If you like unspoilt natural beaches, try the Costa Vicentina along the southwest of Portugal. Here, you’ll find huge and deserted expanses of sand, some with distinctive cliffs and rock formations.
On the windward coast, beaches such as Praia de Dona Ana, closer to the main resorts, are popular with both Portuguese and international bathers. Whilst the beaches between Lagos and Vilamoura offer plenty for water sports enthusiasts, and are notable for their reddish cliffs, café terraces and rocky coves.
For those seeking the most fashionable beaches, Vale do Lobo, Ancão and Quinta do Lago are the places to be. You’ll find yourself sunbathing with the international jet-set holidaying at the nearby upmarket resorts.
From Faro to Manta Rota, the Ria Formosa Natural Park offers peaceful natural surroundings. Take a boat out to explore these calm waters of interlinking islands and islets, canals and lagoons.