sam favourite beaches simply algarve magazine

Sam’s favourite Algarve beaches whether it be with family or just with a few friends!

It is no news that the Algarve is home to some of the best beaches in Europe – nicknamed the European California. In this piece of paradise, beaches are so many that it gets hard to choose favourites. To help clear your doubts, we compiled a small list of beaches in the region. And remember, when in doubt… ask the locals!

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Beach for Families in the Algarve

Going to the beach with children, especially young ones, is a sure way to build lifelong memories: the first swim, building sand castles, floating on an inflatable crocodile, collecting shells on the shore… all of this can quickly become a parenting nightmare if you choose the wrong beach! Here is our family beach checklist:

• Easy access, because who wants to carry three bags, two umbrellas, one – or more – baby strollers, and the inevitable inflatable doughnut/turtle/flamingo for Kilometers while the kids are asking “Are we there yet?” every five minutes… A beach with parking nearby or easy access from the city is just what you need!
• Bathrooms, because have you tried changing nappies on the beach?
• A beach bar/restaurant/kiosk, because the kids deserve an ice cream, and you most probably deserve a beer or two.
• Calm waters, perfect for toddlers on their first beach experience.
• Water sports – the kids will love it and you will earn some quiet time between one sand castle and the other… or just jump in with them! Here are some spectacular beaches that match these requirements: Alvor Beach, Galé Beach and São Rafael Beach in Central Algarve; Anção Beach near Quinta do Lago (which has one of my favourite restaurants, Dois Passos); Manta Rota close to the Spanish border.


Secluded beaches in the Algarve

Here the task gets tough during the silly season: finding a calm beach away from the crowd is hard but not impossible. They all require a bit of travelling, either by boat or car from the main cities, so they are not suitable for the lazier beach lover. Food and drinks are not within easy reach, so make sure you take the essentials with you. Some require hiking or walking on slippery terrain, so bring your shoes! Here are our favorites:

Desert Island Beach. The name says it all – located on the Ria Formosa Lagoon near Faro; it is reachable only  by boat. Here you will find just one restaurant, and only one inhabitant.

Vale Figueira Beach. This lengthy strip of sand between two cliffs is located on the West Coast, near Aljezur. It is reachable only through a narrow, unpaved road, and populated by seagulls and occasional surfers.

Igrina Beach. On the way to Sagres, this beach has slighter darker rocks and a laid back beach café; it is extremely quiet even in mid August; These are some of my favourite beaches, but honestly, any day on the beach is a good day!

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