Portugal has a huge choice of beaches along its 516 miles of coastline. Some are surfing legends, many are Blue Flag holders and almost all are quite simply gorgeous. To help you find that perfect little piece of paradise, take a look at our guide to the 10 best family beaches in Portugal for summer holidays.
Praia do Camilo, near Lagos, Western Algarve
Drive west from Faro along the Algarve coast for about an hour and, just past the charming city of Lagos, you’ll arrive at small, yet lovely, Praia do Camilo.
Despite its diminutive size, there’s a good chance you’ll have seen this dramatic cove before. Photographers the world over have snapped the stunning view from the top of the 200 steps that lead down to the sand and Camilo’s remarkable landscape of cliffs, sea stacks and towering stone arches.
Praia da Falésia, Vilamoura, Algarve
The Algarve is famous for its picture-perfect beaches, but Praia da Falésia is a cut above the rest, and without a doubt one of the best beaches in Portugal. Here, terracotta-coloured cliffs stand tall over golden sands that tumble down into bright turquoise water, making for one of the most striking backdrops for your family beach day.
During July and August it can be incredibly crowded here. However, arrive early to bag some space and the beauty more than makes up for having to share later in the day.
Praia de Odeceixe, Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina Natural Park
The unusual shape of vast Praia de Odeceixe is part of what makes it so special. Its peninsula-like protrusion actually creates a small ‘river’ from the ocean that wraps around the northern side of the beach. This makes a perfect spot for kids as the waters are calm and shallow. By complete contrast, the ocean-side beach is great for surfers.
During summer, the main beach is patrolled by lifeguards and the waves are gentle enough for toddlers. Take a break at one of the local cafes and soak up the village vibe. Or pack a picnic and spend the entire day on the sands.
Praia de Ilha de Tavira, Eastern Algarve
Still in the Algarve but with a whole different aesthetic, Praia de Ilha de Tavira is another great beach for families. It’s on the island on Tavira, which is just a short ferry ride from the mainland and there’s space aplenty to set up camp for the day, or you can rent sun loungers and umbrellas.
The water here can be a bit chilly for swimming as it only reaches 22 degrees in the height of summer. However, pedalo are available if you want to get out onto the water. Although there are no hotels here, there are a few restaurants so you can easily spin the day out into the late afternoon.
Praia das Furnas Milfontes, Alentejo
Although Portugal’s Alentejo region makes up a third of the country’s land mass, it often gets overlooked in the search for beaches. To right that wrong this summer, we recommend you seek out Praia das Furnas , a long stretch of talc-soft golden sand backed by rocky cliffs. The gentle waves here make it perfect for families who want to take a dip in the shallows in between hours of sun worshipping and picnicking.
Praia Grande, Porto Covo, South West Portugal
Drive a scenic 25-minutes north of Furnas and you’ll come to Praia Grande. This Blue Flag beach is perfect for families looking for summer lifeguards and facilities. There’s always a buzzy atmosphere in July and August and your kids can look forward to making lots of new friends.
Costa Caparica, Lisbon
Costa Caparica stretches for about 18 miles, has no fewer than seven Blue Flag beaches and is only a 40-minute drive south of Lisbon.
The beaches here are made for families whether you’re after sunbathing, surfing or simply dipping your toes in the sea. There are plenty of hotels and touristy restaurants. However, if you want to eat well for less, look for lively beach shacks serving up fresh fish to enthusiastic locals who flock here in summer.
Praia do Portinho, Serra da Arrabida
Although not too far from Costa de Caparica, Praia do Portinho has a completely different vibe. Located deep in Serra da Arrabida natural park, Portinho cove faces clear blue waters but is backed by lush, green forest.
Kids can love rock pooling here at low tide or getting out onto the water in a hired pedalo. However, if you like a break from the sun and sand, the surrounding area is one of the best in southern Portugal for walking and hiking.
Praia Baleal, South West Portugal
The spectacular west coast beaches, to the north of Lisbon, are some of Europe’s finest for surfing. Among the best is Praia Baleal. Here you’ll find conditions to thrill experienced and new surfers, as well as several good surf schools.
The sandy stretch of Praia Baleal is technically a causeway which connects the mainland to the island of Baleal and its quaint village. But don’t worry you won’t get caught out in high tide. And although it’s a little far from Lisbon for days out, the beach is only three miles from the popular seaside town of Peniche.
Praia do Cabedelo, Northern Portugal
The most northerly beach on our list is Praia do Cabedelo, which sits near the Spanish border. Here you can look forward to super soft white sand and gentle waves on the shore. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, venture a little further out to sea and it’s perfect for surfing and kite-surfing.
The beach is only a 15-minute drive from the historic city of Viana do Castelo which has a lovely waterfront and heaps of culture, making this a great city and beach break combo.
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn commission when you click on them. This does not influence our editorial standards. We only recommend products and services we believe will enhance your family travel experience.