I love beaches. I promised myself that one day I will have a house on the ocean. In this environment I feel the happiest. I am a visual person, and the sight of golden sand and endless ocean feeds my sense of aesthetics. As far as the beaches are concerned, I have high expectations – and all these requirements meet the beaches of the Algarve region in the south of Portugal. The first time I went there after high school – I was lost. No other beach can be compared to these Portuguese. No beach in California, Florida, Italy or Spain. I’ve been coming back to Portugal almost every summer for several years and I still didn’t get bored. In the Algarve you can find beaches that are wide and spacious, but I was captivated by the tiny ones that are hidden in the coves. Some of them can only be reached by boat or at low tide. But what I associate most with the south of Portugal are the intense colors – the golden sand and the clear, turquoise depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
TOP 5 beaches of the Algarve
Praia do Pinhao
It’s a beach in Lagos, and is closest one to the city centre. You won’t find shops, restaurants or sunbeds here. Around Praia do Pinhao there are many interesting rock formations and small caves to explore. The beach is not big, and that’s exactly what her charm is.
Praia Dona Ana
This beach is placed just behind Praia do Pinhao. Praia Dona Ana is a picturesque beach with clear water and beautiful surroundings. It’s much wider and longer than Praia do Pinhao, with many coves and caves. There are several restaurants on the beach. You can find Praia Dona Ana on the list of “the most beautiful beaches in the world.”
Praia dos Pescadores
Praia dos Pescadores is situated the opposite of the Old Town in Albufeira. An interesting idea is the lift and the escalators, which will take you directly to the beach from the above-situated areas of the Old Town. It is a very commercial beach, surrounded by beach bars, restaurants, cafes and other attractions. It’s wide, spacious and like every beach in the Algarve – with golden sand and crystal clear water.
Praia do Camilo
This beach is adjacent to Praia Dona Ana and is another icon of the Algarve region. Here you can come across gold sand and crystal clear azure waters. To reach the beach, you have to walk down the long wooden stairs. The cliffs that are surrounding this beach provide shelter from the winds of the ocean.
Praia dos Pinheiros
Not everyone will find this beach – unless you know exactly where to search. The first time I tried to find Praia dos Pinheiros, I got lost. But when I finally got there – my effort was rewarded and it became my favorite beach, to which I returned frequently. Warning! Although in Portugal sunbathing topless is very popular – Praia dos Pinheiros is the official beach for nudists. Of course this is not obligatory, but if you are not comfortable with naked beachers – I’m not recommending this place. The beach is quite small, and during the high tide it significantly decreases its surface. The descent leading to the beach is VERY steep – and there are no stairs. It is the least populated beach of all mentioned and of course there are no toilet facilities or restaurants.
WHEN TO GO?
Summer! July and August, if the idea of crowds doesn’t scare you. If you prefer to have more space around you – choose June or September.
HOW TO GET TO ALGARVE?
The airport in the Algarve is located in Faro, but it is difficult to find cheap flights here. The more popular option is to fly to Lisbon. From Lisbon the are many buses or trains that will take you to the best beaches of the Algarve (about 2.5 hours drive), for about 20 euros.
Cheap airlines flying to Faro: Easyjet, Ryanair, TAP, British Airways.
WHERE TO STAY IN ALGARVE?
If you want to have direct access to the best beaches – most reasonable options are Albufeira and Lagos. I love these towns also because of the nightlife – the restaurants where during the daytime you can eat a dinner, turn into clubs at night. We can meet people from all over the world who came to Algarve in search of the best waves to surf. There is music everywhere, people are dancing in the streets, and at the end – you can swim in the Atlantic Ocean by the moonlight. That’s the perfect reality of the Algarve!