The Algarve boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. The province can be characterised by two district area: Barlavento and Sotavento
Baravento - (Western part). Situated between Albufeira and Cape St Vincent. Along this coast, lovely rock formations are found and, nestled in the rocks, beautiful sandy beaches.
Sotavento - (Eastern part). Situated between Albufeira and Vila Real de Santo Antonio. Along this area of the coast are long golden stretches of sandy beaches.
The Algarve is made up of hundreds of beaches. The following is just to give you an insight into a few of the most popular and interesting beaches. Click here for our extra page dedicated to the Lagoa district beaches and coves
(Details supplied by 3rd parties. Beaches may change with coastal errosion)
Left from the main road or cliff road from Praia da Luz. Parking and turning is not easy. It is best to leave your car at the entrance of the village. It is a fishing port, so the beach is cut in to two by a boat launching ramp. Sandy, quiet surf, narrow and 300m long
Praia da Luz
Best road is from left of Espiche. Again parking at the beach is limited. Best to walk down. 200m and very wide with fishing boats. Quiet surf, excellent for children, with good water sports centre just off the beach
Just west of Lagos. Park near the hotel Golfinho and then long steps down to the beach. 200m long medium width and sandy, sheltered, quiet surf, Perfect for children, but dont let them wander
Directly out (east) from Lagos or any turn off from Odeaxere to Lagos Bridge. Plenty of parking. One of the longest stretches of beach in the Algarve, Medium-wide with dunes, good surfing but take care with children as the currents can be quite strong.
Praia do Alvor
Either through Alvor Village or just outside Portimão follow the “Praia da Rocha” sign and then follow the “Alvor & Torralta” signs. Long sandy stretch, which is a continuation of Meia Praia, separated by an estuary. At the Portimao end is small cove of the “Tres Irmãos”. The beach is quite wide and sandy with safe surf. There is now a nice wooden walkway to the south west of the town.
Praia do Vau
Drive from Portimão to “Praia da Rocha” then west along the cliffs towards Alvor. It is reached by a straight path , but to the west of Praia do Vau are a series of coves. Good conditions for children
Praia da Rocha
Well sign posted on Portimão. Good parking with steps and ramp onto the beach. Can get crowded, but the beach is long and wide and can take it. Lots of activities for children and mild surf. Paths around the cliffs separting the long eastern stretch from smaller coves and some tunnels
Praia da Armaçao de Péra
This is a long beach that services the resort of Armacao de Pera which is a popular holiday resort for both foreigners and the Portuguese. As a result this beach gets very crowded.
Praia de Gale
Adjoined to Armacao de Pera beach but separated by a river, access can only be gained by car crossing the river and down the side of a nature reserve. Even in the summer this beach is quiet and very long. A perfect getaway to relax and watch the boats sail by.
Praia do Castelo
Take the turn off for Castelo, coming from Albufeira and turn left at the ´Por do Sol´ Restaurant. Then take the first turn to the right and follow the road, then track, down. Tiny beach surrounded by ´gingerbread´ rock formations. Very protected and calm. Good for walking and climbing.
Fishermans beach, Albufeira
This is a large popular beach right in the front of the old part of the town and is reached through a tunnel next to the tourist information office. From here, the sand stretches away to the east
Other Notable Beaches
Other noteable beaches are at Faro, on the way to the airport, you come to the roundabout with the petrol station, take 1st exit and over the bridge. Ilha de Tavira - There are two access points to this long island with its excellent beach fronting the ocean. Cabanas - This is a lovely beach and is separated from the mainland by the river and is accessible by a regular boat service. Peaceful and isolated