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Portugal's coast is known worldwide for its stunning beaches, cliffs, and caves. Its 1793 km of coastline extension can make it hard to choose where to go, but read on to discover the best beaches in Portugal and start planning your trip right away! Besides the amazing natural wonders that Portugal has to offer, in the unusual times the world is facing, Portugal has taken the lead and launched the Clean & Safe Stamp as a way to position Portugal as a trusty holiday destination. The Clean & Safe Stamp helps to distinguish tourist companies and tourist activities that comply with the required cleaning and hygiene measures for the prevention of Covid-19.
Now that we feel safe, we are ready to jump in and find out about the best beaches in Portugal. Let's start with the best beaches in the region of the Algarve.
In the city of Lagos, there are many wonderful beaches but, Dona Ana Beach is the favourite one of many travellers. Actually, it has been chosen as the best beach by some references in tourism. Dona Ana beach is a small cove surrounded by steep and rocky cliffs. Its shape is perfect to cover you from the wind but allowing long hours of sun. The rock formations around provide shadows that are refreshing during the warm summer days.
The water is cold and pristine, it might take some time to get used to it but, once you discover the marine life below you, I am pretty sure, you'll be amazed and, forget about the water temperature. Dona Ana beach is a great spot to practise snorkelling. Bear in mind that to access the beach there is a long set of stairs that might not be suitable for every person. Although, if you plan on exercising this will be the right place for you.
Now, let's move to the West Coast of the Algarve, only around 25 minutes from Lagos, you'll find Castelejo Beach. Although, getting there is not as simple as it sounds. Locally known for its consistent surfing and fishing. This astonishing beach is a little bit off the beaten path but, if you are of the adventurous kind, Castelejo Beach is a place you cannot miss.
Castelejo Beach is a wild area with a stretch of about 500 metres, and of course, there are cliffs on the back! When the tide is low, it's perfect for a walk and you can get to Praia da Cordoama, which is right next to it. The Atlantic Ocean water can be quite cold in Castelejo beach, and there is one particular aspect that makes it special; sometimes you can see mist coming out of the water giving it an interesting mystical touch.
Looking for unique caves? Let's discover the Benagil beach. It´s only a small beach of about 130 meters, but the caves and grottoes make it popular among visitors. Here you will find the fabulous cave called Algar de Benagil which has a hole on top where light can enter illuminating the whole cavity and giving you a beautiful view of the sky and the sea.
Algar de Benagil is not easy to access and the best way to enjoy it is on a boat tour, SUP or Kayak, also if you dare you can swim, but please, be careful and check the water conditions. Another activity you can do from Benagil beach is walking to the cliffs to get a view from the top. If this small beach feels crowded, close to Bengil you can find Marinha beach to the east and Carvalho beach to the west.
In the Algarve, there are many wonderful beaches, so it´s not an easy task to choose the best ones. I will mention a few more of our favourite ones so you can check them out too: Arrifana beach and Praia Da Amoreira in Aljezur, Praia da Oura and Praia da Marinha in Albufeira, Praia Porto de Mós and Meia Praia.
The well-know Costa de Prata (Silver Coast) of Portugal extends between Lisbon and Porto offering dramatic beaches, intense surfing, sightseeing, culture and history, all together.
Another well-known surfers paradise but also a long beach ideal for everybody. Despite having quite cold water, Praia de Nazaré is very popular among locals and tourists. Its wide extension, golden sand and proximity to the town make it a traditional place in Portugal.
Nazaré beach not only allows for a relaxing day at the beach but also let you catch a glimpse of Portugal´s culture. Before Nazaré becomes popular for its big waves and tourism hits the area, it had been a fishing village, so you still can see men and women showcasing the catch of the day. Nazaré beach is a good spot for families, groups of friends, couples or single people. As I mentioned, you can enjoy the beach to ride some waves, sunbathe, read a book or even make new friends. Then, if you are looking for the giant waves, you should head over to Praia do Norte.
Concerned about the children? São Martinho do Porto beach is considered by many tourists the best place for a family beach day! So, if this is what you are looking for, do not hesitate to go straight there! Also, São Martinho do Porto could be the starting point of your trip through Costa de Prata.
You must be wondering, what´s in it for me? Well, São Martinho do Porto is a Bay, so its natural shape offers calm waters making it a safe place for a swim. The beach is spacious, the town is close by, there are restaurants and bars around. To visit the Silver Coast of Portugal you might want to consider the weather. From June to August is the summer season and those are usually the more popular months to visit, which means more people and higher prices. Spring, from March to May, is also a busy season and the weather can be moderate. Fall can have some rainy days and lower temperatures but you can find very affordable prices.
Well, to give you a full idea of Portugal's magic coastline, let´s check out the best beaches near Lisbon.
If you are looking for a sandy escape from Portugal's capital city, Adraga beach is about 45 km from Lisbon. Adraga beach is one of the highlights of this area because it's is a wild spot, surrounded by cliffs. The water can be rough, but when the tide is low, it's perfect for a stroll and to explore some caves that are formed between the rocks.
Adraga beach is very popular among locals and can be crowded during high season, the parking space can also give you a hard time, but if you go there in mid-season you will be able to enjoy it to its fullest. To access Adraga beach you'll need your own transportation. But, once there it's a blue flag beach that has parking, a restaurant and disabled access.
Now, if you are a fan of active life, Guincho beach is the perfect place for water sports! It's a haven for kitesurfers and surfers due to its huge waves and wind conditions. The beach is wide and offers stunning surroundings, as it is located inside a National Park called Serra da Sintra. Guincho beach is not the ideal place if you are looking for a sunbathe and relaxation, and it’s not a good place for swimming. You'll find other beaches with better conditions for that.
If you are ready to take up sport lessons, at Guincho beach you'll find many schools providing the necessary equipment and instruction for a fun day at the beach. Also, around Guincho beach, there are restaurants, bars and luxury hotels that add up to the fun of this area. If you decide to go to Guincho beach from Lisbon, it will be better to do it by car to enjoy the day. You can reach the beach by public transportation but it will take much longer, making it not ideal for only a one-day gateway. As I mentioned, it is hard to choose among all the magnificent natural wonders in the area, so I'll include a few more beaches you should not miss: Carcavelos beach and Tamariz beach.
All in all, Portugal's coastline is growing in popularity year after year. It has a wide extension and offers fun, water sports, sightseeing, culture and tradition for all ages. Its stunning beaches backend by colorful cliffs is something we all should include in our bucket list! But, hey, don't wait too long to pack your bags! Sea you there soon!Back to overview
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.