Algarve Praia Do Vau

6 Best Beaches To Visit In The Algarve

When I decided to travel to the South of Portugal, all that was on my mind was to escape the freezing winter temperatures I had been experiencing in France and England. I hadn’t done much research into the Algarve before arriving and had no idea this place was such a popular holiday destination. I’m a beach lover, so I knew I was going to be living close to the beach, but I did not expect the beaches here to be so picturesque!

Algarve Praia Da Marinha

(Praia Da Marinha, The Most Photographed Beach In The Algarve)

Ideally you’d want to hire a car to travel along the coast (since the public transport here is VERY inconvenient) but if you’re a budget traveller like me, it’s possible to see all of the following by bus, train or by foot.

Tip: Trains are cheaper than buses here and if you’re under 25 you get discount (you don’t have to be a student), but only if you ask 😉

These are what I consider to be the best beaches/ocean views in The Algarve in order from West to East…Enjoy!

1. Sagres

Right on the very South West tip of Europe you’ll find a place called Sagres, and since it can get extremely windy here it’s a paradise for surfers. We caught a bus from Lagos to Sagres but accidentally got off at the wrong stop so didn’t get to the ‘main’ surfy tourist area that was nearby. Instead we found this cute little secluded area with a cafe on the beach.

Algarve Sagres

(Beach in Sagres, The Algarve)

There’s a very calm energy here, so it’s the perfect place to relax over a drink.

Algarve Sagres Coffee

(Coffee With A View, Sagres)

2. Ponta de Piedade, Lagos

If you want to be around the parties, activities and people then Lagos is definitely the place to go in the Algarve. This is the main tourist destination and most people here speak English. I’d recommend to use this place as a base to come back to after days out exploring the nearby towns and beaches.

Cheeky bevvi at the Marina bay in #Lagos. Felt at home here with all the English folk roaming about 👌 . #algarve

A post shared by Will – The Brit & The Blonde (@will.travel) on

The main beach in Lagos is Meia beach but about 30 minutes walk from the centre of Lagos is Ponta De Piedade. I think it’s probably THE best place to see the ocean. The Algarve is known for it’s magical sunsets and it sure was…the views here are breathtaking.

I've found THE best place to watch the #sunset in Europe😍😍

A post shared by Sandy ✌🏼🐚☀️ (@the.aussie.traveller) on

3. Praia do Vau, Portimao

After spending a few days in Lagos (and thinking it was the only big town in the Algarve) I was very surprised to find Portimao. Apart from the beautiful beaches, there’s also a big shopping centre and there are a lot more locals here compared to Lagos.

Algarve Praia Do Vau

(Praia Do Vau, The Algarve)

An hours walk from the centre of Portimao is where you’ll find Praia do Vau, a stunning beach located right next to the main beach, Praia De Rocha.

Algarve Praia Do Vau

(Perfect moment in Praia Do Vau)

4. Praia da Marinha, Lagoa

Praia Da Marinha is the most photographed beach in the Algarve and you can see why! There is no public transport that goes directly there so you have to catch a bus to Lagoa and it’s a 1.5 hour walk from the bus stop. I was lucky to get a lift by a nice man who I asked for directions at the petrol station.

Algarve Praia Da Marinha

(Praia Da Marinha, The Algarve)

It’s also a perfect place to camp the night if you have a Campervan or RV. There are no shops or restaurants around so make sure you get food and water before you get here, especially if you plan to walk. The views are unreal from above but you can also walk down to the beach for some great photo opportunities.

Algarve Praia Da Marinha

(Selfie at the beautiful Praia Da Marinha)

5. Praia dos Pescadores, Albufeira

Algarve Albufeira Cafe

(Perfect Place To Chill in Albufeira, Portugal)

Albufeira is another one of the bigger towns filled with cafes, bars and tourists. If you plan to come here don’t catch a train because for some strange reason whoever designed this place made the train station 6km from the town. You can catch the bus but I missed mine on my solo trip here (and they don’t come regularly!) so I hitchhiked and met the loveliest African lady who dropped me off right at the beach.

Tip: Hitch hiking here is considered acceptable so a lot of people do it and most of the locals would pick you up.

6. Monte Gordo Beach

About an hours drive and on the opposite end of The Algarve, right by the border of Portugal and Spain is the beautiful Monte Gordo.

Algarve Monte Gordo Beach

(Monte Gordo Beach, The Algarve)

This beach is HUGE and makes for the best walks. Here you’ll find cafes and lots of random funky boats on the sand.

Algarve Monte Gordo Boats

(Boats at Monte Gordo, Portugal)

It was so nice to chill at one of the cafe’s overlooking the ocean, and since this area is quite far from the main touristy parts of The Algarve, it’s so cheap (we paid less than 5Euros for a cappuccino, local beer and a huge bowl of chips!)

Algarve Monte Gordo

(Hot Chips At Monte Gordo, Portugal)

So there you have it, the best beaches to put on your Algarve bucket list. I will definitely visit The Algarve again some day but next time I’ll come with a bigger budget and invest in a hire car to drive along the coast, which I would highly recommend for you too.

Have you been to The Algarve before? Are there any other beaches that you’d add to this list? Leave us a comment…
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6 thoughts on “6 Best Beaches To Visit In The Algarve

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  2. Hi Sandy, This post is really nice and informative.

    The Algarve Coast is absolutely breathtakingly picturesque with its jagged limestone cliffs and cool aquamarine seas. The sound of the water splashing against the rocks inside is like a Siren’s song calling you in.

    I wrote a blog post myself about the The Algarve Coast, check it out:
    http://homebodyabroad.com/the-algarve-coast/

  3. We are heading there in March and we are hiring a car (thanks for the tip). Hoping the weather would be nice…do you recemmond any restaurants near Albufeira??

    1. Awesome! You’ll love it 🙂 I think the weather will be good in March, I was there in January and it was nice during the day and only a bit chilly in the evening. There was a nice cafe/restaurant on esplanada dr. fruttuoso da silva near the look out on the right side of the beach with really nice couches to chill on, but I forgot the name! I’m sure you’ll find some good places along the beach, have a great time <3

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