10 Beautiful Portugal Beaches that Deliver the Ahhh

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Morning sun rising across the Mediterranean, viewed from Sagres, Portugal - the southwestern most point in Europe.
Morning sun rising across the Mediterranean, viewed from Sagres, Portugal – the southwestern most point in Europe. / Photo credit Tami Mittan, Outdoorsy SheBuysTravel

Portugal is a paradise for beach-lovers. The country is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Portugal beaches are tucked behind daunting cliffs, stretched alongside urban boardwalks, or backed by sandy dunes. With turquoise water, tumultuous waves and golden sand, these beaches appeal to all kinds of beach-goers.

The beaches are definitely one of the reasons to visit Portugal.

Kayak to the iconic Benagil cave from its neighboring beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a break from sunbathing and try parasailing off of Rocha Beach. For unspoiled nature, check out Adraga Beach or Comporta Beach. Read about these beaches and more in our roundup of the best beaches in Portugal.

Read More: When is the best time to visit Portugal?

Beautiful Algarve Beach. Photo credit: Monique Stokman from Pixabay

1. Praia da Marinha, Algarve

Praia da Marinha is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. The beach is easily recognizable with its towering limestone cliffs, golden sand and crystal-clear water. In fact, if you’ve seen photos of the Algarve, chances are you were looking at Marinha Beach.

Located along the Algarve coast, in the Lagoa municipality, the beach is sprinkled with unique rock formations that emerge from the water. These rocks make strange shapes that resemble faces or animals. The beach is also full of hidden grotto and sea caves.

If you have a little extra energy, go for a hike atop the surrounding cliffs. Marinha Beach is the starting point of several popular hikes, the most popular being the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, which travels along the cliffs to Praia de Vale Centianes. There’s parking for anyone with a car, and there are bathroom facilities. Kayak and SUP rentals are also available.

2. Praia do Guincho, Lisbon

Guincho Beach is a bit of a movie star. Featured in several car commercials and, most famously, in the 1969 James Bond film, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” this beach is one of the most iconic beaches in Portugal. It features a large stretch of sandy beach, backed by golden dunes and rugged cliffs.

Located near Cascais, Guincho Beach is dominated by strong winds and large waves, which attract surfers, windsurfers and kite surfers. The beach is an easy day trip from Lisbon, and offers a quiet, remote retreat from the country’s capital. On one end of the beach, there is a 5-star hotel, and on the other side you’ll find a casual beach bar.

3. Praia de Falesia, Algarve

Praia de Falesia is famous for its red and orange cliffs, topped with green pine trees. The beach is huge, stretching for nearly four miles. Here, beach-goers can sunbathe, swim, walk, or enjoy a variety of water sports, including surfing and snorkeling.

Located in the Algarve, Falesia Beach is a great option for anyone staying in Albufeira, as it is only a short drive from the popular resort town. Although the beach does tend to crowd in the summers, its large size means you’ll always find a comfortable place to relax, especially if you’re willing to walk a little bit.

4. Praia da Rocha, Algarve

Praia da Rocha is a popular beach in Portimão. This resort town is the perfect destination for an all-inclusive beach vacation, with nightlife, good food, water sports and hours of sunbathing.

This beach is especially popular among families, due to the many amenities located directly on the sand. Beach-goers can rent lounge chairs, or sign up for water sports activities, such as parasailing and jet skiing. Head to one of the nearby restaurants or beach bars to watch the sunset.

SheBuysTravel Tip: One of our favorite things to do when taking a beach vacation is to hire a photographer for family photos. This is a special gift and souvenir that we cherish. We use Flytographer to book a local photographer located in the area that we’re traveling to. Use this link and you will get $25 off your photo session.

The beach stretches for nearly a mile, so it’s perfect for a beach walk. To enjoy panoramic views, hike to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a 17th century fortress that sits at the edge of the beach.

5. Praia da Nazaré, Central Portugal

If you’re a surfer, you’ve surely heard of Nazare Beach. This beach is famous for having some of the world’s largest, surfable waves. In fact, the beach holds the record for the largest wave ever surfed, a record made in 2022 when surfer Sebastian Steudtner rode an 86-foot-long wave.

There’s plenty to do at Nazare beach, even if you’re not a pro-surfer. The world-famous waves are actually at a separate beach called Praia do Norte, located up the coast. Nazare’s main beach is suitable for swimmers. This beach is located alongside a quaint fishing town, home to shops, cafes and restaurants.

For beautiful panoramic views of the beach, take the town’s funicular to the Sitio district, which sits on cliffs overlooking the water. Nazare is located between Lisbon and Porto, making it a great stop if you’re traveling up the coast.

6. Praia da Comporta, Alentejo

Comporta is a stretch of coast located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, a little more than an hour’s drive from Lisbon. This area is known for its pine forests, salt marshes, rice paddies and white sand beaches. Much of Comporta is part of a protected nature reserve, which ensures the area remains largely undeveloped.

While this area is home to lots of popular beaches, Comporta Beach is the most popular. The water here is perfect for swimming, and beach goers can rent sunbeds at a beach club. There are also a couple beach restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat.

7. Praia da Ilha de Tavira, Algarve

Escape to Ilha de Tavira, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean, located off the Algarve coast. The island is accessible by ferry from the mainland, and makes for a perfect remote beach getaway. The sand is clean and white, and sandy dunes stretch for miles.

The beach is particularly popular among Portuguese families, who spend their holidays here. In the summer months, there are umbrella and beach chair rental for about 15 euros a day. Water sports rentals are also available in the summer.

Benagil Cave, Portugal Beaches
Benagil Cave, as seen from an organized boat tour Photo credit: Adina Keeling

8. Praia de Benagil, Algarve

Benagil Beach is famous for its highly-photographed sea cave, which forms a huge dome over an enclosed beach. The cave is not accessible by foot, so the only way to see the cave is by taking a boat tour from one of the nearby villages or renting a kayak or SUP and paddling from Benagil Beach. While you’re at sea, be sure to check out some of the many other caves and coves located in the surrounding area.

There’s more to Benagil Beach than just the cave. The beach is set among stunning cliffs, and boasts beautiful turquoise water. Benagil Beach is at the halfway point of the Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, but it could also be a starting point, for anyone wishing to hike only half of the trail. Just note that there are no umbrellas or sunbeds available for rent, so make sure you bring a towel and sun protection.

9. Praia da Dona Ana, Algarve

Dona Ana Beach is a beautiful stretch of sand surrounded by limestone cliffs. The beach is only a 20-minute walk from Lagos and is a family-friendly option, as there are no strong currents and the waves are mild. During the summer, lifeguards monitor the water.

This beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming or picnicking. While visitors may rent beach chairs and parasols, active water activities, like jet skiing or surfing, are not available here. There are several restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat.

10. Praia da Adraga, Lisbon

Tucked within the Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais, Praia da Adraga is a secluded, untouched beach known for its dramatic cliffs and soft sand. The beach is only a 50-minute drive from Lisbon, making it a great choice if you’re looking to escape the city life. Despite its proximity to Lisbon, Adraga Beach is rarely crowded.

When the tide is low, there are coves, caves and tunnels that you can explore in the surrounding cliffs. There is also a restaurant on the beach, popular among locals. Just be careful if you’re planning to swim, as the waves can be powerful and sometimes dangerous.

Adina Keeling is a freelance travel writer from San Diego, CA. She worked in local news for a year until her wanderlust drew her to Costa Rica, where she is now based while freelancing and traveling the world. She has lived in three different countries and traveled to 27. An avid solo traveler, Adina wants to empower other women to safely travel alone.
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