There are many compelling reasons to visit Portugal. Portugal—Europe’s oldest country—is home to countless beautiful historic buildings and works of art. Portugal’s Port wine is among the most celebrated dessert wine in the world. One of the primary reasons that visitors flock to Portugal is the country’s distinctive cliffs and beaches, Portugal’s coastline features some of the most stunning seashores in all of Europe. Placid turquoise water, white sandy beaches, and striking rock formations never fail to enchant visitors.
No discussion of Portugal’s coastline is complete without mentioning one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sea caves on the planet. Benagil Cave features a natural circular skylight and grand archways that look as though they were constructed by royal decree. Exquisite circular designs created by centuries of erosion line the cave walls. A lovely stretch of sequestered beach greets visitors as soon as they enter Benagil Cave. If you’re interested in exploring the cave, you must travel by kayak or boat. Benagil Cave does not have a land entrance. Swimming is not recommended, since the cave is fairly difficult to access from the mainland. Large waves can easily overpower lone swimmers attempting to brave the open sea. Countless world travelers consider Benagil Cave to be one of the great natural wonders of the world.
PRAIA DO CAMILO
Praia do Camilo famously features a large wooden staircase which grants visitors access to the beach. The top of the staircase offers onlookers a truly magnificent view of jagged rock formations, shimmering blue water, and a ship or two in the distance. The rugged Ponta da Piedade sea cliffs are visible on the horizon. Upon first glance, Praia do Camilo appears relatively small. but there is a limestone arch that leads to a larger stretch of beach. The waters of Praia do Camilo tend to be quite calm, so it is an ideal spot for swimming, wading, and floating in the water without a care.
FONTE DA TELHA
Fonte da Telha is a quaint fishing village which has gradually become a hot spot for kitesurfing enthusiasts. Fonte da Telha is near the Arriba Fossil da Costa de Caparica Protected Landscape. The Protected Landscape features stunning cliffs which are curiously far away from the sea due to a massive earthquake in 1755. The Protected Landscape also features a pine forest which was planted in order to prevent erosion shortly after the 1755 earthquake. The Costa de Caparica—where Fonte da Telha is located—features a railway called Transpraia which transports visitors along the coast for a small fee. For visitors in search of a scenic coastal train ride, Fonte da Telha is Transpraia’s final stop.
PRAIA DE MIRAMAR
Praia de Miramar is one of the most photographed beaches in Portugal due to a 17th century church named Capela do Senhor da Pedra. The relatively small church is framed by crashing blue waves, white sand, and dramatic rock formations which were once an integral part of pagan religious ceremonies. Pagan worship was very common in the region prior to an influx of Christians in the 1600s. Capela do Senhor da Pedra was built in an attempt to quell Pagan belief and ensure that Christianity was Portugal’s dominant faith. Praia de Miramar’s royal blue water and pale sandy beaches punctuated by black boulders do have a mystical quality. It is no wonder that people of various faiths have gravitated towards this picturesque stretch of beach for centuries.
PRAIA DO MARTINHAL
Praia do Martinhal is an expansive beach which is celebrated for its placid water. If long walks on the beach are your idea of a good time, Praia do Marinhal is the beach for you. Praia do Martinhal is the ideal place to collect seashells, unusual rocks, and other strange and wonderful marine bric-a-brac. The nearby Ilhotes do Martinhal–which are visible from the shore of Praia do Martinhal—can be reached by boat. Ilhotes do Martinhal features seabirds, lobsters, crabs, and many other different types of sea creatures. Praia do Martinhal is often hailed as one of Portugal’s most family-friendly beaches, since there is almost always a lifeguard on a duty. Praia do Martinhal is ideal for visitors who are searching for a mellow beach which is conductive to sunbathing and building sandcastles.