Algarve is well-known for its beaches, especially the urban ones, like Albufeira, Portimão or Quarteira. Most people enjoy combining beach with the city: the abundance of restaurants, cafes and supermarkets, shopping, nightlife, and so forth. What about enjoying Algarve weather, lodging and gastronomy – but in deserted beaches, without lots of people and jams everywhere? Is it possible to enjoy the region without feeling that one did not leave the city?
Of course, it is. Algarve has almost 200 km (124 miles) of shoreline, so there is plenty of room for unknown, unspoilt beaches. It’s not easy to get accommodation near them; sometimes it’s not easy to get there, even. If this is precisely what you’re looking for, check out ten beaches “to flee from the crowds”, as put by a Portuguese travel portal (Sapo Viagens). The list goes from West to East.
– Vale dos Homens (Aljezur)
– Amado (Aljezur)
Technically belonging to Algarve, Aljezur is the northwestern municipality whose shore faces West. It’s like an extension of Alentejo, for this matters, as its beaches get the Northern waves brought by the Azores high. Hence, these are great for surfers and bodyboarders.
– Murração (Vila do Bispo)
Close to Amado, still facing West, and no asphalt to get there; only good old gravel.
– Zavial (Vila do Bispo)
It’s the closest beach (of this list) near the Sagres and St. Vincent capes, and the first one facing South.
– Albandeira (Lagoa)
Who would say there are still uncrowded beaches near Lagoa? Albandeira stands between Armação de Pêra and the famous Algar de Benagil.
– São Rafael (Albufeira)
– Arrifes (Albufeira)
The same could be said about these two lovely beaches, surrounded by cliffs and rocks, so close to Albufeira.
– Barreta/Ilha Deserta (Faro)
– Barrinha (Faro)
– Cacela Velha (Vila Real de Santo António)
From Vilamoura onwards, the cliffs make away to the wetlands and the long, very long and plain beaches, which go all the way to Spain. You don’t have to go through high stairs or gravel roads to get to these beaches, but you might have to take a boat.