With its cliff-lined beaches and numerous rocky islets, Portugal's mainland coast boasts a great diversity of snorkeling spots. Of course, the water temperature, swells and strong currents make snorkeling less easy there than in the Mediterranean, but its seabed is worth a look. Underwater, you will encounter quite diverse fauna, including moray eels, wrasse, octopus, sea bream, as well as many other species.
With nearly 850 km of coastline bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, mainland Portugal offers great snorkeling opportunities. The rocky coasts of the south of the country, in particular, are home to numerous coves where you can enjoy the local sea life.
If you go snorkeling in Portugal, however, expect cooler water temperatures than in the Mediterranean. The ocean can also be very rough, especially when there is wind or swell. Underwater visibility, often affected by sand and sediment, is also highly variable depending on the day.
The Algarve, which comprises the country’s stunning southern coastline, is considered the best region for snorkeling in Portugal. Along its jagged coastline, with cliffs sculpted by erosion, hide numerous coves with crystal clear waters.
In Lagos, Praia do Camilo is one of the best options, although you can also get in the water from the city, at Praia Dona Ana or Praia dos Estudantes.
Praia da Marinha, halfway between Portimão and Albufeira, is often considered the most beautiful beach in the region. You will never tire of snorkeling along its cliffs and rocky islets. Just one kilometer further west, Praia de Benagil is also a good option.
If you find yourself near Sagres, head to Praia do Martinhal or Praia do Burgau, while Praia dos Aveiros is considered the best spot in Albufeira. Dozens of other coves are suitable for snorkeling along the Algarve coast.
The long sandy beaches of the Lisbon region are not very suitable for snorkeling. Instead, head to Sesimbra, about 40km south of the capital, where Praia do Ribeiro do Cavalo, a pretty sheltered cove bordered by rocks, is located.
Another famous snorkeling region in Portugal is the Berlengas Archipelago off Peniche. Several rocky coves can be explored in these small, wild islands, which also offer one of the best underwater visibility in the country.
The mainland coast of Portugal has an underwater life very similar to that of the Mediterranean, with an abundance of wrasse, seabream, and mullet. The rocky areas allow observing small moray eels, octopus and cuttlefish, while flying gurnards and small stingrays are occasionally encountered on the sandy beds. The lucky ones may hope to observe a triggerfish or a filefish in the shallows.
Due to the water temperature, the best time to snorkel in Portugal is summer, from June to September. Even during this period, a wetsuit can be useful to protect against the cold: the water temperature rarely exceeds 68°F/20°C around Lisbon, and 74°F/23°C in the Algarve. The climate in Portugal is sunny, particularly in the Algarve, a region famous for its 300 days of sunshine per year.
450+ spots have been featured on Snorkeling Report with the help of people like you. Share your favorite snorkeling spot and help us cover the world map. Your contribution will help the snorkeling community find sites and enjoy the underwater world!
ADD A SPOT
On all spots.
On all spots, including in the shallow sandy beds facing the beaches.
On all spots, around rocks.
Occasional sightings in rocky areas.
Cliffs and rocky islets with a nice diversity of fish
Free shore access
Sandy and rocky beds with a few fish
You must be logged in to post a comment.
When it comes to snorkeling in Spain, you're spoiled for choice! Indeed, its 2,000 kilometers of coastline bathing in the Mediterranean Sea offers a wide variety of underwater environments, between rocky coves, sandbanks, saltwater lagoons and posidonia meadows. Among the hundreds of potential spots (...)
The Balearic Islands, which each have their own character, have at least one thing in common: they are all home to numerous coves, inlets and beaches with crystal-clear water, where exploring the seabed in snorkelers is a game of fun. 'child. Even in the most touristic islands, such as Ibiza and Mal (...)
With its rocky islets, emerald green waters and white sandy beaches, Brittany is an exciting and still off-the-beaten track snorkeling destination. If you’ll have to deal with important tides, fast-changing sea conditions and pretty cold water, you will discover a rich and fascinating sea life. In t (...)
With more than 560 miles of coastline bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, South France is home to a great diversity in marine environments. From rocky bottoms and sandy slopes to Posidonia meadows and brackish lagoons, there are many fascinating snorkeling sites to be explored. When you snorkel in So (...)
Snorkelling in the Alps, really?! For most snorkelers, exploring the underwater world means diving into the Mediterranean rocky coves or the coral reefs of the Caribbean islands. Yet the lakes of the French Alps are both little-known and fascinating environments for snorkeling in freshwater. On rock (...)
Between its white sand beaches and its wild coves nestled at the foot of sheer cliffs, Sardinia knows how to play with its many facets. The second largest island in the Mediterranean, it offers experiences for everyone, whether you prefer snorkeling at the foot of the deckchair or after a long hike. (...)
With sheer cliffs falling into the Mediterranean Sea and its breathtaking white sandy beaches, Corsica fully deserves its nickname of the "Island of Beauty". Its exceptionally clear waters, relatively mild temperatures and preserved marine environment make it one of the best snorkeling destinations (...)
If Tunisia is renowned for its extensive beaches and its mild climate, it is not, at first glance, a popular snorkeling destination. However, Tunisia's coastline is dotted with an abundance of beaches, bays and coves that offer good snorkeling opportunities. Southern Mediterranean's sea life, includ (...)