Visiting unique spots and hidden gems in Algarve will make your trip to Southern Portugal more special and memorable. In this blog post, you will find all the hidden gems in Algarve with photos, descriptions, how to get there, and exact locations where they can be found on Google Maps. Happy exploring!
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1. Ponta da Piedade
You will definitely find Ponta da Piedade in every tourist attraction’s list about Algarve, so it is not a hidden gem here, however, I would like to agree that you should not skip this place!
Sometimes people skip those touristy places, as they want to skip crowds, but this is not the case. This place is magical at any time of the day – come here for the sunrise or the sunset, or during the day to observe the beauty of Algarve at its finest!
Ponta da Piedade is an area in the ocean full of beautiful rock formations in orange and yellow colors that are a beautiful contrast to the blue waters. This is not a place to swim as there is no beach, only rocks.
However, you can enjoy this beauty not only from the coast but also from the water. There is a boat cruise in a small group from Lagos port along the coast to Ponta da Piedade to explore beautiful rock formations from the sea.
However, if you are into kayaking then you will love to join this boat and kayaking tour from Lagos to Ponta da Piedade where you will jump on a kayak and explore the caves. They even let you swim in those crystal clear waters!
Location: Ponta da Piedade
2. Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine rock is amongst my favorite hidden gems in Algarve! There is obviously nothing world-famous about this rock, however, it does really look like a giant yellow submarine, haha!
It is quite a distance into the sea so you can’t access it on foot however you can join a boat tour in a small group from Armação de Pêra that will take you to the most beautiful sea caves, tunnels, and crazy rock formations including the Yellow Submarine and the famous Benagil cave. You can easily observe this rock from the coast too!
Location: Yellow Submarine
3. Algar de Benagil or the Benagil cave
The Benagil cave is probably the most famous tourist attraction in the country so it is a must-see place for any visitor. It is definitely not a hidden gem in Algarve, however, it is a unique place to visit and you should definitely not skip this cave! Read more about how to visit the Benagil cave here.
Important! You will find many boat tour offers all over Algarve offering to take you to the Benagil cave. You have to know that these boats will take you as far as they can inside the cave, but you will NOT be allowed to disembark and enter the cave on foot due to safety reasons.
You will have to stay in the boat. If that’s fine for you, then I would recommend this boat trip from Portimão port (they have the sunset trip option!), or you can also join a boat trip from Lagos, or a boat trip to see dolphins and Benagil cave from Albufeira port.
4. Arco de Albandeira
Arco de Albandeira is one of my favorite spots in Algarve! It is not really a hidden gem, but it is definitely a unique spot to visit in Algarve! It is a huge rock arch in the sea between Carvoeiro and Armação de Pêra towns. The best part about the arch is that you can walk on it and observe the beauty up close!
There are also different boat trips coming to visit this beautiful arch by the sea (like this boat trip to wild beaches and also the Benagil cave and this one from Armação de Pêra to 10 caves (including the Benagil cave) and 15 deserted beaches!). The arch looks mighty whether you visit it from the ocean or from the coast!
5. Algar Seco and Boneca’s Cave
Algar Seco is a rocky area at the coastline in Carvoeiro full of different and unique rock formations. There is a wooden walkway called Carvoeiro Broadwalk nearby where you can walk along the coast and learn more about the rock formations in Algarve.
Definitely check out this area and take a short walk along the coast! One of the main attractions in this area is Boneca’s cave. It translates as the Doll’s cave as the cave has two oval holes looking out to the ocean. Apparently, the holes look like doll’s eyes if you look at them from the ocean.
6. Roman bridge at Praia dos Estudantes
Praia dos Estudantes is a tiny beach in Lagos that has a second part – and it can be accessed through a tunnel that goes through a cliff. It is a beautiful hidden gem if you are looking for a more quiet spot.
What makes it very unique and special is the huge Roman bridge that connects two coastal cliffs. You can actually walk on it, but the view from the beach is even more mighty as you can observe the whole bridge and the coastal cliffs.
Make sure to check the tides – it is better to come during low tide to be able to access the beach and see the bridge up close!
7. Pottery shops at Raposeira and Sagres
If there is one place you should go looking for some souvenirs from Algarve then those are definitely traditional pottery shops. There are two especially beautiful ones in Algarve – Cerâmica Paraíso in Raposeira and Artesanato a Mó in Sagres.
They not only have cute and picture-perfect buildings decorated with colorful pieces from the store, but they also have an abundance of beautiful and colorful ceramic dishes and souvenirs for you to purchase. Just make sure to bring cash with you in case you are looking to buy something!
8. Heart-shaped rock at Praia da Marinha
Have you seen this kind of photo on the Internet? No, it is not Photoshop – there is actually a heart-shaped rock in Algarve at Praia da Marinha beach! There is a coastal rock with two arches in it at the beach and you can see it from above the cliff.
However, if you look at the arch from a specific place at a specific angle, it actually creates a shape of a heart! One of my favorite hidden gems in Algarve for sure! Read more about how to find the heart-shaped rock here!
9. Algar at Praia dos Três Castelos
This algar at Praia dos Três Castelos beach was one of my favorite discoveries and hidden gems in Algarve. It is located at Praia dos Três Castelos beach in Portimão and is very easily accessible.
The algar has two entrances from the side of the beach, but you can also observe it from a viewpoint from above (but you can’t make a photo like this, tho!). It is easy to access – just go to the beach and find this spot, there will be narrow entrances to this cave. Remember to come during low tide!
Location: Algar at Praia dos Três Castelos
10. Colorful rocks at Praia da Falésia
Praia da Falésia beach was one of those beaches in Algarve that surprised me the most! Just look at these coastal cliffs! The beach is not only super long and a great choice for a beach day but it has this unbelievable background with rocks in two colors – red and white. I have never seen something like this in my life – a true hidden gem in Algarve that you should definitely check out!
11. Diamond rock and algar at Praia dos Três Irmãos
There are many famous beautiful beaches in Algarve with amazing rock formations. However, I have to say that this beach – Praia dos Três Irmãos – probably tops the list of my favorite beaches in Algarve. Ok, maybe it shares first place with Praia da Marinha beach.
I particularly like a specific part of Praia dos Três Irmãos beach that uncovers itself only during low tide. That is the time you can access some coastal rocks and some of the most beautiful hidden gems in Algarve – caves, algars, and my favorite – the Diamond rock. It is a hidden gem you should not miss in Algarve! Make sure to come during low tide!
12. Algar at Praia João de Arens
This beautiful hidden gem was amongst my favorite caves and hidden gems in Algarve. Getting there is an adventure! It is not easy to find and not easy to access this algar, however, it is worth the effort.
If you are an adventurer, you will love it! In order to get here you can park your car at Praia do Alemão parking lot, then climb uphill and follow a coastal path until you reach Praia João de Arens beach. Then find a narrow path downhill to the beach.
When you are at the beach you have to find a pathway under a cliff to get to the next part of the beach. It is visible and accessible only during low tide. You will just have to bend over to get through there.
When you get to the next beach, walk across it in the direction of the rocks you will see in front of you and find a small access hole to the algar. It is quite low and you will have to get down on your knees to get there. We used the wide-angle setting on our phone to make this photo.
13. Burgau village – the Portuguese Santorini
White little houses with blue doors and flower-covered roofs, tiny streets, cute cafés, and ocean air. This is all about Burgau village in Algarve – also named the Portuguese Santorini. If you want to catch that vacation vibe and relax in a quiet village, then pay a visit to Burgau! It is only a 20-minute drive from Lagos.
Besides, it has a nice sandy beach in case you want to relax by the water. Definitely check out Love Burgau café – they have amazing breakfasts, pizzas, smoothies, cocktails, and so on. And – it is located next to a tiny and cute yellow house!
14. Caves at Praia do Pintadinho
This little Praia do Pintadinho beach is a true hidden gem in Algarve! It is a small sandy beach located in Ferragudo village, a neighbor of Portimão. It is nice for swimming or sunbathing, however, my favorite part of the beach was those multiple caves that you can access quite easily with dry feet.
There are three larger caves on the left side of the beach (one of them pictured above) if you stand on the beach facing the ocean. And then also a huge hole in the cliff on the right side of the beach – it has three different openings so it looks like a cave with three different exits. It is best to come here during low tide as the caves are close to the water!
15. The secret Pirate beach – Praia dos Piratas
This secret tiny beach Praia dos Piratas is one of those you can’t actually enjoy as a swimmer (because of the rocks), but as an adventurer – for sure! Most tourists won’t probably go near this beach, however, there is something very special about this little hidden gem.
At the entrance to the beach, there is a human-shaped figure cut out in the rocks so you can enter the beach through the human shape. Pretty unique! You can get down to the beach by a small and steep path from the coastal cliff, but remember to go there only during low tide!
16. Algar at Praia de Boião
This algar at Praia de Boião is one of the most unique algars of all. It is kind of a hybrid between a cave and an algar. There is a huge opening in the coastal cliff where you can walk under a cliff ceiling that has a circular hole.
This place looks really cool! To get there simply park your car at Praia do Alemão beach parking lot and walk along the beach to this point. It is accessible only during low tide!
17. The secret cove – Praia das Fontainhas
Praia das Fontainhas is a pretty unique spot – a tiny white-sand cove surrounded by steep cliffs. This is a perfect spot to go if you like some privacy as it is a bit remote.
There is a small path down the slope to get to the beach – not too difficult, but not easy at the same time. This beach is next to the Yellow Submarine and not far from Arco de Albandeira rock arch, so you can visit those spots together.
Location: Praia das Fontainhas
Algarve is one of those must-visit destinations and regions in Europe! There is no other place with so many beautiful, unique and different beaches, breathtaking coastal cliffs, charming towns, and this relaxing Southern vibe! If you can, please, leave a comment below if there are any significant changes to anything that is written in this blog post! Thanks!
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