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A beach for every taste - exploring Algarve beach paradise

It is no news that the Algarve is home to some of the best beaches in Europe - nicknamed the European California. In this piece of paradise, beaches are so many that it gets hard to choose from. To help clear your doubts, we compiled a small list of beaches in the region, following the most requested categories by our guests. And remember, when in doubt… ask the locals! ;)

Beach For Families in the Algarve

Going to the beach with children, especially young ones, is a sure way to build lifelong memories: the first swim, building sand castles, floating on an inflatable crocodile, collecting shells on the shore… All of this can quickly become a parenting nightmare if choosing the wrong beach! Here is our family beach checklist:

  • Easy access, because who wants to carry three bags, two umbrellas, one - or more - baby strollers, and the inevitable inflatable doughnut/turtle/flamingo for kilometers while the kids are asking “Are we there yet?” every five minutes... A beach with parking nearby or easy access from the city is just what you need!
  • Bathrooms, because have you tried changing diapers on the beach?
  • A beach bar/restaurant/quiosque, because the kids deserve an ice cream, and you  most probably deserve some beers!
  • Calmer waters, perfect for toddlers on their first beach experience;
  • Water sports! The kids will love it and you will earn some quiet time between one sand castle and the other...or just jump in with them!

Here are some spectacular beaches that match these requirements: Alvor Beach, Galé Beach and São Rafael Beach in Central Algarve, Anção Beach near Quinta do Lago, Manta Rota close to the Spanish border.

Romantic beaches in the algarve for couples

You, your partner, a glass of wine, the sunset...are you already picturing it? This is easy game in the Algarve. Known for its colorful sunsets, the Algarve is home to some of the most romantic beaches in Europe - here the must haves are:

  • Breathtaking view: a pretty beach is always around the corner, but some of them will take your breath away, guaranteed!
  • Not too many people around: this might not be so easy to get in high season, but trying to avoid the most popular and crowded beaches is always a start;
  • A romantic restaurant to impress your loved one: not only during the day, the beach is the best spot after sunset as well. Book your table and enjoy good food, lovely company and an amazing view.

And here is a list of some of the most romantic beaches around:

  • Monte Clérigo Beach, on Algarve’s West Coast - watch the sunset from the cliffs and then go down to have dinner directly on the beach at Restaurant ‘O Sargo’;
  • Senhora da Rocha beach in Central Algarve - the sunset seen at the small chapel is something unique, as is the food at the adorable Belmondo Restaurant;
  • Cacela Velha in Eastern Algarve - an authentic paradise on earth. Reach the ocean by boat and then stop for a meal in one of the many traditional restaurants of this ancient moorish village.

secluded beaches in the algarve

Here the task gets tough during the silly season: finding a calm beach away from the crowd is hard but not impossible. They all require a bit of traveling, either by boat or car from the main cities, so they are not suitable for the lazier beach lover. Food and drinks are not at easy reach, so make sure you take some with you. Some require hiking or walking on  slippery terrain, so bring your shoes! Here are our favorites:

  • Desert Island Beach - the name says it all! Located on the Ria Formosa Lagoon near Faro, it is reachable only by boat. Here you will find only one restaurant, and only one inhabitant. Find out more here;
  • Vale Figueira Beach - this infinite strip of sand between two cliffs is located on the West Coast, near Aljezur. It is reachable only through a narrow, unpaved road, and populated by seagulls and occasional surfers;
  • Igrina Beach, on the way to Sagres. This beach has slighter darker rocks and  a laid back beach café - still, it is extremely quiet even in mid August.

Accessible beaches in the algarve

Beaches in the Algarve are natural wonders that might not be available to everybody - stairs, cliffs and rocks makes them harder for people with mobility limitations. Fortunately, in the last years the various local authorities have been working hard to create conditions for more accessible beaches. On the beaches flying the ´Accessible Beach’ flag, people with limited mobility will find access ramps, walkways, handrails, disabled toilets, reserved parking spaces and restaurant tables that are unobstructed and appropriately sized, as reported by the website of the tourist association of the Algarve. On the website you will find a list of all 47 accessible beaches, most of which also have an amphibious wheelchair. Here is our list:

  • Fuseta Ria, at Fuzeta village, in Eastern Algarve - this beach provides support infrastructures that include a restaurant and WC, and there are lifeguards on duty in the summer holiday season. An amphibious wheelchair and low, calm waters makes it easy for wheelchair user to enter the water;
  • Rocha Beach, in Portimão - one of the most famous beaches in the Algarve, is a wide strip of sand with several walkways. Access is easy both by car and from the city;
  • Barril Beach - another beautiful accessible beach in the Easter Algarve. The transportation to the beach is possible on a small train, that makes it easy for people with limited mobility but not necessarily using a wheelchair. Several parking spots are available next to the train stop.

 

These are our personal favourite beach spots in the Algarve, let us know which are yours!

 

 

Alessia Pesavento

photo @chloegraceb

photo @restauranteosargo

photo @davidegolias

photo @archmodablog