Nude Beaches in Algarve

Naturist or clothing-optional beaches on the Algarve coast

Nude Beach, Algarve

Algarve has three official nude beaches and several where the Portuguese Naturist Federation says naturism is tolerated. These unofficial nude beaches are mostly found on the wild west coast and on the islands of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. The number of naturists in Portugal seems to grow every year, and there are as many locals as tourists at these clothing-optional beaches. Of course there are also beaches where naturism was once common and that some publications still list as nudist-friendly, but bigger crowds have driven the naturists away. Still, today you have nearly two dozen beaches to choose from, if you want to avoid tan lines and feel closer to nature.

    Ilha Deserta, Algarve

  • Ilha Deserta
  • Officially declared a nude beach in 2011, it’s on a deserted island reached by ferry from the city of Faro. It remains a well-kept secret, although the regular ferries have increased its popularity. There’s nothing but a solar-powered restaurant and a lighthouse here. A long boardwalk protects the dunes and leads visitors to the best spots around the island to enjoy the natural paradise. In the summer, there are wicker parasols for rent, and here people tend to keep their bathing suits on. The naturist area is found on the western side (to the right when facing the sea). On some maps and guides, the island and the beach are called Barreta, but Ilha Deserta has become the most common name.

    Location: Faro
    Where to Stay: Hotel Faro & Beach Club

    See the Ilha Deserta Guide.

    Praia do Homem Nu, Algarve

  • Praia do Homem Nu
  • Accessed through Praia do Barril in Ilha de Tavira (about a 20-minute walk), this became an official nude beach in 2004, although it has been known as such since the 1980s. The name translates to “Naked Man Beach,” and it’s said to have originated with the only survivor of a shipwreck, who managed to reach this beach, naked. It’s quite long, with white sand stretching for over 4 kilometers (2.5 miles). Because of the remote location, not too many people come here, so you’ll likely have the privilege of having it almost all for yourself.

    Location: Tavira
    Where to Stay: Pedras d’el Rei

    See the Praia do Homem Nu Guide.

    Praia das Adegas, Algarve

  • Praia das Adegas
  • Despite its relatively small size, this is the most popular of the three official nude beaches. If you’re looking for seclusion, you won’t find it here, as space is limited, especially when the tide rises. It’s located at the bottom of a tall cliff, immediately to the south of the bigger and more famous Odeceixe beach. A sign by the staircase that leads down to it informs that you’re entering a naturist beach. If you choose to go down, you’re of course free to keep your bathing suit on, but you should respect it as a naturist site and head to another beach instead if you’re not willing to take it all off. The cliff surrounding it shelters it from the winds, so it’s perfect for sunbathing. This part of the Atlantic has bigger waves, which are excellent for surfing but not so safe for swimming.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Casas do Moinho

    See the Praia das Adegas Guide.

    Praia de João de Arens, Algarve

  • Praia de João de Arens
  • This “secret” beach has become a favorite for a holiday in the sun au naturel. Hidden at the bottom of a pine-covered promontory, it’s mostly frequented by young couples (straight and gay), who are brave enough to follow a trail down the cliff. It looks more difficult than it actually is, and the reward for the short hike is a stunning natural scenery. The beach is split in half by a cliff ledge, but the two sides are connected by a tunnel sculpted by nature. The water is usually calm and clear, so you’ll see people snorkeling and on inflatable boats in addition to sunbathing nude.

    Location: Alvor
    Where to Stay: Prainha Clube

    See the Praia de João de Arens Guide.

    Praia do Submarino, Algarve

  • Praia do Submarino
  • Very few people know about this beach named after a submarine-shaped rock emerging from the water. It’s right next to Praia de João de Arens, but you won’t find it on most maps. You also need to follow a trail down a cliff to reach it, but it’s only accessible at low tide. It’s very inviting when seen from above, and even better when you can make it to the sand. Arches and other openings on the rocks lead to spectacular rock formations and caves. The seclusion means that it’s often a 100% naturist beach.

    Location: Alvor
    Where to Stay: Villa Casa Da Guarda

    See the Praia do Submarino Guide.

    Praia do Barranco, Algarve

  • Praia do Barranco
  • You’ll find a considerable number of nude sunbathers at this beach, which is mostly frequented by campers. It remains undiscovered by everyone else, due to its remote location, reached via an unpaved road. It’s close to Sagres, which is usually windy, but its surrounding hills and valleys offer some protection. The water is also calmer than at other beaches in the area. There are no lifeguards or any facilities, just a wonderful, wild scenery around you.

    Location: Sagres
    Where to Stay: Nature Beach Resort Quinta Al-Gharb

    See the Praia do Barranco Guide.

    Ilha da Armona, Algarve

  • Ilha da Armona
  • This island, accessed by ferry from the city of Olhão, stretches for 9 kilometers (almost 6 miles). It’s home to a tiny fishing community, but its huge beach is mostly deserted. That means that many people sunbathe nude, and the Portuguese Naturist Federation recommends it as an unofficial nude beach. It’s reached via a long boardwalk that protects the dunes, and the nudism-friendly part is to the east (walk to the left when facing the sea). It’s very peaceful and clean, with white sand and usually calm and shallow waters. On the dunes, you’ll encounter chameleons and different species of birds. If you like to be surrounded by nothing but pristine nature, this is the beach for you.

    Location: Olhão
    Where to Stay: Real Marina Hotel

    See the Ilha da Armona Guide.

    Ilha da Culatra, Algarve

  • Ilha da Culatra
  • Like Armona, this island is inhabited by a fishing community, and a long boardwalk links the village to the beach. This beach is never crowded, and since it stretches for 6 kilometers (close to 4 miles), there are deserted parts where naturism is common. Most people stay in the area where the boardwalk ends, but continue walking to the left and you’ll see the nude sunbathers. The dunes and the water are very clean, and dolphins and orcas are sometimes sighted in the distance.

    Location: Faro
    Where to Stay: Eva Senses Hotel

    See the Ilha da Culatra Guide.

    Praia dos Pinheiros, Algarve

  • Praia dos Pinheiros
  • Many people find this beach by chance, when they walk over the cliffs from the famous beach of Camilo to the north or from the Ponta da Piedade headland to the south. The view from above is breathtaking, leading many to look for the trail that leads to the bottom of the steep cliff. Only the young and adventurous end up doing it, and discover a naturist paradise. Nestled between rocky cliffs, it’s a beach of extraordinary beauty, sheltered from the winds and with calm and crystal-clear waters.

    Location: Lagos
    Where to Stay: Villas D. Dinis

    See the Praia dos Pinheiros Guide.

    Praia do Canavial, Algarve

  • Praia do Canavial
  • It’s not easy to reach and there are some stunning beaches in the area, so it’s a little surprising that many people choose to come here. The original reason might have been seclusion, which attracted the gay community. Nowadays you have to share the limited space with many other people (this is a long but narrow beach). Most are young straight couples, although gay men still make up a significant percentage. Maintaining the tradition from when it was discovered, it’s an unofficial nude beach. Those in their birthday suits tend to concentrate on the eastern end (to the left). There are no facilities of any kind, and no lifeguard supervision.

    Location: Lagos
    Where to Stay: Canavial I & II Apartamentos

    See the Praia do Canavial Guide.

    Ilha de Tavira, Algarve

  • Ilha de Tavira
  • Walk away from the crowded area with restaurants and parasols, and you’ll see people sunbathing nude at this very popular beach. It’s on the eastern end of an island reached by ferry from the city of Tavira, and offers plenty of space and privacy if you keep walking to the right when facing the sea. There’s soft white sand stretching as far as the eye can see, and the usually-calm water is a little warmer than at other beaches on this coast.

    Location: Tavira
    Where to Stay: Vila Gale Albacora

    See the Ilha de Tavira Guide.

    Praia do Zavial, Algarve

  • Praia do Zavial
  • When they’re not riding the waves, surfers sunbathe nude at this beach. Naturism is common here, but only on the eastern end (to the left when facing the sea). At high tide, however, this part of the beach becomes very narrow or even disappears. It’s surrounded by countryside and very quiet, but it’s not a wild beach. It has a restaurant and there’s lifeguard supervision in the summer.

    Location: Sagres
    Where to Stay: Nature Beach Resort Quinta Al-Gharb

    See the Praia do Zavial Guide.

    Praia das Furnas, Algarve

  • Praia das Furnas
  • It’s a top destination for campers and naturists but remains relatively unknown. This means that it’s never crowded and its rather small area is big enough for everyone to sunbathe in peace. Those who like to be surrounded by nature but prefer to stay out of the sun, find shade in the caves that gave it its name. If you’re lucky to go at low tide on a day with calm and clear waters, this will likely be one of your favorite beaches in Algarve.

    Location: Sagres
    Where to Stay: Hotel Mira Sagres

    See the Praia das Furnas Guide.

    Praia do Vale dos Homens, Algarve

  • Praia do Vale dos Homens
  • There isn’t much space at this beach when the tide rises, but at low tide on a regular summer day, it’s quite a wonderful place to enjoy nature. It’s in a rather remote location with nothing but pine trees and farmland, and it’s surrounded by schist cliffs. The many rocks along the shore form tidal pools, while the big rock formations on the northern end (to the right when facing the sea) separate naturists from the rest of the beach.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Hotel Alcatruz

    See the Praia do Vale dos Homens Guide.

    Praia de Vale Figueiras, Algarve

  • Praia de Vale Figueiras
  • Frequented almost exclusively by Portuguese families from other parts of the country, this huge beach is best known as a family and surfing destination, and not so much for naturism. However, walk north (to the right when facing the sea), and you’ll find secluded spots between rocks where people sunbathe nude.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Praia do Canal Nature Resort

    See the Praia de Vale Figueiras Guide.

    Praia da Bordeira, Algarve

  • Praia da Bordeira
  • It has become such a popular surfing beach, that nude sunbathing is now rare, but it remains a beach where nudity is tolerated. That is, if you stay in the northern end, away from the crowds. It’s the largest beach in Costa Vicentina, so it’s never packed, but many surf schools choose it for lessons. It’s quite beautiful, with dunes stretching inland to the village of Carrapateira, and perfect for long walks by the sea.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Carrapateiramar Guest House

    See the Praia da Bordeira Guide.

    Praia da Cordoama, Algarve

  • Praia da Cordoama
  • This large beach is another that mixes surfers and naturists. The surfers tend to stay in the middle section where there’s a restaurant, while the naturists prefer the more deserted northern end (walk to the right when you arrive). Due to a microclimate that often causes it to be misty in the morning, you might only be able to sunbathe in the afternoon, but it’s still very much worth a visit, for the wild landscape and peaceful atmosphere.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Pure Flor de Esteva

    See the Praia da Cordoama Guide.

    Praia da Barriga, Algarve

  • Praia da Barriga
  • At low tide, you can walk from Praia da Cordoama to this beach. It’s very remote, so you just may find yourself all alone. It’s beautiful, especially when the low tide allows you to go around a cliff to a couple of imposing rock formations. Because of the seclusion, those who make it here usually sunbathe nude.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Pure Fonte Velha B&B

    See the Praia da Barriga Guide.

    Praia da Murração, Algarve

  • Praia da Murração
  • Some families have discovered this wild beach and bring the kids and dogs, but this is mostly a beach of naturists and campers. It’s very remote, and to reach it you have to go down an unpaved road for several kilometers. It remains one of Algarve’s last secret beaches, and its big waves have yet to attract surfers. Actually, it’s better if you don’t go in the water at all, as there are dangerous currents. However, it’s quite a wonderful place to sunbathe, listening to the sounds of nature and admiring a magnificent scenery of rugged cliffs on one side and green ones on the other.

    Location: Costa Vicentina
    Where to Stay: Hotel Mira Sagres

    See the Praia da Murração Guide.

    Praia de Cabanas Velhas, Algarve

  • Praia de Cabanas Velhas
  • It has grown in popularity so now there are more local families than naturists. Still, it’s very rarely crowded and you’ll occasionally see people sunbathing nude on the eastern end. This side is more sheltered from the frequent winds and is also a favorite of fishermen. Unfortunately, the water is sometimes rough and there are many underwater rocks, so it’s not great for swimming. But it’s very clean and can be very relaxing.

    Location: Sagres
    Where to Stay: Hotel Burgau Turismo da Natureza

    See the Praia de Cabanas Velhas Guide.

    Praia do Beliche, Algarve

  • Praia do Beliche
  • The beach at the “end of the world” (it’s by Cape St. Vincent, which marked the edge of the Earth to ancient Europeans) is still overlooked by tourists despite its magnificent scenery and magical sunset views. It’s one of the most beautiful in western Algarve and is divided into two sections separated by a cliff -- surfers tend to stay on the eastern end and naturists to the west. Unfortunately, this western end sometimes becomes inaccessible when the tide rides. The 40m(130ft)-tall cliffs offer some protection from Sagres’ winds.

    Location: Sagres
    Where to Stay: Mareta Beach House

    See the Praia do Beliche Guide.

    Meia Praia, Algarve

  • Meia Praia
  • When you arrive, you’ll think that this can’t possibly be a nudism-friendly beach. It’s one of the biggest but most crowded beaches in Algarve, and you’ll see everyone in bathing suits. However, the eastern end is quite different. There are very few people and some are sunbathing nude. This section is also known as Praia do Vale da Lama, but it’s still Meia Praia, and that’s where the Portuguese Naturist Federation says naturism is tolerated.

    Location: Lagos
    Where to Stay: Palmares Beach House Hotel

    See the Meia Praia Guide.

    Praia da Figueira, Algarve

  • Praia da Figueira
  • Once a secret beach that only a few naturists knew about, Praia da Figueira is now popular with young couples and families. The naturists are often about a quarter of the sunbathers and tend to stay on the western side (walk to the right when facing the sea). This is quite a wild beach, surrounded by cliffs with Mediterranean vegetation and with calm waters.

    Location: Sagres
    Where to Stay: Salema Beach Village

    See the Praia da Figueira Guide.

    Manta Rota, Algarve

  • Praia da Manta Rota
  • The beach of Manta Rota is known as a popular family destination and doesn’t look very inviting to naturists at first sight, but if you walk for about 20 minutes to the west, it becomes a nearly-deserted beach where many take off their bathing suits. Here the beach is wild, with a landscape of dunes and a view of Cacela Velha.

    Location: Manta Rota
    Where to Stay: Mantamar Apartamentos

    See the Praia da Manta Rota Guide.