Guide: The best beaches in Portugal you will want to discover (79 suggestions)

From calm waters to rough waters beaches, you will find different types at your disposal.

Discovering

Are you passionate about the beach and don't know where to start discovering the Portuguese coast? Don't worry anymore. With this guide, we will help you navigate the various beaches of the Portuguese territory. discover 832 kilometres of  very diverse and incredible beaches.

Currently, more than 55% of Portuguese beaches have a Blue Flag, with a seal of environmental quality. In total, there are 332 Portuguese beaches that hoist this certificate and that you can discover.

The best beaches in Portugal

Moledo Beach, Caminha

Moledo beach, in Viana do Castelo, in the north of Portugal, is a popular beach due to the abundance of iodine, a beneficial property to mitigate some health problems. Another reason for the growing demand of this beach consists of the landscapes that combine the beach with the wooden walkways, the dunes and the mountains.

However, the beach is quite windy, so make sure you take a windbreaker with you. If you like sports such as windsurfing or kitesurfing, this beach offers you the best conditions.

Source - City Council (Caminha) - Moledo Beach, Caminha

Portinho da Arrábida Beach, Setúbal

Portinho da Arrábida beach is one of the most amazing beaches of Portugal, since the white and fine sand and the bay have an immense variety of greens and blues, which make the place magical and unique.

In the Serra da Arrábida Natural Park, the blue of the waters contrasts with the vegetation of the mountains and the scenery is absolutely enchanting. The practice of diving is a highly appreciated activity in this area. Since the seabed is considered a nature reserve, spearfishing is not allowed.

Portinho da Arrábida Beach, Setúbal

Carvalhal Beach, Grândola

Carvalhal Beach, in Grândola, is one of the best beaches in the country. Located a few kilometres from the famous beach of Zambujeira, the beach is chosen by nature lovers.

The space is a “naturalised” beach, that is, without any human constructions, which gives it an added symbolic value. The beach is embraced by a valley that ends up protecting it from the wind.

Carvalhal Beach, Grândola

Rocha Beach

Rocha Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the country. Its vast sandy beach is protected by cliffs, giving it its name. On this beach, which has a Blue Flag and good access, you can stroll along the wooden walkways or simply take the opportunity to relax on the sandy beach.

There are also two viewpoints with a fantastic view of the beach, the Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar and the Miradouro dos Três Castelos. Despite being a very extensive beach, given its popularity, it is rare not to get crowded.

Rocha Beach, Portimão

Porto Covo Beach, Sines

Rui Veloso sings about Porto Covo's place and it's no coincidence. The beauty of this place is undoubtedly inspiring. In 2015, this beach was considered by the Huffington Post as one of the most beautiful in the world.

Porto Covo Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the village. The beach has several services, such as surveillance during the bathing season, car parks, café and two stairs that provide access to the beach  through the car park.

Porto Covo Beach, Sines

Pessegueiro Island Beach, Sines

We could not mention Porto Covo without mentioning Pessegueiro Island, next to its coast. This beach, which is part of the Southwest Alentejo, can be accessed by boats that travel daily to the island.

In the past, this island was used as a shelter port by the Romans and the Carthaginians. Today, this is an excellent place to practise various water sports.

Benagil Beach, Lagoa

Benagil Beach is one of the most secret and romantic beaches in the Algarve. On the beach, you will find a cave with an opening at the top that lets rays of sun shine on the sand and the sea. You can access the cave on foot or take a boat trip.

In this beach, you will find plenty of tranquility and peace. In this way, it is an ideal space for those who want to have the maximum possible privacy and contemplate an incredible landscape.

Benagil Beach, Lagoa

Nazaré Beach, Nazaré

Nazaré beach, inserted in a traditional fishing village, is one of the most popular in the Central region of Portugal. On site, it is possible to find some women dressed in the traditional costume of seven skirts of Nazareth.

The beautiful Praia da Nazaré has a very extensive sandy beach, which invites you to take long walks. Activities such as surfing and bodyboarding are also very practised on this beach, since the sea, here, is known for its strong ripple.

To be able to absorb all the beauty of the beach, through the centenary lift, climb to the highest point of Nazaré and contemplate the entire space in its fullness.

Nazaré beach, Nazaré

Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach, Sesimbra

Ribeiro do Cavalo beach, which owes its name to a huge rock that resembles the head of a horse, is undoubtedly one of Portugal's best kept secrets. Located in a deserted area, it is an exotic and wild beach. Even though it does not have any support infrastructure, this place has been worthy of many visits.

Ribeiro do Cavalo Beach, Sesimbra

Berlenga Grande Beach, Peniche

Also known as Carreiro do Mosteiro Beach, Berlenga Grande beach is located ten kilometres from Peniche. Included in the protected area of the Berlengas Archipelago, the site was considered by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2011. In this beach, it is very common to practise water sports, such as diving and deep sea fishing.

Due to its natural beauty, in August, tourists head to Berlenga in search of a quiet beach. The beach does not have, however, any type of support infrastructure.

Berlenga Grande Beach, Peniche

The best beaches in the north of Portugal

Afife Beach, Viana do Castelo

In Viana do Castelo, Afife beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the north of the country, giving its visitors a rich landscape and a dune structure with very characteristic fauna and flora.

Although it is very sought after because of the good conditions it offers for surfing, bodyboarding and paddle tennis, the beach also hosts an extensive wooden walkway, perfect for hiking. Essential services such as catering, changing rooms, parking and more are provided on site.

Cabedelo Beach, Viana do Castelo

Cabedelo beach is located in the parish of Darque, in Viana do Castelo, and it is one of the most sought after beaches in the region. The particularity of being surrounded by a pine forest, where there are campsites, makes this beach a go-to place  for the population.

The landscape is unique and the animation of the space happens both during the day, on the beach, and at night, in the bars next to the beach. Boasting a Blue Flag, Cabedelo beach has the ideal conditions for surfing, windsurfing and bodyboarding.

Ofir Beach, Esposende

Ofir Beach, in Esposende, is an excellent option for those who love beach and water sports. With a wide sandy beach, whose access is facilitated by beautiful wooden walkways, on this beach, the dune vegetation is protected by fences, which makes it more beautiful and gives it an even more natural look.

Senhor da Pedra Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia

Senhor da Pedra Beach, in Vila Nova de Gaia, also known as Miramar Beach, is one of the most amazing beaches in Portugal. In the surrounding setting of this beach, there is a chapel which  becomes surrounded by the sea when the tide is high. The chapel of Senhor da Rocha gives name and charm to the beach. Locals report that this is probably the only chapel in the world that is positioned facing the sea.

Azurara Beach, Vila do Conde

In Vila do Conde, Praia da Azurara is very popular with younger people. Popularity arises from concerts and festivals that tend to attract thousands of people. The beach is also sought after by sports lovers.

Aterro Beach, Matosinhos

Aterro beach, often sought after for surfing and bodyboarding, is a beautiful beach in Matosinhos. The space, awarded with Blue Flag, presents a landscape marked by the sand and rocks. If you prefer beach sports, you can enjoy the football and volleyball fields.

Leça da Palmeira Beach, Matosinhos

Leça da Palmeira Beach is one of the most special beaches in the country. Its very extensive sandy beach and the rough sea make this place much appreciated by water sports practitioners.

The famous Piscina das Marés is housed by this beach. Piscina das Marés is a saltwater pool designed by renowned architect Álvaro Siza Vieira and is considered a national monument.

Aguda Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia

Aguda beach, very frequented by lovers of surfing, underwater fishing and beach sports, is characterised by the vast sandy beach, strong waves and rocky bottoms. The beach is equipped with a bathroom, an SOS station, changing rooms and a bar.

Mindelo Beach, Vila do Conde

In Vila do Conde, we have another wonderful beach, Mindelo beach. The short sandy beach, bounded by a rock formation, makes this place one of the favourites of the northerners.

Madalena Beach, Vila Nova de Gaia

Madalena beach, in Vila Nova de Gaia, has a large sandy beach. Between the dunes and vegetation, there are the wooden walkways, mostly used by campers housed in the campsite of the area. In the central area of the beach runs the Ribeira da Madalena. To soak up all the beauty of the place, long walks along the beach are more than advised.

The best beaches in Central Portugal

Sao Jacinto Beach, Aveiro

Located in the Natural Reserve of the Dunes of São Jacinto, in Aveiro, São Jacinto Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the centre of the country. As it is practically in the wild, it is unique.

The beach is suitable for water sports such as surfing. However, extensive walks are also a good activity to do on site.

Osso da Baleia beach, Pombal

Osso da Baleia beach is one of the most peculiar beaches in Portugal, having been considered Praia Dourada (golden beach), due to its unique characteristics from the geological, heritage, landscape, floristic and faunal points of view. This Blue Flag beach is very quiet and is therefore a fantastic place to unwind and relax.

The name of the beach is due to the fact that, according to local testimonies, in the twentieth century, a whale skeleton was found on that beach. Prepared to receive people with reduced mobility, it is considered an Accessible Beach.

Torreira Beach, Aveiro

Torreira beach is located on the coastline that separates the Ria de Aveiro from the sea. From the beach, you can see the moliceiros, the typical and colourful boatsof Aveiro. The beach offers several choices: experience the rough sea waters, practice water sports or test the calm waters of the estuary.

Cova da Gala Beach, Figueira da Foz

In Figueira da Foz, Cova da Gala beach is a place with calm waters, little windy and, therefore, one of the favourites of many bathers. With excellent access and services, this beach has a Blue Flag. The place is ideal for those who want to go bathing in a quiet and quality environment.

Tocha beach, Coimbra

In Coimbra, Tocha beach has been sporting the Blue Flag badge for 32 consecutive years. With fantastic access, it is an excellent place to spend a very relaxed day in communion with nature. The fishing nets and the various boats that are located along the beach let us know that this is a fishermen's beach.

Buarcos Beach, Coimbra

Buarcos beach, in Coimbra, is one of the favourite beaches for young people, as it offers the ideal conditions to practise sports. Classified as Golden Beach, it offers all the necessary amenities for an excellent beach day.

São Pedro de Moel Beach

São Pedro de Moel Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches in the centre of the country. If you are looking for a place to rest, without a fuss or parking problems, this is the ideal beach. But watch out! As a rule, the sea is rough.

São Pedro de Moel beach had a very beautiful ocean pool. However, the swimming pool has been inactive since 2013. Despite that, this place still deserves your visit.

Foz do Arelho Beach

Between Caldas da Rainha and Óbidos, Foz do Arelho beach offers visitors the possibility to choose the calm waters of both the lagoon and the sea. Guarded during the bathing season, the beach has a Blue Flag, thus confirming its high quality.

Baleal Beach, Peniche

Baleal Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Peniche. Beach I, with vast sandy beaches and calm waters, is great for windsurfing. There are several tennis courts, swimming pools, a disco and an equestrian centre on site, which can make your summer holiday even more spectacular.

Mira Beach

Finally, we have Mira beach, in Aveiro. This choice stands out for the beauty of the sea, the pine forest, the lagoon and the dunes with vegetation, which make the beach unique.

In its white sand stand out the stalls with brightly coloured fabrics. This is undoubtedly an excellent beach for those who love carefree beach days.

The best beaches in the Lisbon region

Galapinhos Beach, Setúbal

In 2017, Galapinhos Beach, in Setúbal, was considered the best beach in Europe by European Best Destination, although its access is not easy. For this reason, the beach is frequented mainly by young people.

This beach, classified as a semi-natural beach, is an excellent option for those who love contact with nature, observe marine species and clear, calm waters.

Guincho Beach, Cascais

Guincho beach is one of the most popular beaches in Lisbon. This beach, with crystal clear water and a vast sandy beach strip, belongs to the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. The space has surveillance and, in the bathing season, a medical station. As it is often the stage of world championships of water sports, it is highly sought after by  surf, windsurf and kitesurf practitioners.

Maçãs Beach, Sintra

Maçãs beach is one of the most beautiful in this region. The name was given to it because, once, on the beach, there were apples transported by Ribeira de Colares, which flows into this beach.

The beach is very familiar and has excellent access and infrastructures. You can enjoy the beach or take advantage of the complex with tennis court, football, saltwater pools and restaurants. One of the great attractions of this area is the tram ride, which is now working again.

Meco Beach, Sesimbra

It is said that Meco beach is one of the best beaches in the country. Green clay, widely used in various treatments, abounds here. The beach has a length of about four kilometres, ideal for long walks on the sandy strip.

Figueirinha Beach, Setubal

Located in Setúbal, Figueirinha beach has a Blue Flag and is quite popular for its vast sandy strip and the little agitated sea. When the tide is low, a sandy path emerges, allowing us to walk through the sea quietly. In this region, Praia da Figueirinha is one of the most beautiful beaches to visit.

Adraga Beach, Sintra

Adraga beach, in Sintra, is in the Natural Park of Sintra - Cascais. Famous for its clear waters, this beach was considered by The Sunday Time one of the 20 best European beaches in 2003. Harmoniously, the area combines beach and mountain landscapes. The beach has all the services you need to enjoy a wonderful day.

Tamariz Beach, Estoril

Tamariz Beach, in Estoril, is a beach with excellent infrastructures, providing changing rooms, surveillance in the bathing season, restaurants and water sports.

In addition, Tamariz Beach has a saltwater pool, next to the pontoon. The access  to the beach is great and the space is ideal to relax or to perform nautical activities.

Pescadores (Fishermen's) Beach, Ericeira

Pescadores beach, in Ericeira, is one of the best beaches in the country, as it is one of the quietest in this municipality. Peacefulness is achieved by the bay that is created by the beach pontoon. This beach, also known as Ribeira beach or Peixe beach, features clean waters that are rich in mineral salts.

Conceicão Beach, Cascais

Conceição beach is a very beautiful little Cascais beach. When the tide is low, through this beach, it is possible to have access to Duchesa beach. The beach has excellent accesses and offers all the necessary services.

Costa da Caparica Beach, Almada

Costa da Caparica beach is one of the beaches with the longest sandy strips in the region. In this beach, you have surveillance during the bathing season, restaurants, parking, bars, among other services. In addition, in the summer months you also have a running train to get you around more easily.

The best beaches in the South of Portugal

Comporta Beach, Grândola

Comporta beach, in Grândola, is one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. This beach, with white sands and calm tides, is very quiet. Thus, it is ideal for relaxing and reading a book. The access to the beach is great and the tranquil environment is the biggest reason why tourists visit it so often.

Marinha Beach, Lagoa

In Lagoa Algarve, Marinha beach stands out for the beauty of its natural tunnels. The beach was considered one of the hundred best beaches in the world by the Michelin Guide, because it is still considered wild. The waters that bathe this beach are calm, making it very pleasant for bathers.

Falésia Beach, Albufeira

Falésia beach, in Albufeira, is among the “25 Best Beaches in the World”, according to TripAdvisor users. This beautiful beach is characterised by its extensive sandy strip and the vibrant colour of the cliff that gives it its name. It is ideal for family beach days.

Tróia-Galé Beach, Grândola

With stunning views over the Serra da Arrábida, it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the south of the country. Awarded with the Blue Flag, it has already been recognized as a beach of Gold Quality by Quercus.

São Torpes Beach, Sines

São Torpes Beach belongs to the coastal area of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. The water on this beach, which is usually around almost 30 degrees, is one of the warmest in our country. Praia de São Torpes is one of the most charming beaches in the South of Portugal.

The name of the beach arose from the belief that Saint Torpes washed ashore there. Marking the place where Saint Torpes, Christian saint and martyr are believed to have been buried, is a landmark.

Lagoa de Santo André Beach, Santiago do Cacém

Lagoa de Santo André Beach is one of the quietest beaches in the Alentejo. The beach stands out for presenting a lagoon in the middle of the sandy beach. With excellent infrastructures, it is fantastic for a day with friends, family and even with children.

Odeceixe Beach, Aljezur

Considered one of the best beaches in Portugal at the 7 Wonders event, Odeceixe beach, in Aljezur, is really a beach that you should get to know. Located at the northern end of the county, the beach is bordered by a river beach, Ribeira de Seixe. The beach has Blue Flag and easy access. It is excellent for hiking.

Camilo Beach, Lagos

Camilo beach, in Lagos, Algarve, is a small beach. In order for you to access the beach, you will have to do so using a 200-step staircase. The beach is shaped by an impressive rock formation, with jagged shapes and caves excavated by the sea. Ponta da Piedade is very close to this place.

Pintadinho Beach, Lagoa

If you like quiet beaches, with space to stretch your towel and simply relax, Pintadinho Beach is a great choice. The beach has been highlighted with a Blue Flag since 2018.
 
Find out more about the beautiful beaches of the Algarve here.

The best beaches in the Azores

Ribeira Quente Beach , São Miguel

Although the beaches in the Azores are not the most sought after, it is always good to know that there you can also find excellent beaches. One of the best beaches in the Azores is Ribeira Quente beach, also called Fogo beach, which is located on the island of São Miguel. As the name of the beach indicates, it is a beach with very hot water that pleases bathers a lot.

Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo, São Jorge

In São Jorge, Fajã da Caldeira de Santo Cristo beach is classified as a Nature Reserve. Although it has difficult access, it is one of the most beautiful and secret beaches in the Azores.

Fajã beach is a very quiet beach where privacy is almost total.

Formosa Beach, Santa Maria

On Santa Maria Island you will find the fantastic Formosa beach - Known for hosting annually the Maré de Agosto Festival, one of the oldest musical events in the Azores, the beach has clean waters and very pleasant temperatures. The landscape you can experience in this place is simply amazing, especially if you go up to the so-called Macela viewpoint.

Porto Pim Beach, Faial

Porto Pim Beach, in Faial, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Azores. On this Blue Flag beach, watching the sunrise and sunset is breathtaking.

Fajã Grande Beach, Flores

Sheltered by rocks of volcanic origin, Fajã Grande beach is another Azorean beach worthy of your visit. On site, you can go diving and other water sports.

Biscoitos Beach, Terceira

The peculiar Biscoitos beach, in Terceira Island, consists of beautiful natural pools that are bounded by rock formations resulting from volcanic eruptions. Biscoitos beach is the ideal place for those who love the serenity of the water.

Vila Franca Islet, São Miguel

In São Miguel, Ilhéu de Vila Franca beach is a small volcanic island. As it is considered one of the most beautiful places in the Azores, spending some time at the beach in this place is an experience that you should not miss. Here you will find a natural swimming pool with calm and crystal clear waters in which you can enjoy all the beauty of nature. The beach is also a very suitable place for diving.

Ribeira Grande Beach, São Miguel

Ribeira Grande beach is one of the best beaches in the Azores. On its extensive sandy strip, you can practise sports such as surfing or bodyboarding or you can simply relax and enjoy the wonders of this Azorean beach.

Pedreira Beach, São Miguel

In Vila Franca do Campo, Pedreira beach, so called by the existence of a nearby quarry, is a beautiful beach with blue waters that allows you full contact with nature.

São Roque Beach, São Miguel

São Roque beach, also called Igreja or Poço Velho beach, is one of the most charming beaches in the São Miguel Island. The sand is dark, just like the rest of the sand throughout the island, and the sea is serene.

The best beaches in Madeira

Porto Santo Beach, Porto Santo

Porto Santo Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal. In the contest “7 Wonders of Portugal”, Porto Santo beach was elected the “Best Dune Beach” in Portugal.

With nine kilometres long, of golden sand, with waters with proven therapeutic properties, it is considered one of the best bathing resorts in the country.

Natural pools of Porto Moniz, Madeira

The great ex-libris of the village of Porto Moniz are its natural saltwater pools. These pools, annually, receive thousands of tourists, becoming increasingly popular.

Beach and pools of Ponta Gorda, Madeira

If there is a place where you can find a little of everything  in Madeira, from a beach to a saltwater pool, not forgetting two freshwater pools, it is in Ponta Gorda. This place is ideal for those who want to enjoy a calm but fun day. If you're with kids, great! They will love Ponta Gorda!

Prainha Beach, Madeira

Prainha beach is one of the few non-artificial beaches that has sand, on the island of Madeira. If you go to Madeira, don't forget to visit this nice place.

Laje Beach, Madeira

Laje beach, in Seixal, famous for its unique green landscape, is also known as  Jamaica beach. Even if it's not guarded, it's a beach you won't want to miss. The silence that is felt, as well as the beauty of the sands and palm trees are the factors that will lead you to choose this place.

Fajã do Mar Beach, Madeira

With crystal clear, calm and extremely clean waters and temperatures considered very pleasant, Fajã do Mar is an almost secret rocky beach. The beach is ideal for those seeking the serenity necessary to relax, as it is a very quiet place.

Anjos beach (Angel’s beach), Madeira

Although it is small and doesn’t have sand,Anjos beach is one of the most beautiful on the island, as it allows a deep immersion in the beauty of nature. On this beach,  you will have the service of a bar that animates the space at your disposal.

Lido Pools, Madeira

With access to the sea, the Lido Pools, in Funchal, are excellent for a mega fun day. You can choose to take a dip in the serenity of the waters of the pool or in the bustle of the sea.

Calheta Beach, Madeira

Inaugurated in 2004, boasting immense beauty, Calheta beach is a small artificial beach. Bounded by two artificial coves, it has all the necessary services to allow you to enjoy your day. In addition, it is suitable for sports such as canoeing or windsurfing

Alagoa Beach, Madeira

Alagoa beach, in Porto da Cruz, is one of the most graceful beaches on the island of Madeira. Its choppy waves attract many surfers. However, it is also beastly for those looking to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The best river beaches in Portugal

Alamal Beach, Gavião, Portalegre

Alamal beach, in the municipality of Gavião, in Portalegre, is one of the most beautiful blue flag river beaches in our country. In addition to having a Blue Flag, it was distinguished with the award of Accessible Beach. The beauty of the calm waters of the Tagus River combines with the green banks, creating an incredible and appealing landscape for a good dive.

Pego Fundo, Alcoutim, Faro

In Alcoutim, in the district of Faro, Pego Fundo is a guarded river beach, with Blue Flag and excellent access. As an alternative to the beach, you can always visit the maintenance circuit or have a meal at the picnic park.

Cardigos Beach, Mação, Santarém

Cardigos beach, also known as Vergancinho beach, is a beautiful beach in the municipality of Mação, in Santarém, which  won in the category Natural Heritage - River Beaches, the Estrela do Médio Tejo in 2013.

Reconquinho Beach, Penacova, Coimbra

Reconquinho Beach, on the Mondego River, distinguished with Blue Flag, is located in Penacova, Coimbra. In addition to the wide sandy strip, a picnic area and a picturesque wooden bridge, next to the beach, you will find the Campsite of Penacova, where you can stay overnight.

Louçainha Beach, Penela, Coimbra

In Penela, you can find Louçainha beach. Inserted in the Natural Dams of Louçainha, the beach is highlighted by the quality of the water, the refreshing landscape and the peaceful environment. The beach has excellent access, picnic parks, bathrooms with showers and restaurants nearby.

Foz d'Égua Beach, Arganil, Coimbra

From the junction of the Piódão river with the river Chãs, in the municipality of Arganil, in Piódão, you will enjoy one of the most sweeping river beaches in the country, Foz d'Égua beach. As soon as you have the chance, visit this beach.

Rocas Beach, Castanheira de Pêra, Leiria

In the centre of the Rocas river beach, there is an island with the largest wave pool in the country. If you are adept at extreme activities, you can take a boat ride, take part in an aqua aerobics class, try the slide, inflatable boats or surf simulators.

Adaúfe Beach, Ribeira, Braga

Just 15 minutes from Braga, located in the parish of Ribeira, you will find the river Beach of Adaúfe, ideal to cool off without having to leave the city.

Senhora da Piedade Beach, Lousã, Coimbra

With a magnificent view over the Hermitages of Nossa Senhora da Piedade and Lousã Castle, if you want to quietly absorb the beauty of nature, we advise you to visit Praia da Senhora da Piedade. The beach is in the beautiful Serra da Lousã.

River beach of Albufeira do Azibo

40 kilometres from Bragança, in Macedo de Cavaleiros, with everything you need for a beautiful beach day, you will find what was the first river beach to be distinguished with the Blue Flag, the river Beach of Azibo.

Guide: The best beaches in Portugal you will want to discover (79 suggestions)
Discovering
Guide: The best beaches in Portugal you will want to discover (79 suggestions)