The south of Portugal offers exactly what I expect from a good beach. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t find Carribean beaches with crystal blue water and white sand – however, Portugal has this rough, wild, natural beaches which are far away from big hotel chains, busy beach promenades or thousands of sun loungers. Some are a bit hidden within cliffs, some are just far away from the next town, some are surrounded by sand dunes and require a little walk to get there. And this makes the big difference between beaches in Spain, like Mallorca and wide, natural, wild beaches of Algarve.
There is a big variety of beautiful places. Here I’d like to show you my personal favourites.
Best beaches at South Algarve: Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo is a quite small beach in the west of Lagos. You’ll reach it by using big stairs which go down to the little beach located between high cliffs. What makes this beach special is that it is not far away from Lagos, just a 15 minutes ride by car, and still it feels like as if you are far from civilization as you are surrounded by cliffs. Tide can get high there in the late afternoon, so make sure you come in the morning when the tide is still low and people are rare. Praia do Camilo is a welcome alternative to Praia do Batata, the closest beach to Lagos which is located in front of some big hotels and always crowded.
Best beaches at South Algarve: Praia da Bordeira
The beach represents the wild one of my favourite spots. It is a rugged beach, around 4 kilometres long and far away from houses or hotels. There are no big cliffs like at most Algarve beaches but it is surrounded by a wide areal of grassed sand dunes. It is a bit remote, also a windy place, very popular among surfers and offers nothing more than a wide, wild natural beach. Surprisingly there were only a few people when we were there. There is one little beach bar which offers some drinks and few snacks run by very friendly locals. The perfect pick for enjoying a calm day in nature.
Best beaches at South Algarve: Praia da Falesía
This beach is dominated by a red rocky coastline. Waves are a bit rough there and mostly it is a bit windy. But the big advantage is the location: away from a town or big hotels.The sandy beach is approximately 8 kilometers long and perfect for romantic walks, nature lovers and invites for relaxing. Choose the western part of the beach, the more east, the more people and sun loungers there will be. A great time to visit is the evening when the setting sun colors the red cliffs and your whole surrounding into a warm red light – very romantic!
Best beaches at South Algarve: Praia da Rocha
Praia da Rocha is probably the most famous and most typical Algarve beach and you might know it from post cards. It is quite long, characterized by spectacular big cliffs dividing the beach from the big hotels and touristic center of Portimao. Still there is the hotel silhouette in your back and you won’t feel like on a wild beach as it is the case at Praia da Falesía. It is more lively than other beaches and offers a beach promenade with various shops, restaurants and bars.
Best beaches at South Algarve: Meia Praia
Meia Praia is not a spectacular beach and it is also a bit touristy similar to Praia da Rocha. The big advantage is the length of around 4 kilometres and the wide grassed sand dunes which keep the distance between the street and the hotels in the back of the beach. It is perfect for a morning run, for sunset walks and you’ll always find a quiet spot for yourself. You should choose the eastern part of the beach as most people arrive at Praia de Sao Roque and settle down there. Meia Praia offers a good combination of few restaurants, water sports, some sun loungers but also more quiet areas in the east.