The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel



On golden sands Praia da Rocha

On the Algarve’s aptly-named Praia da Rocha – Rocky Beach – giant seasculpte­d rock stacks litter a stretch of wide, golden sand. This beach stretches for more than a mile, offering plenty of room to relax under the Algarve’s blue skies and wade into the shallows, watching surfers ride distant waves. When you are ready to stretch your legs, wander Rocha’s clifftop trail, which is lined with ocean-front cafés.

The glitzy Tivoli Marina Portimao

(00 351 282 460200; has direct beach access, with doubles starting at £126 per night

Fins and waves Nazaré

For many, the Silver Coast town of Nazaré is synonymous with wetsuited surfers, who flock here for the monster waves. However, away from Praia do Norte’s prime surf, crescent-shaped Praia da Nazaré features soft sands and shelter from the Atlantic’s swirling currents. There is an old-time fishingvil­lage vibe here: painted wooden boats dot the sand and women in traditiona­l seven-skirt outfits dry sardines in the sun. After a day of basking, saunter into the town’s cobbled laneways, where you can feast on fresh seafood. Double rooms at the Villamar Style Maison (00 351 262 106752; villamar. pt/en) start at £73 per night

Black-sand basking Azores

Experience the Azores’ volcanic landscapes on Praia de Santa Barbara, one of the longest black-sand beaches in the archipelag­o. The Blue Flag haven lies near the town of Ribeira Grande, on Sao Miguel Island, and is loved by sunseekers and watersport­s fanatics alike. The Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort offers modern villas constructe­d from natural materials, and a showstoppi­ng ocean-view infinity pool. Double rooms at the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort (00 351 296 470360; santabarba­ start at £387 per night

A beach with a view Madeira

Unlike most of Madeira’s beaches, which are laced with black volcanic pebbles, Calheta offers pure amber sand (albeit imported). An artificial stone wave barrier and swimming nets protect the beach, providing calm waters to cool off in. Calheta lies on the sunniest side of Madeira (the southwest), making it ideal for a lazy beach day after exploring the island’s hiking trails and clifftop viewpoints. Stay at Quinta das Vinhas, which overlooks the ocean and has chic rooms in a renovated 17th-century farmhouse.

Double rooms at the Quinta das Vinhas (00 351 291 824086; start at £56 per night

Beachside bliss Praia da Luz

The sheltered cove here lures families with its shallow waters and sandcastle­worthy beach. The bay is shielded from the Atlantic’s full force by a basalt headland, Rocha Negra, formed more than 150 million years ago by Monchique’s now-dormant volcano. In summer, lifeguards patrol the Blue Flag beach, which is backed by a palm-lined promenade. The 19th-century converted manor of Vila Valverde provides a serene base to return to after a day of oceanside fun.

Double rooms at the Vila Valverde (00 351 282 790790; vilavalver­ start at £222 per night

 ?? ?? i Stay in a contempora­ry villa at the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort on Sao Miguel Island
i Stay in a contempora­ry villa at the Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort on Sao Miguel Island

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