Many of the best beaches in Portugal are found on the mainland in the southern half of the country. This doesn’t mean that beach enthusiasts should limit themselves to the southern part of the country or the mainland altogether, however. Portugal’s northwest coast offers some of the country’s most scenic beaches, and the Portuguese archipelago […]
Portugal is one of the best places to go in Europe for some fun in the sun. This westernmost country of mainland Europe shares the Iberian Peninsula with Spain and boasts an extensive Atlantic Ocean shoreline. Along the southern and western coasts, Portugal beaches are in good supply. Only helping to encourage beach vacations in Portugal is the country’s Mediterranean climate. Portugal is actually one of the warmest countries in Europe, and its famous Algarve region in particular has a climate that is quite similar to that of Southern California. Another similarity between Portugal and California is the availability of high quality surfing spots. Portugal beaches are unquestionably some of the best places to surf in all of Europe.
There are nearly 500 miles of coastline on mainland Portugal. Along this coastline, travelers will find a mix of busy beach resorts and more secluded, tranquil beach areas. Beach hotels are in especially good supply in and around the resort areas, as are watersport activity options. You don’t have to stick to mainland Portugal if you are trying to arrange Portugal beach vacations, however. The Portuguese archipelago of Madeira also offers tempting beaches and is understandably a popular year-round resort. You can find this archipelago approximately 320 miles off the coast of northwestern Africa, which puts its about 600 miles from Portugal itself. Flights to Madeira from the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon only take around an hour-and-a-half.
Portugal beach vacations can include a variety of side activities. In other words, you don’t have to spend all of your time on the sand. Portugal offers plenty of enticing golf courses, for example, and many of the best places to tee it up are within close proximity of the sea. Fishing, sailing, and horseback riding are other examples of things to do along the coast, and should you wish to mix in some culture, Portugal is home to many interesting cities and villages that aren’t very far from the ocean. If time and budget allow, you can also consider venturing further inland for a look around. Portugal is a rather small European country, so it isn’t difficult to include beach visits and inland adventures on a Portugal vacation itinerary.