Portugal is definitely the place to be during summertime, thanks to its heavenly beaches, excellent climate and jaw-dropping landscapes. Nevertheless, it is also true that this country is dotted with plenty of picturesque secluded places, where you can enjoy the tranquillity while falling head over heels in love with idyllic settings. In this article, we will tell you more about some of the country's best-kept secrets - paradisiacal beaches and fabulous places surrounded by nature that you can visit during your holiday and make it even more unforgettable!
Are you ready to discover one of the most ravishing treasures of the Algarve shore? Benagil Cave is an incredible and huge cave with two entrances, a hole in the ceiling that illuminates it (called Algar de Benagil), spiral walls, and a small beach inside! The walls of this cave mix brown, orange, yellow and white colors, creating a truly fabulous setting. At the beach located inside the cave, you will see turquoise waters, different from those you see on other beaches. This natural wonder is located near the beach of Benagil, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve, surrounded by high cliffs that give it a cozy appearance. On this spacious beach with a calm and crystalline sea, in addition to enjoying the great climate of Portugal, you can also explore caves and admire the natural rock constructions along the cliffs. It should be noted that you are unable to access the cave on foot, and swimming there can be quite dangerous – the safest way to get there is by boat, kayak or Stand-Up Paddle. And there is nothing better than a boat ride to feel the fresh sea breeze on your face and take in the outstanding natural beauty of the surroundings!
Beautiful golden cliffs and caves dropping into the sea – this is what you will find in Algar Seco, in Carvoeiro. Here you will see a long wooden boardwalk with benches, which is a great spot to take in the marvellous views and relax for a moment. The boardwalk’s eastern end has a set of stairs that go down into caves and phenomenal geological formations. You will be able to admire the rocks and rough caves that wind and sea have shaped over the centuries. The holes in the rocks resemble windows and balconies. This is where you will find the famous “Boneca” – a rock in the shape of an inverted cone that resembles a doll when seen from the sea. Be sure to visit this nature's masterpiece and to enjoy the magical atmosphere it gives off at sunset.
Praia do Vau
Bordered by impressive red-colored cliffs that form nooks and crannies, the extensive and beautiful Praia do Vau, located in Portimão and easily accessible, has calm and clean waters and fine golden sand. This blue flag beach is also popular for its iodine and clays from the cliffs, with medicinal properties. The beach has supporting infrastructures prepared to receive visitors, as well as restaurants and bars on site. At the edge of the beach, the cliff is covered with typical vegetation. Praia do Vau and the neighboring beaches are also suitable for long walks on the beach. Nearby, you will find residential areas, but also traditional and modern restaurants. It is the perfect place to spread out your towel and enjoy the Portuguese sun!
Praia de Galapinhos
Did you know that this beach has already been named one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe in a survey conducted by European Best Destinations? At Praia dos Galapinhos in Arrábida Nature Park, the green of nature blends harmoniously with the blue of the crystal-clear sea and the white color of the fine sand, creating a stunning setting. Less popular than its neighbor Praia dos Galapos, it is ideal for those looking for a spacious and quiet beach. It is equipped with umbrellas and sun loungers and is accessible via a trail in the wild vegetation that starts from the road to Arrábida Natural Park or through Praia dos Galapos. Its natural and paradisiacal setting makes this beach worthy of a postcard!
Praia do Camilo
The small Praia do Camilo, popular with locals and visitors, is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Lagos and the Algarve. Nestled between ochre cliffs with unique rock formations, this beach is characterized by its soft, golden sand and clear, calm waters. Access is via a staircase with about 200 steps. Before going down the stairs, you should take a moment to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view. The beach is divided by a huge rock formation that can be crossed through an excavated tunnel. For those who enjoy water sports, such as snorkeling, this picture-perfect beach is also a good option. It's also a great spot to watch the sunset! Nearby, you will find Ponta da Piedade, a very beautiful rock formation with caves cut by the sea.
Praia do Monte Clérigo
In Aljezur, near the fishing village of Monte Clérigo, located in the Natural Park of the Vicentine Coast, is the picturesque and extensive Praia do Monte Clérigo, with its clear and fresh waters. At low tide, a rocky platform full of marine life is revealed and the sea forms small natural pools on the sand. Next to the blue flag beach, which is bordered by cliffs at the ends and prepared with support infrastructures, you will see a pine forest, where you can even have a picnic at the end of the day. The access to the cozy beach from the north side offers one of the most fantastic panoramic views!
Praia da Cova Redonda
Some say that this is one of the best beaches in Lagoa, but also one of the most beautiful in Europe! Located in the municipality of Porches and surrounded by winding jagged cliffs that provide shelter and a cozy atmosphere, this beach with calm, crystal-clear waters and fine white sand is accessible via a large staircase between the vegetation. The charming, medium-sized Praia da Cova Redonda is full of rock formations carved by erosion. One of the highlights is a large rock formation that looks like a big whale, near the east side of the beach.
Barragem de Castelo de Bode
The Castelo de Bode Dam is one of the largest in Portugal and is located in an area of great natural beauty, on the limits of the municipalities of Tomar and Abrantes. The dam's reservoir extends for over 60 kilometers! The Zêzere River will guide you to several amazing river beaches and lakes between schist mountains, pine forests and lush vegetation. The dam itself is one of the largest and most important dams in the country and bathes several lands. It is used for power generation and water supply, mainly for Lisbon. This area is ideal for practicing water sports or for those who simply enjoy river beaches and want to be in touch with nature. There are several small river beaches along the coast of the river – the magnificent Praia Fluvial da Castanheira, better known as Lago Azul due to the color of the water, located in the municipality of Ferreira do Zêzere, is one of them.
Lagoa de Albufeira
This fabulous lagoon of unusual and unique beauty is located in the municipality of Sesimbra. Here you will find the sea, the lagoon and vast pine forests that harmoniously blend into a paradisiacal scenery. The lagoon, with its calm and safe waters, is composed of two lagoons connected by a narrow and winding channel: the Lagoa Pequena, which is shallower, and the Lagoa Grande, which is deeper. Lagoa de Albufeira is also the ideal place for water sports. The lagoon flows into a beach, Praia da Lagoa de Albufeira. Surrounding the lagoon, you will find pristine forests where you can walk around and experience nature in its purest form.
Praia da Angrinha
This peaceful, less-crowded river beach is located on the estuary of the Arade River, at the foot of Ferragudo, a village with a fishing tradition. The medieval São João de Arade fort, originally built as a defensive structure, in the southern end of the beach, and the little fishing boats pulled up on the sand at the end of the beach are some of the reasons why this beach is so picture -perfect. This fine- sand beach backed by low dunes is framed by worn cliffs. The rocky walls covered with lush vegetation give this beach a natural and quaint look. At low tide, you can walk through the natural pools to the second, more popular beach, Praia Grande.