Algarve beach winners

benagil cave with sandy beach looking out to sea

Algarve has so much to be proud of and its beaches are no exception with many recognised amongst the top in the world.

Earlier this month, the travel guidebook publishing company Lonely Planet wrote an article entitled The 10 best beaches in Portugal.

Included are Praia do Camilo in Lagos and Benagil’s cave, accessed from the beach, close to Lagoa. 

Praia do Camilo, Lagos

Praia do Camilo actually consists of two beaches (fairly small) connected by a tunnel. Not one you need to crawl through thankfully.

To access the beaches, visitors descend around 200 steps and the journey down is well worth it. 

At the top of the steps, by the car park, there is an excellent restaurant, O Camilo. With no café or restaurant on the beach this may be your first port of call for refreshments, to enjoy fresh fish and the amazing panoramic view. The restaurant is open from 10am until 10pm and note that prices are slightly higher than average.

Down in the water, snorkelling should definitely be on the agenda. There is plenty to see with the water being so clear and plenty of low rock beds along the coast.

Also a fun way to see the coastline is using a kayak or SUP board. For those who prefer, there are tours available from Lagos Marina.

Benagil’s cave and beach

Using a kayak or SUP board is one of the ways to access Benagil’s algar (sinkhole/cave) from its beach. There are boat tours visitors can take to see this wonderful feat of nature from Benagil, Armação de Pêra or Carvoeiro’s beaches. 

With many praising this beautiful cave there is much written about it, Lonely Planet is not alone. In 2017 Huffington Post included the algar in its top 10 coolest caves.

The cave has its own sandy beach which can be accessed via the sea through two arches. 

Being around 200m from the beach some strong swimmers do swim to the cave however, it is not advisable as there are strong riptides in the area.

To the east from the cave, is Praia da Corredoura. This beach is only accessible from the sea but offers a tranquil beach to rest on if you are kayaking.

O Algar and O Pescadar are both excellent restaurants in Benagil village, well worth eating a meal at either.

2021 Gold Quality beach awards

The Qualidade de Ouro (Gold Quality) for beaches is awarded by Quercus, one of Portugal’s most established environmental NGOs. 

Criteria for winning the gold award is the status (excellent) of water quality over the previous five seasons ie 2016 to 2020 inclusive. 

This year 93 beaches in Algarve have won the classification, up 17 on last year. Click here to see which beaches have made the grade.

For those who cannot visit Algarve this year, click here to view parts of the region through other people’s eyes and we hope to welcome you when you next come to the region.

Image courtesy of Bruno Carlos

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