With miles and miles of golden sandy beaches the coastline of the Western Algarve is amongst some of the most beautiful in the world. Visitors are truly spoilt for choice. It’s a place you’ll find cliffs, coves and caves along with the best facilities for water sports, beachside bars, ancient pines and shallow bays.

However, the only way to truly understand the magnificence of this coastline is by seeing it for yourself.

Praia da Luz

Large palm trees, fortress walls and warm rocky platforms. It’s a beach of beautiful golden sand and a calm, shallow sea and has earned its name ‘beach of light’. It’s more cosmopolitan and ideal for families too as the water only gets deeper very slowly and it’s popular among tourists. You can also sail, jet ski, windsurf, paddle board or kayak here if you prefer something more active.

The Praia da Luz scenery is truly beautiful so an after dinner walk is wonderful. The nearby village Luz is a traditional fishing village or, for more privacy, head for the 150-million-year-old volcanic Black Rock and the ‘small beach’ of Prainha.

Praia do Burgau

Nestled by the unspoiled fishing village of Burgau, Praia do Burgau is small but beautifully sandy with sloping cliff faces behind. The beach itself sits in a small cove and almost disappears when the tide is in. You’ll find a selection of bars and cafes on the beachfront and the surf here is good.

Praia da Rocha

Sat below some picturesque cliffs is the kilometre or so of the super-spacious Praia da Rocha beach. Those cliffs protect the beach and it’s now become one of Portugal’s most popular areas. It was recently redeveloped to include walkways and paved seating areas that run almost its entire length.

The beach is also great for boat trips and water sports and there are also numerous activities going on throughout the year.

Above the beach is the main avenue where you’ll find bars, hotels and a casino. It’s great if you’re after a busy nightlife.The avenue ends at the 17th century Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar, built to protect the area against pirates. There are also two water parks, Slide and Splash and Aqualand, within easy reach.

Meia Praia

If you enjoy water sports or like being out on the water Meia Praia is ideal. It’s popular with windsurfers, jet skiers and kite surfers and you can explore the coast by boat. You can also take lessons in your favourite activity and hire equipment too.

The beach itself is the biggest in Lagos, with around 4km of soft golden sand and, despite this size, it manages to stay low-key so you should always find a sunbathing spot here. Meia Praia faces the open Bay of Lagos, but is also protected from the west. You’ll also find numerous beach-side bars the length of its shore.

Praia do Martinhal

Praia do Martinhal is a small beach in the Bay of Baleeira, near Sagres, that’s great for families. The sand is amongst the best you’ll find and whilst it can be windy, the water is calm and ideal for windsurfing and diving. If you prefer being on the water than being in it you can take a boat trip to the small limestone islands nearby and discover the coves and rocky inlets, watch sea-birds or go shark fishing.

Above the sands is the Costa Vicentina Natural Park, with its picturesque maritime pines and hardy plants.

Bordeira Beach

At 3km long, the beach at Bordeira is vast, filled with stunning sand dunes and set amongst a backdrop of limestone cliffs and a forest of pine trees. It’s not just long but wide too. Nature lovers like it, surfers like it. The currents and waves from the Atlantic Ocean can be strong too. It’s almost unspoiled and it’s location means it’s secluded too.

Thanks to its remote location Bordeira Beach is listed as an unofficial nudist beach in the Algarve.

The cliffs of Bordeira are almost inaccessible but are well-known for their fishing spots. Huge numbers of seabirds find shelter on the cliff face too.

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