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A Guide to the Best Beaches in Portugal

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Portugal is home to some of Europe's most beautiful beaches.

You are certainly spoilt for choice here given the country's wide variety of beaches. Everywhere you go, you won't be far away from the sea, even in big cities like Lisbon and Porto.

If you're looking for a sun-kissed adventure in Portugal, here's your guide to the best beaches in the country.

1. Costa da Caparica

Costa da Caparica features a stunning coastline of about 26 km long, with powerful Atlantic waves and breathtaking natural scenery extending towards the western side of the Setubal Peninsula.

Costa da Caparica is popular among locals, and you'll often see huge crowds of locals flocking to this beach during the warm summer months. You'll find the beach quieter outside of the peak season but expect the weather to be chilly. Better come here during the peak season if you wish to swim as there are lifeguards on duty since the waves could overwhelm even the expert swimmers.

The coastline of Costa da Caparica faces the mighty Atlantic Ocean, producing powerful waves. Thus, this beach is also a popular spot among local surfers. It's also a great place for kite surfing and other water sports. You will also find local fishers applying the traditional fishing technique of hauling nets into the beach to catch tons of sardines.

2. Praia do Portinho da Arrábida

On a short drive from Lisbon, you'll reach Portinho da Arrabida, one of Portugal's most stunning beaches. This former fishing village attracts an increasing number of tourists each year. But because it's somewhat isolated from public transportation, it remains unspoiled and is not as crowded as the other beaches in Portugal.

Portinho da Arrabida has crystal clear waters, reaching up to 17 degrees in the peak of summer. Thus, it's an excellent spot for swimming and scuba diving, especially since the beach lies in a protected natural area with abundant marine life. What makes this beach special is the presence of Arrábida National Park, which features a stunning landscape of green hills surrounded by sparkling blue waters.

Praia do Portinho is not only stunning, but it also exudes a relaxing ambiance. It has fine white sands and crystal-clear waters and remains relatively quiet because of its remote location, which is a bit far from the city. Since the beach is somewhat remote, you won't find too many hotels or resorts in the area. But do your research and dig out any Portuguese wow factor villas close to this area.

3. Praia da Cordoama, Sagres

In the Algarve, you'll find Praia da Cordoama, one of the many beaches straddling the long sandy coast of Vila do Bispo. Praia da Cordoama is the longest of the beaches here. At low tide, it combines with its neighbouring beaches of Barriga and Castelejo to form a huge sandy beach.

The long and sandy stretch of Praia da Cordoama is also perfect for walking, especially at low tide. The long and sandy stretch of Praia da Cordoama is also ideal for walking, especially at low tide. It remains largely unspoiled as it has not succumbed to the ravages of tourism, unlike the other popular beaches in the Algarve. But despite its remote and rugged feel, Praia da Cordoama has been awarded the "Blue Flag", which means the beach has plenty of tourism facilities, including a seasonal lifeguard service.

Along with its neighboring beaches, Praia da Cordoama is also famous for surfing since they are all blessed with the big Atlantic swells rolling in here throughout the year. Due to the remote location of the beach, you will not find plenty of big resorts here. But if you search for Holiday rentals and lettings in the Algarve, you could find some holiday rentals close to this area.

4. Praia de São Jacinto, Aveiro

Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Praia de São Jacinto is located in the municipality of Aveiro and has broad and extensive sand about 3.1 km long. At the south end of the beach, you'll find the São Jacinto Dune Nature Reserve, a protected area of about 700 hectares and frequented by migratory waterfowl.

You will not find any cafes or bars on this beach. It's very unspoiled and has large waves ideal for surfing. Meanwhile, its seemingly endless stretch of sand is perfect for strolling. The fastest way to get here is to take a boat from Aveiro. There's a regular service crossing the estuary. If you arrive by car, you need to go via Torreira or Ovar, cross the bridge at the estuary, and then drive southwards for the beach access road.

Aside from surfing or swimming, explore the nearby São Jacinto Dune Nature Reserve, a protected area home to unique examples of flora and fauna. Praia de São Jacinto covers a significant portion of this nature reserve and is almost untouched. It's worth noting that the lifeguards do not cover the full extent of the beach, so exercise precautions when swimming or surfing.

5. Praia de Odeceixe, Algarve

Praia de Odeceixe is a gorgeous beach in the Algarve part of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park. It's recognized for its distinct horseshoe pattern and is surrounded by the Ribeira de Seixe river. Featuring a combination of good waves and crystal-clear water, this is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches you'll ever find in Europe and there is plenty of classic Portugal holiday home accommodation nearby.

Praia de Odeceixe is a family-friendly beach safe enough for the little kids, thanks to its calm and shallow water. During summer, the main beach is watched over by lifeguards, and waves are usually less violent at this time of the year. However, there's a stretch designated for nudists on the southern cliffs.

To preserve the dunes, they have installed artificial barriers on the sand. The water is often cold and excellent for canoeing. You will also find a selection of bars and cafes on the clifftop overlooking the beach. This place is also a great spot for walkers as it's the start of the famous Fishermen's Trail. This scenic coastal hike runs for about 60 km between Porto Covo and Odeceixe.

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