Portugal beach holidays

Explore the golden sands of the Algarve and beyond...

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert


BeachYou probably don’t need too much of an excuse to choose Portugal as your next holiday destination. In fact, if this was your plan all along, chances are you already fully intended to jet off to one of the several fine coastal areas that boast some of Europe’s most spectacular beaches. Nonetheless, it can be far too easy to fall into the usual routine of idly choosing the path most readily trodden: the locations that adorn the covers of every holiday brochure in the travel agent’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with the Algarve et al, but the rest of the country has much to offer.

With a spectacular Atlantic visage, tropical climates and some truly mesmeric scenery in its armoury, Portugal should never be dismissed when browsing for that perfect beach holiday location. And with almost 600 miles of Atlantic coastline, there are plenty to choose from.

 

Top destinations for a beach holiday in Portugal


   

Portugal beach holidays: Porto Portugal beach holidays: Porto

Porto is a notable city for several reasons, not least the cultural goldmine that is the historic centre. Head for the shores, though, and you can while away the hours on some beautiful beaches; the 15km stretch of Vila Nova de Gaia a particular recommendation. This area has the highest concentration of Blue Flag beaches in the country, with a naturally diverse landscape that ranges from glistening golden sand to luscious greenery. The relatively recent addition of a wooden esplanade running the entire length of the Gaia coastline, meanwhile, renders it perfect for a sunny bike ride by the sea.

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Portugal beach holidays: Costa Verde Portugal beach holidays: Costa Verde

“Green Coast” to you and I: a name which is fairly self-explanatory when you see the region with your own eyes. The oddity of this northern terrain is that the weather can be notoriously unpredictable, a dream for the plentiful vegetation that grows here but a factor that can often leave the beaches all but deserted. This is by no means a negative though; when you catch them on a good day, the hot sands provide a respite from the overcrowded frenzy of others. Despite its craggy landscape, the beach at São Bartolomeu do Mar is perhaps the most charming of all.

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Portugal beach holidays: Lisbon Portugal beach holidays: Lisbon

Good combinations of city and beach are all too rare – Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona being two obvious standouts in an otherwise sparse list. Add Lisbon to the mix. As summer descends over this fairytale city, cries of “a praia” can be heard as locals flock along the shore to Cascais. Guincho is among the finer beaches in the resort, but for a truly awe-inspiring sight, take a brisk walk by the water along to the breathtaking Mouth of Hell. The thunderous roar of the waves crashing into the cliffs is an example of Mother Nature at her finest.

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Portugal beach holidays: Madeira Portugal beach holidays: Madeira

Although it lies closer to the coast of Morocco, Madeira is in every way a Portuguese territory. That’s Portugal’s gain, though; the island offers unique scenery all along its coast. The beaches around Porto Santo are arguably the best, even if they are a touch tourist-heavy; the sand, in addition to being a luminous golden, allegedly holds therapeutic qualities. Ribeira Brava is a little different due to its unusual black sand, but the invitingly warm water makes it ideal for swimmers. Jardim do Mar – translated as Garden by the Sea – is an aptly named picturesque plateau, boasting several beaches popular with surfers.

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Portugal beach holidays: Sagres Portugal beach holidays: Sagres

OK, so the Algarve may not be the most original holiday destination. Nonetheless, it has one or two areas that are too prominent not to mention. Sagres is one such example, a relatively small fishing port blessed with southern Portugal’s most aesthetically pleasing beaches. Praia do Beliche is a favourite, flanked by dramatic high cliffs that provide sun worshippers with just the right quantity of shade, not to mention an eye-catching backdrop for surfers congregating just offshore. Closer to the town centre is Praia Mareta, a tranquil family-orientated spot.

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Images

Image 1 © lilivanili
Image 2 © Giorgio Violino
Image 3 © Natalia
Image 5 © Javier Habladorcito

Holiday Rentals

Villa in Pedras Del Rei Resort (Alg

When you rent this small house, you are renting more than a house, you are renting what the whole resort has to offer. A big swimming pool, tennis court, restaurants and bars with night activities, nice trips by train to the bea...

Bright breezy, modern ocean view apartment, close to stunning beaches!

Enjoy your holidays at our lovely ocean view apartment in the Eastern Algarve, in a delightfully 'undiscovered' and quaint fishing village called Fuzeta. Our property is located in a new luxury development, located on the front-line facing the oc...

Portinho da Arrábida - Holidays in heaven just a foot step away from Lisbon

Spectacular water front property with unparalleled ocean view. Set in Praia de Alportuche Alportuche/Portinho da Arrábida among a unique Mediterranean vegetation and overlooking the Atlantic ocean Casa Sul Mar has an unmatched view to be enjoyed...

Typical Villa with private pool

Villa with total privacy and fenced land, located in the countryside, quiet environment, with some detached houses. Have quick access to beaches, supermarkets, restaurants, shops and cinema. The private and spacious surroundings allows recreationa...

Luxury & spacious 2 bedroom apartment, beside sea & golf, sleeps 5

Luxury 2 bedroom apartments in Vilamoura,Terracos do Golfe, Terracos do Pinhal, Rua do Moura Zara. With WiFi. These stunning 2 bedroom apartments are situated in The Terracos do Pinhal region surrounded by 3 golf courses just 25 minutes drive fro...

Very nice apartment in Vilamoura, close to the beach, gardened spaces

The apartment enchanted by the light, color, ample space and modern decor. It is a 2 bedroom in good condition, it sleeps 4 adults and 2 children, modern and in a condominium with pool and garden architecture. Excellent choice for family tourism,...

Spacious and comfortable accommodation with breathtaking sea view.

Apartment is superb property, offers spacious and comfortable accommodation. What unique about this apartment is the breathtaking sea view from the living room opens onto the terrace. Sleep 4-6 persons. It has 2bedrooms and double sized sofa bed...

5 Star Rainbow Villa With Sea View

This superb new property completed June 2014 is a fantastic 4 bedroom architect designed villa. We also own the luxury villa next door. It is property number 1317328 in case more than one family want to holiday together and if the weeks requested...

2 Bedroom Spacious Apartment With Seaview & Balcony Very Close To Lovely Beach

The apartment is light, airy and spacious, with an open plan living area, large balcony and 2 large bedrooms with built in wardrobes. The apartment is on one level only so is ideal for younger children. • 2 spacious twin bedrooms (in 1 room the b...

Beautiful 7 Bedroom Villa New, Beside The Strip, Albufeira Town

Located in the heart of Albufeira, and just beside the strip where you will find plenty of bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, supermarkets, nightclubs and be able to relax on Oura's sandy beach. This large villa is ideal for families or large groups...

Prestious Villa with Large Private Heated Pool Surrounded by Huge Lush Garden

Quietly situated in the hills between Loule and Sao Bras our Quinta guarantees an unforgettable holdiday in privacy. The villa has 4 bedrooms, three bathrooms, all on the same floor, overlooking the pool and the lush gardens. Cozy outside lounges...

Luxury sea front apartment with superb views,

This spacious apartment has stunning views to the sea front, the neighbouring historic castle of Sao Joao and the marina of Portimao. Stylishly furnished there is a large lounge area and a seperate dining area with an open plan kitchen. Two sets o...

Cosy holiday villa at Natural Park, 45min from Lisbon, car rental

If you´re looking for a place close to Lisbon but at the same time close to the beach and you´re a nature's lover, you'll find Serra da Arrábida the perfect destination for your holidays. We'll be glad to welcome you at our house located in the h...

Luxury Duplex with BBQ Terrace and rooftop Solarium

Luxurious two bedroomed two bathroom duplex penthouse apartment, ideal for summer or winter holidays. Tastefully furnished for self-catering but within a short stroll to local restaurants, shops and water front. Air-conditioned for summer; with ...

Classy Architecture & Deco, Amazing Mountain Views, Wide Pool, Relaxing Spots

Quinta da Lua is a charming villa, with a modern architecture in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature of the Natural Park of Arrábida. It has wide bright areas with large glass windows, offering beautiful views of the mountain. The living r...

Ericeira - Quiet location with garden near the beach

2 storey villa, situated in village environment, ideal for family holidays or friends, as for romantic retreats or just to rest. Located 5 minutes from the beach of Ribeira d'Ilhas and other, 10 minutes from the center of Ericeira and 15 minutes o...

Apartment/ flat - Manta Rota

(Text automatically translated) Ranked accommodation. Very peaceful, Ideally located, Large terrace of 80m2 (front and rear terrace with barbecue). Going to the beach on foot. The prices quoted are inclusive of VAT in force.

Apartment/ flat - Manta Rota

(Text automatically translated) Ranked accommodation. Very peaceful, ideally situated, nice terrace. Going to the beach on foot. The prices quoted are inclusive of VAT in force.

House with garden and pool with water salt - Villa Aljezur (Vale da Telha)Big house

Very peaceful Dwelling-place (Village) . Near the Beach and forest. In the first line of the sea. Neighburs just in the left side. Beatiful sun shine. Sea View. Pool with water salt 9m x 4mRecent construction. Internet WI-fi. TV satélite, Cable

Quarteira, Sea front apartment, ideally located

A cozy 1 bedroom apartment very welcoming, located opposite the Sea, 1st line, along the Calçadão ( pedestrian area of Quarteira ) beachfront Ze , excellent location in Quarteira . Willing to South and overlooking the Sea of Algarve. Well decorat...

PortugalLisboa Algarve Madeira Island Azores Alentejo Central Portugal World US North Portugal Europe


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