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Coastal Curiosities: The Algarve

Sep 1, 2015
Category: Europe, General

Ten Great Portuguese Treasures!

You don’t have to fly half-way round the world to find some truely awe-inspiring beaches and costal curiosities that make for stunning holiday snaps. Perhaps the most beautiful coastline in Europe, the Algarve is awash with beauty spots that perhaps don’t always get the fame they deserve.

Here’s our ten favourite sights along this impressive coast along with links to some great 360 degree panoramas on Google Maps to whet your appetite. We’ve also included the exact coordinates for each listing to help you locate them whether you’re there on holiday or armchair exploring. But, don’t forget! Nothing beats seeing these sights for yourself!

Please Note: The panoramas work best on up-to-date desktop internet browsers

Praia Dona Ana

Praia Dona Ana

Click on the image above to see a 360 degree panorama on Google Maps of Praia Don Ana

The “Best Beach in Portugal” according to TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards (2015) the Praia Dona Ana in Lagos is definitely worth its title! This outstanding beach is popular with families, in particular local Portuguese families who flock here for its unique rocky formations and calm bathing waters. Backed by orange cliff-tops this beach is known as one of the more sheltered stretches in Lagos making it perfect to escape the winds on a blustery afternoon. Geo Coordinates: 37.091620, -8.669186

Praia de Benagil & Cave

Praia de Benagil Cave

Click on the image above for a full 360 panorama of the fantastic Benagil Cave

Awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence (2015) this stunning beach is located close by to the bustling harbour town of Carvoeiro and RCI Gold Crown Pestana Palm Gardens. Praia de Benagil’s typically golden sands are joined by an intriguing sea cave, only accessible by sea, which provides one of the most beautiful locations on this gorgeous coastline. Geo Coordiantes: 37.087428, -8.426299

Praia do Camilo

Praia do Camilo

Google Maps is a great way to find your perfect beach in Portugal. Click on the image above to see more.

This idyllic secluded cove near Lagos in the West of the Algarve boasts a wonderful restaurant on its clifftop serving locally caught seafood dishes to complement its stunning sea views. This TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence (2015) winning beach can be accessed via a wooden spiral staircase that guides visitors down onto the golden sands and crystal clear waters. Geo Coordinates: 37.087307, -8.668444

Praia da Rocha

Praia da Rocha

Take a tour of Praia da Rocha by clicking on the image above!

Regarded as the main beach in Portimao the Praia da Rocha was voted in the Top 10 in Portugal from TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards (2015). Boasting plenty of space this vast beach is lined by the Avenue Tomás Cabreira, which is full of restaurants, bars and shops bringing the area to life. Standing proudly at the end of the avenue is the Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar once helping to defend Portimao from pirates it now gifts holidaymakers with wonderful views of the beach and marina. Geo Coordintes: 37.118526, -8.532662

Praia do Barril

Anchors on beach at Praia do Barril

Anchors on the beach at Praia do Barill. Click on the image above to see more great images and photo spheres on Google Maps

Translated as Barrel Beach this narrow strip of white sand also features in the Portugal’s Top 10 beaches from TripAdvisor and is a haven for those looking to soak up the sunshine. Enjoy the walk to the beach by crossing a narrow footbridge over the Ria Formosa about 4-5km from the town of Santa Luzia or catch the miniature train from Pedras d’El Rei resort to this Blue Flag beach. Nestled amongst the dunes at Praia do Barril you will also find a rather mysterious sight, The Cemitério das Âncoras (Anchor Graveyard, hundreds of rows of anchors commemorating the once thriving tuna fishing industry. Geo Coordinates: 37.085927, -7.661886

Praia do Submarino


Click the image above to see more landscapes and photo spheres of Praia do Submarino on Google Maps.

Located in Alvor in Western Algarve the Praia do Submarino offers a calm retreat from Portugal’s windswept Atlantic coastline. Protected by Ponta de Joao de Arens the crystal clear waters of this beach are ideal for families wishing to cool off from the warm embrace of the Portuguese sunshine. Geo Coordinates: 37.116522, -8.570489

Praia da Marinha

Praia da Marinha

Praia da Marinha offers some great elevated views. See more on Google Maps by clikcing the image above.

Voted as the 3rd best beach in all of Portugal by TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Awards (2015) the Praia da Marinha, known as Navy Beach, is a real hit with families. A wide array of intriguing rock formations and caves are great to explore and the numerous rock pools are home to an interesting collection of marine life. Swim a little further out from the beach and you’ll discover a wealth of underwater interests hiding out in the clear waters below. Geo Coordinates: 37.089768, -8.412543

Praia dos Tres Irmaos

Praia dos Tres Irmaos

As great as the photo spheres and images of Praia dos Tres Irmaos are, they won’t spoil your enjoyment! Click on the image above to see more.

Praia dos Tres Irmaos, Three Brothers Beach, is another of the popular family beaches in Portimao and boasts a characteristic cave for the children to play within. The emerald waters lapping the shore are bursting with interesting marine life that must be explored, remember to bring your snorkel for this one! The RCI Gold Crown Pestana Alvor Park is located just a 10-minute drive away and offers a truly wonderful holiday experience for families in Portimao. Geo Coordinates: 37.117958, -8.577757

Praia de Arrifes

Praia de Arrifes

The image above links through to a photo sphere of Praia de Arrifes.

Referred to locally as the Praia dos Tres Penecos, beach of triple rocks, the golden sands provide a wonderful location to relax close by to the lively town of Albufeira and Pine Cliffs Resort. Another ideal snorkel spot, the rocky formations off the shoreline are home to some intriguing local wildlife. A lovely local restaurant is nestled on the rocks overlooking the beach offering the ideal spot to relax with a chilled drink and admire the inspiring views. Geo Coordinates: 37.076079, -8.276768

Subamarine Rock – Armacao de Pera

Submarine Rock Portugal

Finally the Submarine Rock! You know what to do to see some more!

Hidden close by to the Armacao de Pera is this beautiful isolated beach which gifts you with moments of peace and tranquillity nearby to lively Albufeira. The centre-piece to this beach is a submarine shaped rock offering a truly unique photo opportunity to capture. Swim out around the corner and you’ll discover another inviting cave perfect to explore the secrets held within. Geo Coordinates: 37.092948, -8.394174

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