From the beautiful white sand islands of the eastern Algarve to the quiet rocky bays north of Porto, Portugal has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. But with so many great coastal areas, how do you choose the best one? We swept the 600 km Portuguese coastline to find where to swim in this wonderful country.
Prar do Barril, Tavira
The sunny dunes of this island in the eastern Algarve, about 40 ‘from the lighthouse, are part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park with the huge swamp enclosed by the open sea. The pine-covered paths lead over the salt flats to the island of 11 km with the endless sandy beach. It has a busy and organized section; however, it is a wonderful and quiet beach ideal for nature lovers on the island’s west side after the anchors’ cemetery.
Praia da Senhora da Rocha, western Algiers
A windswept chapel on the cape overlooks the beautiful beach, 30 minutes by car east of Portimão. Driving from the enchanting Portimao with your car, you will come in contact with a magical route, which you can enjoy exclusively with your vehicle. If you traveled to Portimão without your own car, you do not need to worry. You can trust the company Enjoy Travel, which can offer you countless options of rental vehicles, which meet all your needs at the most economical prices on the market. In this way, you get the opportunity to enjoy this fantastic route, which can not be compared to a few others in the world.
Surrounded by vertical dunes, which look orange at sunset, the beach is protected and easily accessible through a tunnel that connects it with Praia Nova on the other side. Countless shells are scattered in the sand, which makes it even more dreamy. The waters deepen sharply and are crystal clear, while the beach is awarded a Blue Flag award.
Praia Forte do Paçô, Viana do Castelo
In the northwestern district of Viana do Castelo, one hour north of Porto, the hills give way to a coastline with it all: caves, dunes and secret beaches, with the most beautiful being Praia Forte do Paço. The beach has 800 meters of sand and is named after the abandoned castle of the 18th century. It is quiet even during the peak summer months. The waves from shallow pools in the sand are ideal for children. The beach has no organization of any kind.
Praia do Baleal, Peniche
Baleal Beach is a magical spot just an hour’s drive from Lisbon to the north. There, a 4 km sandy cove connects the Peniche Peninsula with the mainland. The rocks offer isolation and form small ponds with marine plants, crabs and shells, perfect for small explorers. It has some places ideal for surfers, but for the most part, the waters are calm. There you will find various bars and restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood.
Praia da Amália, Brejão
The wild Vicentina coast in the southwest of the country is an area with rocky capes, monasteries, ruins of monuments, and stunningly quiet beaches. A waterfall pours into the sandy beach, offering a natural shower. The beach has various cafes and wonderful restaurants with fish and grilled octopus specialties.
Benagil Sea Cave, West Algarve
The sandy cliffs of western Algarve are full of secret caves and coves. Benagil Cave is a maritime pantheon with sunlight coming in through a hole at the top of it. The cave is accessible only from the sea, either by swimming or by kayak. The most magical time to visit the cave is early in the morning; since then, it is not crowded, and the golden light bathes the cave. If you swim another 100 meters, you will find Corredoura Beach, which also has an impressive sea cave. The place is flooded with people in summer, while many cafes and restaurants serve local cuisine in the area.