The Essential Praia da Marinha Guide For Your Family

A visit to Portugal will leave you with many memorable experiences. This will hopefully include one of the best beaches in the Algarve, Praia da Marinha. This spectacular beach has made many lists of the best beaches in the world. If you and your family want to visit this stunning landmark, this is what you’ll need to know.

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Praia da Marinha in the Algarve


Praia da Marinha is located just southeast of the town of Lagoa. If you’re taking the highway, either the N125 or the A22, you can reach the beach by connecting with M1154 and then Estrada da Marinha. Take this until it dead ends at the parking lots for the beach.


Two parking areas service the beach. There is a paved parking lot with designated, marked spaces and there is an auxiliary parking lot. The auxiliary lot is a dirt plot that people use to park in a semi-organized manner.

The primary lot is rather small so it fills up quickly. On a busy day, the auxiliary lot can fill up as well.


Before you set out to Praia Da Marinha, be sure that you have what you need for a fun trip:

Water Bottle
Flip Flops
Sun hat


Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

Praia da Marinha is consistently voted one of the best beaches in the world, and for good reason. Not only is the sand an immaculate, soft golden brown, but the cliffs that surround the beach area are astonishing.

The cliffs allow for an opening once you come down the staircase but then run the length of the beach backing the sand. The golden orange/yellow sandstone cliffs majestically frame the beach.

When we visited we were equally captivated by the cliffs as we were the gorgeous turquoise water meeting the sand.

Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

The beach is long and has plenty of space even on a crowded day. The most crowded area is naturally just in front of where the staircase comes down and brings you to the beach.

Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

As you wander further towards the east end of the beach you’ll find more space to spread out.

At the far end is an interesting area where the cliffs dip back from the oceanfront and form almost a cathedral-like quality as it half arches back. We noted several groups that made their way down to the end to take advantage of this unique area.

Further still down over a rock pile or around the water is another secluded area that includes a view of the famous “M” rock that the beach is most famous for.

The only way down to the beach from the parking lot is down a long walkway that is exquisitely beautiful and then down a flight of stairs. There are no other options for those who have limited mobility.

Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

The staircase isn’t the longest or the steepest so it’s doable for a family with small children, but perhaps it’s best to pack light because the distance from the parking lot down to the beach isn’t short.


One of the main reasons to come to the beach is to get into the water and you won’t be disappointed. The water here is absolutely stunning. The turquoise water comes up to meet the golden brown sand and creates a visually remarkable combination.

Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

Since this is the Atlantic Ocean, the water can be a bit cooler than you would expect. This of course varies on the time of year.

We found that even though the water was cool, on a warm day with the temperature in the 80s and sunlight, the water proved to be quite refreshing. Our family visited in mid-June, so July and August would also likely be fine, but outside of those months, the water may be a bit cool for younger kids.

That being said, all of the kids that we saw at the beach were having the time of their lives!

Having a beach on the ocean also means that there are going to be waves. The waves were constantly present but weren’t overwhelming.

Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

Families with smaller children should exercise normal precautions but we were comfortable going several feet out into the water. Other families that were present seemed pretty comfortable as well.


The facilities were fairly small but were clean and sufficient. There is a restroom with enough space to change for those with a family. There were a lot of people at the beach and though the changing area was small and there was a line, it moved pretty quickly.

The whole time that we were there it didn’t seem to be much of a delay when trying to use the facilities.

This is one of the best parts of visiting Praia da Marinha for families since all of the beaches on the Algarve don’t have facilities, especially as nice as the ones here.

There are no sun beds to be rented at Praia da Marinha so you’ll have to bring your umbrella to protect you from the sun.


Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

The best time to visit Praia Da Marinha is late June and early September. July and August will provide the best weather if you’re looking for some heat to go along with warming water temperatures. Those months can get a bit crowded, especially considering that this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Getting to the beach early would always be a good idea, but we arrived in the early afternoon and were able to easily find a nice spot at the beach.

Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

We did have to park alongside the auxiliary lot and improvise a spot as it and the primary lot were already full. I would imagine on the really busy days parking would be even more of a challenge.

We visited in June so during the more busy season you’d probably want to get there much earlier than we did to ensure that you have a spot to park.


Praia da Marinha in the Algarve

While the Algarve has an amazing collection of beaches to choose from, Praia da Marinha has to be number one on your list. It’s the definition of a must-see! Once you visit Praia da Marinha make sure that you make your way to another fabulous beach at Praia Dona Ana and plan on enjoying the entire Algarve region.


  • Jeremiah Pittmon

    Jeremiah Pittmon is a published travel writer and photographer from Cleveland, Ohio. Passionate about exploring the world with his family, he finds inspiration in all types of travel. Through his blog,, and social media channels, he shares captivating experiences and valuable tips for families who love to travel.

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The Essential Praia da Marinha Guide For Your Family
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