The Algarve is beautiful during the summer however, anyone here in the off-season is able to experience a different side to the region.

At this time of the year, you can take advantage of the hidden gems during the early months of the year with more sand to enjoy going for a walk on while playing with pets and creating memories to share with loved ones.

Praia de Odeceixe

From west to east, I start with my favourite. Odeceixe beach is where the river and the sea meet. As a result, we find on one side an ocean for surfing and, on the other side, the calm of the river.

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The river, Ribeira de Seixe, separates the Algarve and Alentejo regions, making Odeceixe a border beach and the only river beach on the Costa Vicentina.

The aroma coming from the sea invites you to stop by one of the traditional seafood restaurants in the Costa Vicentina neighbouring villages and have a superb meal.

In terms of accessibility, this beach is easy to reach by car. If you are coming from the south, drive along the EN120 to Odeceixe, arriving at the village of Odeceixe, just follow the signs to the beach, which is about three kilometres from the village.

Praia da Rocha

Usually crowded in the summer, a visit to Praia da Rocha out of season can be a lovely surprise and you'll feel like you have the entire beach all to yourself. For those who put their health first, jogging on the beach can be an option - either on the sand by the sea or on the boardwalk by the beach restaurants.

You may also want to spend the whole day and wait until the evening to eat at one of the restaurants in Praia da Rocha - there is plenty to suit all tastes!

Apart from Praia da Rocha, which is probably one of the best-known beach in Europe, you can travel a little bit further along the coast and visit Alvor, which has essentially three beaches: "Três Irmãos", "Prainha" and "Torre Alta". These are a quieter alternative to Rocha.

Praia do Carvalho

This hidden beach in Lagoa seems to have been designed by something bigger than us - every detail, including the cliffs, are magic. This beach is usually visited by brave people who have the courage to go down all the stairs and through a small tunnel, to finally walk on the sand. However, sometimes the good things in life require effort and this is a perfect example of that!

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Also, if walking doesn't scare you, then you can't visit Praia de Carvalho without walking the seven-hanging valleys trail. This trail is one of the most beautiful walking routes in the Algarve and was recently named the best hiking destination in Europe.

We suggest you bring water and snacks in case you get hungry. It would also be a good idea to take a camera with you, as you will find several hidden spots that you won’t want to forget in the future.

Praia do Ancão

This is a very quiet beach at this time of year that people still enjoy visiting to experience something a little bit different. It is perfect to take a walk to relax and breathe fresh air away from the crowds. I just love it!

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Praia do Ancão is located in Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, so nature is a bonus when visiting this beach. Besides the sea that inspires us, we find a background of nature and wetlands before we arrive on the beach. It is like a fantastic hand-painted picture.

Praia da Quinta do Lago

This beach, located in one of the most luxurious tourist developments in the Algarve, has something special. Also located in Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, Praia da Quinta do Lago has a wide sandy beach and areas that offer a wealth of fauna and flora characteristic of the coastline.

With a wonderful long boardwalk, you will pass through wetlands until you reach the dunes and only then you will step onto the sand. This is the perfect place for your weekend walks.

In addition, there is a lovely gazebo that I found super romantic. This wooden gazebo or pergola is an ideal place to sit, read a book or just enjoy the landscape. If you like cycling, this beach was also made for you.

During the summer, parking can be expensive, but at this time of the year, you don’t have to worry about that, giving you another reason to enjoy this beach during the winter.


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins