It’s safe to say that there are two sides of Portugal for any holiday-goer. Firstly, there’s the culture: stunning cities steeped in history, with some of the best restaurants, shopping districts, and landmarks in Europe. Then there’s the beaches: coastal resorts that overlook the sea, with white sands and an abundance of unique geographical features. If you’re looking for the perfect place to rest and relax in the sunshine, here’s our guide to the best sea views in Portugal.
1. Vila Praia da Ancora
Situated on Costa Verde – also known as Portugal’s “green coast”, Vila Praia de Ancora is a fishing village with a beautiful beach that is popular with surfers. Here you will find accommodation that will suit all budgets, as well as top-class restaurants, shopping, and bars. Vila Praia de Ancora isn’t as busy as other towns on this stretch of coast, but you’ll still find plenty of things to see, do, and experience when here. Hire a car and explore the rest of the region, or take a dip in the sea (the waters here are calmer for swimmers). The beach is particularly popular during the summer with many seaview holiday cottages by the sea (see this site for more ideas), which offer stunning vistas that you will remember for a lifetime.
Adraga is situated on the Costa de Prata, known as Portugal’s “silver coast” because of the plethora of white and sandy beaches. You’ll find plenty of things to do if sunbathing’s not really your thing, including a variety of water-sports. The beach at Adraga is close to Sintra, and is situated between two hills. To access the beach, you’ll need to travel down a steep winding road, but once you’re there, you’ll experience some of the best sea views in all of Portugal. While you are in the area, don’t forget to explore the fishing port of Peniche, which is further north. If it’s swimming you’re after, you might find the waters at Adraga a little rough. Head over east to Baleal instead, where you’ll find a stretch of white sand and a calmer section of the sea.
The Costa de Lisboa is a popular hotspot for not only tourists, but residents of the Portuguese capital Lisbon, who come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis in the summer. Estroril is one of the most visited towns, with a number of hotels and casinos, as well as bars and restaurants. Then there’s the beach, which offers views across the sea. The water here is calmer because the beach faces south, making it perfect for swimmers. Just 20 minutes by foot lies Cascais, another town popular with locals from Lisbon. Here you can explore Praia de Cuincho, which was voted one of the best beaches in the whole of Portugal for windsurfing. There will be plenty of opportunities for photos here, so you’ll be able to capture your favourite sea views on film.
4. Porto Santo
If you want to travel a little further afield, Porto Santo is a picturesque island off the coast of Madeira, which is known for the sharp cliffs and stunning sea views. The island is not as busy as its more popular neighbour, although you will still find restaurants, bars, and a few hotels. This is a great destination for a day out, and you will be able to while away an afternoon with a good book on the beach whilst admiring your surroundings. You’ll need to arrange water transport to get here if you’re travelling from Madeira, though you might want to stay for one night on this small island.
5. Praia de Rocha
The Algarve is synonymous with beaches and sea resorts, and Praia de Rocha is no exception. This quiet beach is surrounded by huge cliffs, and has white sand and clear waters. This beach is one of the Algarve’s best-kept secrets and isn’t as well known as some of the others – making it the perfect place to escape to if you want some peace and quiet. You will be able to hire a car and explore the rest of the region, taking in stunning fishing villages and small historic towns along your journey.
Portugal is full of exhilarating sea views which attract tourists from around the world every year. Remember – some of the areas most frequented by tourists can be expensive, so always plan ahead before finding a hotel or booking a restaurant reservation. However, if you’re planning on visiting any of these beaches for the day, you’ll be able to take a packed lunch with you.