PORTUGAL BEST BEACHES
- Our long coastline is bathed by the Atlantic ocean, which brought Portugal closer to other peoples and cultures. For company, there is bright sunshine that turns the skin golden and warms the soul.
The sun fills the fine white sands of our beaches with light and joy. Whether they are immense stretches of sand as far as the eye can see, or little coves sheltered by rocks, each beach has its own dazzling and surprising beauty. Some are crowded, with lots of entertainment, while other remain deserted and unexplored, holding secrets waiting to be unveiled... there’s always something for every taste and state of mind, whether it’s to stretch out and relax on the sand, take a walk by the sea, to enjoy a date or to have fun and party the night away.
But despite their many differences, the beaches do have something in common: their quality, demonstrated by the large number of EU blue flags awarded each year, certifying their excellent conditions and amenities.
The clear waters of the sea also have different moods. Some beaches have quiet, peaceful seas, especially in the Algarve, which even in the winter is a great holiday destination; others have livelier seas, with waves that are just right for various high adrenaline sports.
Many hotels and resorts enjoy stunning views of the ocean and are the perfect places to relax and enjoy their genuine hospitality. In addition, you can sit at a restaurant table to savour the delicious Portuguese cuisine, also tempered by the sun and the sea.
Covering more than 850km, the Portuguese coast boasts such a large number of fine, white sandy beaches that it’s almost impossible to keep count. All bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and all different, their beauty is hard to describe, so there’s nothing better than to discover them for yourself.
The most famous are in the Algarve. With three thousand hours of sun per year and warm waters, there are beaches along its 200km length to suit every taste and many dreamlike resorts. The choices are many, from sandy stretches extending as far as the eye can see to the smaller coves, sheltered by jagged cliffs, the trade image of the region, and they are always accompanied by a clear, calm sea which is ideal for practising various water sports.
Sagres, on the southwestern tip of the European continent, marks the transition. It is situated on the Vicentina Coast which forms, together with Southwestern Alentejo, one of the best preserved stretches of the European coastline. There are deserted beaches here, of a wild beauty, where you can enjoy an unparalleled contact with Nature. And near Sines a stretch of sand starts that extends for over 60km to end in Troia, a challenge for trekking buffs!
In Costa da Caparica, the beaches are particularly dear to Lisbonites who have many different options around the capital for sun and sea bathing. There’s a wide variety from the Estoril coastline, with its cosmopolitan feel and signs of a golden age when it was the refuge of Kings and aristocrats, to the secluded beaches of the idyllic area of Sintra. And the sea offers perfect waves for surfing, whose ultimate expression is to be found further north on the Ericeira, Peniche and Nazaré beaches.
In the centre, you will find very wide sandy stretches, to which traditional fishing adds a picturesque touch. And further north, the colder waters and the invigorating sea are tempered by the welcoming atmosphere and the clean air of the mountains and the forests. And don’t forget the islands. In the Madeira archipelago, the highlight is the long, golden sandy beach of the Island of Porto Santo with its therapeutic properties, and in the Azores you will find black sand of volcanic origin, framed by every shade of green, typical of a well preserved environment.
Despite all their differences, they all share one thing: quality. They are safe and offer a wide range of support and recreational services, which meet every need of their users, and a large number of Portuguese beaches are granted the European blue flag every year, a distinction that is an indication of their excellent conditions.
Another distinction that many of our beaches take pride in displaying is that of accessible beach. That is how those with access for persons with reduced mobility are identified, many of which actually offer equipment to allow everyone to enjoy bathing in the sea.
But the beach attractions in Portugal are not restricted to the bathing season. All year round, they are the ideal places for a stroll, for sports, for admiring nature or tasting the delicious Portuguese cuisine, in which the best fish in the world and the seafood have pride of place, always with breath-taking views over the sea. Could there be a better programme?