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Beaches of Portugal - Some of the Best Beaches in the World

Updated on May 7, 2011

The beaches of Portugal.

You do not need to die to glimpse paradise, and in Portugal you may well find that paradise, down to the south of the country - in the Algarve, where there are some of the best beaches in the world.

You will find beautiful white sand beaches and temperate waters.

I know. I live here.

The Algarve

Located in the southern end of Portugal, with a 200km-long shore and a Mediterranean climate with short winters and hot long summers, the crystal clear waters and calm seas that bath the southern coast, its landscapes mixing rock and green, the Algarve is the most popular holiday region of Portugal.

Ever been here? You definitely should.

With dozens of beaches along the shoreline, some of them distinguish themselves by their natural beauty, spectacular cliffs with hidden creeks or sheltered coves. Others have endless white sand protected by dunes and a mild Atlantic breeze.

By the end of the day, everyone will have their favorites so I’ll let you decide which will yours be!

Beach ? Praia ?

definition for the word BEACH:

–noun expanse of sand or pebbles along a shore.
2.the part of the shore of an ocean, sea, large river, lake, etc.,washed by the tide or waves.
3.the area adjacent to a seashore.


You've probably already noticed or found a similarity in most of the beaches featured in this Hub: the word "Praia".

But... What Does it Mean?

"Praia" is the Portuguese word for Beach, meaning exactly the same.

In most cases, in Portugal, the wordPraia is a part of the beach's name so for the sake of keeping all the original names, beaches will be addressed to as "Praia" of whatever they're called.

An example of this is the first beach featured in this Hub: "Praia de Odeceixe & Praia das Adegas" which are in fact two different beaches next to each other, could be translated intoOdeceixe Beach & Adegas Beach without ripping it's meaning apart or getting your somewhere else but should definitely sound odd for a local when asking for directions. If you do end up needing to ask for directions, in my humble opinion, better try with something like:

- Hi, i was looking for this beach i was told about, called Praia de Odeceixe. Could you point me out?

I'm sure that, as long as the local speaks english, he'll point you out in the right direction. But if instead you asked:

- Hi, i was looking for the Odeceixe Beach. Could you point me out?

In this case, and considering that the Odeceixe Village has two beaches right next to each other - Praia de Odeceixe and Praia das Adegas - that local might point you out into the later which is actually a naturist beach and you would find yourself next to people in a much more natural condition.

Larousse Pocket Dictionary : Portuguese-English / English-Portuguese
Larousse Pocket Dictionary : Portuguese-English / English-Portuguese

Small, cheap and every useful pocket dictionary for Portugal-Portuguese language.


Better Safe Then Sorry

Get The Right Dictionary!

Regarding Portuguese words, their meaning and helppul information when visiting Portugal, i've collected a few pocket dictionaries i'm sure that you'll find handy.

Keep in mind though that there are some dictionaries that seem like they are for Portugal-Portuguese butare in fact Brazilian-Portuguese.

Doesn't mean that it won't still help you because both languages are similar but they still have quiet a few differences between them so if you do decide to buy a Portuguese dictionary , make sure you get the right one!

What Do the Flags Mean?

Red Flag

You're not allowed to swim nor bath. Dangerous sea.

Yellow Flag

Bath with caution. You're not allowed to swim.

Green Flag

You may bath and swim.

Chess Flag

The beach is temporaraly without vigilance. You may find this flag alongside with a Yellow or a Red flag. This one means you should be extra-cautions.

Blue Flag

It's a symbol of quality for the beach. You'll only find this flag in beaches who follow a set of requirements in quality, safety, support infra-estractures, information and environmental care.

Next: Part 2

Beaches of Portugal - Some of the Best Beaches in the World - Part 2

This part includes the beaches in the Aljezur Municipaly, which covers all of the western coast of Algarve, from the north-west most beach, down 'til the St. Vincent's Cape. Not to be missed

Rough Guide Map Algarve
Rough Guide Map Algarve

Best selling map on Amazon for the beaches of Algarve.



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