Portugal has a rich, unique culture, lively cities and beautiful countryside. Medieval castles, cobblestone villages, captivating cities, history, great food and golden beaches are the reason why this country is attracting many tourists every year.

The most popular beaches are in the Algarve, which has stunning coastlines and gobs of natural beauty, but there’s plenty more beyond the Algarve. We’ve picked five of the best beaches across the country.

Praia do Baleal, Peniche

Baleal beach is a magical spot an hour’s drive north of Lisbon. The sandy beach here connects the island of Baleal to the mainland around 100 meters away. It is a great beach with clean water, popular with families and surfers. 

Praia da Adraga, Sintra-Cascais natural park

The Sintra hills, not far from Lisbon, hide ancient castles among forests before dropping down to cliffs with several coves, including Praia da Adraga. It’s sandy, with rocks arching into the sea. On hot summer days, the rocks provide welcome shade and there’s a small cave to explore at low tide. Though popular with surfers, the beach itself isn’t busy.

Praia da Marinha and Benagil, The Algarve

Praia da Marinha is a classic cliff-backed warren of coves. Follow the clifftop path on from here as it winds round to the next bay at Benagil. Fishing boats can take you out to an amazing sea cave, with a hole in its roof. Benagil sea cave is a watery pantheon with sunlight streaming in through a hole in its domed ceiling. Visitors can only reach the cave from the sea.

Praia do Barril, Ilha da Tavira

It is located on the Ilha de Tavira, a sandbar island that stretches southwest from Tavira almost as far as Fuseta. The Praia do Barril is one of the best beaches of the eastern Algarve, combining golden sands and clear waters with an insight into the heritage of the region. It is a big beach, quite long and wide. In general, the beach is not very crowded.

Foz de Minho, The Minho

Just 2 km southwest from the sleepy town of Caminha lies Foz de Minho, Portugal’s northernmost beach. This beach sits on the very river that separates the country from Spain. Visitors here have two options: fine sandy beach facing into the powerful waves of the Atlantic or the river with coarser sand but calm waters.