Uncrowded even in the high season most of the endless, sandy beaches (called praias in Portuguese) have been awarded a Blue Flag for cleanliness and all are good to either indulge in a variety of watersports or just relax and enjoy the scenery. 

The climate is balmy for most of the year, in the spring fluorescent wild flowers and scented herbs grow on the cliffs where there are some enchanting walks. 

The beaches within the Costa Vincentina de Alentejano National Park are protected from development. There are also four little fishing ports to discover – Milfontes, Lapa da Pombas, Entrada da Barca and Azenha do Mar. 

Where the beach has lifeguards, there are flags placed to indicate the level of danger to swimmers. 

Green Flag Safe to swim    
Yellow Flag You may remain at the water's edge, but no swimming     
Red Flag Danger, no swimming   
Checkered Flag Beach is temporarily unmanned.

After September the swimming season in Portugal is considered closed, so although the weather is still mild and beaches inviting, there will be no lifeguards on duty and no safety flags displayed, regardless of conditions. Check with the locals as to when and where might be a safe place to swim or surf.
Surf forecasts      Surfing experience required 

Sines and nearby beaches

Along its 30 kilometres of coastline, Sines offers beaches for everyone. The beaches of Morgavel, Vale Figueiros, S. Torpes, Praia Grande do Porto Covo and Ilha do Pessegueiro have regularly been awarded European Blue Flags in recent years. Vasco da Gama Beach right next to the fishing port of Sines is as charming and well worth a visit.

Salto is one of the smallest beaches in the Porto Covo area. Located between Cerro da Iguia and Cerca Nova, it has an atmosphere of privacy and tranquillity. Since 2002 it has been one of a few nudist beaches officially recognised in Portugal.

Because of the rough seas and deep waters, the coast to the north of Sines is not suited to bathing, but it offers great joy for people that love solitary walks and the excitement of the elements. Underwater caves, attract divers and underwater hunters.

Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama beach, named after the famous explorer from Sines, is set right in the town and has a promenade well worth a stroll on. It is sheltered and holds regular sporting events and concerts. 

• Blue Flag  Parking, Restaurant, Showers, Supervised, Sunshade rental, Good acces, Windsurfing, Small craft hire   


Said to be the cleanest beach on the Alentejan coast!

• Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised


Composed of rocks and coarse sand this beach has a small lagoon that is ideal for children. Competitive fishing events and diving also take place here.

• Blue Flag  Diving, Fishing 

Porto Covo 

The Praia Grande and Praia da Ilha beaches are large and easily accessible from the historical village of Porto Covo with its whitewashed buildings. There are some beautiful coves nearby and plenty of places to stay. The mainland beach of the Isle of Pessagueira can be reached from Porto Covo (2k). On the way you will pass a Bronze Age burial site. There is a 17th century fort next to the beach which is open to the public. A good restaurant is situated just next to the car park. The island itself has no amenities but can be reached by local fishing boat. The name means Peach Tree Island

Praia Grande • Blue Flag  Parking, Restaurant, Showers, Supervised, Diving, Bodyboarding     
Praia da Ilha • Blue Flag  Parking, Restaurant, Showers, Supervised, 
Diving, Windsurfing, Small craft hire


Situated near to the Praia Grande, Salto has peaceful coves, privacy and is a nudist beach. It shares it's facilities with the Praia Grande.

S. Torpes 

One of the best beaches for surfing on the Portuguese coast, S. Torpes has several surfing schools and is said to have warmer waters than its neighbours.

• Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Supervised, Bodyboarding


A beautiful wide sandy beach in a pristine, natural state reached by an accessible unpaved road and with room to park. 

Parking, Surfing, Bodyboarding

Vale Figueiros

Also known as Olivierinha beach it has a wide stretch of sand and is popular with surfers and bodyboarders

• Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Supervised, Bodyboarding,    


Situated around 500 metres from the village of Almograve. There are two beaches here – one long and sandy the other a sandy cove. There is a wooden pergola between them overlooking the sea beaches – a good place to sit and gaze or eat a packed lunch. The village itself is some 400m away and has a variety of cafes, restaurants and bars. 

• Blue Flag  Parking, Restaurants in village, Good access, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Showers

Vila Nova de Milfontes and nearby beach

This bustling seaside town boasts a 400 year old fort overlooking the estuary of the River Mira. The fort protected the town of Odemira, further upstream, from attack and has a drawbridge and moat.

Franquia and Farol beaches are on the town side of the Mira estuary while Furnas beach, on the opposite side was given the award for being the best 'river beach' in Portugal. Both Franquia and Furnas are good for small children as there are no Atlantic breakers. Farol, which faces the sea has a lovely wooden beach restaurant that serves fresh fish on the barbecue. There are also many places to eat in the town, and good beach restaurants on Franquia and Farol.

Franquia/Farol beach • Blue Flag   Parking, Restaurants, Supervised, Good access, Windsurfing, Canoeing, Sailing, Sunshades, Showers  Furnas beach • Blue Flag  Parking, Restaurant, Supervised, Good access, Windsurfing, Canoeing, Sailing    


This is the name given to a huge expanse of sandy beaches, which is never overcrowded, north of the pretty town of Vila Nova de Milfontes.

Parking, Supervised, Surfing,  Bodyboarding 

    Zambujeira do Mar and nearby beaches

    The village is a popular destination for all the family as well as keen surfers and bodyboarders. There are many surrounding beaches and a small fishing port. Every summer the Festival Sudoueste, an indie and rock music festival, is held nearby. 

    • Blue Flag   Parking, Bar/Restaurants, Supervised, Good access, Surfing, Bodyboarding


    There are strong waves for surfing and a dirt track leading to the beach.

    • Blue Flag   Parking, Supervised, Surfing, Bodyboarding


    Designated for nude sunbathing. Peaceful golden sands with coves sheltered under tall cliffs. Reached from the cliff top carpark down a series of steep wooden steps. 

    Parking, Surfing, Bodyboarding, nudist beach, no wheelchair access

    Photo: Babylas 

    Odeceixe and nearby beach

    Tiny streets are flanked by whitewashed buildings near the estuary of the River Seixe. This town is very pretty and has a Museum of the Mill where you can see hand grinding of grain in a windmill that has glorious views of the town below. There is also a Museum Cellar which has an early 2oth century wine cellar and furnture and utensils from houses in the area. This small fishing town has an excellent sandy beach at the estuary mouth of the River Seixe. It is popular with surfers, canoeists and children. There is also a designated naturist beach.

    • Blue Flag   Parking, Supervised, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Canoeing, Bar/Restaurants, Good access nudist beach

    Brejao or Amalia beach

    North of the town of Odeceixe, Brejao is the home of the great fado singer Amalia Rodriguez. A place of great natural beauty, there is a small fishing harbour which offers excellent places for spearfishing especially in the first bay to the north.


    Beaches near Rogil

    Vale dos Homens

    Praia de Vale dos Homens is a beautiful sandy beach near the village of Rogil. The former has 285 wooden steps down to the beach so not for the fainthearted! There are also white storks nesting on the cliffs around here.

    Parking, Supervised, Surfing, Bodyboarding


    A very rocky but beautiful beach near to the village of Rogil. Fresh water springs can be found and it is also used as a naturist beach.

    Alzejur and nearby beaches

    Vale Figueiras 

    Good for surfers • Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised , difficult access. 


    One of Aljezur's three beaches and the most northerly. It has beaches gently sheltered by the estuary of the river running through the town as well as a magnificent beach overlooked by dunes. There is a good fish restaurant, Paraiso do Mar, next to the car park.

    • Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised  

    Monte Clerigo

    This beach is across the other side of the river estuary.There are good  facilities for the disabled here and a little village, unspoilt by the ravages of tourism, with a few places to eat. Popular with families.

    • Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised, WC and shower facilities, Good access 


    The most southerly beach near Aljezur, Arrifana offers excellent surfing, is ideal for learners and has good waves for surfers of all levels. It is also good for families being sheltered by the cliffs. The fishing village of Arrifana offers a choice of good restaurants. Situated on the headland above the beach are the 12th century ruins of Castle Arrifana, thought to be the residence of prince Abu Alcacime Ben Alhocerne who came from Silves to devote himself to writing, thought and contemplation. There are also the remains of three mosques.

    • Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised, Good access 


    One of the largest beaches on this coast at low tide this beach also has a lagoon ideal for small children. Close to the village of Carrapateira which is accessed by a paved road. Popular with surfers and bodyboarders.

    Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised, Good access 


      Considered one of the best beaches in Portugal for surfing, Amado hosts international surfing competitions and has surf schools.

      Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised, Good access 

      Castelejo and Cordoama

      Black shale rocks contrast here with the golden sands. Excellent conditions for surfing and bodyboarding on these two beaches connected to each other at low tide.

      • Blue Flag  Parking, Bar/Restaurant, Surfing, Bodyboarding, Supervised, Good access

        Main photo: Zambujeira do Mar