Algarve’s coastline is dotted with endless series of golden sun-baked beaches, turquoise waters with dramatic cliffs in the background.
The best way to explore these picturesque beaches on the coastline is by car. Hidden beaches in the most secluded locations is what makes these beaches even more magical. There are over 150 beaches to choose from and we have picked the top 5 which we think definitely worth a visit.
Praia da Marinha, Lagoa
Best for: Families, Sunbathers and Photographers
You have to see this beach to believe it. There is a reason why Praia da Marinha is one of the most photographed beaches in Algarve. It is a small cove beach which nestles at the base of some dramatically stunning cliffs. The contract between the azure water and the golden cliffs is just unbelievable.
This beach is only accessible by car due to its secluded location and access to this glorious heaven is down a steep pathway along the cliff. It is the hidden location which makes this beach so special, away from the crowds yet plenty to see.
You will find a small cafe right at the entrance of the beach and some small vendors by the parking lot but the beach amenities at Praia da Marinha are very limited so make sure to carry some food and water with you.
Before you head down to the beach have a little stroll along the trail on the cliffs ( follow this trail to reach Benagil beach and cave ). The entrance to the trail is located just off the parking lot. This view from here is miles away from reality!
Praia da Falesia, Albufeira
Best for: Surfing, Running, Families
The colours at Praia da Falesia are different to the other beaches along the coast of Algarve. This beach is backed by fascinating gouged red cliffs which are dotted with pine forests. Praia da Falesia stretches from west of Vilamoura to all the way Olhos de Água making it 6km long.
There’s plenty to do at either end of this beach, enjoy the waves, take a long walk, windsurf, kitesurf or ride a bike along the coastal path. With plenty of beach restaurants open, lifeguards in the busier summer season it is perfect for families.
The car park is located at the top of the cliffs and offers one of the regions most impressive view of the coast as you descend down to the beach. You can almost see the whole 6km long golden beach from the viewpoint on the west end of the beach.
Praia dos Olhos de Água, Albufeira
Best for: Families, Couples, Photographers
Not too far away from Praia da Falesia is Praia dos Olhos de Água which translates to ‘Eyes of water’. The beach gets its name due to the freshwater springs which are found amongst the rocks towards the eastern end of the beach. At low tide, you can see them bubbling up through the sand.
This is a busier beach than the others on the Algarve coast but for all the good reasons. With plenty of restaurants just a stone’s throw away you can feel the buzz of the small town, watch the fishermen going about their day yet enjoy the relaxing beach.
Olhos de Água used to be a small fisherman’s village which is still witnessed by the brightly coloured fishermen’s huts and the fishing boats. The bright blue huts against the red cliffs are simply worth taking a photo.
Just past the blue huts is small hill don’t be afraid to climb this. It offers the most spectacular views of both Praia da Falesia on the left and Praia dos Olhos de Água on the right.
Praia do Camilo, Lagos
Best for: Snorkelling, Families
Praia do Camilo is a small yet stunning beach. This picturesque beach is framed by majestic limestone rocks and looks amazing whether you are standing on top of the staircase or on the beach. You will find the most amazing views over the beach and the bay of Lagos from top of the stairs, with boats jetting and peculiar shaped rocks it is simply beautiful.
There are almost 200 stairs to get to the beach but once you have the soft white sand between your toes the climb down will be worth it. There is a small tunnel which connects you to a second beach, which is the same size as Praia do Camilo but rockier so less crowded. There is only one restaurant, Camilo at the top of the stairs which offers delicious fresh seafood. Other amenities are limited so make sure you grab some snacks and drinks.
Just around the corner via the same staircase is Ponta da Piedade, a regional landmark, it is one thing you have to see when you are in Algarve. It is best viewed by looking inland from a boat. Find out more about Ponta da Piedade here.