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Top 15 Breathtaking Beaches in Portugal for 2024

Travel Blog - Ross French - March 15, 2024

Portugal’s sun-kissed shores of the Iberian Peninsula are stunningly polished seascapes, each one offering solace or adventure among the blue waves and golden sands This introduction gives a glimpse of what it offers Portugal is a sanctuary for beach lovers the world over.

In basing our selection, we took information from a variety of summer sources – experienced travellers, savvy locals and adventure enthusiasts alike have tried and tested this beach experience and provided tourist information that couldn’t count, which is happily supported. But what defines ‘good’ is as varied as the guests themselves. Whether it’s the drama of rugged cliffs behind the sea, the smile-inducing sunshine on secluded sands, or the thrill of riding perfect waves – Portugal promises it all.

Why Portugal’s coastline stands out

Portugal’s fascinating beaches are not only their beauty but also a unique offering that appeals to all types of beachgoers. What makes this beach unique goes beyond the surface.

Unique properties

  • Climate: Portugal has a sunny climate, with more than 300 days of sunshine in places, making it almost perfect for a beach holiday almost year-round.
  • Fresh water: Portugal’s pristine coastal waters are often seen as clear and clean, inviting for swimmers and marine life enthusiasts alike.
  • Natural conditions: From the spectacular cliffs of the Algarve to the volcanic sands of the Azores, the natural conditions on this coast are varied and spectacular.

The Top 15 Breathtaking Beaches in Portugal for 2024

Portugal’s coastline, a treasure trove of natural beauty, invites travelers to explore its unparalleled beaches. These selected gems underline Portugal as a timeless beach destination.

1. Praia da Marinha (Algarve)

  • Location: Situated in the Algarve region, infamous for its golden cliffs.
  • Unique Features: Known for its captivating rock formations and marine caves accessible via boat tours.
  • Activities Available: Ideal for snorkeling, kayaking, and scenic walks.
  • Accessibility: Accessible by car with ample parking. Steep steps lead down to the beach.
  • Amenities: Limited amenities; advised to bring water and sunshade.
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and early Autumn to avoid the peak summer crowds.

2. Praia de São Jacinto (Aveiro)

  • Location: Located near Aveiro, amidst the São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve.
  • Unique Features: A serene expanse of golden sand bordered by dunes and a dense pine forest.
  • Activities Available: Bird watching, windsurfing, and beach games.
  • Accessibility: Best reached by car or ferry from Aveiro. Parking available.
  • Amenities: Few amenities; a nearby village offers dining options.
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September for the best weather and nature walks.

Praia da Costa Nova (Aveiro)

  • Location: Nestled in Aveiro, famed for its distinctively painted houses.
  • Unique Features: Vibrant-striped wooden houses create a picturesque backdrop.
  • Activities Available: Enjoy sunbathing, beach volleyball, and windsurfing.
  • Accessibility: Easily reachable by car or bus from Aveiro city center. Parking is readily available.
  • Amenities: Lifeguards are on duty during the summer, and there are several restaurants and cafes nearby.
  • Best Time to Visit: June to September offers the best weather, though it’s less crowded in the early and late summer months.

Praia da Adraga (Sintra)

  • Location: Located near Sintra, a town known for its lush landscapes and palaces.
  • Unique Features: Dramatic cliffs envelop this secluded beach, offering stunning sunsets.
  • Activities Available: Surfing is popular here, alongside hiking trails that offer breathtaking views.
  • Accessibility: Accessible by car with a parking lot close to the beach. Public transport options are limited.
  • Amenities: There’s a restaurant overlooking the beach, but amenities like showers are minimal.
  • Best Time to Visit: Aim for Spring or Autumn to enjoy mild weather and smaller crowds than in the busy summer months.

Camilo Beach (Lagos)

  • Location: Situated in Lagos, known for its dramatic rock formations.
  • Unique Features: Sea caves and hidden coves are accessible via wooden walkways and a stairway carved into the cliff.
  • Activities Available: Swimming, snorkeling, and cave exploring are popular.
  • Accessibility: Can be accessed by car with parking available, but expect a steep descent on foot to the beach itself.
  • Amenities: Lifeguards are present during the summer months, with restroom facilities and a small restaurant available.
  • Best Time to Visit: Visit in late spring or early autumn to enjoy pleasant weather without the summer crowds.

Praia da Nazaré (Nazaré)

  • Location: Located in the charming fishing village of Nazaré.
  • Unique Features: Famed for its colossal waves which attract top surfers globally.
  • Activities Available: Ideal for surfing and wave-watching. The beach is also perfect for leisurely walks.
  • Accessibility: Situated in the city center, it is easily reachable by car or bus. Adequate parking available.
  • Amenities: Lifeguards, restrooms, and restaurants are readily available.
  • Best Time to Visit: The best wave conditions are observed from October to March.

Praia de Tróia Mar (Setúbal)

  • Location: Nestled in the Setúbal district.
  • Unique Features: A long stretch of soft sand and calm waters make it family-friendly.
  • Activities Available: Ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and building sandcastles.
  • Accessibility: Reachable by ferry from Setúbal or by car. Ample parking spaces available.
  • Amenities: Lifeguards and restroom facilities are available. Nearby accommodations range from luxury resorts to campgrounds.
  • Best Time to Visit: The summer months of June to August are ideal to enjoy warm weather and water activities.

Praia da Rocha (Portimão)

  • Location: Found in the lively city of Portimão.
  • Unique Features: It combines the enchanting beauty of a sandy beach with the buzz of a bustling nightlife.
  • Activities Available: Enjoy water sports, beach games, or explore the lively bars and restaurants lining the beach.
  • Accessibility: Easily accessed by car with abundant parking. Public transport services also available.
  • Amenities: Excellent facilities with lifeguards, restrooms, and a range of nearby accommodations available.
  • Best Time to Visit: The beach is most vibrant in summer, although Spring and Autumn will dodge the crowding while offering fair weather.

Praia da Falesia (Algarve)

  • Location: Positioned beautifully in the sun-drenched region of Algarve.
  • Unique Features: An extensive beach, beautifully set against the backdrop of impressive cliffs and a lengthy stretch of golden sands.
  • Activities Available: A haven for sunbathers and perfect for long walks along the coast.
  • Accessibility: It is easily accessible via car and has ample public parking available.
  • Amenities: Amenities such as lifeguards, restrooms, and nearby accommodation enhance its attractiveness.
  • Best Time to Visit: The beach is enjoyed best during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Praia Dona Ana (Lagos)

  • Location: Situated in the seaside town of Lagos.
  • Unique Features: Known for its crystal-clear waters and captivating rock formations and grottoes.
  • Activities Available: Perfect for sunbathing, exploring the unique rock formations, and immersing in a snorkeling adventure.
  • Accessibility: An easy journey via car or public transport followed by a short walk down to the beach.
  • Amenities: Lifeguards, restrooms, and a variety of nearby accommodations are available.
  • Best Time to Visit: The beach is most enjoyable during the summer, yet early spring and late autumn visits can avoid heavier crowds.

Praia da Bordeira (Aljezur)

  • Location: Tucked away in the Aljezur municipality.
  • Unique Features: This secluded beach is a quiet retreat away from the busy tourist hotspots.
  • Activities Available: Popular for surfing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing.
  • Accessibility: A remote location makes this a bit of a journey, but it is reachable by car, with parking available.
  • Amenities: There are limited amenities at this secluded beach; plan accordingly.
  • Best Time to Visit: A year-round destination, although the water activities are best enjoyed during summer months.

Praia dos Ingleses (Cascais)

  • Location: Situated near the historical town of Cascais, closely outside Lisbon.
  • Unique Features: Soft sandy shores complemented by a backdrop of traditional Portuguese charm.
  • Activities Available:
    • Water sports
    • Sunbathing
    • Beach volleyball
  • Accessibility:
    • Easy accessibility by car
    • Public transport options available from Lisbon
    • Adequate parking spaces
  • Amenities: Includes lifeguard supervision, bathrooms, nearby cafes and restaurants.
  • Best Time to Visit: May to September, fewer visitors during weekdays.

Comporta Beach (Comporta)

  • Location: Nestled within the Alentejo region, embraced by natural reserves.
  • Unique Features: Serene atmosphere and high-end resort experiences highlight its exclusive feel.
  • Activities Available:
    • Horseback riding on the sand
    • Trendy beach lounges
    • Wine tasting nearby
  • Accessibility:
    • Short drive from Setubal through a ferry ride
    • Private shuttles from resorts
    • Parking available for beach visitors
  • Amenities: Lifeguards in peak seasons, umbrella rentals, luxury accommodations steps away.
  • Best Time to Visit: June and September for a balance of good weather and less crowding.

Carcavelos Beach (Cascais)

  • Location: Extends along the coastline of Cascais, easily reachable from Lisbon.
  • Unique Features: Broad sandy expanses and vibrant crowd, making it a favorite for ocean lovers.
  • Activities Available:
    • Surfing
    • Sunbathing
    • Beach soccer
  • Accessibility:
    • Well-connected by train from Lisbon
    • Ample parking for those driving
  • Amenities: Numerous beach bars, seafood restaurants, and lifeguards for safety.
  • Best Time to Visit: Ideal during summer. Consider April or October for fewer crowds and good surfing conditions.

Praia de Moledo (Caminha)

  • Location: At the northern tip of Portugal, near the border with Spain.
  • Unique Features: Distinguished by fine sand dunes and a view of Monte Santa Tecla.
  • Activities Available:
    • Kite surfing due to favorable winds
    • Paddleboarding on calmer days
    • Exploring nearby natural areas
  • Accessibility:
    • Access via the A28 highway from Porto
    • Public buses available
    • Parking spaces near the beach
  • Amenities: Seasonal lifeguards, restaurants with local cuisine, and camping grounds in proximity.
  • Best Time to Visit: Mid-June to early September, with August being peak season.

Sustainable Tourism and Protecting Portugal’s Beaches

The Importance of Eco-Friendly Practices

Portugal’s beaches are not just vacation spots; they’re vital ecosystems that support local wildlife and communities. Engaging in eco-friendly practices ensures these places remain pristine for generations to come. Simple actions can make a significant difference, such as:

  • Avoiding single-use plastics
  • Picking up your litter
  • Using reef-safe sunscreens

Initiatives and Programs

Several initiatives highlight the commitment to preserving these natural spaces. Look out for:

  • Beach Clean-Up Campaigns: Many coastal areas organize regular events where tourists and locals can help remove trash from the sand and sea.
  • Sustainable Tourism Awards: Portugal honours destinations and businesses that adopt sustainable practices, making it easier for tourists to choose responsibly.
  • Protected Areas and Marine Reserves: Certain beaches are part of protected areas aimed at conserving local biodiversity. Respecting these areas’ guidelines is crucial.

Planning Your Visit: Tips and Recommendations

General Tips for Visiting Beaches in Portugal

To ensure a pleasant and respectful beach visit, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Sun Safety: The Portuguese sun can be intense. Always wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Stay hydrated and seek shade during peak sun hours.
  • Cultural Norms: Understand and respect local customs, such as dress codes and beach etiquette.
  • Preservation Areas: Stay informed about any restrictions on activities like fishing, boating, or walking in dune areas to protect vulnerable ecosystems.

Incorporating Multiple Beach Visits into Your Trip

Portugal’s compact size and excellent transport infrastructure make it easy to explore multiple beaches, even on a short trip. Consider these recommendations:

  • Car Rental: Having a car allows you the flexibility to visit remote beaches and scenic coastal areas at your own pace.
  • Public Transport: Portugal’s trains and buses are reliable and cover most coastal areas. They’re a sustainable and budget-friendly travel option.
  • Accommodation: Choose eco-friendly lodging to minimize your environmental impact. Many hotels and resorts in Portugal are committed to sustainability.
  • Travel Off-Peak: Visiting beaches outside the busy summer months not only helps with crowd control but also reduces the strain on local resources.


Portugal’s coastline is a treasure trove of diversity, with some of the best beaches in the world. Each of the top 15 beaches in 2024 offers something special, from secluded beaches to bustling beaches with plenty of water sports. Beyond their beauty, these places highlight the importance of sustainable tourism practices. From participating in beach clean-ups to supporting environmentally friendly businesses, travelers have the power to help preserve these places through responsible action

Preparing for your trip is key to enhancing the experience. By planning your visit with sun protection, cultural values ??and environmental protection in mind, you not only ensure a memorable trip but help preserve this magnificent coastline for generations a the future also comes

Final Thoughts

Portugal’s beaches will surely leave lasting memories waiting for visitors. The warmth of the golden sun, the refreshing Atlantic breezes, and the richly tapestry of landscapes and cultures make for an experience like no other As you explore this incredible beach, remember your feet bottom line—both physical and environmental—is important. By embracing the principles of sustainability and respect, we can all ensure that the beauty of Portugal’s coast remains vibrant and welcoming for many years to come. Let’s look at and protect this wonder as we embark on a beach trip, creating joy and discoveries that will linger long after the sand has shaken off our boots.

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