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15, may 23 | Reading: 12 min.

Top 10 Beaches in the Western Algarve | Casas do Barlavento

How can you not dream of a holiday in the Algarve? Spending the days on the most beautiful beaches of the Western Algarve is the plan of many visitors to this region. As a result, we have decided to include some beaches you should not miss in this article: hidden paradises, family beaches, and blue flag beaches. This 2023 summer, explore the beaches of the Western Algarve and stay in strategic Algarve locations to enjoy the sun and sand.


article cover image: Top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. A woman sits in a beach chair reading by the sea.

Photo by Chen Mizrach– Unsplash



Best beaches for families in the Western Algarve


One of the highlights of summer is spending time with family. It is one of the few times of the year when everyone can get together and enjoy the mild days. To have a fun day at the beach, choose the one that is appropriate for all ages. If you have children, it is important to make the right decision. It is well known that the youngest does not skip a swim in the sea. That's why we have put together some quiet beaches in the Western Algarve that are suitable for all ages.


article image: Top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. Two children play and jump at the seaside.

Photo by Garrett Patz – Unsplash



  1. Odeceixe Beach

It is one of the beaches of the Costa Vicentina and is considered one of the most beautiful! It is located in the extreme north of Aljezur municipality, with the peculiarity of having the stream on one side and the sea on the other. The stream Seixe is the natural border between the Alentejo and the Algarve, and this is the main reason for our choice of a beach for families in the Western Algarve. Odeceixe Beach is located in an idyllic setting between mountains and calm waters (riverside area). The rougher water is in the sea bathing zone, and here you will often find surfers frolicking in the waves.


Three kilometres away is the village of Odeceixe, with restaurants, shops, supermarkets and a mini tourist train that runs along the road from the village to the beach. Because there are few parking spaces on the beach, taking the train is an option. Adult tickets cost about €1.50, and children under the age of six travel for free.



  1. Salema Beach

Salema Beach is a little jewel near Vila do Bispo and has been mentioned several times in international newspapers like The Guardian or The Telegraph. We believe that all written words are not enough to describe the beauty of this beach, but we promise to do justice to this treasure.


Memories of the fishing past still intersect with the present. Boats and fishing gear are omnipresent on this beach. Here you can still see the boats going out to sea and returning loaded with fish. Several restaurants in front of the beach take this fish, so it is a good idea to book a table for dinner after a day at the beach. One of these restaurants is the Boia Restaurant, owned by the same family for three generations.


On the extensive sandy beach, thanks to its size, you can do a little bit of everything: from relaxing on a rented sun lounger to playing with the kids or renting a SUP board. Besides the typical activities, you can also observe dinosaur footprints on the beach. If you want to follow the tracks of these footprints, go to Santa Beach and discover the third core of these remains.



Choose a spacious holiday home for the whole family. We recommend Casa Papoila, a 3-bedroom villa with a swimming pool and a large outdoor area for family meals.



The special beaches - Western Algarve


People who spend their holidays in the Algarve always choose one beach. This is the beach where you spend most of your time, where you make friends and where you know the best place to hang your towel. If you don't have a special beach yet, here are some of the most visited beaches in summer.


article image: Top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. D. Ana beach in Lagos seen from the top of the wooden stairs leading to the beach.


  1. Dona Ana Beach

Next to the iconic Ponta da Piedade, this is one of the most beautiful beaches in Lagos. Even before you put your foot in the sand, you can see the beauty of this beach for yourself at the top of the wooden stairs. From the top of the stairs, you can see the rock formations jutting out of the sea and the turquoise blue, almost transparent sea. On this beach with its many charms, the high rocks protect visitors from the winds, and the calm tides allow everyone to dive and swim at their leisure.


Rent a sun lounger and parasol for maximum comfort. At lunchtime, you can eat at the Marisol restaurant overlooking the sea. Here you will also find public toilets and showers. To get to this beach, you can walk 20 minutes from the centre of Lagos, take a tourist bus or park your car in the free car park.


It only remains to mention that in 2013, D. Ana Beach was named the best beach in the world and the most beautiful beach in the country by Condé Nast Traveller magazine. Two years later, it was TripAdvisor's turn to name it the best beach in Portugal.



  1. Alvor Beach

This is a sandy beach and the landscape is still unspoilt. On the west side, there are dunes along which the river runs until it flows into the sea. There is something for everyone on this huge beach, from the quiet swimmer who loves secluded beaches to the adventurous kitesurfer or SUP. Nearby, at the back of the beach, are the longest walkways in the Algarve, where you can walk along the beach from one end to the other.


Here you can rent sun loungers, get a Thai massage, rent kitesurfing and SUP equipment and even a gaivota (small motorless boat). Surprisingly, the best thing about this beach is always the slogan by the seller "Bolas de Berlim, receitadas pelo senhor doutor". He is the travelling salesman of the best custard cake, which tastes even better on the beach.


On the west side of Alvor Beach, from Restinga to Atlântida, there are several restaurants to visit. Fresh fish is the flagship of these establishments, which have terraces overlooking the sea.



Are these your "special beaches"? Spend your next holiday just a few minutes from D. Ana Beach and Alvor Beach. You can stay in the Lagos centre, 4 minutes from D. Ana Beach, at the Praça de Armas Apartment. The apartment in Alvor, Casa Madalena, is an 8-minute walk from the beach.



Hidden Paradises - Western Algarve


Some beaches should remain anonymous as if they were well-kept treasures. They are gems in nature, where only the bravest dare to go to enjoy the tranquillity of the lesser-known beaches of the Western Algarve. Have you ever had the pleasure of visiting one of these beaches?


article image: Top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. Four canoes at sea, close to land.

Photo by Artem Zhukov – Unsplash



  1. Barranco do Martinho Beach

The Barranco do Martinho Beach can be described as a small, wild beach. Access is difficult and not for everyone, as with all lesser-known beaches! The way there leads sometimes over rocks and sometimes over a small concrete walkway until you reach the sand. Before embarking on this adventure, you should pay attention to the tides, because there is no place on this beach where you could spread out your towel for a few hours.


This beach is a paradise for divers who want to observe small molluscs and fish without having to bring much equipment. All you need are diving goggles and nothing else. The water is clear and there are no major obstacles to exploring the underwater world. This beach near Ponta da Piedade is a nudist beach where pets are welcome.



  1. João d'Arens Beach

João d'Arens Beach is "the last window to the sea", as it has become known in Portimão. At the top of this beach, there is a piece of nature, one of the few in the city of Portimão, and there is a movement to ensure that this piece of nature does not disappear. The descent to the beach begins through this natural area, over rocks and dirt tracks. Again, the path is not easy, but with a little courage and focus, you will arrive at the beach safely. If you prefer, you can reach this beach by renting a SUP board or a pedal boat from the nearby beach (Vau Beach).


On the cliffs of this beach, you will find eager fishermen trying to spot the fish in these waters. Look closely and be amazed by the techniques of the fearless fishermen on the cliffs of João d'Arens. This beach, like Barranco do Martinho, is also open to naturists.



We have a holiday home recommendation for the adventurous who like to discover new beaches in the Western Algarve. It is located just a few minutes by car from these two beaches in a secluded location with a swimming pool. Discover Vila Formosa near the parish of Alvor.


Blue Flag Beaches - Western Algarve


The Blue Flag is a quality symbol for beaches and marinas that meet environmental criteria set and safety precautions and provide users with environmental awareness information. In 2023, the Algarve received 91 Blue Flags, 85 of which were awarded to beaches, four to marinas, and two to eco-tourism boats. Apart from the environmental aspects, the flag means that the beach is easily accessible and offers safety to visitors. To find out which beaches in the Algarve have been awarded the Blue Flag, visit the official Blue Flag page.



article image: Top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. Meia Praia as seen from one of the wooden walkways.


  1. Meia Praia Beach

One of the many Blue Flag beaches in Lagos is located on the city's largest beach. Meia Praia stretches from the breakwater of the Ribeira de Bensafrim to the breakwater of the Ria de Alvor. Along the wide Lagos Bay, there are 5 kilometres of sandy beach with several accesses via wooden walkways that ensure the preservation of the dunes.


It is one of the few beaches without rocks in the municipality, so water sports are guaranteed. In the middle of the beach is the school for windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing and much more. All of the above sports are easy to learn in these calm waters. This beach has several restaurants, bathrooms and plenty of free parking along the beach.



  1. Porto Mós beach

Before you reach the sandy beach of Porto Mós, take a look at the coast to Sagres from the viewpoint of Atalaia. You will enjoy the landscape and keep it in your memory! Porto Mós beach is protected from the wind by rocks, and the sand offers plenty of space for the family to play.


Outside the beach, there is a free car park and wooden walkways leading to the beach. Get ready to spend the day at the beach and stay for lunch at one of the restaurants: Restaurant António or Restaurant Campimar. In addition to the restaurants, there is a rental service for sunbeds and umbrellas at this beach.



Looking for a holiday rental near these Blue Flag beaches? Stay in the three-bedroom Al-Gharb Apartamento flat, which is 150 metres from Meia Praia, or in the Villa Praia de Branson house, which has stunning sea views on Porto Mós beach.


Popular beaches - Western Algarve


We could list all the beaches in the Western Algarve, as they all stand out from the rest of the country for their beauty. There is something unique about the beaches on this side of the Algarve, like the ochre tone of the rocks and the transparent turquoise sea. If you have not had the chance to visit at least one of the beaches mentioned, you should do so this 2023 summer. You can start with one of the most popular beaches in the Western Algarve.


article image: Top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. Photographed inside the cave of Marinha beach, overlooking a natural rock arch.

Photo by kiwihug – Unsplash



  1. Marinha Beach

Marinha Beach is wild and of incomparable beauty. Perhaps this is why the Michelin Guide named it one of the top 100 beaches in the world. Your visit begins with the high, wind-sculpted cliffs that surround the beach. Admire the beauty of the 7 hanging valleys (7 vales suspensos), a path that runs along the coast of Lagoa from which you can contemplate the cliffs in golden tones contrasting with the blue of the sea.


The wooden staircase that leads to the beach puts off some visitors because it's too long, but we guarantee it's worth the effort. No wonder the Ministry of Environment has named this beach "Golden Beach".


  1. Praia da Rocha Beach

This is one of the most emblematic beaches in the Algarve! It has more than 1 kilometre of sand and is visited by more and more people every year. A wooden walkway runs along the beach and gives access to different sections of the beach, including the sports area. Here you can not only jump into the sea but also play basketball, volleyball or football. Every year, numerous summer events take place on the sandy beach of Praia da Rocha.


At the ends of the beach, there are two viewing points from which you can observe the beach and the ships arriving and departing from Portimão Harbour. The panoramic view over the Arade River from the Sta. Catarina Fort connects the different beaches along the Portimão coast. This beach also has numerous restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine.



Spend your holiday just a few steps from Rocha Beach and a few minutes by car from Marinha Beach in Lagoa, at Apartamento Bonheur flat.



You can plan your stay in a holiday home in the Algarve in 2023 now that you know the top 10 beaches in the Western Algarve. Type the town where you want to spend your holiday in the "Search" section. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.