One of the main pre-requisites for lots of holidaymakers for a holiday in Portugal is a nice beach to relax on. It’s lucky then that Portugal has so many good beaches on offer along its 600miles of coast, making it ideal for both Summer holidays and Winter Sun. In fact 18 of Portugal’s beaches are designated blue flag beaches and therefore ideal for families.
One of the most well known beaches in this area is the 6km long Praia de Falesia (also known as ‘beach town’). Located between the popular tourist resorts of Albufeira and Vilamoura, the beach is a haven for sunlovers and is set in a peaceful setting along Portugal’s South coast. Other popular beaches in the Algarve area center around popular tourist spots such as Praia da Gale in Albufeira, Meia Praia in Lagos – particularly popular with families as it is sheltered by a large bay, Praia de Alvor near Praia da Rocha / Portimao – a blue flag beach popular for watersports, and the Praia de Garrao close to the luxury holiday resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.
Alentejo (South Portugal)
Stretching from the Algarve to the Sado Estuary this unspoilt coast has many small beautiful beaches to choose from. With many situated in coves along the coast here a car may be a necessity to reach them. Vila Nova de Milfontes is an exception in that you can get to it by bus from Lisbon. Other pleasant beaches to visit include Gale, Melides, Santo Andre, Porto Covo, Almograve and Zambujeira do Mar.
The popular holiday area of Lisbon is served mainly by a large sandy beach called the Costa da Caparica which is very busy and popular during the peak Summer months in Portugal. It is popular for sunbathing, drink/food at one of the many cafes and bars lining the coast here and also surfing – the strong currents and effects of the Atlantic Ocean here lend themselves to waves of all sizes. Other beaches to visit along this coastal region include Sesimbra beach and Portinho da Arrabida beach – a beautiful and relatively quiet beach popular with scuba divers.
Costa Prata / Central Portugal
Nazare is probably one of the most well known beaches in this area, with hoards of tourists flocking there every year with many hotels and apartments to choose from. A lively and popular resort and beach, it can suffer from overcrowding in the height of Summer. One of portugal’s largest beaches (3km) also sits in this area of coast, in the town of Figueira da Foz. Nicknamed ‘Queen of Beaches’ it is a white sand beach lined with cafes, with parts of it awarded blue flag status.
Costa Verde / North Portugal
With Summer waters usually calm and ideal for swimming Praia de Miramar is becoming more popular with tourists. Already popular with locals, the beach here is also visited by surfers in the Winter season. Further North along the coats, Praia do Cabedelo in Viana do Castelo, is the main beach for this lively and popular holiday
resort, with numerous sand dunes and safe waters for swimming plus it’s a popular spot for watersports such as windsurfing.