Known for its golden beaches and turquoise seas, the Algarve in Portugal, is a popular destination for Europeans seeking a relaxing beach holiday. We list the best places to sunbathe there, from spots with wild and rugged beauty to stretches of manicured luxury.
Praia da Marinha has golden sand, clear water and caves begging to be discovered. If you want a guide, there are boat tours to help you explore them. If you’re feeling more daring, embark on an expedition and swim close to them. Thanks to it’s remote location (you can only access it by steps that go down the cliffside) crowds are kept at bay, meaning those who make the excursion are rewarded with solitude in a magnificent setting.
For a luxurious stay, head to Praia Quinta do Lago. One of the Algarve’s most luxurious golf and residential areas, there are plenty of unique villas to unwind in after a long day at the beach. As for the beach itself, it can only be accessed by a wooden bridge over the Ria Formosa Lagoon. Quinta do Lago is family friendly, with quaint, wooden umbrellas that can be rented throughout your stay.
Praia do Ancão is the place where locals in the know and the Portuguese upper-crust go to enjoy the time on the beach. In spite of its secluded status, there are still plenty of restaurants and bars nearby to enjoy, and water sports are quite popular.
Praia da Barreta is located on a secluded island (Ilha Deserta translates to deserted beach) and offers six miles of almost untouched sand. The lack of an easy path to the beach keeps all but the most intrepid beach hunters at bay. The only way to reach this beach is by boat, which can be caught at Cais da Porta Nova every day, all year long. The ride takes approximately half an hour, with the first boat leaving at 10:00 and the last departing the island at 19:00.
For nature lovers and surfers, this beach near the village of Aljezur is enchanting. Natural beauty abounds; climb the cliffs for breathtaking views and enjoy an almost deserted stretch of perfect sand. With nothing more than a narrow, unpaved road leading towards it, visitors are advised to bring their own food and water.