Algarve – 4 pretty beaches you must visit in Portugal
Before our kid was born, we spent majority of our travels out of Europe, discovering places that are so different than those back home. But the first few years after his birth we decided to explore our home continent and Algarve was one of the places we fell in love with at the first sight.
The Algarve is located on the southern part of Portugal and is considered as Portugal most popular holiday region.
As we reached Algarve and stopped in the little village of Cacela Velha, we were immediately taken back in time and astonished by the sight of what the region must looked like a century ago. But this was just the beginning of our Algarve love. It is a destination where there is so much to discover and everyone can find something for his soul. May it be kilometers of pretty sandy beaches, whitewashed little villages, the coast with the best surf spots in this part of the world or fortresses from where sailors sailed to explore the undiscovered lands …
If you are thinking to visit this gem of Portugal, do not miss these 4 beaches that fascinated us the most. They are some of Europe’s more beautiful beaches.
1. PRAYA DA MARINHA BEACH
Located just in the middle of the Algarve coast, this beach is a breathtaking creation of nature. It nestles under the orange limestone cliffs and with its turquise waters makes a prefect spot for snorkeling. There are many interesting rock formations to explore, which together with the snorkeling will make the kids feel like in paradise. When the tide is low, you can go on a walk and find some coves and lagoons that are hidden when the tide is high.
There is a free car parking spot above the beach with a picnic area with a stunning view over the cliffs and the coastline. The way to the beach is well signed so you can not miss it. There is a stepped path that leeds to the beach, which is (with some effort) also doable with toddlers.
From the picnic area there is a path that takes you to Benagil and is one of the best areas to walk and admire the wonderful views of Algarve cliffs.
Make sure you don’ t miss the Marinha Beach – it’s also considered by the Michelin Guide as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world.
2. BENAGIL BEACH WITH THE MIGHTY BENAGIL SEA CAVE
Benagil beach is a lovely, quite small beach located under the cliffs near the Benagil village. Out of season it is not overhelmed with tourists as the parking space is very limited, but free.
Even more appealing than the beach itself, is the Benagil Sea Cave, just couple of 100 meters from the beach.
You can buy your ticket just on the beach and take a motroboat tour to visit the cave. The tour takes you in this amazing cave and some others, and on the way you admire the beautiful cliffs and rock formations above the beaches nearby.
If you are a really good swimmer, you can even swim into the cave, although the water is pretty cold.
This cave is really a must if you are in Algarve and its worth driving little off your itinerary map.
The beach is easily accessible even with small children as it is only a short walk from the road and car parking places.
Still not convinced yet? The Huffington Post readers voted the Benagil Cave as one of 10 coolest caves in the world.
3. PRAIA DO AMADO
Praia do Amado, located on the Western Algarve coast, is one of the most famous surfing spots in Europe. With the dark cliffs sorrouding and some surf schools on the beach it makes a great spot also for families and surf-beginners experiencing the Atlantic waves.
The beach is located in the middle of the natural park Alentejano, a bit far from towns, but it rewards you with its great, chilled athmosphere and faboulous views. Good for the small kids too as the access to the beach is easy and the water deepens slowly. At low tide also various pools in the sand appear and make good pools for toddlers, without worrying about the rough waves.
At the parking it’s possible to spend overnight if you are with a self sufficient vehicle.
4. PRAIA DA BORDEIRA
Praia da Bordeira is the closest beach to the village of Carrapateira and not far away from the Amado Beach. Its a 3 km long stretch of sand that spread to the inland into dunes. Out of season it’s basically deserted and offers a wild, rough experience to those who seek tranqulity and solitude.
The beach is nestled on the mouth of a shallow river mouth. Good for swim and surf, but watch out for strong currents. Where the river meets the ocean there is a warmer swim area.
There is no shade and food facilities here, so pack what you need and a shade or sun tent.
All the beaches we listed are not all-singing, all-dancing, all inclusive kind of beaches. We like to go to less visited spots that are not overloaded with mass tourism, so these beaches – so natural and in off season – were just perfect for us.
BEST TIME TO VISIT ALGARVE BEACHES
The Algarve is a year round vacation destination. If you can, try to avoid the high season from mid June to mid September as it’s hot and busy. It’s also hard to find parking spaces.
We recommend to go in European Spring or Autumn (between March and May or between mid September and November). It’s usually warm enough to swim and it’s not too hot.