The beaches of the Western Algarve
are, in our humble opinion, some of the best to be found in all Europe. In particular, the West Coast offers some of the few remaining publicly accessed un-developed beaches anywhere in the world - encompassing huge, miles-wide windswept dunes framed by inspiring cliffs to sheltered golden-sand beaches nestled into isolated coves.
can find several spots to practice their art on the west coast and you can usually find a windsurfer or wakeboarder on many of the larger beaches. Meia Praia at Lagos and Praia da Luz both have watersports activity centres and we highly recommend a visit to NomadSurfers.com
if you want to have peek at the local possibilities for surfing in the region. Alternatively, for the 'health and efficiency' crowd, the isolation of several praias means that you can usually find a secluded spot to get some skinny dipping and nude sunbathing in. Woohoo! Whatever your tastes run to, it can usually be found and we say; "COME TO THE ALGARVE FOR SOME OF THE BEST BEACHES IN EUROPE!"
Meia Praia: A massively long (5km) and open sandy beach that curves its way Eastward from Lagos Marina all the way to the Alvor Estuary. We love Meia Praia either in the early morning or in the late evening from 5.00pm onward when the surf (usually) has calmed down and you can cool a sunbronzed body with some easy swimming. All kinds of facilities for those who enjoy water sports.
Praia da Solaria: The beach closest to Lagos town centre.
Praia dos Estudantes: 'The Students Beach' - just opposite Lagos town walls.
Praia da Batata: Situated right beside the small fort (Forte da Ponta da Bandeira) at the old harbour entrance.
Praia do Pinhão: A sandy cove tucked between cliffs with some interesting rock formations - opposite the fire station.
Praia Dona Ana: Very popular, chiefly because of its proximity to Lagos town centre but also because it is niceley sheltered from the prevailing wind.
Praia do Camilo: A (couple of ) delightful sandy coves.
Praia do Canavial: A bugger to find but quiet and lovely golden sand.
Praia de Porto do Mos: A small bay sheltered by cliffs offering shade for much of the day. Good car parking with easy access from the road. Surfers congregate here in the early evening when they think the conditions are right for waves.
Praia da Luz:A long, golden curve of sand flanked by rocks at the western end, where you can hunt for shellfish and rock crabs, and the 'Rocha Negra' to the east. Luz is a beautiful beach with its own picturesque charm. Large selection of beach bars and restaurants. Ideal family beach.
Praia de Dona Maria: Secluded and calm.
Praia de Burgau: Features a fantastic beach-bar and popular with families. Parking can be difficult high-season.
Praia de Cabanas Velhas (Praia Almàdena): Small and isolated beach, mostly rocky but a small sandy part around to the western edge. There is the 'Blue Wave' beach bar for simple food and refreshments. In the evening rod fisherman congregate on the cliffs at the western prominontary.
Praia Boca do Rio: Quite isolated, lying between Burgau and Salema and is popular with campers. The remains of a French 'Man-of-War' lies on the seabed just offshore so lots to explore for Scuba divers and snorkellers.
Praia da Salema: A spacious stretch of golden sand lying right in front of Salema village. Cliffs at either end popular for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Praia de Figueira: A perfect, secluded small beach (featured in photo).
Praia de Zavial: Camping is available close-by between Zavial and Raposeira.
Praia da Ingreja: Located in the Vale da Torre de Cima, with its own beach bar.
Praia do Barranco: Located in the Vale da Torre de Cima
Praia de Martinhal: Popular for windsurfing with lots of space situated in a corner of Sagres bay.
Praia Baleeira: Located close to Sagres village.
Praia da Mareta: Located right in front of Sagres village.
Praia de Tonel: A brisk-westerly wind usually runs across this beach and often produces large Atlantic breakers good for surfers and windsurfers alike.
Praia do Beliche: A secluded cove with a steep climb down to the sand from the cliffs. Only 500m long but rarely crowded, there is good parking close-by and it has its own snack bars.
Praia de S. Telheiro: The first beach after Cape St. Vincent on the Atlantic west coast of the Algarve
Ponta Ruiva: A real 'surfer-dudes' beach with a rocky reef, surfing right and left with a normal length of 150 to 300m and good days up to 500m. Described as a 'regional classic' by www.wannasurf.com Popular with the locals as well, it is tricky to find but usually gloriously empty, even in the height of summer.
Praia Àguia A small stretch of sand at the foot of some steep cliffs.
Praia do Castelejo: One of the few beaches on the west coast where it is reasonably safe to swim, as well as surfing and boogie boarding.
Praia da Cordoma / Praia da Barriga / Praia Mouranitos: A series of three broad beaches separated by cliffs but with access between them.
Praia do Mirouço: An isolated beach with difficult access.
Praia do Murração: A lovely, golden beach.
Praia de Vale Figueiros: An extensive and mostly deserted sandy beach.
Praia do Amado: A wonderful beach in the middle of a natural park (The Alentejano). Car park and small bar with a relaxed atmosphere. A surfing beach par excellence with body suit and board hire (intermittently) available, described as a 'regional classic', but not for beginners when the waves are big.
Praia da Bordeira: A vast and spectacular expanse of sand approached via a wonderful coastline road. Some surfing possibilities and popular with nudists!
Praia da Arrifana: A beautiful place situated right next to Palmeirinha village. Incredible waves and world-class surfing possibilities here, but for experienced surfers only.
Praia do Monte Clérigo: Set in a nicely sheltered curve of land this beach also has some rock pools and snorkelling opportunities.
Praia da Amoreira: Formed at the mouth of the Aljezur River with extensive lagoon and sand dunes backed by marshes.