The wonderful Portuguese culture

"Passion, culture, food and history"

Best beaches in Portugal

"A country full of extraordinary beaches"

"Um país cheio de praias extraordinárias"

5 Locations to find the best beaches in Portugal

Portugal is a country with an impressive coastline at the Atlantic Ocean. You can go to the Atlantic Ocean from the Spanish border in the north, above Porto, to the south at the most western point of the Algarve. And back to the east, where you arrive again at a Spanish border. The whole coastline counts around 830 km and has many stunning beaches. In these post, I'll give you 4 interesting areas to find the best beaches in Portugal and 1 extra tip to enjoy extraordinary beaches in Portugal.

Estimated read time: 5 minutes


#beach, #coastline, #atlanticocean, #praia, #praiafluvial

Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean

First of all, Portugal is located at the Atlantic Ocean. Not at a sea, like most other countries of South-Europe, which are located at the Mediterranean Sea. This means that, in Portugal, the water is colder and the current on the water is stronger with higher waves. Don't make this mistake when you go in the water at a beach in Portugal. It is an ocean, no sea. Due to this fact, there also is more cooler wind in Portugal that you can feel deep inland.

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Beaches at 5 different locations in Portugal

A long coastline results in many locations to go to the beach. The Portuguese word for beach is "praia". Of course, Portugal also has 2 wonderful autonomous regions in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the island groups Madeira and the Azores. Also there, you find stunning beaches. In this post, I focus on the beaches of continental Portugal. Below are 5 different locations where you find some of the best beaches in Portugal.

Best beaches in the Algarve

In the south of continental Portugal, you find the Algarve. The Algarve is famous for a rude wonderful coastline with stunning beaches. This is a very popular region by many international tourists. Some beaches are very popular, while others still are more hidden.

Popular beach locations in the Algarve

  • Sagres
  • Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira
  • Faro, Olhão, Tavira
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Best beaches in the Alentejo

The Alentejo is the largest region of Portugal. Alentejo Litoral is the subregion at the Atlantic Ocean. Also here, you find some of the best beaches in Portugal. From Tróia to Sines, you find a coastline of 65 kilometer uninterrupted sandy beaches. This is the longest zone of beaches in Portugal.

Popular beach locations in the Alentejo

  • Sines
  • Melides
  • Tróia with the Costa de Galé
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Best beaches around Lisbon

A next popular region to find stunning beaches in Portugal, is around Lisbon. At the other side of the Tagus river, seen from Lisbon, you find the district Setúbal. These beaches are ideal to reach from Lisbon. Around Setúbal and Tróia, it is the one of the best places in Portugal to spot dolphins. Also above Lisbon, you find some wonderful beaches.

Popular beach locations around Lisbon

  • Costa da Arrabída with Setúbal, Praia dos Galapinhos and Sesimbra
  • Costa da Caparica are the beaches you can see from the airplane while landing in Lisbon
  • Estoril, Cascais near Belém
  • Azenhas do Mar in Sintra, with a natural swimming pool in the Atlantic Ocean
  • Ericeira in Mafra
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Best beaches at the Silver Coast

The Silver Coast, also known as the Costa de Prata, is a very long region between Lisbon and Port and famous for a lot of interesting historic cities and villages. As well as many locations to find some of the best beaches in Portugal. No wonder that the Costa de Prata is one of the following booming tourism regions in Portugal. This area stretches from Torres Vedras to Barrinha de Esmoriz, above Aveiro and Ovar, and under Porto.

"Fishermen villages"

Most of the beach locations at the silver coast, are (old) fishermen villages, with stunning sandy beaches at the Atlantic Ocean. In Aveiro, you find the Praia da Costa Nova, where colourful fishermen's houses have been restored and rented out as holiday houses or used as restaurants.

"Highest waves in in the world"

You also have to be at the Silver Coast to see the highest waves in the world. In that case, Nazaré is the place to be. A lot of experienced surfers want to be in Nazaré to conquer the highest waves. Also Peniche is very popular by surfers, with a lot of surf schools. The highest wave ever recorded and surfed in Nazaré is 26,21 meters high. But of course, Nazaré and Peniche also have stunning beaches for those who just want to go to the beach.

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Popular beach locations at the Silver Coast

  • Peniche, Nazaré
  • Figueira da Foz
  • Praia da Costa Nova

Extra: Praias Fluviais

Of course, also at Foz do Douro and above Porto are a lot of wonderful beaches to enjoy the life at the Atlantic Ocean. In this extra, I want to give some other interesting locations to find some of the best beaches in Portugal.

"River beaches"

So as told, Portugal has a very long coastline where you can find an abundance of stunning beaches. But also inland Portugal, you find attractive beaches to pass your time. Portugal has many "Praias Fluviais" or "River beaches", in singular "Praia Fluvial". Wonderful beaches at the river side, in a natural park, at a lake or a dam, where it also is possible to go and swim in the river or lake. The Portuguese word for a dam is "uma barragem". You find them from the north to the south, throughout the whole country. These beaches also are very popular by a lot of locals and tourists.

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Popular River beaches or Praias Fluviais

  • In the North: Gerês, Azibo
  • Central Portugal: Loriga, Vale do Rossim, Ferreira do Zêzere, Agroal, Constância
  • Alentejo: Montargil, Mora, Mourão-Alqueva
  • Algarve: Alcoutim
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