Portugal is well known for its stunning beaches, attracting millions of tourists from around the world to bathe on its pristine sands and swim in its warm turquoise waters.
From the golden sandy beaches in the Algarve region to the picturesque cliff-backed coves of the Caramujeira, Portugal has some of the best coastal landscapes in Europe.
If you’re looking to explore Portugal’s beautiful coastline but not sure what beaches to visit, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve shared some of the best beaches in Portugal, as well as some hidden gem beaches we discovered on our road trip on the Alentejo coast.
Whether you want total seclusion or iconic destinations, don’t miss these spots!
- Best Beaches in Portugal
- Hidden Beaches in Portugal
Best Beaches in Portugal
Before we reveal our favorite hidden beaches in Portugal, let’s share the best of the best.
If it’s your first time in Portugal or you just want to tick off the bucket list beaches, then be sure to visit these ones first…
1. Praia de São Jacinto, Aveiro
Praia de São Jacinto is undeniably one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
Situated between crashing Atlantic breakers and endless sand dunes, this gorgeous beach is what makes Portugal so famous for its beaches.
It has bright white sands that stretch for 7km and is perfect for surfers and kite surfers since the waves are high here.
You’ll find no sun loungers or umbrellas here, it’s remote and left to the elements, which is one of the reasons why it’s such a natural beauty.
Behind the beach is São Jacinto Dunes Natural Reserve which is a protected area that makes this beach feel more unspoiled and natural.
São Jacinto is about a 3 hour drive North of Lisbon in the town of Aveiro. You can also get a ferry from Barra Fort (Forte da Barra de Aveiro / Castelo da Gafanha) which takes you along the estuary.
2. Ilha da Fuseta, Faro
Ilha da Fuseta in Faro is another rugged beach nestled in the heart of the stunning Ria Formosa Natural Park.
It boasts a pristine golden sandy beach that stretch as far as the eye can see, meeting with the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s located on a small island in the deserted islands of the Ria Formosa, and requires a short ferry ride to access it.
However, it’s well equipped for a full day of relaxing by the beach, and has sun loungers, umbrellas, and even a small beach club where you can get refreshments and snacks.
You can also find a toilet here that all guests of the beach can use.
If you’re a family visiting Portugal, this beach is perfect for small children to swim and play in. The water is calm and the shoreline slopes gradually, making it safe for paddling.
3. Praia da Falésia, Albufeira
Praia da Falésia is a long stretch of sandy beach that expands for over six kilometers and backed by gorgeous, bright white and red cliffs.
These stunning rock formations are what make Praia da Falesia so famous.
With its crystal-clear waters and ample space to lounge on, it’s rarely feels crowded even during busy summer seasons.
The beach is kitted out with all the facilities you need for a day at the beach – from parasols to loungers to beach bars and restaurants. You can also find plenty of watersports here such as kayak rentals and stand up paddle boarding.
It’s also conveniently located near Vilamoura and Olhos de Água, which is a great base to discover the charm of the Algarve region.
4. Comporta Beach
Comporta Beach is a haven for beach lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The beach is pure, clean golden sand and meets with crystal clear waters that are teeming with fish and marine life. If you’re lucky, you may even see pods of dolphins swimming off the coastline.
You can rent an umbrella and lounger (though it’s quite expensive here) or you can bring your own and find an empty spot to relax in.
There are public toilets, showers, and a couple of restaurants with a bar.
The atmosphere is calm and peaceful, without the touts trying to sell you something. You can simply kick back and unwind and reconnect with nature.
Its trendy and popular, so don’t expect to find seclusion here, but it still boasts an unspoiled ambiance makes it a favorite among locals and travelers alike.
5. Camilo Beach
Camilo Beach is a small and idyllic beach tucked away in a secluded bay near Lagos, sheltered by high, craggy cliffs and fronted with gorgeous blue waters.
This beach is only accessible via a scenic wooden staircase, so it’s not the best option for those with mobility issues, but those who don’t mind walking down the steep staircase will find a golden beach that exudes an air of exclusivity and tranquility.
We recommend you visit in the morning because it can get quite crowded later in the day.
6. Porto Santo Beach
Porto Santo Beach, on the island of Porto Santo, is a 9-kilometer stretch of golden sand, met by calm and crystalline waters.
It’s renowned for being the only sandy beach in the entire archipelago, and is the perfect place to indulge in sunbathing, swimming, or simply stroll along the shoreline.
7. Praia Da Adraga, Cascais
Located in Cascais, near Lisbon, is Praia da Adraga. There are many great beaches in Cascais, but this one is undeniably the most beautiful.
Praia Da Adraga, nestled within the stunning Sintra-Cascais National Park, is a remote beach surrounded by dramatic cliffs and sculpted rock formations.
The pristine sands and crystal-clear waters make it a perfect spot for taking long walks on the beach and just enjoying being in nature.
The waves can be quite strong here, and the shoreline has large rocks and boulders in it, so it’s not the best for swimming – but still worth a visit.
Praia Da Adraga’s photogenic landscape is a haven for photographers and since it faces West, it has amazing sunsets.
While it may require a bit of effort to reach, the journey is well worth it as you can simply leave behind the crowds that travel to this region and immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery of Praia Da Adraga.
8. Praia do Porto do Seixal, Madeira
Nestled along the northern coast of Madeira Island, is the stunning Praia do Porto do Seixal.
This picturesque beach boasts black sand and is framed by breathtaking cliffs, creating a mesmerizing contrast against the azure waters.
There is also a soothing natural waterfall that falls into the ocean here, making the sand all sparkly and mesmerizing.
While parking may be a bit challenging, it’s without a doubt one of the best places on Madeira Island to visit.
On a side note, we recommend you bring sandals to wear on the beach as the black sand absorbs the sun and can be quite hot underfoot.
9. Portinho da Arrábida
Another wild and rugged beach in Portugal to visit is nestled in the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park.
Portinho da Arrábida is a hidden gem next to the picturesque fishing port that offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. Being only 40km south of Lisbon, it’s a popular beach to visit for day trips.
It’s protected by a sparkling blue bay and boasts charming white sand.
As you explore the area, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic cliffs and breathtaking scenery that surround Portinho da Arrábida.
10. Praia da Marinha, Lagoa
Another beach on the Algarve coast worth a visit is Praia da Marinha.
This iconic beach boasts golden sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters, framed by dramatic cliffs and stunning rock formations.
Praia da Marinha is a popular spot, and has amazing arches, caves, and sea stacks that make for the perfect backdrop for photography.
11. Praia da Nazaré
Finally, head to Portugal’s picturesque Silver Coast to discover Praia da Nazaré.
This renowned beach is famous for its massive waves, drawing surfers from all over the world to challenge their skills.
But there’s more to Nazaré than just surfing.
With its stunning scenery, golden sands, and the charming coastal town, Nazaré is a delightful place to explore.
From enjoying the beautiful view and sunbathing on the beach Praia da Nazaré is a real coastal paradise.
Hidden Beaches in Portugal
“The Alentejo coast is magical and wild, don’t even bother with the Algarve.”
These were the parting words from a man who just Airbnb’ed his camper van to us. With his hand-drawn map we headed south from Lisbon in search of the best hidden beaches in Portugal.
We had one goal on our trip with our new campervan, make it to Lagos and back to Lisbon, and find some of the best secluded beaches in Portugal along the way.
Here’s what we found…
12. Praia de Galapinhos
Looking for beaches near Lisbon? Then travel less than 50km out of Lisbon and you will find Praia de Galapinhos – an absolute beautiful beach that was named one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
Stumbling upon it with our hand drawn map it felt like a hidden beach.
Not a person on the white sands or swimming in crystal clear water of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a spot of paradise on the doorstep of the city.
We set up camp and took advantage of walking trails.
13. Samoqueira Beach, Porto Côvo
The hidden beach of Samoqueira is just before the town of Porto Covo.
Porto Covo is a beautiful little village where the buildings are whitewashed and the streets are cobbled.
Make sure you head into town first and visit the local bakeries. We tried the Pão de Deus, a brioche roll with a coconut topping just lightly sweetened and toasted and we also got the Laço, which is puff pastry bow with caramel coating.
Samoqueira is like nothing we had seen before. A small stretch of rock and sand lays parallel to the beach creating an intimate cove.
The beach is also surrounded by wonderful caves that you could explore at low tide.
Expect to only see a few people here, it was us and another family for the entire afternoon – one of the best hidden beaches in Portugal.
14. Praia da Zambujeira do Mar
Zambuijeria do Mar is another charming little seaside town.
It is a huddle of whitewashed walls and terracotta roofs that are perched on edge of the cliffs. The town overlooks the local beach which was stunning, this wasn’t our hidden beach, however.
A few kilometres out of town, a beach with no name will steal your heart.
We set up the van in the empty car park with views straight down the soft sands into the turquoise waters.
The beach was flanked by high cliffs on either side and a small cafe overlooking it all.
However, the best part of this beach was the Thai women offering hour-long massages. She was set up on the sand under a white gazebo with transparent fabric fluttering in the breeze.
15. Fonte da Telha
Fonte de Telha is every beach lover’s dream.
You can park right next to the sand and witness that elusive view of the beach from your campervan bed.
Forte Tel Hau is a tiny beach community with a few restaurants scattered along the beach, built right on the sand.
Perfect for a late afternoon drink on the balcony, while we watched the sun dip below the horizon.
Along the dirt road we only saw a dozen other campervans and cars parked next to the sand. It’s reminiscent of an Australian beach, golden sand as far as the eye can see.
16. Praia da Arrifana, Aljezur
In the very northwest of the Algarve, we discovered Praia da Arrifana. It’s tucked away in the lovely village of Alzejur.
Alzejur is another small market town of whitewashed houses and cobbled streets.
This beautiful beach is sheltered by large orange sandstone cliffs and a popular spot for surfing. We laid on the soft white sand and watched summer swell rolling in.
17. Praia de Amado
Further down the coast was found Praia de Amado.
This a beautiful sweeping beach backed by dunes and edged by cliffs.
At low tide we explored the exposed rock pools and headed down the northern end of the beach. Here we discovered the most beautiful colored stones.
You can see hues ranging from pink to black, ochre and green. Later we enjoyed the view of surfers riding the endless waves while cooking our dinner from our beloved home on wheels.
18. The Secret Beach (Praia do Barranco)
Being further down south in the Algarve, we had been warned you could be asked to move or fined for camping in most areas.
So we set off down some country lanes to see what beaches we could discover.
We found it, the spot of dreams, it was similar to the spot in Leonardo Di Carpios’ “The Beach” except that the Thai beach in that movie, Maya Bay, is now overrun with tourists.
This beach was perfect, a protected cove that half a dozen others had found and seemed to set up a small community.
We managed to spot dolphins from the soft white sand one morning, the only place we managed to see them. It appeared even the dolphins knew how enchanted this places was.
This beach is called Praia do Barranco or Barranco Beach, near the town of Sagres.
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Have you discovered any hidden beaches in Portugal? What Portugal beaches are your favorite? Share in the comments!