Algarve Region, Portugal, winner in 2020 in the World’s Leading Beach Destination category at WTA (World Travel Awards), will continue in 2021 to be one of the top destinations, when we talk about destinations for the beach.
It is not at all surprising that the region is a favorite for sun seekers from all over the world. They come in search of the natural heritage that is now managed in a sustainable way, to provide quality recreational facilities capable of meeting all kinds of requirements.
There are beaches that suit all tastes, most of them gaining due recognition in the form of the EU’s “Blue Flag” for quality standards. Along its 200-kilometer coastline, the Algarve offers all kinds of bays, cliffs and caves, its rocky beaches contrasting with wide stretches of sand.
Equally attractive is the mild climate of the Algarve, all year round. From Odeceixe to Vila Real de Santo António, the entire coast enjoys a Mediterranean-style microclimate with temperatures ranging from 15 ° C in winter to 30 ° C in summer.
Different types of beach, but all bathed in the calm and warm waters of this coast. The beaches of the Algarve are thus the ideal choice for a truly invigorating holiday!
Beaches of the Costa Vicentina (Vicentine Coast)
Altogether, there are 31 beaches, surrounded by stunning landscapes, where you will have the opportunity to come into contact with the fauna and flora of Europe’s best-preserved coastline. The turbulent, deep blue waters are popular with surfers and bodyboarders. Bounded by cliffs, Odeceixe Beach is a generous strip of sand between the salt water of the sea and the fresh water of the stream. Small lakes form here that are perfect for bathing and are much appreciated by the youngsters.
Farther south, close to Vale da Telha, the beauty of Monte Clérigo Beach and its environmental quality make it one of the best beaches on this part of the coast. The village from which it takes its name also adds a special touch to the setting. Moving on now to Arrifana, this beach lies low down in a bay surrounded by steep cliffs, dotted from top to bottom by the houses of the charming village. Here, the landscape is marked by the oddly-shaped rocky ledge known as Pedra da Agulha (“Needle Rock”).
In Bordeira, the beach is huge (it is over 3 km long) and the cliffs are famous for their almost inaccessible fishing spots. At the far end of Aljezur lies Amado Beach, where the waves are greatly praised by surfers. And the town of Sagres, in Vila do Bispo, is surrounded by pretty beaches: Telheiro, Beliche, Tonel and Martinhal, where there is a water sports school. Superb, too, are Cabo de São Vicente (Cape St. Vincent) and the Sagres Promontory, which jut out into the ocean, marking the landscape and Portugal’s history.
Beachs with Cliffs and Caves
Prepare yourself for heavenly scenery, with lots of very oddly-shaped cliffs. Visit the caves and rock formations carved out by the sea. And natural cavities called “algares” that have been formed by the action of the waves and beneath which there are complex networks of underground galleries.
The Padre Vicente algar, near Carvoeiro, is a huge cavity that connects to the sea, impressively amplifying the crashing sound of the waves.
The famous Benagil algar, in Lagoa, is called “O Templo”, which means “The Temple”. The small opening at the top lets in the sun’s ray, which illuminate its interior. This makes it so special that it was considered by the “Huffington Post” to be one of the ten most fascinating caves in the world.
Rocky ledges and outcrops sprout up from the sea and serve as home to seagulls and other marine birds, such as the peregrine falcon and the lesser kestrel. At Morena Beach, in Lagoa, you will find a rock formation which is called “leixão do submarino”, because its shape is similar to a submarine.
But there is much more. Some beaches, such as Solaria, Batata, Estudantes, Três Irmãos and Alvor are connected to each other by tunnels under the rocks. Some are peaceful beaches, such as Camilo, Canavial, Porto de Mós and João de Arens, whereas others, such as Dona Ana and Praia da Rocha, are busier. Vau Beach has clay cliffs which are said to have medicinal properties. And Praia da Marinha boasts a huge variety of rock formations. Start exploring now.
Whether it’s adrenaline-filled water sports or chilling out on a boat trip, the sea awaits you. The beaches along the Vicentine Coast have been blessed with some of the best waters for surfing in the Algarve. Arrifana, Amado, Cordoama, Ponta Ruiva, Beliche and Martinhal are just a few of the most popular beaches for surfing and bodyboarding. And you will also find activities along the Algarve coast that you need a license or authorization for, such as water skiing, jet skiing and power boating.
If you are looking for calm waters and good infrastructures for water sports, pay a visit to Ilha de Tavira and Ilha de Cabanas. These barrier island beaches offer pedal boats, canoes, banana boats, water skiing, surf bikes and much more. In Lagos, you can go on a guided boat trip to see some of the Algarve’s natural sea caves. For kitesurfing and parasailing, the places with the best facilities are Tavira, Faro, Loulé, Vilamoura and Portimão. Vilamoura Marina, with its Blue Flag, is a great starting or finishing point for anyone who has their own boat.
Portimão Marina, right next to Praia da Rocha, is a benchmark venue for international power boating competitions. In this area, Praia da Rocha is considered to be one of the best competition venues for formula windsurfing in Europe. But there’s more: the strong winds and flat waters at Martinhal, Tonel and Meia Praia beaches make these the best places to practice slalom, freeride and freestyle. Alvor Beach and the Alvor Estuary also have potential for these sports. As you can see, it will be hard to keep still.