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A-Z Beach Information for Algarve

Two of Portugal’s four sides are flanked by the Atlantic Ocean; Portugal with 800 kilometres of breath-taking coastline and with around 80 beaches in the Algarve alone, with its many hidden coves. It would take the average visitor many visits to be able to say (been there done that).

  Portugal’s coastlines are so varied that different climates are found in the different areas of the country. When venturing off to the smaller coves care should be taken to possible rock fall and lack of lifeguard. Many beaches that have possible rock fall are highlighted with yellow/black warning signs.

It offers many water sports for real enthusiast or just hiring a pedalo for a family day on the beach

 Portugal has moved into the 21st century with many beaches patrolled by land and sea for your safety, and huge improvements for disabled access.

Portuguese are more laid back when it comes to beach life and often found reading or playing cards in family groups. You can often hear the tinkle of a bell ringing as the locals sell the well know doughnut type cake. These are sold on the beaches from licensed sellers. Any water sport events also required to have a licence and complaints book.

Note: many beaches will offer sunbeds and shades these are known as concessions and have to include a life guard. The beach areas in front of the sunbed are also part of the concession. If you set up brollies, beach mats, you may be asked to move from this area. As the sunbed owners will have paid a licence for this area of the beach. Often many people will sunbath topless, unless the beach is designated naturist beaches you may be ask to cover up by the Maritime police.


Albanderia (Central Algarve) a pretty small beach ideal for those who don’t mind a small climb. Next door to the Benagil beach this is a two part beach surrounded by cliffs.

Alvor (Western Algarve) has a large beach in front of the village. Alvor beach fringes on the eastern half of Lagos Bay having no cliff this beach. Easy access with its many sand dunes it has developed from the winds over time. A popular beach for wind surfers and host numerous water sports. Fishing from the beach in summer months is not permitted.


Armacao de Pera (Central Algarve) is a large flat beach with one end towards the East at the start of the cliff tops. With many caves that can be seen by taking a short trip in a traditional Algarve fishing boat for just a few euros. The large beach has easy access and also has wooden decking boards for wheelchair/pushchair access. Armacao de Pera beach is popular the Portuguese who holiday from Lisbon.

Great for long walks as you can in less than 20 minutes’ walk to Albufeira. Towards the east the Beach still boasts it fishing community. In the mornings you can often buy fish straight from the fishermen, as they pull the boats up onto the beach to unload. Overall this is a good family beach. With nearby bars right on the beach with prices being low for a coffee or small beer being around €1.20 (price at Pedro’s bar in 2014)


Arrifana (western Algarve) south of Ajezur, this beach is one of the very few which is right next to the little village, good access


Amoreira (Western Algarve) North of Aljezur on the main road near the campsite.

The road is a dead end road with parking overlooking the beach, large beach with plenty of space. Busy in peak season, but like most beaches quiet and good for walking in the quieter months. There is a river estuary at the far end and is perhaps the safer part with warmer water, as the current on the main beach can be unpredictable.


Batata (western Algarve) Down near Lagos this small beach with the remains of small fort, clear sand with jetties going out to sea to the entrance of a small harbour.


Burgau Today  still a well-known fishing village with its small boats scattered on the beach known locally as fisherman's beach and quarry Beach. A small golden sandy beach with easy access via steps or ramp, flanked by low line cliffs give ideal protection from the coastal breeze. The water here is generally calm and the quality excellent. It is reached by following the villages cobbled streets down to the waterfront there it has a wooden beach walkway. Even in Peak season the beach does not get too overcrowded, whilst Parking can be a bit of a problem. Plenty of parking can be found on the outskirts of the village and wander down the narrow streets you get a feel of an old Cornish village

Benagil (central Algarve) turn off at the traffic lights on the EN125 near the International School. It offers good Parking with the beach being a few meters away. Backed by rocks this small beach has the golden sands that you want for a quiet day out. Offers picnic tables often used by fisherman who fish from the tops of the rocks.


Caneriros (Western Algarve) a bit further east from Ferragudo. Located down a cul-de-sac road, a good size beach. Popular with its flanked cliffs which offer shady places in the afternoons. Access to the beach is easy but lack of parking means roadside parking be careful of where you park to avoid fines.


Carvoeiro (Central Algarve) a Pretty beach right in front of the central square with many bars and café’s towards the beaches main entrance. Due to the size of the beach this can get crowded in peak season. Whilst heading out towards Rocha Brava Centianes beach is a short distance away. Carvoeiro beach features on many postcards and popular with photographers. Walking or driving up the steep hill towards sesmarinas is the other part of Cavalho beach. Reached by steep steps down to the bottom, but well worth the effort even if just for a photo opportunity.

Continue further up the road you will come to a restaurant with a small car park with steps taking you down to a small beach Paraiso. Due to the steepness not suitable for young children, fragile, or those with disability problems.


Castelo (central Algarve) from a short stretch of track from the parking area with a few steps. nothing to arduous this leads down to a well sheltered beach flanked by low cliffs. located on the old Albufeira and Pera road and well sign posted.


Castelejo (western Algarve) one of the few beaches on the west coast where it is safer to swim due to the less underlying dangerous currents. This beach is located to the north-west of the small town of Vila do Bispo. It is one of the smaller beaches and has a completely different atmosphere to those found on the southern coastline. It may not suit everyone but those that do visit tend to return.


Gale (Central Algarve) a picture postcard beach that is popular in peak season, well signed posted so easy to reach. Has a Large car park and bar/restaurant. a split beach with one side have rocks that you can clamber over, and  very popular during the winter months with surfers. Whilst the other half of the beach is ideal for relaxing new wooden decking runs alone the beach giving easy access for pushchairs or mobility difficulties, good beach for relaxing sun loungers to hire in the peak season.


Garrao (Eastern Algarve) one of the main beaches in the well-known Algarve golden triangle. Originally before any development this was a quiet beach with small wooded areas of mainly pine trees. Vale do Lobo and adjoining Quinta do Lago developed in the 1960s, with a nearby riding school. It is possible to ride along the beach.Praia de Garrao between these two resorts and features private areas offering sun-lounge’s and shades. There is a large open part to the general public, offering the finest beachside restaurants in the Algarve.


Lagoa ( Central Algarve) Cove is located near Novotel Vermar, many beach bars all year-long some serving snacks . The beach is popular in the summer, but calm during winter. Being so flat a great beach for winter walkers, the beach has an almost white sand appearance and very few rocks. During low tide, immersed rocks become visible.


Lagos (Western Algarve) to the east of Lagos sits the largest and main beach Meia Praia. With golden sands offering a good choice of water sports Lagos has the calmest waters for snorkelling. On the sands in high season volleyball courts are set up on the beach as well as football. These games always welcome you if you want to join in.

      Restaurants and beach bars are situated close by. Meia Praia is a wide sandy beach bay with character with low sand dunes. The beach is about 4 kilometres. If you want to find the many nearby smaller beaches then Batata is a good example Follow the road from Lagos towards the Marina. Meia Praia is well signposted. Has a good access for all.


Mareta (Western Algarve) a sunbather’s wish list beach, right in front of the village of Sagres. A sheltered beach away from the winds and less water sport than many of the other beaches in western Algarve. Good access, one for relaxing with a good book.


Marinha (Central Algarve) Just a little further up from Benagil a quiet picture postcard beach nestled down below from the cliff tops .offering quiet a long stretch of beach, shallow waters. Care should be taken as the bottom sea plate is rocky. Offers good shelter in the afternoon when the sun swings around at the far end of the beach.


Martinhal (Western Algarve) one of the beaches off the Sagres bay, well-known beach for the windsurfers. located just outside the village of Sagres toward the end of the bay.


Monte Clerigo one of those beaches that when the tide goes out will give hours of fun exploring the many little rock pools that children so like to explore. But a good excuse for the adults as well, has a large sand area, also a good one for the amateur snorkel lovers.


Monte Gordo (Eastern Algarve) almost on the Spanish border is a large developed town with an amazingly long & deep beach. Busy in peak season, but always plenty of space to find a spot. You will find the water a little warmer than most of the Algarve due to being close to the Mediterranean Sea. One for the family as it offers the normal range of cafés, ice creams, & the usual shops selling beach toys. Wooden decking makes easy access for disabled or pushchairs.


Odeceixe In the northwest corner of the Algarve in the northern parish of Aljezur.

One of the few official naturist beaches with a flat beach and clear golden sand the tip joins the Atlantic with the river Seixe. Almost making it seem like an island lovely quiet relaxing beach that sits in a cove surrounded by black and white granite rocks.


Praia Grande (Western Algarve) large Beach just off Ferragudo where the estuary Arade meets the sea.  Views of the Santa Catarina fort down towards Praia da Rocha. Praia Grande is a good location for all round water sports facilities.


Praia da luz (Western Algarve) the beachfront at Praia da Luz has a lovely Traditional cobbled walkway. Using the skill of the different colour cobbles to create art in the pavement. The beach can be promenaded along the walkway popular with locals for evening strolls. The beach is a large crescent shaped bay with soft white sand. At the far end of the beach sit the dark stone rock cliffs.

 At the far end of the beach you can find plenty of rock pools at low tide great for the kids. There are plenty of water sports on offer in high season (check they are licensed) Access onto the beach is very good for all. There are several beach restaurants and snack-bars to choose from many located on the beach. Many small shops selling souvenirs & beach toys. Praia da Luz is a popular beach with families; waters are calm, good for swimming.


Srª de Rocha (Central Algarve) has the best of both world and is a hidden gem.

Located off the N269-1 between Armacao de Pera and Porches if heading towards porches a turning opposite the petrol station will lead down to Srº de Rocha. It is best to park at the top near the old chapel there you will look down on 2 beaches. One is with a restaurant and fishing boats the other is a quiet beach with signs of fallen rock. A manmade 18th century tunnel about 100 m in length that joins the 2 beaches. Access to through the tunnel can be restricted during high tide. Fishermen offer cave trips the water can be crystal clear which make it popular with snorkelers. There are 2 dedicated disabled parking spaces at the bottom. Also a public toilet baby changing room, showers than give hot water for a small charge in the meter.



Armacao de pera

Snr da Rocha beach with tunnel

St Raphael Albufeira

Many rugged beach coves

Bordeira western Algarve

Cavalho beach

Praia da Rocha

Monte Gordo good access

Praia da Luz sheltered bay

Armacao de Pera peak season

Quataria water breaks

Bordeira naturist beach

Snr da Rocha 2 part beach

Carvoeira sheltered bay

Danger sign commonly seen