Algarve Beach Guide

Algarve : Next 24-Hour Weather

Today - 16th July 2024

Sunrise 06:25

Sunrise

Sunset 20:50

Sunset
13:00
24°C (75°F)
14:00
24°C (75°F)
15:00
25°C (76°F)
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25°C (77°F)
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26°C (78°F)
18:00
27°C (80°F)
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28°C (82°F)
20:00
27°C (80°F)
21:00
25°C (76°F)
22:00
23°C (72°F)
23:00
22°C (71°F)

Tomorrow - 17th July 2024

Sunrise 06:25

Sunrise

Sunset 20:50

Sunset
0:00
22°C (70°F)
1:00
21°C (69°F)
2:00
21°C (68°F)
3:00
20°C (67°F)
4:00
20°C (67°F)
5:00
20°C (66°F)
6:00
20°C (66°F)
7:00
20°C (67°F)
8:00
21°C (70°F)
9:00
23°C (73°F)
10:00
24°C (74°F)
11:00
24°C (74°F)
12:00
24°C (74°F)

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Updated at 12:01 GMT

The Algarve is the southernmost region of mainland Portugal, and it is the most popular holiday destination in Portugal plus Europe as a whole. Most of the region's major towns, cities and tourist resorts are located close to the Atlantic coastline. Tourism and food are the main contributors to the local economy.

The Algarve borders thecoast and consequently has a large number of beaches to choose from, including a large number of blue flag beaches (there is a full list available online, though some are better than others). 

Many beaches are primarily oriented towards sunbathing and relaxation, and most lie close to restaurants and toilets, with some near high-quality restaurants. Some of the beaches are good for walking and hiking around, with many home to a significant amount of wildlife, which will appeal to nature lovers.

Family friendly

The Algarve contains a wide range of family friendly beaches with numerous facilities and also play areas for children. Ilha de Culatra is an island situated off Olhao and contains villages, a mini market, fishing outlets, and pleasant beaches for sunbathing. Olhos de Agua Beach at Olhos de Agua, Albufeira is easy to recommend for its pleasant opportunities for sunbathing, a large range of nearby restaurants, supermarkets, banks, and a pharmacy. Tavira Island is recommended for its good supply of restaurants and toilets and pleasant surroundings, plus it is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve. Praia Gale, 4 kilometres west of Albufeira, boasts soft sands that are suitable for small children, and a range of reasonable restaurants. Praia de Amoreira near Aljezur is close to a good restaurant and contains numerous rock pools to keep children entertained for hours.  

Lively beaches

Although the main focus at most Algarve resorts tends to be relaxation, there is a selection of beaches that offer lively entertainment and facilities. Although Praia de Falesia between Vilamoura and Albufeira tends to be quiet during autumn, winter and spring, during the summer months some bars on the beach party after around 7pm, offering good nightlife in a relaxed, lovely setting. Ilha de Culatra is an island situated off Olhao and boasts a range of restaurants and villages, fishing facilities, and a mini market, as well as pleasant beaches for sunbathing. Camilo Beach at Costa D'oiro, Lagos, tends to be popular with tourists and has an attractive restaurant nearby. Meia Praia at Lagos is a large and popular beach, which has a range of restaurants and also opportunities for boat hire and water sports. Praia la Luz also contains a few restaurants and is also adjacent to some supermarkets, plus offers good sunbathing opportunities on the beach.

Blue flag

Many of the main beaches in the Algarve are blue flag beaches (meeting stringent EEC hygiene standards). Praia de Falesia, between Vilamoura and Albufeira, has spectacular cliff formations nearby. Olhos de Agua Beach at Olhos de Agua, Albufeira has numerous facilities within the vicinity, including restaurants, a bank and a pharmacy, as well as great sunbathing spots. Tavira Island is recommended for its supply of restaurants and toilets and pleasant surroundings, and it is also part of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve. Meia Praia at Lagos is a large and popular beach which offers water sports opportunities and an array of restaurants.

Water sports

Praia Gale, 4 kilometres west of Albufeira, offers water sports off the coast during the summer months. The beaches close to Vilamoura Marina offer good surfing opportunities.  Meia Praia at Lagos offers jet ski and pedal boat hire, and is a good spot for surfing.  Praia de Odeceixe at Estrada da Praia de Odeceixe, Aljezur has a surf school, and the sea can get quite choppy, which makes it a good location for surfing. Arrifana Beach can similarly be recommended for choppy nearby seas and, correspondingly, great opportunities for surfing.

Fishing, boating & sailing 

There are frequent boat trips available at Ponta de Piedade, near Lagos, which contains some spectacular scenery, including a wide range of wildlife and cave formations. Ilha de Culatra is an island situated off Olhao, accessible by boat, and contains fishing outlets. Fishing is popular along the beaches close to Vilamoura Marina, which offers a wide variety of fishing shops. Praia de Amoreira near Aljezur, is good for surfing and fishing, although fishing is restricted on some days of the week. Meia Praia at Lagos is a large and popular beach which offers jet-ski and pedal boat hire.   

Secluded

Praia de Falesia, between Vilamoura and Albufeira, tends to be quiet most of the time and it overlooks some spectacular cliff formations. Ilha de Culatra is an island situated off Olhao and boasts generally quiet beaches, away from the hustle-bustle of the main touristy areas. Tavira Island, part of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve, is off the mainland and is relatively quiet, yet also boasts a range of restaurants and facilities. Praia de Marinha near Caroveiro is also worth considering, though the stretch of beach can be narrow when the tides are high. Praia de Bordeira at Carrapateira is also easy to recommend, as it is generally quiet and full of wildlife. There is also Deserta Island, located at Ilha do Cabo de Santa Maria near Faro, which is a 35-minute boat ride away from Faro and is qtranquil with numerous sand dunes, and one restaurant.      

For nature lovers 

Praia de Falesia, between Vilamoura and Albufeira, offers some spectacular cliff formations close by. The Ponta de Piedade, near Lagos, is home to some good wildlife, hidden beaches and coves, cliff formations, and a restaurant. Tavira Island is part of the Ria Formosa Natural Reserve and features a large array of wildlife. Praia Gale, 4 kilometres west of Albufeira, has areas of natural beauty in the coves in between the main stretches of beach, with a range of interesting flora and fauna, including pink flamingos. Praia Dona Ana, near Lagos, is good for walking and hiking and offers some spectacular scenery. There are many good routes, although you must be careful not to go too close to the cliff edge as it is eroding and crumbling. Praia de Bordeira at Carrapateira is well worth considering, too, as it is a secluded stretch of beach with plenty of wildlife.