Praia da Marinha demands a visit on reputation alone.
Considered one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world by the Michelin Guide, it is a constant presence in the top 10 of the most beautiful European beaches and was even chosen as the tourist image of Portugal. Easily one of the most photographed beaches on the Algarve Praia da Marinha is more than its stunning CV.
The limestone rocks are probably as famous as the beach itself, especially the giant M-shaped formation that juts out into the ocean on the right-hand side, clearly visible from the clifftops. Before descending down the long staircase to the beach take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding landscape. It is quite steep getting down the steps but there is a handrail all the way down for support, but it is not suitable for wheelchair users or buggies. However the descent is more than compensated for by the peacefulness of the beach and calmness of the sea.
If you can convince the whole family to negotiate the steps down to the beach then it is a kids’ wonderland of nooks, crannies and caves to explore. The snorkelling is great and relatively safe although there isn't any lifeguard cover. Boat trips, including paddle boat hire, are available from the beach so you can explore the weird and wonderful rock formations at close hand.
Due to Praia da Marinha’s award winning status the beach is very popular, especially in the high season, but don't let this put you off. There is plenty of space for everyone at high tide with a small beach area in front of the restaurant and a larger area that can be accessed at lower tide when the adjacent coves become accessible.