7 beach wonders to discover on your honeymoon in Portugal

Following the footsteps of the 7 Wonders of the World (The Great Wall of China; Petra in Jordan; Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Chichen Itza in Yucatán, Mexico; Machu Picchu, in Peru; The Roman Colosseum in Italy; the Taj Mahal in India), Portugal has also selected its 7 beach wonders – ideal spots for a memorable honeymoon!

These 7 beaches were voted as the most wondrous beaches in Portugal, outrunning all the other fantastic beaches that exist in this country. A stunning list of 7 beach wonders that, in no particular order, stood out among all the spectacular lagoon beaches, cliff beaches, sand dune beaches, urban beaches, wild beaches and sports beaches that make Portugal a wonderful and very popular beach destination.

1. Praia das Furnas – Odemira – Vila Nova de Milfontes

In the heart of the natural park located on the Vicentina Coast, Alentejo’s southeastern region, Furnas Beach is situated on the southern bank of the Mira River’s mouth. Right in front of the river, you’ll find a beautiful scenario – Milfontes – a village that is known as “Alentejo’s Princess”.

The serene and well preserved Mira estuary confers this region a unique beauty, which is simultaneously inviting if you’d like to engage in some sort of recreational sport such as canoeing or windsurf. If the idea is to lounge in the sand and take frequent dips in the ocean, rest assured that this is a guarded beach. Besides that, the quality of the water and of its sand shore has been officially recognized since 2008 with the "Blue Flag" and “Accessible Beach” awards.

Lined by a stretch of sand dunes that protect it from the land, Furnas Beach, with its fine sand, stretches out as far as the eye can see, and the maritime influences confer it a very peculiar and enticing atmosphere. A wonder beach, for a wonder honeymoon…

Praia das Furnas – Longueiras/Almograve

7630 Furnas

District: Beja

Municipality: Odemira

2. Albufeira do Azibo – Macedo de Cavaleiros

In the municipality of Macedo de Cavaleiros you’ll find an unexpected place of rare beauty: the Ribeira Beach, beautifully inserted in the Azibo Lagoon Protected Landscape. With excellent commodities, having fun under the sun is in perfect harmony with the surrounding tranquility of Mother Nature.

Ribeira Beach is considered a Blue Flag Beach, which is synonymous of its quality, as well as of all the different events centered on environmental awareness that are organized to inform and educate beach-goers. This is, after all, an eco-friendly municipality! Besides being “green”, there is a large sandy shore sitting perfectly side by side with the vast gardens and other green areas surrounding it and cooling it off on super hot days... 

Here, routine and monotony do not exist – and you can do anything from canoeing and BTT, to playing volleyball, having a seat and enjoying a book at the pop-up library, strolling by stalls with handcraft and regional products or stopping by the bar and being served an ice-cold drink by the friendly staff.

If you feel like exploring, Ribeira Beach is the perfect stepping stone for discovering an area of great biological and landscape richness, the hiding spot for many animal species and the ideal blooming place for wild orchids.

As you can see, Ribeira Beach is more than a beach: it’s a very surprising adventure, for an inspiring and unique honeymoon.

Praia Fluvial da Ribeira – Azibeiro

5340 Podence

District: Bragança

Municipality: Macedo de Cavaleiros

Parish: Podence

3. Zambujeira do Mar – Odemira

A perfect piece of the Southeastern Alentejo and Vicentina Coast Natural Park, the Zambujeira do Mar Beach is perched atop a stunning cliff that instinctively protects it from the world, while its village has a privileged view of the sand and the sea. Located between cliffs and valleys, a water line runs through it, all the way until it reaches the ocean.

With a fine sandy shore, mixed with some rocks, the beach adapts itself to the movement of the tides that frequently uncover even more beach space, perfect for stretching out your towel or your legs, for an amazing seaside walk or run. Its characteristics also make it the perfect beach for surfing, body boarding, scuba diving and sport fishing.

Besides that, Zambujeira do Mar is a guarded beach, with great accessibilities, even for those who are handicapped. Cars can easily circulate and park, and there are also restrooms available. The quality of the water and of its sand shore has been officially recognized since 2008 with the "Blue Flag" and “Accessible Beach” awards.

A very popular beach among Portuguese and foreign tourists, all you have to do is climb to the top of the cliff and admire the stunning views to discover why… and to start making sweet honeymoon memories.

Praia da Zambujeira do Mar – Zambujeira do Mar

7630 Zambujeira do Mar

District: Beja

Municipality: Odemira

Parish: Zambujeira do Mar

4. Praia de Odeceixe – Aljezur – Algarve

The Odeceixe Beach, located on the most northern point of the municipality of Aljezur, has the particularity of including a fluvial beach, seeing as it is bordered, in the north and east by the Seixe stream. What does this mean? You can choose between a dip in the ocean and a dip in the river… or alternate between the two!

However, because the stream is part of the municipality’s largest hydrographic basin, the conditions offered by the beach can be frequently altered – during rainy periods, for example, the format and dimension of the beach can be easily transformed.

This is what to expect when you arrive at the Odeceixe Beach: nestled, on one end, between a valley that is dominated by the stream; and at the other end, boxed in between the sky high schist and greywacke cliffs that are so characteristic of this region. Don’t forget to snap some great pictures!

The beach has a high landscape and biodiversity standard, where it’s possible to simply sit for hours, contemplating the views of the surrounding rare beauty, from the top of its many magnificent cliffs. These are a privileged habitat for bird fauna, which makes this a top spot for bird watching – keep a lookout for the white stork, peregrine falcon or red-billed chough. Can you believe that this is the only place in the world where you can get a glimpse of storks creating nests in beach side cliffs?

A great place for a romantic honeymoon nest…

Praia de Odeceixe – Praia de Odeceixe

8670 Aljezur

District: Faro

Municipality: Aljezur

Parish: Odeceixe

5. Praia do Porto Santo – Porto Santo

Porto Santo Beach and the story of its island are practically one and the same – can you picture 9 km of fine, golden, sandy shores? That’s why the island is also known as “Golden Island”… and it was precisely this calm, golden blanket that received, in 1418, Portuguese explorers who, caught in the middle of a storm, found in this island their “safe haven” (“Porto Santo”).  The discovery of this island inaugurated the golden age of Portuguese discoveries that marked the 15th century.

After Portuguese explorers struck “gold” in Porto Santo, gold from Brazil and precious findings from India followed, as did the preparations for Christopher Columbus’ voyage to America – making this island the first bridge to gap the distance between the old and the new world.

Yesterday, like today, because of its history and stories; because of its beach, with its row of dunes sustained by various species of indigenous plants; because of its warm, crystal-clear, blue-turquoise waters, this continues to be popularly known as “Brown Island” – mainly because of the many hours of sun it receives, but also because of its dry and treeless landscape.

Exclusive to Portugal and very rare in the rest of the world, the sand from the Porto Santo Beach is essentially composed of quartz sand, which is the result of about 30 thousand years of history and intense biological productivity that made it all the way to our time.

But this beach has much more to offer besides sea, sand and sun:  it has been scientifically proven that local sand has therapeutic and medicinal characteristics, due to the sand’s physic, chemical and thermal properties. Which means that besides being good for the soul – and for any honeymoon – lounging around these sands is also a great way to treat orthopedic and rheumatic problems, among others.

For decades, the beauty and uniqueness of this beach has been expressed in writing (poetry, fiction and non-fiction), in the media, on film, in science, locally, across the country, across the world. If you’re a couple of newlyweds looking for a tranquil beachside honeymoon, this may be it. Although alive and kicking, Porto Santo Beach offers relaxation and tranquility from sunrise to sunset… doesn’t that sound like dreamy honeymoon days?

Praia do Penedo – Porto Santo

9400 Porto Santo

District: Ilha de Porto Santo

Municipality: Porto Santo

Parish: Porto Santo

6. Lagoa do Fogo – Ribeira Grande – Azores

Classified as a Nature Reserve since 1974, Lagoa do Fogo, in all of its grandiosity and dramatic beauty, is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Azores Archipelago: its waters are a beautiful gradient that goes from midnight blue to turquoise blue, surrounded here and there by beautiful white sandy beaches, as well as banks covered with a vegetation that, although rich and dense, cannot hide the powerful volcanic forces that gave birth to them. 

Located in the heart of the island, at an altitude of 575 meters and with a maximum depth of 30 meters, Lagoa do Fogo (which translated means something like “Lagoon of Fire”) is encircled by dense vegetation and occupies the giant volcanic caldera in an area of approximately 3 x 2,5 km, presenting walls with 300 meter dropdown curves.

In 1563, a trachyte eruption occurred inside the volcanic caldera and all around it are effects of the aftermath, such as cinder cones, trachyte domes and phreatic eruption craters, as well as some areas with hydrothermal activity. On the volcano’s northern side, there are manifestations of secondary volcanism, such as mineral water, ferrous waters, fumaroles and a geothermal field.

Could you imagine a more breathtaking (and cool!) scenario for your honeymoon?

Lagoa do Fogo – Ribeira Grande

9600 Ribeira Grande

District: São Miguel

Municipality: Ribeira Grande

Parish: Matriz

7. Praia do Guincho – Cascais

Along the beautiful scenic route that links Cascais and Cabo da Roca, the waters of the Costa do Sol (“Sun Coast”) are separated and the tranquility of the bay gives way to the tumult of the open sea. At the foot of the Sintra-Cascais Mountains, you’ll find an 800 meter golden sand carpet all rolled out and beckoning you to come, walk barefoot and hand-in-hand along the seashore, with an amazing natural park as backdrop.

Here, sun, sand dunes and mountain ranges have magically come together to produce one of the most amazing and mysterious landscapes in Europe’s entire western coast: the famous Guincho Beach. Startling rock solid cliffs are balanced out by the softness of the sand and its dunes, the green vegetation and the wildlife that find comfort and a home here.

Legend has it that during the 13th century a woman’s shriek (which translated means “guincho”) was heard echoing down the beach as she announced that D. Afonso II’s army (where her fiancé served) had conquered and won back Alcácer do Sal from the Moors. From that day on, Guincho Beach was made famous over and over again: in the lyrics of poems and songs and even in Hollywood, as one of the sets for the well known James Bond movie “On Her Majesty's Secret Service”. But Guincho is also famous for its pristine conditions for surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing, among many other nautical sports… or simply the sport of loving on each other!

A past and present with so much to offer and where honeymooners can start their future off right…

Praia do Guincho – Areia

2750 Cascais

District: Lisboa

Municipality: Cascais

Parish: Cascais

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