Portugal’s Algarve region is a popular travel destination for a reason. This stunning region basks in sun nearly all year round, and its magnificent coastline features hundreds of golden sand beaches and dramatic cliffs. If you love sun and sea, you won’t be disappointed!
The Algarve is a sizeable region, so you won’t get to cover all ground in one visit. The best thing to do is to base yourself in one town (for us, this was Lagos), and do day trips from there. This saves the hassle of having to pack up and move all the time, and there are honestly so many beautiful beaches scattered along the coastline, so you won’t get bored.
What you need:
A car, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure!
If it’s not possible to rent a car, then there are plenty of beautiful beaches in walking distance from most towns, so you won’t miss out. If you want total freedom, however, I would recommend hiring a car, at least for a day, to get out of the city and reach some of the more remote beaches.
This secluded gem of a beach is at the top of my list for a reason! We followed our noses to get here, and what a find. Praia da Figueira is just a short drive off the main highway (heading towards Sagres, from Lagos) down a windy road. The beach itself isn’t that large, particularly when the tide comes in, but it’s secluded and relatively private. The further you wander down the beach, the less people you’ll find, and there are some pleasant secluded spots between formations of fallen rock.
Praia da Marinha is one of the more popular Algarve beaches to visit. After doing some online research and reading reviews, I decided that this was a beach worth visiting! At first glance, it’s easy to see why this spot is so popular. The cliffs are dramatic, the beach is like something out of a movie, and the views looking down on the beaches from above are amazing. I, like several others, had a lot of fun here climbing over the rocks and searching out hidden caves and secret spots!
The only thing to be wary of at this beach, however, is the seaweed. There is a lot, so it’s not the most ideal place to swim.
This stunning beach in the far west of the Algarve is also worth a visit. It features picture perfect views looking down at the beach from the cliffs above (cue to check out the photo), as well as an expanse of soft, golden sand. Space here isn’t an issue. We didn’t spend much time on the beach, however, because we were both feeling pretty sunned out and parched at this point! Instead, we decided to recover and chill out in a cute little bar overlooking the beach called Chiringuito Last Chance, which served cold cocktails and tasty tapas.
Praia da Luz features a beautiful stretch of sand with some pretty cool pancake type rock formations to wander across and sunbathe on. This is one of the few beaches where I actually fully submerged, but it was for less than 60 seconds because the water was so cold (and I’m not a wimp!). There are some reasonably priced sunbeds available to rent, and nice cafes, bars and restaurants near the beach when you need a refreshment.
So there you go!
I feel like I need to reiterate though, if you don’t have access to a car, don’t despair! There are so many beautiful spots closer to main towns too. Praia do Ana and Praia dos Estudantes, for example, are two jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches, both within walking distance of Lagos city.
I hope you enjoy these suggestions, and don’t forget to have an adventure and discover your own secret Algarve beaches too.