16 Best Portugal Beach Towns: Coastal Gems Of Portugal


Are you looking for the best beach towns in Portugal? From laid-back fishing villages to bustling resorts, this country offers something for everyone.

Whether you’re a fan of relaxing by the Mediterranean Sea or exploring vibrant streets lined with shops and cafes, these Portugal beach towns are sure to have something for you.

Dive into an exciting mix of culture, sun-kissed sand beaches and crystal clear waters that will make your next destination complete!

Introducing the Best Portugal Beach Towns

Portugal boasts some of Europe’s most stunning shorelines with crystal clear waters, golden sands, and rugged cliffs. The country’s endless coastline is peppered with picturesque coves, charming fishing villages, and bustling beach towns with lively nightlife.

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, you can’t leave without exploring some of the country’s best seaside towns. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the best Portuguese beach towns, ideal for summer seaside holidays and year-round getaways.

You can choose from the vibrant and bustling towns of Lagos and Albufeira, or opt for quieter destinations such as Sesimbra or Sao Rafael. Each beach town has its own unique charm and charisma, so why not pack your sunscreen, put on your shades and explore these magnificent towns firsthand?

The best Portugal beach towns for your bucketlist

1. Ericeira

Ericeira, on the West coast of Portugal, is a true paradise for surfers. If you love to ride the waves, then you really need to make the trip to this beautiful Portuguese town.

With its clear blue waters and consistently impressive surf, Ericeira is one of the best destinations for surfers from all over the world. But Ericeira isn’t just for surfers – there is something here for everyone.

Whether you want to try your hand at surfing for the first time, or simply relax on the stunning beaches and soak up the sun, there’s plenty to keep you busy here. So why not grab your board and come on over to Ericeira for the adventure of a lifetime?

Portugal beach towns - aerial view of the town of Ericeira
Aerial view of the town of Ericeira, Portugal

2. Lagos

Located in the Algarve region of southern Portugal, Lagos is a great place for beach-goers and surfers looking for lively nightlife, vibrant cafes, and stunning sea views. The town is steeped in history, with ancient walls and a vibrant cultural scene.

Visitors can explore Lagos Old Town, lined with boutiques, galleries, and historic monuments, and wander through the charming cobbled streets. The beaches around Lagos are some of the most beautiful in the Algarve, including the Praia da Dona Ana, considered one of the most scenic beaches in the world.

Gate to the old town of Lagos, Portugal
Gate to the old town of Lagos, Portugal

3. Sesimbra

If you’re looking for a fun and relaxed spot to enjoy boating and beach games, Sesimbra should be high on your list. This charming Portuguese town on the coast offers ample opportunities to get out on the water, whether you want to rent a kayak, take a guided sailing trip, or hop aboard a speedboat for an adrenaline-pumping ride.

The golden beaches are another draw, with soft sand and crystal-clear water perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and playing beach volleyball or soccer with friends. As you soak up the sun and sea breezes, you’ll feel your cares melting away in no time.

No wonder Sesimbra is a favorite among locals and tourists alike!

Panoramic view of Sesimbra town in Portugal
Panoramic view of Sesimbra town in Portugal

4. Portimao

Looking for the perfect spot to unwind and soak up some sun? Look no further than Portimao.

This gorgeous stretch of beach in southern Portugal has everything you need for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation. With its crystal-clear waters, soft sandy shores, and stunning cliffs, Portimao is a favorite among travelers.

Whether you’re looking to take a dip in the ocean, spread out your towel on the main beach, Praia da Rocha, and catch some rays, or simply stroll along the shoreline and take in the breathtaking scenery, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at this idyllic destination.

Walkway on sandy beautiful Praia da Rocha beach, Algarve region, Portugal
Walkway on sandy beautiful Praia da Rocha beach, Algarve region, Portugal

5. Sagres

For an adrenaline rush on your next vacation, be sure to add Sagres to your itinerary. This charming town located in the southwestern corner of Portugal has been dubbed the adventure capital of the country for good reason.

With its rugged coastline and large waves, Sagres is a popular destination for surfers looking for the perfect wave. But surfing is just the tip of the iceberg – you can also try your hand at windsurfing or kite-boarding.

And if you’re not a fan of water sports, Sagres also offers plenty of hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, and even paragliding. So, whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking to try something new, Sagres is the perfect place to satisfy your adventurous spirit.

Aerial view of Sagres Fortress at Sagres Point in the Algarve, Portugal
Aerial view of Sagres Fortress at Sagres Point in the Algarve, Portugal

6. Comporta

Located on the Troia Peninsula, south of Lisbon, Comporta is a hidden gem that offers unspoiled natural beauty, with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. The town is surrounded by rice fields, cork oak forests, and pine woods, creating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.

Comporta’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in Portugal, including Praia do Carvalhal and Praia do Pego, with long stretches of sand and dunes. The town is also known for its excellent seafood, nature trails, and laid-back vibe.

Aerial view of Comporta Beach on the Troia Peninsula in Portugal
Aerial view of Comporta Beach on the Troia Peninsula in Portugal

7. Tavira

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Portugal’s Algarve region, Tavira is a city that beautifully marries the old with the new. Its streets are lined with charming, centuries-old buildings, but it’s also home to a lively music scene and trendy cafes.

Strolling through the cobblestone streets, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonder at the history that surrounds you, from the ancient castle ruins of Castelo de Tavira to the medieval churches. But Tavira is no museum piece – it’s a thriving city with a youthful energy that’s infectious.

Ilha de Tavira is an island just south of the town, known for its great beaches. Part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, it is connected to the mainland by a ferry during the Summer months.

With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder Tavira has become a must-visit destination for travelers from all over the world.

Tiled facades in Tavira, Portugal
Tiled facades in Tavira, Portugal

8. Cascais

Cascais is beautiful town that offers a perfect blend of culture, history, and beach life. Once a fishing village, Cascais is now a cosmopolitan town with a vibrant marina, lovely parks, and irresistible seafood.

Cascais boasts several beautiful beaches, including Praia da Conceição, Praia da Rainha, and Praia do Guincho, popular with surfers. One of the town’s main attractions is the Boca do Inferno, a cliff formation that creates an impressive backdrop for sunsets.

You can also easily visit Cabo da Roca, an impressive cape situated 15 km north of Cascais.

Cascais promenade sea view at sunrise in the morning
Cascais promenade sea view at sunrise in the morning

9. Peniche

Located north of Lisbon, Peniche is a charismatic fishing town that has become a hotspot for surfing and other water sports. The town’s rich fishing heritage is reflected in the local cuisine, with excellent seafood, fresh fish, and traditional dishes.

Peniche offers a range of beaches that cater to different needs, from quiet coves to lively surf beaches. Baleal Beach is a favorite among surfers, while Praia dos Supertubos is known for its impressive waves.

View of the island of Baleal near Peniche on the Atlantic coast of Portugal
View of the island of Baleal near Peniche on the Atlantic coast of Portugal

10. Vila Nova de Milfontes

Nestled on the Alentejo coast, Vila Nova de Milfontes is a tranquil seaside town with stunning scenery and an unhurried pace of life. The town is situated between the Mira River and the Atlantic Ocean, creating a unique blend of landscapes.

Vila Nova de Milfontes has several beautiful beaches, including Praia das Furnas, Praia do Farol, and Praia da Franquia, with excellent conditions for swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.

Cobbled streets of the old town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal
Cobbled streets of the old town of Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal

11. Ponta Delgada

Located on the island of Sao Miguel, in the Azores archipelago, Ponta Delgada is a picturesque coastal town that offers a mix of culture, history, and nature. The town’s historic center is filled with beautiful architecture, charming squares, and iconic landmarks, such as the Portas da Cidade, the city gates.

Ponta Delgada has several beaches that offer a range of activities, from swimming to snorkeling, including Praia de Sao Roque and Praia de Populo.

Militias beach (Praia das Milicias) near Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel island
Militias beach (Praia das Milicias) near Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel island

12. Estoril

Estoril is a glamorous resort town that has been attracting an international jet-set crowd since the 19th century. The town’s elegant mansions, luxury hotels, and chic boutiques create a refined atmosphere that is second to none.

Estoril has several beautiful beaches, including Praia do Tamariz and Praia da Poça, both with excellent facilities. The town is also known for its lively nightlife, Michelin-starred restaurants, and world-class golf courses.

Aerial view of Estoril in Portugal
Aerial view of Estoril – glamorous Portugal beach towns

13. Albufeira

Albufeira, in the southern part of the Algarve region, is one of the most famous Portuguese beach towns. Its charm lies in the golden sandy beaches, stunning coastline, and an array of activities for tourists.

Albufeira provides numerous water activities such as boat tours or jet-skiing. The best beaches include Praia da Oura, Praia dos Pescadores, and Praia de Santa Eulália. Albufeira’s Old Town boasts narrow streets bordered by white houses and colorful flower pots.

These streets offer adorable shops, restaurants with fresh seafood, and a lively nightlife scene. Albufeira has quite a modern vibe and plays host to many events, including the Albufeira Jazz Festival and the Medieval Fair, which take place annually.

Aerial from the harbor in Albufeira in the Algarve Portugal
Aerial from the harbor in Albufeira in the Algarve Portugal

14. Ferragudo

For an authentic Portuguese experience, travel to the small fishing village of Ferragudo. Located near Portimão, Ferragudo is a hidden gem.

It offers a glimpse of traditional Portugal with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, and a small fishing port. The point of Bell Tower at the top of Ferragudo gives visitors an extraordinary view of the village, harbor, and the Arade River.

Ferragudo’s beach, Praia Grande, is a stunning sandy beach in the cove of the village with crystal clear waters and a lovely atmosphere. Traditional Portuguese tapas can be found in Ferragudo at many local restaurants. For some of the best wine and cocktails, Ferragudo’s cafes and bars offer delightful views for the perfect drink.

Ferragudo’s traditional culture can be explored at the Forte de São João de Arade. Also, the Ferragudo Museum, located in an 18th-century fort, showcases the district’s history.

Scenic view of fishing boats in Ferragudo, Algarve, Portugal
Scenic view of fishing boats in Ferragudo, Algarve, Portugal

15. Vila do Conde

When it comes to beautiful coastal towns in Northern Portugal, Vila do Conde stands out for its sophistication and charm. Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ave River, this town boasts stunning beaches, historic monuments, and a vibrant cultural scene.

Visitors can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities such as surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking, or simply relax on the golden sands and enjoy the picturesque views. With its elegant boulevards and charming old town, Vila do Conde is the perfect destination for those seeking a taste of Portugal’s rich history and culture.

Whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery, delicious cuisine, or a bustling nightlife, this enchanting town is sure to captivate your heart.

Sandy beach in Vila do Conde, Porto, North Region, Portugal
Sandy beach in Vila do Conde, Porto, North Region, Portugal

16. Funchal

Located on the southern coast of Madeira, Funchal stands out as one of the best coastal towns in Portugal. This charming town is an ideal place for any visitor seeking to explore the beautiful coastline and bask in the Mediterranean sun.

Funchal boasts pristine stretches of golden sand, crystal-clear waters and idyllic seafront promenades. But there’s more to this charming city than just sunbathing and swimming.

Funchal is home to a wealth of historic landmarks, including the 16th-century São Lourenço Palace and the enchanting Sé Cathedral. And if you’re looking for a bit of culture, the city centre is a delight to explore, with its cobbled streets, stylish boutiques and bustling marketplaces.

Funchal natural rock pools, Madeira
Funchal natural rock pools, Madeira

Final Thoughts on the Best Portugal Beach Towns

In conclusion, Portugal is a beautiful country that has something amazing to offer for any type of traveler. From the big city vibes in Ericeira to the rich history of Tavira, these are just some of the best picks for beach towns in Portugal.

Portugal’s beach towns offer an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking sun, sea, and sand. From charming fishing villages to stylish resorts, the country’s coastline is a treasure trove of spectacular scenery, cultural heritage, and traditional cuisine.

Whether you’re looking for lively nightlife, sporting adventures, or peaceful relaxation, there’s a Portuguese beach town that will satisfy your needs. So pack your sunscreen, grab your swimsuit, and get ready to explore some of the best beaches in Europe. We hope this guide has given you some inspiration for your next seaside adventure in Portugal.

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