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

Holiday Rentals

Sunny Apartment w/ sea views, large terrace, barbecue and Wifi

This new 3rd floor city apartment is set in a renovated 19th century building and located on a quiet pedestrian cobbled street in the heart of Lisbon. From here you are a minute's walk to the Elevador da Bica, 5-10 minutes to the nearest subway, f...

Luxury townhouse in 5 star resort

Two bedroom, two bathroom townhouse situated on the private & gated community of Vila dos Principes, in the five star resort of Praia D’El Rey. The house shares three large heated swimming pools and beautiful landscaped gardens. The master bedroom...

Villa Marali - beach/shops 500m, restaurants 400m

This modern detached villa is conveniently located within walking distance of Lourenco beach, shops and restaurants. Gale beach is just 1.1km from the villa. On the ground floor there is a spacious living room with separate dining area and featu...

Apartment For Beach Holidays In Algarve

The apartment was refurbished to provide a high standard of living. It includes 2 Bedrooms (1 with ensuite bathroom), Living Room, fully equipped Kitchen and Deck to offer a pleasant alfresco dining. The balconies both have uniterrupted views ove...

Centromar | Sea View Apartment | 1º Sea Line Location

Centromar apartment is a registered self-catering accommodation located in a brand new first Sea line building, with all kind of facilities. All the areas of the apartment have Sea view, including living room, kitchen and two bedrooms. The master ...

Stunning Beach Side Villa, Full Ocean View, Modern, Elegant

IF you are looking to enjoy your holiday in very peaceful , luxurious , independent beach Side house In the Area , then this stunning villa fulfil your dream holiday. Is the most luxuries house in the village , so peaceful , very privet , THE On...

Superb villa with private pool and South facing garden, two mins walk from beach

This modern 3 bedroom,3 bathroom villa is situated in the exclusive, picturesque Parque da Praia(Beach Park),just minutes walk from the beautiful beach in Praia da luz and the promenade, shops and restaurants. It is perfect for families. The lux...


Luxurious new private apartment.. Complex includes interior tropical garden, Indoor health suite, indoor private garage and private childrens playpark, Beautifully furnished, spacious lounge/formal dining area with double patio doors opening to a...

Spacious 2 Bedroom 2 Bathroom Apartment with air con and free wi -fi connection

This recently refurbished apartment is located on the second floor in an exclusive small gated complex set  in beautiful  tropical gardens with a choice of two swimming pools and overlooking Pinhal golf course. The accomodation comprises 2 bedroo...

Villa 8 m away from the beaches / historic district Cascais / outdoor relaxation area / BBQ

Great remodeled home just a few minutes walk to beaches and historic center, surrounded by restaurants with good seafood, train station and buses. 3 large rooms: Bedrooms 1 - 1 Double Futon (160X200); Bedroom 2 - 1 Double Futon (1600X200); room 3 ...

Magnificent houses with pool and garden, near Beach and Golf, Gale, Albufeira

Tranquility in the Algarve: beaches, sea and golf away from the hustle: Gale, 5km from Albufeira, 45km from Faro Airport, 260km / 2 hours from Lisbon. Gated unique conditions in the area, with sea views and located in a quiet villa area. Just 1km...


It was constructed in 2009, it has a contemporary architecture and it is surrounded by a huge private garden. It has also 2 swimming pools being one for children. The pools are separated by a lounge wood area with 4 sun loungers and a outdoor 8 se...

Luxury 2 Bed Apartment In O Pomar Holiday Village - Pool View, Balcony

A luxury 2 bedroom apartment on the delightful holiday village of O Pomar in Eastern Algarve. Perfect for couples or families looking for a modern, beautifully presented apartment in which to enjoy their stay in sunny Algarve. The spacious, air-c...

4 bed 2 bath Beach Villa on idyllic Armona Island in the Algarve

This four bedroom 'holiday beach villa' is a few paces from the Laguna Beach, whilst the main Atlantic beach is just 5 minutes walk. SPECIAL NEWS: June 30th to July 11th is STILL AVAILABLE!! Accommodation includes 3 double bedrooms and one bunk...

Beach House in Azores

Location The house is in a central point of the island , in the city of Ribeira Grande , with recent road access , allowing a smooth and quick access to attractions such as Furnas , Nordeste, Povoação among others. The Beach House is locate...

Santa Catarina Terrace Apartment

Location Fabulous location in the heart of Lisbon old town offering shopping, tourist attractions, museums and fine dining. Fully renovated apartment located downtown at walking distance from Chiado and Tram stop nr 28. If traveling by car you ...

Casa dos Nichos in Gerês

Location The house is located about 4 km from the town of Geres, of the Marina of Caniçada, and is still very close to the dam and its river beaches. It has a cafe just a few minutes walk from the house that is only open in summer time. You can...

Villa Diana in Vilamoura

Location The Vila Diana is situated in Vilamoura and is less than 2 km away from the beaches of Falesia and D. Pedro, and about 1 km from the Marina where you can see beautiful anchored Yates, bars, restaurants, shops and great animation. Th...

Villa Monte da Estrada

Location Located in the plain of Alentejo, this wonderful house is situated in a private property and it’s ideal for a relaxed holiday at the countryside. Surrounded by a unique landscape this house has everything you can wish when you think...

Traditional Accommodation in Nature Reserve

Casa Flor de Sal lies in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and enjoys sea views and a seclusion rarely found these days along the Algarvian coast. We have three apartments available in the property: Hoopoe House in the one end of our 250 year old fa...

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