Perhaps more so than any other European country, Portugal has enjoyed a lot of good press in the past decade. More and more travelers are exploring its sights, falling in love with the country thanks to its beautiful buildings, welcoming culture, and fabulous beaches.
Many visitors also appreciate Portugal thanks to the less pronounced effects it has on one’s wallet. Cheap by Western European standards, there are many ways to see the country without breaking the bank. We’ve written about seeing Portugal on a budget, and, surprisingly, none of our tips include statements about avoiding beachfront villas. That’s because it’s absolutely possible to find affordable accommodation right on the water.
From the stunning rock formations of the Algarve in the south to Porto and the Spanish border, there isn’t a single stretch of shoreline bereft of beautiful beaches or charming cities. As such, Portugal has plenty of often-overlooked accommodations offering beachside bliss and bargain rates.
When you read this list of affordable Portuguese villas on the coast, you’ll wonder why anyone would ever book a hotel. Each of the properties below has ocean views and is no more than a short walk from that mystifying place where water meets land.
Spoil your family without trashing your budget at this splendid home in a quiet Atlantic town. Look out at the water from the veranda as well as the living and dining rooms. The home is less than 200 yards from the beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mira River. In-town amenities are more of a hike but still no more than 15 minutes away. When you need a break from the charming local restaurants (if such a thing is possible), attempt to emulate the local style in the fully-stocked kitchen. The facilities are modern, and the home has three bedrooms, making it a great choice for a family with children.
If you dream of a home with endless ocean views where you can both walk to the beach and explore Portugal’s vibrant capital, wake up and check out this charming villa. In a quiet area near enough to must-see attractions like Sintra (look at a photo for one second and you’ll want to visit) and central Lisbon, it really is an ideal and crowd-free location. But once you discover the endearing qualities of this rental that any family would envy, you’ll realize it’s more than just lodging in a great spot. Any couple will cherish time on the lawn looking out to sea before returning to the cozy queen bedroom. If you’re booking for more than two, there’s also a room with a pair of twin beds and a futon in the living room.
Beach lovers should take care not to overlook this perfectly placed cottage on the coast, your gateway to a remarkable vacation marked by little else but salt, sun, and solitude.
There’s lots of sand in the area, but very few people. The nearby town is small but not without locally loved restaurants and essential amenities. This ocean-view home is built solely for the purpose of enjoying the beach. It has two levels of outdoor areas, the lower of which pushes right into the sand. The inside is made for cooling off once you’ve spent too much time in the sun. It is spacious and bright with minimal and refined decorations. With three queen bedrooms and a single, it can entertain a small group of people keen on an affordable holiday away from it all.
Believe it or not, affordable oceanside villas are to be found not only on the mainland but also on the southern Atlantic island of Madeira. This villa in the village of Jardim Do Mar is one such gem.
The coastlines of Madeira are even more dramatic than those of the Algarve, as a quick glance out the windows of this villa proves. The views are shared equally across all rooms. A pebble beach sits below the house. Guests can walk to the nearby village, but the villa sits directly on the cliff’s edge and therefore stays quite quiet.
The quality of this magnificent villa is such that one can hardly believe the price.
While swimming in the pool, a guest might look out at the ocean and decide that’s where they’d rather be. They can walk across the veranda, pass under the columns covering the entrance, saunter through the sunlit arabesque courtyard, stroll out the door, and be on the beach in 2 minutes. The busy downtown streets are equally near. The vacation home is a pleasing mix of Mediterranean and Arabic styles, a combination right at home here in the Algarve. It has a room with two double beds and another with two singles.
Bask in the sun and enjoy the gratitude of your traveling companions when you stay at this luxurious villa west of Lagos. The outdoor areas really are a treat. It consists of a deck with seating and a grill, plus a hot tub and a serene swimming pool. As if that weren’t enough, there’s also a rooftop deck to watch the waves come in. Oh, and there are plenty of palm trees to get you in that beachy mood as you prepare to take the walk (which will last less than a minute) to the beach. Any designer would give a nod of approval to the furniture selection, and the bathrooms are sleek, stylish, and modern.
A wonderful modern home by the sea, Casa de Légua is notable for the pleasing qualities of its design.
North of Porto and near the Spanish border, the town of Moledo isn’t on the top of many tourist lists, which is a shame given its gorgeous beaches and picturesque landscapes. This particular vacation home is in a great location, about 300 yards from the water, though it may seem a bit closer while relaxing on the lawn or swimming in the pool at the property’s edge. Every piece of furniture and every tiled corner will instill a sense of appreciation in those who enjoy fine design.
The perfect vantage point for viewing the sea, Caso de Marsits adjacent to a protected coastal ecosystem. Dunes roll down into the sea, creating the perfect circumstances for a sunset walk. This vacation rental is a modern home fitted with huge windows to take it all in. The private pool and adjacent outdoor spaces are all excellent spots for lounging while taking in both ocean and town.
Care has clearly been taken in selecting the furniture. Great for groups of friends, loved ones, or couples, the villa has three bedrooms with large beds and a fourth with excellent sea views and a futon. The shoreline vistas are quite stunning, and the walk to the beach can be tackled in under 15 minutes.
The Algarve region is number one in Portugal when it comes to attracting beachgoing tourists, and of all the area’s towns, Lagos stands out above the rest.
This fine vacation home above the water is the perfect base for discovering why Lagos is so popular. It has three breezy bedrooms, a picturesque swimming pool, and a jacuzzi, all in addition to the standard amenities. Nothing more than a short walk will separate you and yours from the golden sands of Meia Praia. Lagos’s old town, known for its historic churches, old-world streets, and excellent nightlife, is just 15 minutes away on foot. The marina is a bit closer for those wanting to explore the sea and the jaw-dropping rock formations at Ponta da Piedade.
Just 50 yards from the beach, this tranquil villa boasts relaxing outdoor areas with wonderful views, comfortable indoor spaces to cool off, and room for a family of eight. The home has a dedicated parking spot, but once you arrive you’ll be able to walk to all of Porto Covo’s sights, from the town square to the side-street restaurants. The local beach is a real stunner, noteworthy even by Portuguese standards for its imposing rock formations.
Now that your stay is booked and you’re ready to go, here are some other resources for traveling in Portugal: