Note: This post was written in partnership with the Algarve Tourism Bureau. However, as always, all opinions are my own.
Portugal is definitely a region in Europe with many hidden gems. I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to explore the Algarve. The last time I had seen such beautiful beaches it was the other side of the wold in Australia. Arriving in the country with high exception, I can tell you that it did not disappoint. This southernmost region of Portugal is composed of so many charming towns, and outstanding beaches that have stolen my heart!
The best way to get around the Algarve is by car, it’s a must since their public transport is pretty limited so trust me, rent or bring you own car as you wouldn’t want to miss out on the many wonderful spots! My friend and I came from Lisbon by train and had our car rental the morning following our arrival. If you are coming from the Faro airport ( the only airport in the Algarve) you can pick up your car rental from there.
There’s so many beaches and view points in the Algarve but here are some of my favourite!
1- Praia de Camillo
Praia do Camilo is knowns for his wooden steps which lead to a Sandy cove; it’s long wooden stairs with about 200 steps, which makes incredible photos as you can see. During the high season, due to the fact that it’s relatively a small beach and it’s very popular, it gets completely packed quickly.
2- Praia da Dona Ana
Praia da Dona Ana is only 160 meters long; it’s not a very large beach and it’s located between the town of Lagos and Ponta da Piedade. The cliffs surrounding the beach provide some shade, which is nice during the hot summer days. During summer time, the shadow from the cliff will cover a large part of the beach; up to late in the evening around 6pm. The sea at Praia da Dona Ana is quite calm, making it perfect for snorkeling and you can see a big variety of flora and fauna underwater. There are almost no currents or big waves; but the water can be quite chilly.
3- Praia do Pinhão
The gorgeous Praia do Pinhão is not far from Praia da Dona Ana, we actually walked from one to another. Its tall orange cliffs create a secluded cove… almost too good to tell anyone about! It is untouched in terms of commericalism – there are no shops, umbrellas or deck chairs. So if you go early its a truly peaceful place to get in touch with nature, take a swim and watch the glistening ocean
4-Praia da Piedade
I highly recommend to hike around Praia da Piedade. It’s not only the most beautiful place to watch the sunset, but it’s also a perfect place to take a boat trip to, to go through the grottos. Is one of my favourite place in the Lagos, the view is absolutely breathtaking and I felt like every corner was unique and special. Definitely worth the hike!
Boat trip to the Grottos
We personally didn’t take the boat as we had our camera gear with us and we didn’t take the risk, but this is the spot!
Probably one of the best and most beautiful sunsets I’ve experienced. It’s worth visiting this view point not only during a summers evening to enjoy a romantic sunset, but also during the day because the view is simply incredible
5- Praia de Carvoeiro
Prai da Carvoeiro was my own favourite, I would have totally see myself doing a couple days just on this beach. This charming town have a couple of restaurants and shops along the promenade. It is also quite popular among tourist, especially during the high season so make sure to arrive early and bring you own sun-bed. Lastly, the sea can be quite calm but can also have very strong waves, just be careful when swiming. We also have been told that it’s possible to pay a small fee to some fisherman to have a boat tour, but we havent tried so let me know if you do it!
You can walk on the cliffs surrounding the beach to have a spectacular view of the beach and surrounding coast.
6- Praia de Marinha
Praia da Marinha is known to be one of the most famous beaches of the world, why? Because of its outstanding natural qualities! In fact, it’s widely photographed and used to commercialised the beautiful region of Algarve. You can see this beautiful from the top
In order to get down the beach, be prepared to have to walk (or maybe swim) through to access to the other side!
Where we Stayed
Onyria Palmares is a beach house located in the Lagos. The staff were extremely welcoming and the sunrise view from our room was incredible. I even had the chance to taste their 4 course vegan meal, it was very tasty.
Four Seasons Fairways
During your stay, you can enjoy free bike tours if you want to stay local. The four seasons fairways has everything in one place!
I hope you loved my ultimate beach guide for the Algarve, Portugal! Let me know if ever you visit any of those beaches, this region as much to offer!
I know that on my side I will definitely be back again next year!
Lots of love,