Most visitors think the best beaches Portugal has are always in the Algarve. But the country's coast stretches for 1,700km and there are plenty of beautiful beaches in less touristy areas. In fact, beaches are one of the reasons Portugal is a new entry in our list of most beautiful countries in the world – voted by you in 2022.
But which beaches really are the best in Portugal? Here's our pick of 10 top beaches in the Algarve and beyond. The information in this article is taken from The Rough Guide to Portugal, your essential travel guide for Portugal.
You can rent pedalos, umbrellas and sun loungers on the main beach in summer, although you should factor in a few crowds in July and August. Visit off season and you'll have the deserted shores almost entirely to yourself.
Nearby Tavira is a good base for exploring this part of the Algarve and it's also home to one of 9 of the best pousadas in Portugal, if you want some tradition with your stay.
Praia da Marinha is a warren of coves and not much else, apart from a few restaurants in summer. If you want to explore a little, follow the clifftop path from Marinha to Benegal. The beach sits just below the cliffs and it's from here you can catch boat tours to see those caves.
Even in summer treat the Atlantic here with caution when it comes to swimming. Autumn and winter are the best times for surfing, waves are world class and the ones at Nazaré North Beach regularly break records in wild January and February.
Just four kilometres west of the village, this remarkable beach is one of the most sheltered on the coast and good for swimming or surfing. From May to September you can ride a little road train from Odeceixe to Praia de Odeceixe. Alternatively, walk the pretty path to the beach, it's worth some legwork.
Choosing less travelled coasts in Portugal for a less touristy experience is just one of the inspired ideas in our 20 essential Portugal travel tips for year round trips guide.
Prefer to leave planning and booking to experts? Have a look at the Portugal itineraries by our local travel agents in Portugal. All Tailor Made Trips can be modified together with your local expert, and then booked for a stress-free holiday.
Start at Figueira village and follow a rough looking track which winds through some ruins. From there it's a straight route to Praia da Figueira. You can't drive to the beach, so it's often completely deserted, another reward for walking.
The beach is known for endless deserted sands most of the year, although its very good seafront restaurants attract a lot of savvy Lisboetas during summer. In fact Alentejo is good for food all round, take a look at our best restaurants in Portugal right now guide to see why.
Wild Praia da Bordeira is the one for spectacularly tall dunes and almost perfect peace. Or if you want a little more life, head to broad and sandy Praia do Amado and pick a spot on the beach to watch surfers doing their stuff.
Pretty, white sand coves are the thing here and Praia Galapos is the least touristy of the lot. Close to Portinho da Arrábida, you'll find the beach sheltered by pine forest and if you want to swim, it's known for calmer than usual Atlantic waters.
Porto Côvo town is one of the best for beaches and a popular weekend escape from the city for Lisboetas. It can get busy in August, but off season there are few if any crowds here. Head north of the town for Praia Grande and don't miss Praia da Samouqueira for its stunning rock formations.
Ready for a trip to Portugal? Check out the Rough Guide to Portugal. If you travel further in Portugal read more about the best time to go and the best places to visit. For inspiration use our Portugal itineraries or speak to our local experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there. And don't forget to buy travel insurance before you go.
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