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Photo by Theo Crazzolara

Algarve photography opportunitines are endless. Jutting out into the waters of the Atlantic the coastline of Algarve, in southern Portugal, resembles gnarled Swiss cheese. Sea stacks, arches and caves are etched along the water’s edge, and beg to be photographed. It is not hard to imagine massive square-rigged merchant ships and privateers wrecking their vessels upon the beaches and jagged reefs during a nighttime storm. This classical diorama of the age of sail is easy to imagine for a good reason. The Algarve  is home to ancient seafaring routes and harbors that celebrate more than 2000 years of maritime history and tradition. It is also home to some of the most majestic photo locations in Europe. Explore our picks for the best Algarve photography spots, and explore further with the PIXEO map to discover all the photographic possibilities this region has to offer.

Ponta da Piedade Cliffs 

Algarve Photography at Ponta da Piedade - Photo by Olga Guryanova
Algarve Photography at Ponta da Piedade - Photo by Olga Guryanova

The Ponta da Piedade Cliffs are probably the best known Algarve photography spot and the highlight of the southern Portugal region. The cliffs, sea stacks, arches and caves draw photographers from around the world to capture the natural beauty of this location. Crystal clear waters lap onto soft sand beaches between the rock formations an paint turquoise in otherwise golden compositions. These secluded beaches are accessible by stairs, and the photogenic geology stands sentinel against the  waves, posing for photos. We recommend a visit to Ponta da Piedade Cliffs during golden hour to really boost the contrast between the water and rocks. As well, it will ensure that the warm raking light paints rich textures on the jagged rock formations.

See Ponta da Piedade on the PIXEO Map

Algarve Photography from Drone at Ponta da Piedade Cliffs - Photo by Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum
Algarve Photography from Drone at Ponta da Piedade Cliffs - Photo by Claudio Schwarz Purzlbaum

Igerja do Carmo

Igreja do Carmo - Photo by Dmitry Tonkonog CC by-sa
Igreja do Carmo - Photo by Dmitry Tonkonog CC by-sa

With an understated baroque exterior and twin bell towers, the Igreja do Carmo is one of the best Algarve photography spots. The beautiful white frontage opens into a lovely square and the church is beautiful. But perhaps the most captivating feature can be found behind the church in the Capela dos Ossos. This ossuary was built from the bones exhumed in the 19th century to make space in city cemeteries. We highly recommend photographers visit this cool, albeit creepy, Algarve church and chapel.

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Capela dos Ossos - Photo by Julian Hacker
Capela dos Ossos - Photo by Julian Hacker

Praia de Marinha

Praia de Marinha - Photo by Marco Dias
Praia de Marinha - Photo by Marco Dias

This double arch rock formation of Praia da Marinha  is found near the village of Benagil. This geological wonder is among the best photography spots in the Algarve.

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Lagos Slave Market

Lagos Slave Market - Photo by Lacobrigo CC by-sa
Lagos Slave Market - Photo by Lacobrigo CC by-sa

While a stain on the history of Europe, the Lagos slave market is a stunning building and an excellent photo location. The building, while largely unassuming, is believed to be the site of Europe’s first slave market. The Lagos Slave Market serves as an essential reminder of a dark time in our collective humanity. A necessary stop for anyone visiting Lagos.

See Lagos Slave Market on the PIXEO Map

Benagil Cave

Benagil Cave - Photo by Julius Silver
Benagil Cave - Photo by Julius Silver

Few photography spots in the Algarve are better than the stunning Benagil Caves. With a skylight opening into a cathedral like cave with sandy beach bottom and turquoise waves, the Benagil caves are hard to beat.

See the Benagil Cave on the PIXEO Map

St. Vincent's Anglican Chaplaincy

St Vincent's Anglican Chaplaincy - Photo by Karolina Grabowska
St Vincent's Anglican Chaplaincy - Photo by Karolina Grabowska

A beautiful yellow and white church found near the beach in the village of Luz. One of the more photogenic churches in the Algarve. Home to a modern Anglican Chaplaincy.

See St. Vincent's Chaplaincy on the PIXEO Map

Lagos Fortress

Lagos Fortress - Photo by Claude Wians
Lagos Fortress - Photo by Claude Wians

The Lagos Fortress is a small fortress with a long name. Officially known as the Fort of Our Lady of Penha de Franca, the defensive structure stands at the mouth of the harbour entrance. Long ago, it served a critical role in protecting Lagos against marauding raiders and pirates. As a bonus, the interior is open for tours for a small fee and often exhibits the work of local photographers. That alone makes this a must-see photo spot.

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Algarve Photography

The Algrave remains one of the most popular photo destinations in Europe and for good reason. Add this ancient maritime region to your photography bucket list and enjoy exploring the vibrant mix of history, natural wonder, and exciting culture. There are many more photo locations to be found around the Algarve, so be sure to check out the PIXEO map for all the best places to visit in Portugal.

Algarve Photography at Ponta da piedade - Photo by Tobias Abel
Algarve Photography at Ponta da piedade - Photo by Tobias Abel

Other Photography Guides

We feature our favourite photography destinations from around the world in these exclusive PIXEO Photo Guides. We detail all the best places to take photos and offer tips and tricks for travelling photographers. If you have a photo destination you’d like us to feature, or would like to contribute a guest post, don’t hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, here are more fantastic articles.