With jewel-blue water sea water, silky sand and scalloped rock formations, Marinha Beach is one of the most photographed beaches on every traveler’s itinerary.
So if you’re keen to visit a world-famous destination with lots to offer, keep reading. Algarve Beauties’ tried and true guide to visiting Marinha Beach starts now.
Nestled within a stretch of coastline in the Lagoa municipality, it’s easiest to reach the beach by car.
But before you dive into a Google search, glance at our Faro to Marinha Beach guide with all you need to know about getting there, and where to park.
Once you’ve arrived, follow the signs to the coast where, after a sharp descent and some steps, you’ll swap your shoes for bare soles.
A ’Golden Beach’ winner in Portugal due to its high standards of natural beauty, the beach’s delightful scenery can be absorbed from any angle.
Let’s take a closer look!
If you should walk west, above the golden sand, look out for one of the world’s most famous symbols.
Because one day in time, someone like you sat down – in awe of the Atlantic coast – and made a breathtaking discovery: the Marinha Beach Heart.
Cupped by two arches and a dip on the mainland cliff, it’s an iconic landmark to all who pass.
Yet at super low tide, you’ll spot a very unusual resident in Portugal.
The majestic Elephant rock or M rock lives out on a remote side of Marinha Beach, but when the tide is out, you can clamber over exposed reefs until you’re closest to this incredible natural sculpture: Arcos Naturais so-called in Portuguese.
If you want to pass under its chiseled arches, you can hire an unmanned kayak from Marinha Beach; only group tours are available from Benagil Beach.
A protected cove that is quieter than Praia da Marinha (Navy Beach in English), Praia do Buraco is best at low tide when the beach is bigger.
Thanks to its secret location, crystal-clean sea water smoothes the sand making it the perfect sun trap.
The beach is reachable by a tunnel at the start of Marinha Beach.
Whether you’re energetic or sloth-like, time flies when you’re at Marinha Beach. So we’ve rounded up 7 tried tips for making the most of your visit.
In summer, you’ll get lush sea conditions for snorkeling with plenty of windless days.
Take the plunge and you might even spot marine creatures hidden in the reef.
However, with nowhere to rent equipment, BYOS (bring your own snorkel).
Before heading down to the sand, you can linger on a specially built observation deck for a breathtaking view of the area.
Up here, the turquoise ocean tint pops deliciously – no filter needed.
Marinha Beach is extra packed during the high season because of its smaller size. Want to plant your umbrella in a dry, sheltered spot?
You better check the tide before everyone else. After all, no one wants a soggy towel.
But with extra beaches like Praia da Mesquita and Praia do Bucaco, there’s more than enough sunshine to go around.
Known as Percurso dos Sete Vales Suspensos, this popular trail takes you west to east.
True to its name, you’ll see seven of the coast’s most beautiful beaches on a 3-hour walk, including Praia de Vale Centeanes, Carvoeiro Beach, Praia do Carvalho, Praia de Benagil, ending at your destination, Praia da Marinha Beach.
Though most impressive during the summer months, it’s also the hottest time of year to visit.
Start early or become um camarão frito 🦐: slang used to describe sunburnt tourists.
With Marinha Beach as the final stop on the Seven Hanging Valley’s Trail, you’re in for a treat.
A swim in its sparkling water is even more satisfying in high season, when you can feel Portugal’s hot summer mediterranean climate in full force.
And whether you want to paddle in the shallows, snorkel out further, or blissfully float in any direction, you can do it safely thanks to lifeguard supervision.
Peppered with streaked rock formations, it’s no wonder Marinha Beach is a hotspot for boat tours.
Orange limestone cliffs are one of its most striking features, especially paired with the brilliant Atlantic blue on a clear summer’s day.
Blasted by waves and wind over millions of years with teeny changes every winter, looming sea stacks, squat rocks and double arcs are all that’s left of a phantom coastline.
We recommend going on a boat tour from Portimao.
To the east of Marinha Beach and just short of Carvoeiro, is one of the second most popular caves in the area: Algar Seco.
Being a dry cave, you’ll march through the cliffs in maze-like walkways, peering through Boneca Cave’s natural portholes at faraway Lagos.
And if you’re really lucky, you might even see a pod of dolphins.
Book a tour to the Benagil Cave from Faro
A paradise for marine wildlife, Marinha Beach’s water is full of surprises.
Sea stars, anemones, spiky sea urchins, and saltwater shrimp live in its craggy rocks, while shyer cuttlefish and octopus take refuge in the thick algae.
Whilst the tide is out, you can observe via the looking glass of rock pools.
Writing about Marinha Beach is nothing new.
Yet before Marinha Beach’s secret was revealed by promotional material aimed at a global audience, it was a hush-hush beach enjoyed by the Portuguese people on their days off.
In 2022 alone, millions of tourists descended on the Algarve. Because the best time to visit also means the busiest time.
Now with the summer crowds comes competition for space, heightened by high tide when the beach shrinks.
So if you’re not keen on sharing this stunning beach with the world, skip the holiday rush at the tip of the season: in April and October.
In April 2022, our writer – Juliet – experienced Marinha Beach with an Algarve Beauties tour. Read on for her first-hand experience:
“After a thrilling morning, we arrived at the car park.
Some people did their own thing: starting the hiking trail just to see the Praia da Marinha heart, picnicking, or enjoying the sea view.
But most followed the guide, Andres, down a cobbled path to the beach. First, we climbed through a dark tunnel to a hidden cove; the high tide wetting our shoes! Then, with our Super Bock beers bought from the snack bar upstairs, we chilled on Marinha Beach for 1 hour.
As someone who has experienced Marinha Beach in the spring, summer and autumn months, I would return in a heartbeat with Algarve Beauties. Because on the same day, I also got to bodyboard into the Benagil Cave.”
Yes, it’s true – Algarve Beauties offers a Benagil Cave tour from Faro that also stops at Marinha Beach.
After bodyboarding from Benagil Beach into the sea cave, on the next part of the tour, you can relax in the sun. So whilst you and your new buddies swap stories, we take care of the fine details: like pesky parking and knowing the best swimming conditions.
Plus we’ll show you where the Seven Hanging Valleys trail begins if you want to find the Marinha Beach Heart for yourself.
Anyone can join in visiting Praia do Buraco with our friendly guides. After which you’re free to enjoy Marinha Beach your way.
Marinha Beach invites you to experience one of the finest emblematic beaches in the Algarve. And with sunnier days in April, you can finally plan your well deserved escape.
So why wait a month longer? Start your summer today!