Praia da Marinha (translation: navy beach) is an iconic beach near Lagoa. It is known as one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. CNN highlights the amazing cliff side and it is the favorite beach of Lonely Planet in the Algarve. You will frequently come across photos of Praia da Marinha in advertisements for the Algarve. In real life, the beach is even prettier than on pictures. According to TripAdvisor, Praia da Marinha is one of the best beaches in Portugal and one of the top things to see in the Algarve.
When you arrive, make sure you check out the breathtaking view over the beach. The beach is surrounded by steep cliffs, which gives it a magical feeling. From these cliffs you will see a view that you will remember for a very long time.
After taking in the panoramic views, you can take a long stairs (on the left) to go down to the beach. At the end of the stairs, there is a restaurant and a small part of the Marinha Beach. To get to the main part, walk around a big rock. Be warned that when tide is high, you have to walk fast in order to avoid getting wet. The same of course applies when leaving the beach.
The M rock
Near the beach (on the right side) you can find a famous rock structure that looks like the letter M. This is called the M rock or the Cathedral. This rock formation is one of the reasons why Praia da Marinha is unique. During low tide you can walk along the beach to the right to see it.
There is actually one part on the cliffs where the rocks and the M rock form a heart shape. Enjoy this wonder of nature.
Marinha is a beach where you could spend all day if you want to. The sand on Praia da Marinha is soft and the beach is well-maintained. The water is usually quite calm, but on some days the waves can get a bit higher (not too high though). Because of the surrounding cliffs, it is not that windy. Make sure to bring sunblock, because the sun can be quite strong.
It is not the biggest beach of the Algarve, but usually it is easy to find a spot. Praia da Marinha is popular with Portuguese families and tourists. The beach is very suitable for children. Just bare in mind that the long stairs to get to the beach (especially the end) can be a bit difficult for small children.
During peak season the beach can be a bit crowded. However, Marinha beach is not as crowded as some of the other beaches in the Algarve. This is weird considering the fact that every tourist handbook recommends this beach. Probably this is because the beach can only be reached by car.
During low tide, you can walk all the way to the right. That is where you can see the M rock. During high tide it is only possible to access that part of the beach by climbing on rocks.