View of one of the best beaches in Portugal

16 Best Beaches in Portugal (in 2023)

Portugal beaches are some of the most intensely beautiful and powerful sea sides on the planet. If you never want to run out of enchanting beaches, Portugal is going to end up being one of your favorite places in the world.

Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal’s beaches are eclectic and change conditions throughout the year. Whether you want calm crystal clear water or the biggest waves ever surfed, you’ll find them in Portugal.

I spent weeks soaking up Portugal’s beaches during the summer of 2022. Now, I’m going to share the very best beaches in Portugal and everything you need to know before visiting. Let’s dive in. No pun intended.  

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16 Best Portugal Beaches

Praia de Benagil

A great beach near the famous Portuguese cave of Algar de Benagil in the Algarve region

View of the crowded and famous Benagil Beach
The famous Benagil Beach in the Algarve (photo: Erika Cristina Manno / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Praia de Benagil | 🅿️ Parking: Free public parking at the top of the cliffs | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Casa Rosa Azul – Terracos de Benagil

When you imagine Portugal’s beaches, the image blooming in your mind probably includes beautiful cliffs. This is a common feature you’ll find at Portuguese beaches, yet it never gets less astonishing. 

If it’s your first time in Portugal and you’re new to its unique brand of nature, your introductory beach should be Praia de Benagil. This little pocket of the rocky beach is in the belly of enormous cliffs and is right near one of the Algarve’s most famous attractions – Algar de Benagil caves. You’ve probably seen this spot on an influencer’s page before. It is definitely one of the top places to see in Portugal

While Praia and Algar de Benagil are a magical must-see in Portugal, don’t forget about that ‘famous attraction’ part. This beach and the nearby cave get insanely busy, especially during the warmer summer months. Be prepared for crowds!

Portinho da Arrábida

A relaxing hidden gem of an oasis tucked away in the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park

Aerial view of the Setubal beach and the deep blue ocean
Aerial view over the Setubal beach

📍 Google Maps | Portinho da Arrabida Website | 🅿️ Parking: Parking available for a 4 EUR fee | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Quinta de Sao Filipe

It’s a safe bet that a beach will be beautiful if it’s located within the bounds of a protected park. That definitely rings true for Portinho da Arrabida – a beach tucked within the perimeter of Serra da Arrábida Natural Park.

This beach is proudly deemed one of the prettiest and best beaches in Portugal. The water is totally clear, thanks to the lower temperature of the water, making Portinho da Arrabida an excellent location for scuba diving. 

It is a little more difficult for tourists to reach Portinho da Arrabida because there is limited public transport. However, this is kind of a good thing because it stops the area from getting as busy as Portugal’s other popular beaches. 

Praia do Barril

A stunning sandy beach in the southern Portuguese town of Tavira with a unique anchor graveyard

View of the rusty anchors at the anchor graveyard on Barril beach
Anchor Graveyard at Barril Beach

📍 Google Maps | Praia do Barril Website | 🅿️ Parking: Free street parking available around the area or paid parking for 8 EUR per day | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Vila Gale Albacora

Located near the town of Tavira, you don’t want to miss Praia do Barril if you’re spending time in the south of Portugal. There are several restaurants and beach stores dotted along the beach, making this a great choice for people who don’t want to be too far out into nature on their beach day. 

There isn’t much cover from the intense sun on this beach, but sunshades are readily available for 12 EUR per day. During the summer months, lifeguards are on guard and watching like hawks. The waters are safe to swim in and this is also a popular spot for water sports during the summer. 

Praia do Barril has one unique feature that sets it apart from the other beaches on this list – its anchor cemetery. At the beach, you’ll see more than 200 old, decaying anchors stuck in the sand. Legend says that this makeshift installation honors the area’s tuna fishing tradition. 

👉 Pro Tip: If you want to be close to the beach at a luxurious seaside resort, check out Vila Gale Albacora. It offers a variety of rooms at varying price points, an outdoor swimming pool, and even a big spa. Plus, it’s right near Praia do Barril and Praia da Ilha de Tavira.

Praia da Nazaré

This golden sand beach spans the length of the adorable town of Nazare

Overlooking view of Praia da Nazare from the viewpoint
Viewpoint looking over Praia da Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Praia da Nazare Website | 🅿️ Parking: Free public parking nearby, lots fill up fast in the summer | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Hotel Mar Bravo

The moment I arrived in Nazare and set eyes on its beautiful beach, I knew it was a special place. From dawn until dusk, this beach is teeming with life. In fact, on the weekend I visited, there was a whole professional sports competition going on. Who knows what you’ll find when you go? There are just so many fun things to do in Nazare.

Praia da Nazare basically follows the length of the town. It’s one of the best beaches in Portugal for people who don’t want to figure out how to get to a new shore every day. Depending on where you stay in Nazare, the beach can even be mere steps away from your hotel. 

The beach itself is well-equipped with sun loungers, changing rooms, and bathrooms. There are also tons of mind-blowingly delicious seafood restaurants and fun bars nearby. It’s popular and gets crowded, but the beach is big enough for the masses to spread out. 

Not to mention that one of the best sunsets I’ve ever witnessed in my life was at Praia da Nazare. As you can tell, this is one of my personal favorite beaches in Portugal.

Praia do Norte

A powerful beach in Nazare is best known for having the biggest waves ever surfed in the world

View of the wide stretch shoreline in Praia do Norte in Nazare
The expansive Praia do Norte in Nazare

📍 Google Maps | Praia do Norte Website | 🅿️ Parking: Small public parking lots available | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Casa Celia

It’s a small place, but there are quite a lot of different things to do in Nazare, including visiting two distinct, yet equally amazing, beaches. Praia do Norte (North Beach in English) is a little different from Praia da Nazare even though it’s very close by. North Beach is known for getting some of the biggest waves in the world. 

From November to February, the ocean conditions take a turn for the intense in Nazare. The largest wave ever surfed in the world actually crashed upon the shores of North Beach. As you can imagine, this isn’t really safe swimming weather. 

Beyond that, these waves can get so massive that you may be frightened to be anywhere near the beach. However, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for thrill-seekers who want to witness the utmost power of the ocean. 

Praia da Marinha

One of Portugal’s best beaches in the Algarve region, surrounded by cliffs with bright blue waters 

Aerial view of Praia da Marinha with rocky cliffs around
Praia da Marinha is surrounded by rocky cliffs

📍 Google Maps | Praia da Marinha Website | 🅿️ Parking: Free parking is available, but fills up very fast

One of the best beaches in the Algarve, Praia da Marinha is a sunny slice of heaven surrounded by towered sea cliffs. Not only is it one of the loveliest beaches in Portugal, but it’s one of the nicest beaches in the entire world. 

Praia da Marinha is ideal for visitors who want a more real and rugged beach experience, as opposed to a pampered one. You don’t get all that natural beauty without giving up a couple of creature comforts.  

There are plenty of things to do around Praia da Marinha. If you’re bored of just hanging out on the beach, you can rent a kayak here for 30 EUR per hour and take it to Benagil Cave, or there is a great hike nearby. The only downside of this charming spot is that lots of other people want to see it, too. It’s extremely crowded on weekends and during the summer. 

Praia da Rocha

A lively beach in the Algarve that’s renowned for its vibrant party scene

View of the birds at the shoreline and rocky cliffs in Praia da Rocha during sunrise
Rocha Beach at sunrise

📍 Google Maps | Praia da Rocha Website | 🅿️ Parking: Over 1300 free and paid parking spots right near the beach | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: RR Hotel da Rocha

Less than 5 minutes outside of Portimao, you’ll find the buzzing, picturesque beach of Praia da Rocha. This isn’t the beach for people who want a calm, solitary day without another soul in sight. Rocha Beach is extremely busy. On the flip side, it’s also a very long stretch of beach with plenty of room to find a spot slightly removed from the crowds. 

Rocha Beach is perfect for people who want more of a beach party than a chill day in the sun. There is a huge nightlife and bar scene only steps from the shore that gets wild when the night falls. If you’re going to dip a toe into the high-energy nightlife around Rocha Beach, don’t miss Moonlight Bar or Bar Diagonal. 

Praia de Tróia Mar

An expansive Atlantic Ocean beach on a peninsula reachable by ferry from Setubal

View of the clear waters of Praia de Tróia Mar
Clear waters of the Troia Beaches

📍 Google Maps | Praia Troia Mar Website | 🅿️ Parking: Some paid and free parking is available, but crowded | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Troia Design Hotel

Praia de Troia Mar will take a little more effort to reach, but it’s worth the excursion. You’ll have to take a quick 15-minute ferry ride from Setubal to the Troia Peninsula. The incredibly long beach stretches across almost the entire coast of the peninsula and it is something out of a dream. The water is unbelievably blue and the surrounding landscape is just as photogenic. 

Dolphins tend to love these waters, too. You have a great chance of spotting them here, although you can improve your chances even further by joining a guided tour, like this Setubal & Tróia: Sado Estuary Dolphin Watching Boat Trip. They take you to all the best spots to interact with the dolphins and learn more about the playful animals. 

Praia da Miramar

Only 15 minutes south of Porto, this is a chill beach with a famous 15th-century chapel right on the shore

Aerial view of a chapel built on the rocks near the ocean in Praia da Miramar
Capela of Senhor da pedra on Miramar Beach

📍 Google Maps | Praia da Miramar Website | 🅿️ Parking: Street parking is available along the Rua Esplanada da Praia | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Varandas do Mar

Big cities like Porto don’t usually go hand in hand with rejuvenating beaches. However, Praia da Miramar proves that stereotype wrong. This casual beach is only 15 minutes away from the city center of Porto, but it feels like a full-blown ocean escape. 

It’s a rocky beach with heavy, frothing waves. There are a bunch of tasty dining establishments nearby, like Solar Do Sr Da Pedra and the GOAT. Praia da Miramar also has a convenient walkway along the shores, so you don’t have to get all sandy if you just want a casual beach stroll. 

The other neat thing about this Portugal beach is that there is a historic chapel right on the shores. You can take in peaceful beachy vibes and catch a piece of Portuguese history at the same time. 

Praia de Carcavelos

A golden beach near Lisbon that’s a popular spot with surfers and sunbathers alike

View of the surfers at Carcavelos Beach at sunset
Surfers at Carcavelos Beach near Lisbon

📍 Google Maps | Praia de Carcavelos Website | 🅿️ Parking: Free public parking and paid lots available | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Riviera Hotel

Less than 30 minutes from Lisbon, Praia de Carcavelos is perfect if you need a break from the city chaos. It’s one of the best day trips from Lisbon, and you can take a taxi from the city center to the beach for around 25 USD. Alternatively, you can take the train for just a dollar or two and it only takes around 10 minutes longer.  

This is a pristine beach that appeals to all types of beach-goers. Everyone from sunbathers and families to surfers can appreciate Praia de Carcavelos. If you run out of things to do in Lisbon, Carcavelos Beach is the ideal spot to recharge in a new environment. 

Praia do Camilo

Take the stairway down to this secluded wild beach near the southern town of Lagos

Aerial view of the rocky cliffs and stairs down to Camilo Beach
The skinny stairs down to Camilo Beach

📍 Google Maps | Praia do Camilo Website | 🅿️ Parking: Limited free parking available | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Uma Casa a Beira Sol

Praia do Camilo is the type of beach that appears on Portugal postcards. To reach the beach, follow 200 wooden steps down sandstone cliffs. Every step of the way you’re presented with even more enticing glimpses of the beach and its surroundings.

Praia do Camilo is something truly special that every visitor to the Algarve region should make time to see. 

👉 Pro Tip: Camilo Beach is just a 15-minute walk from the secluded bay of Praia Dona Ana. It’s perfect for a two-for-one beach day. 

Praia da Falésia

Located in southern Portugal, this beach is a popular spot to trek through the region’s cliffside nature 

View of the orange cliffs and beautiful Falesia Beach under the cloudy sky
Falesia Beach in the summer

📍 Google Maps | Praia da Falesia Website | 🅿️ Parking: Very limited free parking available | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Domes Lake Algarve

Praia da Falesia might be the answer to your prayers if you’ve been holding out for a beach that isn’t completely overrun with other beach-goers. This long, narrow stretch of beach is located about a 20-minute drive from Albufeira. 

Instead of lounging, many visitors to Praia da Falesia prefer to hike along the shores to see all the staggering panoramic views around the area. Mainly known for its gigantic orange cliff faces, it’s a great place to get that iconic rocky beach photo in Portugal. 

👉 Need Help Planning Your Trip? Check out our Portugal itinerary planner!

Praia dos Ingleses

A clean, relaxed beach with tons of restaurants and bars that’s perfect for watching the sunset near Porto

View of the crowded shoreline of Ingleses Beach near Porto
Ingleses Beach near Porto

📍 Google Maps | Praia dos Ingleses Website | 🅿️ Parking: Various paid parking lots available

Praia da Miramar isn’t the only beach near Porto – in fact, Praia dos Ingleses is also a big contender for the best beach around the area. Ingleses Beach is a little bit less crowded than some of the other beaches around the area, but it’s equally as beautiful. 

The waters and the beach itself have a calm atmosphere that’s great for romantic dates or families with kids who don’t want a busy situation. Praia dos Ingleses is one of the nicest spots in the region to catch the sunset. As you can tell, that’s a primary concern of mine. 

There are also some high-quality restaurants near the beach to grab dinner after a day of hanging out, like Casa Rocha and Bar Tolo. 

Praia de São Jacinto

A protected beach in the Aveiro district that provides the ideal conditions for body boarding and surfing

View of the long boardwalk over the white sand to Sao Jacinto Beach
Long boardwalk to the protected Sao Jacinto Beach

📍 Google Maps | Praia de São Jacinto Website | 🅿️ Parking: Car park available next to the beach | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Dunas Villa

Praia de São Jacinto is one of Portugal’s lesser-known beaches, which makes it an excellent choice for people who hate crowds. Situated in the Aveiro district, this beach definitely leans more towards peaceful than eventful. All you need is a blanket, some shade, and a good book to have an excellent day here. 

It does get a bit windy at São Jacinto Beach, which can make the water too choppy for swimmers at times. However, it’s the perfect condition for surfing and bodyboarding.    

Praia do Guincho

A beach 15 minutes outside of Cascais famed for its intense waves that are perfect for experienced surfers

Scenic coastal view of Praia do Guincho
Views of Praia do Guincho near Cascais

📍 Google Maps | Praia do Guincho Website | 🅿️ Parking: Large paid parking lot for 2 EUR per day | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Hotel Fortaleza

As you might be able to tell by now, Portugal features some top-notch destinations for surfing, and one of the best is Praia do Guincho. Located just 15 minutes from the town of Cascais, this beach is known for its monstrous waves that are like an amusement park ride for professional surfers. 

Even if you’re not a surfer yourself, the beach is gorgeous and it’s an event to watch the local surfers do their thing. It might get a little cold with the winds, though, so bring a light jacket or beach cover. 

Praia da Adraga

One of the most beautiful beaches in the Sintra region with unique rock formations and cliffside surroundings

View of the rocks at the shoreline in Praia da Adraga
The magical Adraga Beach

📍 Google Maps | Praia da Adraga Website | 🅿️ Parking: Small car park and off-road parking | 🛎️ Where to Stay Nearby: Pensao Sisudo

Another one of the least crowded, yet most stunning, beaches in Portugal is Praia da Adraga. It’s located less than 30 minutes from the mountain town of Sintra by car.

Wandering around, you’ll discover peculiar rock formations and be enveloped in Portugal’s scenic rocky cliffs. However, you won’t come across a sea of other bustling tourists – it’s great if you want a serene afternoon without hordes of people. Adraga Beach is also a fantastic shooting location for photographers thanks to its dreamy surroundings and lack of crowds. 

FAQs About Beaches in Portugal

Which part of Portugal has the best beaches?

The Algarve has the best beaches in Portugal. This coastal region of southern Portugal is home to beaches like Praia de Benagil, Praia do Barril, Praia da Marinha, and Praia do Camilo. That’s only the tip of the iceberg, too. There are over 100 incredible beaches in the Algarve region alone. 

Does Portugal have good beaches?

Portugal has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Portugal’s beaches attract a lot of attention because there’s something for everyone. There are Portuguese beaches that are so popular they’re basically famous tourist attractions. There are also secluded, less crowded seaside escapes.

Are beaches in Portugal swimmable?

Many of Portugal’s beaches are swimmable in the summer. Some of the most popular swimmable beaches in Portugal include Praia de Troia Mar, Portinho da Arrabida, Praia do Barril, and Praia do Camilo. Due to potentially strong waves, make sure you check the weather conditions before diving in.  

Are there sandy beaches in Portugal?

There are plenty of sandy beaches in Portugal. While Portugal’s beaches are best known for their rocky surroundings, many of them are covered in soft sand that’s perfect for lounging. The best sandy beaches in Portugal are Praia da Nazaré, Portinho da Arrábida, and Praia de Carcavelos.


Thanks for reading my guide to the best beaches in Portugal! Before you hit Portugal’s beaches, you need to be prepared. Make sure you bring everything you need for the perfect beach holiday by reading my comprehensive Portugal packing list

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