The Azores in Portugal is one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world, with some of the finest beaches in all of Europe.

The little-known archipelago isn’t on top of everyone’s list when talking about beaches, but it should be! The islands boast countless stunning shorelines complemented by amazing scenery, nature, seclusion and adventure.

For those looking to explore this picturesque Portuguese destination, we’ve made a list of the 15 best beaches in the Azores, from Praia De Santa Barbara to Praia de Agua d’Alto and Faja Grande.

The Best Beaches in Azores, Portugal

1. Praia de Santa Barbara

Praia De Santa Barbara is one of the largest beaches on Sao Miguel Island, its black sands stretch for just over a mile (1 km), and the incredible ocean waves are one of its biggest attractions. This means that it is a great place for swimming and surfing.

During the summer months between June and September, the beach becomes flooded with surfers who take advantage of the great weather conditions. Don’t worry about bring your board along if travel doesn’t allow, as they can be rented from a beach kiosk.

Black sand meets the ocean at Praia de Santa Barbara - The 15 Best Beaches in Azores, Portugal
Praia De Santa Barbara, Azores | (@antonioseixas_photo)

2. Praia de Fogo

Praia de Fogo is one of the best beaches in the Azores, Portugal for a relaxing getaway with its lush, green mountainous backdrop. Also known as Ribeira Quente, the beach is located about 4.5 miles (7 km) away from the famous Furnas Village. 

Aerial view over the black sand beach Praia de Fogo - The 15 Best Beaches in Azores, Portugal
Praia do Fogo, Azores | (@joaosousaferreira)

The most unique thing about Praia de Fogo is the water temperature; when you walk intothe water you will immediately notice its warm temperature – ideal for a romantic evening dip under the stars). This natural phenomenon is caused by underground hydrothermal springs heating the water above. 

3. Praia dos Mosteiros

Praia dos Mosteiros, which is also casually known as the Monastery Beach in English, is a nice beach for those who are looking for a secluded beach experience.

It is one of the least crowded beaches on the Azores, so it is also a good place to spend time with your loved ones. It is also an ideal location to take some epic Instagram photographs with its black sands, natural pools, and volcanic rock formations in the background.

The setting also makes for gorgeous sunset scenes.

A woman posing in the sun on an ocean boulder at Praia dos Mosteiros - The 15 Best Beaches in Azores, Portugal
Praia dos Mosteiros, Azores | (@iampolets)

4. Praia do Almoxarife 

Praia do Almoxarife is another one of the best beaches in the Azores, Portugal especially for those who are travelling with young children.

This is because it is a lovely family-friendly beach destination with lots of things to do, where you can even find lifeguards who watch over swimmers unlike the other beaches on the Azores. You can also enjoy the stunning scenery provided by the nearby islands, particularly Pico Island.

The sun rising over Praia do Almoxarife, Azores
Praia do Almoxarife, Azores | (@brunoazera)

5. Praia de Agua d’Alto 

Praia de Agua d’Alto is one of the most popular beaches located in the Vila Franca do Campo of Sao Miguel Island, particularly during the summer months.

If you’re more of an active traveler then this might be the best place for you, thanks to the wide variety of water-based activities like boating, diving, fishing and swimming.

Sunset over the ocean at Bar Praia de Agua d'alto
Bar Praia de Agua d’alto | (@oemanuelcosta)

6. Praia Da Viola 

Praia da Viola is a one-of-a-kind beach when compared to other beaches on the Azores because it can only be accessed by foot via a hiking trail.

Blue skies and blue ocean at Praia Da Viola
Praia Da Viola | (@ourtravelife_)

The hiking trail to Praia da Viola starts at the northern coast of Sao Jorge Island, and connects the two villages – Lomba da Maia and Maia. Start from the Church Igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário and follow the directions for about 15-20 minutes until you reach the beach.

Due to its isolated location, this beach is a great spot for couples looking to have a romantic dip in calm blue waters while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the surrounding mountains. 

7. Praia Formosa 

Praia Formosa is another one of the best beaches in the Azores, Portugal and it is located on Santa Maria Island. 

Aerial view of the winding road on Santa Maria Island - The 15 Best Beaches in Azores, Portugal
Santa Maria Island, Azores | (@icevanadventure)

Now if you’re looking for a reason why, you don’t need to search too hard! It is widely known as the loveliest beach on all of the islands thanks to its golden-brown sands and clear blue waters. When almost all the other beaches on the islands have black sand, this is one of the few lined with a more natural looking, pristine coastline.

You can also visit the São João Baptista Fort while here. This is a 15th-century fortification that was originally built to protect the island from the rough ocean swells.