More awards are bestowed on Algarve beaches year-on-year for cleanliness and management giving visitors a greater choice.
But as an alternative to sitting on one, holidaymakers can get a good look at the coastline by spending the day onboard the stunning pirate-ship Santa Bernarda.
This beautiful two-masted sailing vessel runs regular trips from Portimao and travels along the Algarve coast to Armacao de Pera in the east and Lagos in the west.
Guests are required to arrive 30 minutes before departure on the full-day excursion which leaves port at 09:45 and sails gracefully out to sea past a mediaeval fortress.
Small launches enable guests to explore coastal caves before the ship drops anchor at a beach which is accessible only by sea for a BBQ lunch.
Here you are free to swim, go snorkelling or just take in the sun before returning to port under wind power in the evening.
The Santa Bernarda complies with EU safety regulations and crew members give a short tutorial on the use of all safety equipment on board.