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Vintage postcard from Lisbon, Portugal

Best Beaches in Portugal

Surfing is What Portugal Beaches Are Known For

Beaches in Portugal are known for many things, like 497 miles of beaches and that it can rightfully be claimed for 364 days of good surfing out of the 365 days of the year.  


Most famous of Portugal beaches are those on the Algarve Coast where you’ll find the best sunny weather and calmer waters. The area is a tourist magnet but also popular with locals. However, don’t expect the warmer Mediterranean water temperatures because Algarve waters are cooler and somewhat rough on some beaches. You’ll find many resorts with a lot to offer along the Algarve Coast. 


Now, if you are looking to surf or windsurf — those watersports are better enjoyed off Portugal’s west side beaches. There,  it is more windy which makes for good waves.  But again, do not expect warm waters, and quite chilly so wet suits are recommended. 

Fun Facts About Portugal

  • Starting in 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas gave the entire Eastern half of what was the know "New World" to Portugal.  This included all of Asia, Brazil and even Africa.


  • Lisbon, Portual is the site of the strongest known earthquake in 1755, measured by today's standard it was a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.  The death told was over 255,000 people.


  • Portugal was the first country in the world to banish slavery, clear back in 1761.


Best Beaches in Portugal

Praia da Marinha, Caramujeira, Faro District, Portugal

Praia Da Marinha, Caramujeira, Faro District, Portugal

Praia da Marinha, Caramujeira, Faro District, Portugal — Majestic, magnificent and magical would be three ways to describe this beach that can be accessed by stairs or by boat. Stunning when viewed from above. Wild and beautiful best enjoyed at low tide. 

Praia da Ursa, Sintra, Lisbon District, portugal

Praia Da Marinha, Caramujeira, Faro District, Portugal

Praia da Ursa, Sintra, Lisbon District, Portugal — while not an easy hike, steep and hidden bluest of waters beneath the bluer sky, tucked among mountains and warmed by sparkly golden sands.  Perfect hidden fishing spot and a very tranquil peaceful hike for more athletic and experienced hikers. Leave on footprints take memories! 

Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Faro District, Portugal

Praia Do Camilo, Lagos, Faro District, Portugal

Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Faro District, Portugal — warning - you’ll likely be counting the somewhat steep wooden steps on the way back up - lol there are 200, but once enjoying the two small beaches connected by a hand dug tunnel on their stunning sheltered warm sands you'll also won’t regret the climb back up.  Keep in mind while climbing up — the prize at the end of the perfect beach day with beautiful views is a restaurant and bar to enjoy them from.

Praia da Rocha, Portimao, Portugal

Praia Da Rocha, Portimao, Portugal

Praia da Rocha, Portimao, Portugal — having fun in the sun is what any beach destination has to offer and this is especially true of Praia da Rocha.  This resort beach is a golden sand jewel in the Algarve set in the crystal clear waters.  Sun and fun by day and a nightlife that is vibrant and varied. The perfect Portugal vacation hot spot!

Falesia Beach, Olhos de Agua, Albufeira, Portugal

Falesia Beach, Olhos De Agua, Albuferia, Portugal

Falesia Beach, Olhos de Agua, Albufeira, Portugal — surfers and biggie boarders love this clean and beautiful beach with its clean and fine warm sands — so do locals and tourists. Great waves and stunning red cliffs. 

Praia Dona Ana Beach, Lagos, Portugal

Praia Da Rocha, Portimao, Portugal

Praia Dona Ana Beach, Lagos, Portugal -- there's nothing like relaxing days on this beach where it's clean, calm and protected by the high cliffs from sea breezes becoming too strong.  The inviting golden sands offer a beach that is ideal for snorkeling and rentals of beach umbrellas and deck chairs that are available.  You'll have to use stairs to climb down to it.  Above where the parking lot is you'll find refreshments.  One of the best beaches in Portugal. 


Beach Coverups Perfect for Portugal


What to Know Before You Go - Rip Currents in Portugal

Portugal Water Safety Caution - Rip Currents

Portugal Beaches - Rip Currents

Portuguese waters are the perfect storm for encountering rip currents,  monster waves and equally dangerous whirlpools. For that reason,  always be aware that drowning is an ever present concern even for adults and strong swimmers. 


Families enjoying Portugal beaches should be alert and cautious when visiting with children and only swim where lifeguards are present and waters flagged for safety.  Lifeguards close down for the summer season in September.

Water safety terms to know

  • Whirlpools — rip currents that usually don’t drag you down but trap you in a swirling round and round current that’s hard to get out. 


  • Monster Waves — come with powerhouse undertow rips that quickly carry the swimmer out to sea and make them invisible to find and are impossible to escape.



Wet Suits for Portugal Waters