The Algarve is famous for its vast sandy beaches and year-round sunny weather. The region’s wide range of different types of beaches means that it has something to offer to everyone, whether you are looking for a popular, bustling beach surrounded by bars and cafés or a secluded, intimate little stretch of sand between huge rocks. There are family beaches, nudist beaches, beaches for surfing and all other sorts of water sports. With wonderful cuisine, busy nightlife, friendly people who speak English and a safe environment, the Algarve is the perfect spot for you sun, sea and sand holidays. Hard as it may be to choose, let us take a look at some of the Algarve’s best beaches.
Tavira Island Beach
One of the most widely acclaimed beaches is undoubtedly the Tavira Island Beach, or Praia da Ilha de Tavira in Portuguese. As its name suggests, it lies on the Tavira Island, just a few minutes by boat from the town of Tavira. The island itself boasts four sandy beaches, plenty of bars and restaurants and is renowned for being the only place in Portugal where naturism is legally permitted. You can book accommodation in the town of Tavira and catch a water taxi to reach the island. Since the island forms part of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, it is also a haven for wildlife lovers, especially bird watchers.
Praia da Galé
Further west along the coast of the Algarve, five miles from the town of Albufeira, we come to a windsurfing and scuba diving paradise, the Praia da Galé. This beach offers a quiet retreat from the thriving tourist resort of Albufeira and hence enables you to balance out a holiday of both fun and tranquility. It stretches for three miles around the Armacao de Pera Bay and boasts a nice beach bar and a couple of wonderful beach restaurants.
Praia da Rocha
Another bustling beach that attracts thousands of visitors each year is Praia da Rocha, literally meaning “Rock Beach”. Its visitors range from young people and students who see it as a great fun spot to families and couples who want to enjoy this great expanse of sand in a location that boasts all the necessary amenities. Located in Portimão, the beach is teeming with huge rocks and was one of the Algarve’s first tourist developments. It has managed to stay on top in terms of popularity.
Praia de Alvor
If you are looking for solitude and are staying in the vicinity of Portimão, then stray away from Praia da Rocha and walk to Praia de Alvor. This beach has a more authentic feel, as the town of Alvor has managed to retain its charms as a fishing village and remain unspoiled by tourist development. At the same time, it also has no shortage of great restaurants, bars and cafés. With excellent facilities for the disabled, Praia de Alvor is a great spot for sailing, waterskiing and windsurfing.
Praia da Falésia
East of Albufeira, lying between Olhos de Água and Vilamoura, Praia da Falésia is one of the Algarve’s and Portugal’s longest beaches. The word “falésia” means “cliff” in Portuguese and the beach is dominated by red cliffs, which have stairs cut into them to provide access to the shore. Although it has a few golf courses, upscale resorts and countless bars and restaurants, Praia da Falésia is one of the most serene beaches in Portugal.
Every corner of the Algarve is special
This list is far from exhaustive and you should keep in mind that every corner of the Algarve is special and has some of the best beaches in Europe. Around the town of Lagos, in particular, there are numerous small and intimate beaches that lie between huge rocks. They are definitely worth a visit.