The Algarve has a timeless and magical allure! Its coastal beauty and awe-inspiring beaches keep visitors coming back in waves, time and again. Heading to secluded coves, taking in unique seaside heritage and just enjoying the natural beauty. There's just so much variety here – a beach for every single taste! So sit back in your deck chair, dig your heels into the warm sand and get ready for the best beaches in the Algarve. Whatever your idea of beach perfection, you'll find it somewhere along these golden shores.
Coastal cliffs – Praia de Camilo
Postcard-perfect is sometimes thrown around too lightly, sounding a little like a cliché as 'just another beach' is given this title. But Praia de Camilo has probably graced the cover of countless holiday messages sent home to loved ones. It might even look a little familiar! The Algarve's coastline is renowned for its towering cliffs, wrapping around stretches of golden sand – and that's exactly what you'll find here.
The rocks here reach a whopping 70m in height, with more than 200 steps leading down to the sand. Good things come to those who walk here! A Blue Flag beach, shelter from strong winds and calm waters for when you fancy a dip.
Breathtaking beauty – Praia do Benagil
If good things come to those who walk, something even more magical awaits those who are willing to paddle. Kayak or stand up paddle board your way to the Benagil Cave, where jaw-dropping natural beauty is a sight for sore arms.
A small beach waits inside, illuminated by 'the eye' – an almost perfect circle in the dome of the cave. As you relax on the sand here, the archway entrances act as wonderful frames to brilliantly blue waves. Boat tours also take you to Benagil, if you're not feeling quite so energetic or adventurous.
Seclusion – Praia de Albandeira
Hidden away among all those cliffs, you'll find inviting little coves that are perfect for some peace and quiet. Albandeira is one of the finest, giving you enough personal space while maintaining a secluded feel. The 'Arco de Albandeira' sits just off the shore, adding natural beauty to feast your eyes on!
This majestic stone arch has been carved by the crash of the waves – although in honesty it's not much of a crash. The waters here are calm enough for laid-back swims and snorkelling fun. There's a bar here for when your thirst needs quenching, but other than that Albandeira is just as nature intended.
Something different – Praia do Barril
'Anchors away' might be a common saying at sea, but on this stretch of the Algarve the anchors stay well and truly put! More than 100 sit in rows on Barril, a signal to its tuna fishing heritage. This 'Anchor Graveyard' is quite a sight, with its rusty tones embedded into the golden sand.
Fishermen's huts have taken on new life here, maintaining their seaside charm as bustling cafés and restaurants. Once you've finished admiring the anchors, amazing beach fun awaits! There's fine sand, glistening sea and plenty of space for you to enjoy.
A deserted island experience – Ilha Deserta
If the idea of a secluded beach grabbed your interest, Ilha Deserta (Deserted Island) takes this privacy to a different level altogether! A striking piece of Ria Formosa Natural Park's puzzle, this island is 7km long and no wider than 600m. There's no permanent residents here and the only building of note is the restaurant – so unlike other deserted islands, you won't have to worry about catching your owner dinner. Also known as Praia da Barreta, the Atlantic Ocean sits on one side and the Ria Formosa Lagoon laps the shore of the other. Keep your eyes peeled for wonderful wildlife, including flamingos that can be spotted on the lagoon. Deserta is accessed between June and September, so it's the perfect addition to your summer holiday. Hop aboard a boat in Faro or Olhao and see deserted paradise for yourself.
Families – Praia de Ancão
A Blue Flag beach, with calm waters and plenty to keep your kids amused – it's no wonder Ancão is a firm family favourite. Umbrellas offer plenty of shade for sensitive young skin, while waterskiing and other sports keep restless teens amused. As part of Ria Formosa Natural Park, a walk to the northern tip even opens the door to mesmerising sand dunes!
The Algarve's not all about beaches! There's the friendly nature of the locals, rich history, top notch golf courses and so much more. Dive into our guide on the top things to do in the Algarve.
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