Is The Most Beautiful Part Of Algarve?

The most beautiful part of the Algarve is between Portimão and Praia da Marinha. This section is in the middle of the southern coastline in Portugal, offering beautiful hiking trails and boardwalks. It has the most picturesque rock formations and some of the best beaches in the Algarve.

Can You Swim In Algarve Beaches?

Yes, you can swim on almost any beach in Algarve. Most beaches have shallow water, so it’s accessible from the beach and easy to swim in.

Is It Safe To Swim In The Sea In The Algarve?

Yes, it’s safe to swim in the Algarve. There are no dangers except bigger waves that might occur in the afternoon. Still, the waves are not so big, and you can enjoy swimming on the beautiful beaches full of golden sand. Don’t go close to the rock formations during a high tide as you might crush into the rocks.

Is The Water In Algarve Cold?

From my experience, yes, the water in the Algarve is freezing. I visited the Algarve at the beginning of September, and the water was super cold.

It didn’t make any sense to me, so I asked locals, and they said it was just a strange season and the water was usually warm. So you’ll hopefully be lucky and enjoy the warm sea once you visit it.

Are Algarve Beaches Free?

Yes, most of the beaches in the Algarve are free of charge. Only a few private beaches belong to private resorts, villas, or hotels and you can’t access these. However, all the other beaches are public and free to visit.

Wrap-Up: Best Beaches In Algarve

These are the top beaches you must visit in the southern coastline of Portugal, Algarve. First, think about the factors that are important for your beach vacation. Then, use my list of the best beaches and see which matches your requirements.

You can visit even more beaches or walk through the rock formation, enjoy the breathtaking views of this coastline, and find your remote beach paradise.

If you have any more questions or need further travel tips, contact me at I’ll be glad to help you.

Happy travels!

More Travel Tips For Portugal

Looking to visit more places in Portugal? Check out my related articles:

Best Of Portugal Itinerary 10 Days

Is Lisbon Safe For Travel? 23 Safety Tips

Portugal In October: Top 8 Things To Do & See

Best Places To Visit In Europe In November

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About the author: Nicoletta is a travel enthusiast and passionate language learner. While traveling, she loves to connect with locals using her language skills to learn about new cultures. Look for her skiing, hiking in the mountains, or exploring new destinations as she designs travel itineraries for her clients.

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