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8 stunning beaches in Portugal
It’s no secret that Portugal boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The huge orange colored cliffs make these beaches stand out from the typical tropical beaches and might even make the top of your list.
The best cliffs and beaches
With 850 km of coastline, it’s very easy to find beautiful beaches in Portugal. A lot of these beautiful and popular beaches are located in the Algarve, which contains the whole southern coastline of Portugal.
Although the Algarve is stunning, the west coast also has some stunning and more rugged beaches that you definitely can’t miss on a road trip!
1. Praia dos estudantes (Roman Bridge)
This beach is one of the most special beaches in Portugal because of its beautiful arch bridge, called the Roman Bridge. The little beach with the bridge connects to a slightly bigger beach by a cave tunnel. At low tide you can even walk from one side to the other through this tunnel.
Praia dos Estudantes is located along a busy street in Lagos with limited parking. Come early and you might find a spot right above the beach, but chances are you have to look for other P’s in the area.
This beautiful iconic beach is located in Lagos, southern Portugal.
2. Praia de Albandeira
Praia de Albandeira is split into two small beaches separated by rocks and surrounded by beautiful golden cliffs. A wooden staircase takes you down to the beaches where you can chill out for the day or just take a quick dip to cool off.
There’s a beautiful trail taking you over the cliffs with magnificent views all around. Bring a blanket and some food & wine and have yourself a picknick at one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal.
In low season you have a chance to be able to spend the night here. It’s officially not allowed with the new rules in Portugal, but you can try as long as you respect the area.
Praia de Albandeira is located about 7 km south of the town of Porches.
3. Praia da Marinha
Praia da Marinha is one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal and the Algarve and is well known by tourists and photographers from all over the world. This soft sand beach has a secluded feel, because of the high cliffs surrounding it and has the perfect Portugese beach vibes.
Multiple coves are dotted along the beach, some of which can only be reached at low tide. Pick one of the coves to chill out for a day, swim in the crystal clear water or do the scenic walk on top of the cliffs to get the best sunset views!
The world famous Benagil cave is also just a few minutes west of Praia da Marinha and they’re connected by a walking trail. You can only visit the cave by boat to be able to go inside tho!
The beach comes with a big parking, but try to come as early as possible to secure your spot. Keep in mind that It’s not allowed to stay overnight!
The gorgeous Marinha beach is located half way between Albufeira and Portimao.
4.Praia de Sao Torpes
This long stretched soft sandy beach in Sines might not be high on you list yet, but if you like surfing or want to learn it will be!
There’s a few surf schools along this beach, one of them being ‘ESLA surf school’. Lovely people, great instructors and a good vibe. The water ranges from calm to good challenging waves, so it’s one of the best places to learn how to surf in Portugal.
A huge plus for vanlifers is the big parking across the street from the beach. It’s known by vanlifers as a place to come together and enjoy surfing, some of which stay for a couple of months even. The police allows to stay anywhere on the parking in low season, but officially it’s just a small piece of the parking that’s designed for campervans.
The beach is located about 10 km south of Sines on the west coast of Portugal.
5.Estrada da Praia
This is a must-do scenic route on the west coast of Portugal. It takes you along cliffs and beaches in a loop with amazing views, numbered from A to J. Take your time to do this loop and have a picknick at one of the stops or watch the sunrise or sunset
You can take this route by car or small van, campers are not allowed!
There’s a parking at the start of the route, just passed a restaurant called ‘O sitio do Rio’. You can park your van here, or if it’s not too busy, drive a few hundred meters up the road to the first viewpoint and park your van or camper there.
The Estrada da Praia route is about 23 km from Sagres, in the most southern tip of Portugal.
6.Ponta da Piedade
This is an area with amazing cliffs and rock formations on the beautiful Algarve coast, near Lagos. Ponta da Piedade is a very popular place and there’s a lot of boat tours that will take you here. But, there’s also a very beautiful scenic route over the cliffs, overlooking the ocean.
view over Praia do Carnavial
Walk along the path to the west from Ponta da Piedade and you’ll come across a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the beach of ‘Praia do Carnavial’. This is a spectacular place for sunset!
There’s a sandy parking that fits quite a few cars, but for campers it’s better to come early and secure your spot. Because of the strict rules around campervan in Portugal the last years, it’s better to not try and stay overnight here. Especially not in high season!
Lagos has a huge sand parking in the middle of town next to the stadium, which is used by campers. In low season the whole parking is free to stay on, in high season this might be a smaller part of the parking. From here you can visit all the places around Lagos on your list!
Ponta da Piedade is located in the most southern tip of Lagos and is easily reachable by car.
7. Praia do Ribeira do Cavalo
This perfectly stunning beach feels like the Caribbean and its location in Arrabida natural park is incredibly secluded. Because you can only reach this beach by foot or boat, it’s more secluded than many other beaches but it won’t mean you are there alone. Come early and take in the paradise.
hiking or Kayaking
It’s a steep hike down to the beach, but the trail is only 1.4 km long and moderately challenging. Once you get to the beach it’s worth the sweat.
You can also choose a more adventurous way of getting there, such as by kayak. You can rent one in Sesimbra and even visit some other beaches and coves along the way.
There’s a sand parking at the beginning of the trail, where you can park your camper. If it’s quiet you might be able to stay the night, but with the new rules don’t bet on it.
Praia do Ribeira do Cavalo is located just a few minutes west of Sesimbra and about 40 km south of Lissabon.
Just north of Lissabon you’ll find a world famous town, called Nazaré. Famous for its giant waves, surfers from all over the world come right here to show their skills along the beach of Praia do Norté. On a calm day, this is just a nice beach to hang out.
World famous waves
These waves aren’t just big.. they are giant, often up to 20 meters in height. The reason for these waves is the underwater Nazaré canyon. The biggest wave ever surfed here was in January 2022, by Brazilian Lucas Chianca. It’s an unofficial record, but this wave was 97.3 feet (29.65 m). Truly unreal!
Sao Miguel Fort
The most popular and busiest area is on the south side of Praia do Norté, where the Sao Miguel Fort is located. From this fort you can overlook the beach and stand eye to eye with the giant waves if you’re lucky!
Nazaré can get very busy at times, because of the popularity of the waves. There are multiple parking areas, but they’re not really big so keep that in mind. Maybe go early and don’t go on weekends.
Nazaré is located about 1.5 hours north from Lissabon.
Hi! We’re Tim & Ilse
Together with our fluffy cat Snowy we travel around the world searching for adventures.