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The beaches around Albufeira

The Algarve coastline has over 50 beaches!

Each one as beautiful as the next

Around Albufeira, we found about fifteen of them

This beautiful beach of Barranco das Belharucas is only accessible by car by following a dirt road, which leaves little chance of parking spaces in the end. In high season it is advisable to get there from the Falésia Lookout, near the Riu Guarana hotel, and then descend along a steep path, or try the adventure by car by taking this path from the Caminho di Deposito, east of Olhos d'Agua. A very thin strip of sand, also fine, which gives the impression of a cove, without really being one, because if the walk is blocked towards Olhos d'Agua you can reach the other beaches of Falesia by following the shoreline. Two restaurants, small rental of floating machines, umbrellas... A beach more for families and relaxation than for sports or party fun. But it is a very nice beach.

This beach in Alemaes de Albufeira is not called "German beach" just because of the large number of tourists from this country, but because there used to be a canning factory run by a German family. Rarely have we seen a beach with so many water sports activities, more fun than sporty, because apart from a few paddles, there are no sailboats or surfboards for rent in the area. Instead, there were buoys and towed parachutes, bananas, flying fish, pedal boats... A beach more dedicated to young people than to contemplation, even if its width offers large areas of tranquillity.

On the edge of the large electric city of Albufeira, the beach of Santa Eulalia is like a small preserved garden. Preserved because it is surrounded by beautiful pine forests and cliffs of limestone and clay. Of course, it is also surrounded by luxurious tourist residences, but these do not look flashy and blend in well with the landscape. This is surprising when you consider how badly Albufeira's city centre has been transformed from a peaceful southern town to a gaudy mini Las Vegas. The artificial additions (pontoons, wooden restaurants...) on the beach itself do not detract from its beauty. As for the entertainment, it is more or less the same as on the surrounding beaches, with the restriction that the dry sand is reduced to a thin strip at high tide, which limits the beach games. On the other hand, several small coves are available for those who want to go there by boat or pedalo (2 on the right and 4 on the left).

Rocha Baixinha Poente (Tomato Beach) is described as a "young beach" because of its kitesurfing and surfing fans, but also its fiestas on the beach or at the local bar. While the population did seem young, we did not observe any surfing or fiestas which apparently go on very late. On the other hand, the wind is constant and the waves frequent, which is favourable to surfing, and therefore attracts young people. The remoteness and difficulty of access may also explain the night fiestas. The reputation of the beauty of Albufeira's beaches begins to be justified here. Beware, to get there, you have to come from Aldeia das Açoteias and follow the signs (which are clearly visible). The tarmac road becomes a dirt track for 1 km. There is only one paying car park or you have to park very far away. It is also called "Tomato Beach" because of the crops in the back.

Why is it that fishing villages often produce the most beautiful beaches? This is still the case with the vast cove of Olhos d'Agua, which owes its name (Olhos d'Agua) to the freshwater springs that gush out at the eastern end of the beach (at low tide only) and make water-coloured eyes. The cliffs and limestone peaks tinted with ochre, the green of the umbrella pines, the blue-and-white of the umbrellas, the boats and old fishermen's houses, the village atmosphere, the shops, the descent of the boats into the sea... All of this makes for a permanent spectacle that stands on its own and breaks the monotony of the rectilinear shores. No extraordinarily original activities here. We would add: no need. A beach where you can stay for several days without getting bored.

Six kilometres of fine sand for the two beaches named "Falésia": Falésia Alfamar and Falésia Açoteias (the photos are of the latter). The colours and height of the cliffs give these beaches a unique character. Red ochre with white marbling contrasts with the green of the pine trees. If the strip is long, it is narrow, which sometimes gives the impression of a crowded beach. However, if you move away from the beach, you will find some privacy. As far as activities are concerned, there are pedalos and canoes for hire, but no surfing equipment. It's a pity for kitesurfing because the conditions are favourable. As for the gastronomy at the small bar on the top of the hill, you have to make do with reheated industrial dishes. Here, the eyes feast more than the stomach.

For those of you who want a place where the sea and the rocks play hide and seek, the coves of Sao Rafael are for you. They are not so common in the Algarve, these sparsely populated coves. Apart from diving, rock climbing or lazing around, there are few activities available, but the feeling of having a special place (almost) to yourself. A few nudists have been spotted here. To get there, you have to go towards Manuel Lorenço beach. At the car park, take the path on the right and look for the antenna. In fact, we confused the two beaches, and missed the one of Lourenço, more equipped.

Dos Salgados beach (Praia dos Salgados) is a huge beach, the most eastern of Albufeira, located at the coincidence of a large residential area, a golf course and a preserved natural area (until when?) around a beautiful lagoon. Littorally speaking, it is located between the large beach of Galé and the Praia Gran located in Armaçao de Pêra. In all 4.5 km of continuous sand! Even if the residence buildings are set back, there is some concern for the existing natural area, as the presence of a golf course next door is often a pretext for real estate projects. This is a beach made for walkers, with water at mid-calf level to relieve heavy legs. And if your legs are shaking you can paddle, pedal boat, windsurf, kayak... And even swimming in a tiralo for those whose legs no longer respond. Surfing and kite surfing are also possible in average conditions. As for the lagoon, it is forbidden. To get there, you can find your way around the Salgados golf course, but the beach is well indicated.

"Praia da Oura" means "Golden Beach" and, if you don't find precious metal there, you can find a certain golden youth, as well as many families. It is a young and rather trendy beach, probably the most popular in Albufeira. The rows of bars, shops and various temptations attract a public for whom contemplation and solitude do not seem to be the priorities. That said, it is tastefully and colourfully laid out: palm and pine trees, red and orange parasols, and rather stylish buildings blend happily with the ochre cliffs. Numerous services are available: buoys or towed parachutes, pedalos, tiralos, scooters... Especially since, except at high tide, another beach is accessible on foot on the left (Oura Leste). This promises beautiful walks, or discovering creeks by the sea. There is no shortage of places to hire a boat. However, snow sports are not suitable here. Beware, very limited parking.

The Aveiros cove in Albufeira is a closed cove, difficult to get to, not because it is physically difficult to get there but because nothing is done to encourage people to come: lack of signage and a dissuasive cul-de-sac. In fact, you have to take Vasco de Gama Street and, at the roundabout, take dos Aveiros Street, opposite the Agua Viva hotel-residence. Don't let yourself be impressed by the lack of an exit, the lack of a sign, or the barrier, you have to go along the private residence which does everything it can to discourage the passage, even though it is authorised. We saw several people who were a bit shy turn back. In fact, a staircase (a private one) goes down from the surrounding residence. No beach is private in Portugal and there must always be an access. In short, the atmosphere is a little confined, a little chic. But the place does not lose its charm. One part is rocky, the other sandy. The concession umbrellas leave little room for others, but one can take liberties on the limestone plateau, or even venture on the coastal path to the west through a cliff that conceals numerous galleries, caves and chasms.

Evaristo beach in Albufeira is a small rocky and sandy cove embedded between low cliffs. The whole is framed by a rich vegetation where sea soda predominates, which resists the salty air and the sea spray. The presence of seaweed gives a slight marine fragrance that is not at all unpleasant. Snorkelling or diving is recommended due to the clarity of the water and the underwater life that thrives on the submerged rocks. A cove where you feel like a family, like in a cocoon. There are not many organised activities, but the location allows the imagination to invent them, especially for children.

The Fishermen's beach has changed a lot! Pescadores beach on the left, Peneco beach on the right, these two beaches are surrounded by an amphitheatre of buildings, some of which you can guess were once fishermen's houses. The others try to imitate them as best they can. The result is a rather warm and human urban beach. With modern facilities, such as this designer lift (on the Peneco side) which takes you directly down to the sand from the residences perched on the cliff. Very popular, this city beach allows you to practice a lot of fun sports (parachutes, buoys, towed bananas, floating platform...). The entrance square is dedicated to skateboarding, rollerblading but also to bars and restaurants. A dynamic beach therefore, to be avoided if you prefer to rest. This is not really the place. Beware, parking spaces are hard to find. On the other hand, you can come by small train or by "rickshaw", these small three-wheeled vehicles which are not very expensive. There is a station between here and Inatel beach.

Castelo Cove in Albufeira is a triangular beach wedged between high, jagged limestone cliffs, some of which have ridges reminiscent of castle battlements. Hence the name of the beach. This lace of limestone carved by the sea draws creeks, nooks and crannies where emerald water comes to lose itself. This cove is reputed to tolerate naturism, even if we did not come across many naturists. Castello is one of the many coves to the west of Albufeira that have a wild air and stand in stark contrast to the commercial bustle of the town centre. Only here, the services provided are quite far from the real wild beaches. Especially the restaurant.

The beach of Galé (Leste) in Albufeira is a very large beach at the eastern end of the bay of Armaçao de Pêra. On its left side it is still dotted with limestone rocks that serve as shelters and reliefs on the sand or in the water. The shoreline is then very straight. A large number of fun activities are offered: jetskis, pedalos, parasails, all floating objects towed by boat and even, more sensational, aquatic propellers which literally allow you to rise above the water. More classically sporty, you can rent paddles and there is a surfing school, active especially in the middle season. But boards can be hired at any time. The wind is also good for kitesurfing. If you want to relax, you just have to walk a bit, as far away from the centre as possible, and if not loneliness in August, at least promiscuity is avoided. There are three car parks, some of which are quite far away, but which lead to the beach via wooden walkways. Given the crowds, it is recommended to come early in the season. Or late.


Small beach with a very good restaurant. The fish comes directly from the fishermen based on the beach

The beach of Praia Nova can be reached through a small tunnel dug in the rock

Christian chapel to see


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