Portugal, Travel guides

The most beautiful beaches on the Algarve Coast – a travel guide

I have been to Lisbon several times with my work (in December and June last year) and has in this connection discovered the most beautiful area in Portugal: The Algarve Coast with the beautiful beaches, orange rugged cliffs and the turquoise water. Many come here to sunbathe or play golf, but there are also many beautiful trails along the coast for hikers and lots of beautiful landscapes for a nature photographer like me. In addition, Portugal has an incredibly rich bird life. Read about my pursuit of flamingos in the Ria Formosa here.

Portugal is poorer than its neighbor Spain, which means that you can live and eat cheap. In addition, the Algarve Coast is the sunniest place in southern Europe – even in winter months. My trip in February included a lot of sunshine and temperatures between 16 and 20 degrees celcius.

If you have followed this blog, you know that I love the cold north and happily trot around in the snow in Greenland or in the rain on the Faroe Islands. But after a dreary winter I really needed some warmth, and my plan to go to Norway in search of the northern lights was replaced with the much cheaper and warmer Portugal.

Algarve Lagos ponte de piedade The beautiful tip of Ponte da Piedade is situated 3 km from the city.

Lagos – the perfect base for exploring the Algarve Coast

My first idea was to rent a car and drive along the entire Algarve coast, but after a search on Google Maps I discovered that many of the most beautiful beaches are situated in the town of Lagos. The nearest airport in Faro is only 60 km away. And with good bus and train connections between the two cities the decision to stay in Lagos was easy.

Bus 16 departs from Faro airport to the city railway station. From here you can catch the train or the bus to Lagos.  They both depart every other hour and the trip takes 2 hours.

Find places to stay in Lagos

Timetable bus 16

Train timetable Faro – Lagos

Bus timetable Faro – Lagos

Algarve Lagos The streets of Lagos

The most beautiful beaches on the Algarve Coast

You can spend a long time exploring the different beaches whether you are a beach bum or a nature photographer like me. The beautiful beaches streches all the way from the city to the tip of Ponte de Piedade. There are trails along the entire coast except for the stretch between Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo. From the car park at Praia do Camilo the trail starts again and continues all the way to Ponte de Piedade. This section is the most beautiful with small trails that wind up and down between the rocks with beautiful vantage points.

Praia Pinhao

An old concrete stairs leads down into the bay to this small beach surrounded by tall cliffs. The day I visited the beach was full of unbelievably beautiful and colourful sea shells in blue and pink hues. Absolutely magical! There is also a small cave to explore on the beach.

Algarve Lagos Pinhao beach smukkeste strande beautiful beaches

Praia Dona Ana

The largest and most commercial beach on the stretch is Praia Dona Ana. Here you feel small between the steep cliffs and the big waves rolling in from the sea. The many beautiful freestanding rocks in the water make the finest photos.

Algarve Lagos Dona Ana smukkeste strande beautiful beaches

Algarve Lagos Dona Ana smukkeste strande beautiful beachesPraia Dona Ana

Praia do Camilo

A long wooden staircase leads down to this beach which was my favorite in Lagos. Small, intimate and incredibly beautiful. Sheltered from the chilly februrary wind it was warm enough for both sunbathing and a dip in the water.

Bonus tip! If you walk through the arch you will find a really cool cave with a round hole in the ceiling.

Algarve Lagos Camilo beach smukkeste strande beautiful beachesAlgarve Lagos camilo smukkeste strandeIt was simply impossible not to jump in my swimsuit on the beautiful Camilo Beach

Ponte da Piedade

Simply the most beautiful place on the Algarve Coast. The view from the top is awesome and if you go down the stairs to the tiny port can watch the waves crush against the beautiful rock formations. West of Ponte da Piedade  the paths continues along the coast with lots of falcons and sparrows.

Algarve Lagos Ponde de Poedade smukkeste strande beautiful beachesAlgarve Lagos ponte de piedadeAlgarve coast Lagos ponte de piedadeLagos Algarve ponte de piedade Algarve Lagos birdwatching

algarve Lagos birdwatching common kestrelA common kesler

The things I missed – The Benagil Cave

From home I had been admiring theses stunning photos of the Benagil cave. Although there are buses from Lagos to Lagoa and from there to Benagil I was not sure there would be a boat ready to sail me out there in February. But if you ever get the chance (by car the cave is just a 30 minutes drive from Lagos) you simply must see this cave!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Bettina Sunday March 19th, 2017 at 07:03 PM

    Hvor er det bare fantastisk smukt! Satser på Portugal næste år med mine hunde og glæder mig da allerede ??
    Plejer du i øvrigt ikke at skrive på engelsk? ?

    • Reply Sarah Green Sunday March 19th, 2017 at 11:40 PM

      Der er bare virkelig smukt! Hvor lyder det skønt. Jo, det plejer jeg faktisk men vil forsøge fremadrettet at skrive alle indlæg på både engelsk og dansk (browseren skulle gerne registrere om du er dansker eller ej)

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