Best Beaches in the Algarve
Frequently considered one of the best beach holiday destinations in Europe – the Algarve has it all. Expect sun-drenched dramatic coastlines with epic rock formations and stunning views, soft powdery sand between your toes and azure waters that are bursting with vibrant aquamarine life. The Algarve boasts 150km of shoreline just waiting to be explored, leaving holiday makers spoiled for choice. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly stretch of sand to play on with your children, snorkelling-friendly waters or watersports aplenty, you’ll find it on Portugal’s southern coast. Here’s our guide to the best beaches in the Algarve.
Praia da Dona Ana
This breath-taking beach often makes the Algarve’s (and even Portugal’s) list of top ten beaches. A calm and quiet beach, it is ideal for families thanks to its gentle waters and shelter from sea breezes thanks to the surrounding high cliffs. These sandy shores were actually extended in 2016 to make them the largest beach along the Ponta da Piedade coast. Waters are clear and perfect for swimming and snorkelling. Locals and tourists don’t come here for watersports, but to relax, and the absence of banana boats, jet skis and speed boats make it a quiet haven from more bustling beaches. Parasols and deck chairs can be hired for €15 per day, but be sure to get to the beach early, as the shores can get crowded in the summer. When you’ve topped up your tan, take an invigorating walk along the clifftops for some dramatic views and memorable holiday snaps, before heading back to your Villa Junico for dinner and an evening glass of wine by your private pool.
Praia do Farol
For those who want to get away from it all, this stunning Algarve beach, which has a name that translates to ‘The Island of the Lighthouse’, is the home of Cabo de Santa Maria’s Lighthouse, and is rarely visited by tourists because they don’t know it exists! Expect plenty of locals here who want to escape the bustle for a day. You get to the island via boat from Faro Marina or Olhão Marina, and if you want more of the beach to yourself and more space to relax, this is the place to be. Lifeguards are on hand during the summer months, and there are bars and restaurants nearby and sunbeds for hire, making it an ideal day out for couples or groups of friends who want to spend a few hours relaxing before grabbing a bite to eat and the last boat back to Faro or Olhão.
Praia da Marinha
Known as the poster-beach for the southern coastline, Praia da Marinha is repeatedly ranked among the best beaches in the Algarve. Many visitors come to see its ‘M’ rock formation, which has been famously featured in travel guides and promotional materials around the world, and which visitors can walk towards to investigate when the tide is low. We recommend taking in the panoramic views from the clifftops, before descending the stairs that are built into the cliffside, leading to the soft sand. An ideal beach for families, the waters here are usually relatively calm for swimming, paddling and snorkelling, with plenty of fish and marine life to discover in the rocky shoreline. If you are visiting with children, keep in mind that the beach provides little in the way of shade, so stock up on sun cream, as you will need to reapply it throughout the day. To get to the beach, which is located between Armação de Pêra and Carvoeiro, you will also need a car. Follow the N125 road, taking the exit at the International School. Signs clearly indicate the way to the beach. Parking is limited, and in the summer months, the shores can get busier and more crowded. Leaving your Villa Marina Azul in the early mornings will ensure a quieter experience if you’re holidaying in peak times.
Explore some of the Algarve and Portugal’s best beaches by booking a quality holiday villa in the sun. Discover our range of properties in the Algarve.