Six Secret Portuguese Beaches to Discover This Summer

The sun shines, the sea is calm and the almost deserted beach invites you to spread your towel on the sand. Breathe in the sea air while watching the waves and relax, away from the hustle and bustle. You no longer need to take a plane to go to paradise. Hidden along the Portuguese coast, these are the beaches you need to discover this summer.

Franquia Beach, Vila Nova de Milfontes

Isolated where the River Mira meets the sea, Praia da Franquia is a paradise of calm waters, very close to the old fishing village of Vila Nova de Milfontes. Spend a beautiful summer afternoon in the sun, canoeing on the Mira River or go to the village to taste the famous fish rice cooked in a clay pot.

How to get there: From Forte de São Clemente, in Vila Nova de Milfontes, follow the coastal road towards Praia do Farol.

Cavaleiro Beach, Odemira

A trail with wooden handrails leads to the sand, surrounded by rock formations that protect the beach from Atlantic winds, making it perfect for long days at the beach. Take the opportunity to walk south to Cabo Sardão, the westernmost promontory in the Alentejo region.

How to get there: From Porto das Barcas, head north along CM1158. After seven kilometers, turn left towards Cabo Sardão and follow to the lighthouse. Park and walk one kilometer to the wooden steps that lead down to the beach.

Arrifana Beach, Aljezur

Protected by large orange sandstone cliffs that descend to the sea, Praia da Arrifana has waves that are popular with surfers in the area. Near the beach, there is a local restaurant serving fresh fish, perfect for dining while watching the sun set over the Atlantic.

How to get there: From Aljezur, travel south on the N120 and turn right when you reach a brown sign that says «Arrifana». Go straight ahead until the beach.

Baleeira Beach, Serra da Azóia

Hidden between cliffs filled with rosemary, Praia da Baleeira is an unknown pearl in Serra da Azóia. The steep descent leads to the blue-green sea, protected by cliffs on both sides. An option for those who want to escape crowded beaches, Baleeira beach is close to the famous Cabo Espichel Lighthouse and the Nossa Senhora do Cabo Church.

How to get there: In Serra da Azóia, enter Rua da Baleeira after passing the orange sign that says «Área Desportiva». Pass the football field, park in the park and walk for around 20 minutes to the beach.

Carvalho Beach, Benagil

Sandstone cliffs surround the golden sandy beach, and the sea, trapped between the two, is a breathtaking blue. To get to the beach, you walk through a tunnel with steps carved in sandstone. At low tide, take the opportunity to explore the rock full of caves and tunnels. Be sure to pay a visit to Benagil, known for its sea caves.

How to get there: From Lagoa, cross the N125 and join the M1273. After traveling 6 kilometers, follow the signs for Benagil and go another kilometer west to Praia do Carvalho.

Berlengas Archipelago, Peniche

Departing from Peniche, the boat takes you through the Atlantic waters to the Berlengas archipelago, where the Berlenga Grande island welcomes visitors. A zigzag bridge takes tourists to a 16th century fortress, built on the remains of a rocky island. The small beaches spread across the archipelago are another attraction, as well as the caves with silvery fish, which can be visited by swimming, paddle-boarding or kayaking.

How to get there: In the months of July and August, boats leave the port of Peniche three times a day.

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