I recognize it. I have hallucinated traveling the beaches of the Algarve. A true paradise!
Not only because of the color and how transparent the water is (well, and how cold it is too…), but especially because of those impossible rock formations that create dream postcards.
How is it possible that I had never gone to the south of Portugal being so close to home?
I loved it!
Also, you can read our latest guide about Best Beaches in Portugal here.
- 1 Top 25 Best Beaches in the Algarve
- 1.1 1. Barranco do Martinho
- 1.2 2. Ponta da Piedade
- 1.3 3. Students
- 1.4 4. Camilo
- 1.5 5. Dona Ana
- 1.6 6. Joao de Arens
- 1.7 7. Three Irmaos
- 1.8 8. Torrado
- 1.9 9. Estaquinha (Arco da Albandeira)
- 1.10 10. Carvalho
- 1.11 11. Benagil Cave
- 1.12 12. Corredoura
- 1.13 13. From Marinha to Barranquinho
- 1.14 14. Ninho de Andorinha
- 1.15 15. Secret Beach
- 1.16 16. Arrifes
- 1.17 17. Falesia
- 1.18 18. Arrifana
- 1.19 19. Vale dos Homes
- 1.20 20. Amoreira
- 1.21 21. Odeceixe
- 1.22 22. Barranco
- 1.23 23. Ilha da Armona
- 1.24 24. Ilha da Fuseta
- 1.25 25. Factory
- 2 Where to sleep in the Algarve?
- 3 How to get around the Algarve?
Top 25 Best Beaches in the Algarve
Here I present 25 spectacular beaches of the Algarve divided by zones. From kilometers to “private” coves half-hidden. Enjoy them!
1. Barranco do Martinho
This hidden cove is by far my favorite beach in Lagos. And what makes it special is the way to get there. It is not easy at all!
The access is not signposted and you have to descend the cliff with relatively dangerous sections if you do not go down carefully, but the effort is very worth it.
As it is not suitable for everyone, it does not have, nor comparison, the number of people that the rest.
2. Ponta da Piedade
Ponta da Piedade is not a beach in itself, it is an area of cliffs where, in addition to bathing, you can take spectacular photographs.
In addition, there is a dock from where you can take a boat and navigate between those picturesque arches.
This original bridge that connects both cliffs is the delight of lovers of posturing and Instagram.
For that reason, and especially in peak season, it’s almost impossible to get a proper photo here without a zillion people around. I caught the right moment!
What about those blue and turquoise shades of the water?
This beach is one of the most visited in the area and as it is not very big, it is usually full.
The views from above are magnificent, right?
5. Dona Ana
Rocks like falls from the sky in front of the beach make this one of the most beautiful in Lagos.
Suitable for all audiences, it is advisable to rent a kayak and lose yourself among the rocks.
I didn’t do it because of the number of people there were. But it looked perfect!
6. Joao de Arens
One of my favorite beaches in the entire Algarve.
Two beaches connected by a tunnel will delight anyone looking for tranquility and beauty at the same time.
It is a nudist beach, keep that in mind if you do not want to be surprised. However, it is obviously not mandatory to practice it.
7. Three Irmaos
Again several beaches are connected by tunnels or arches but in this case, much more crowded.
It depends on the tide you can cross or not, although there is always going to be swimming.
Again, a magnificent place.
This cliff-protected beach is located next to the Caneiros beach.
99% of the people stay there but if you swim around the cliff for 2 minutes, you will find a beach practically all to yourself.
9. Estaquinha (Arco da Albandeira)
Possibly the most famous arch in the entire Algarve. And it is not for less! A true wonder of nature. Although most people stay on the beach of Albandeira, the arch cannot be seen from there.
You have to cross its neighbor Estaquinha through a tunnel or climb the cliff and get a brutal panoramic view. I also recommend walking over the arch and seeing the beach from there. The best of the Algarve.
Another one of those beaches where the colors of the water will leave you with your mouth open. There is a kind of cave when you get to the left with brutal views, private “VIP box” style if you want to stay there.
11. Benagil Cave
Possibly the best-known image of the Algarve is this super photogenic cave with two small entrances to the sea and a hole at the top.
It is only possible to arrive by sea. By boat, renting a kayak or the alternative that I took. Swimming! They are only 5 minutes from Benagil beach.
Of course, if you go in summer, do not expect to find the idyllic image of the internet as it will be full of people.
I asked someone to take a photo of me since obviously, I couldn’t take my cell phone or the camera while swimming, and then he sent it to me by WhatsApp.
Look for Cueva de Benagil on the internet and you will see that “there is almost no difference” with reality.
By the way, you can see the cave from the hole above if you know how to guide yourself more or less well.
From where the hole is, I discovered that next to it, there is a beach that goes around Benagil’s a thousand times.
Access is exclusive by sea, but if you rent a kayak to see the cave, it can be a great plan to stop there too. And it is that look at what colors!
13. From Marinha to Barranquinho
As I did not want to make a list eternal, here I have included the area that goes from Marinha beach to Barranquinho (up to Albandeira actually, but that’s another level) passing through Pau and Malhada do Baraço.
They are all very close and if you walk along the cliff, you can have a beautiful panoramic view of all these beaches and the boats sailing.
By the way, it is highly recommended to go to the town of Carvoeiro. I did it at sunset and it was a success.
14. Ninho de Andorinha
This hidden mini beach is surely my favorite in the entire Algarve. It was like arriving on an unexpected desert island!
Access occurs from the end of Ponta Pequena (or Small Point Beach on Google Maps). You will have to swim or walk in the water at the waist and after 10 meters you will find a practically private beach.
Both are wonderful but this one takes the cake.
I have called her Ninho de Andorinha because that is how she appears on Google Maps, although the photos that are seen are not entirely true.
15. Secret Beach
I was going to say that the previous one was a secret beach, but there is already one with that name in an “official” way.
And this one is hidden! It is impressive to see the dimension of the beach compared to the little hole through which the sea can be seen.
Of course, the secret would be before, because it was full …
Another beach of undoubted beauty. But how did these giant rocks end up in the middle of the sea?
The public profile is different from the previous ones, more familiar, and the beach has more services such as a restaurant and parking.
7 kilometers of golden sand make this beach an essential visit if you are looking for something different from the previous ones.
The most curious thing is the color of its cliffs. White and red! I also recommend watching the sunset from the top of the cliff. Amazing
We completely change our style and we travel the Costa Vicentina that looks east and not south like all the others on this list.
This is the quintessential beach in the area and a paradise for surfers. Or at least for those who are learning to surf. What a lot of people with boards!
It is worth going to the end of the beach, as the rocks leave beautiful postcards and it is much quieter.
19. Vale dos Homes
Wild beach away from any type of building. To get there, you have to go down a path marked by the cliff, but very simple. Perhaps the one I liked the most in the area. Pure nature!
A nice and curious beach that connects with a river. For all types of public. There is a perfect area for children and people who are not very fond of the waves.
If you come from the south, it depends on the tide, you will have to walk with water at the waist. In the north, you will have no problem.
Not only the beach itself, which is very cool, is what captivated me about this place.
What will make it unforgettable is that, after several failed attempts (Cabo de San Vicente lighthouse included), I was finally able to enjoy a beautiful sunset in the Algarve.
And that adds up to a lot of points!
Arm yourself with patience because getting to this beach can be very long. And it is that the road is in quite unfavorable conditions (not to say that it is made a shit …)
But the reward is a virgin beach with a very interesting hippie atmosphere since there are a lot of motorhomes and people spend the night there.
23. Ilha da Armona
And, again, a radical change in the appearance of the beaches in this area. This island can only be reached by boat (obviously, it’s an island. I did it from Olhao.
The route is very pleasant and, after walking about 30 minutes from the port, one arrives at kilometer-long beaches and extremely clear water.
Of course, the water here is ice cold! I don’t know if more or less than in the rest of the Algarve, but the Faro area seemed even more so.
24. Ilha da Fuseta
Although it is known as Ilha da Fuseta, it is actually a beach on an island, yes, but it is the same Ilha da Armona on its opposite side.
What happens is that to get there, you have to do it from the town of Fuseta by boat or walk several kilometers from the other end.
I thought I was going to find fewer people in this one, but it was the other way around.
Quite a surprise, especially coinciding with the sunset. I saw the best sunset in the whole Algarve from here!
With low tide, you can reach the beach walking and reflections and shapes in the water leave prints beautiful.
Many people call it Cacelha Velha since one is a continuation of this one, but you should know that at this end, it has a different name, Fabrica.
Ah! Highly recommended to stop in Tavira, a charming little town not far away.
Where to sleep in the Algarve?
To tour the Algarve, I stayed in 3 different strategic areas.
1. Where to sleep in Lagos?
Without a doubt, Lagos is the best place to stay in the Algarve even if you don’t have a car, as many of the beaches can be explored on foot.
I stayed at Casa Flor do Mar and I only have great words about the rooms, the breakfast, the views and Claudia, the owner.
2. Where to sleep in Albufeira?
In Albufeira, a city with a lot of life by day and by night, I stayed in 2 different Guest Houses but both highly recommended.
Peneco Albufeira, in the heart of the city. Casa Mineira, next to the road and easily accessible.
3. Where to sleep in Faro?
To finish, I spent several days in Faro, the part of the Algarve closest to Spain. I stayed at Faroway Hostel and great. Both the hostel and the location.
How to get around the Algarve?
100% recommended to rent a car to get to any corner and lost beaches since public transport does not do it.
I hope that after this complete article you have a crazy desire to travel to the Algarve and enjoy its wonderful beaches.
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