Beaches

With around 30 kilometres of coastline, Albufeira has been graced with some of the most stunning beaches in the world. A magnificent natural heritage that has been impressively preserved and maintained.

Albufeira is the council with more Blue Flags in the country, awarded to beaches for meeting criteria such as cleanliness, accessibility and water quality. The beauty and diversity of its coastline make Albufeira unique.

The area to the east of the council, between “Ribeira de Quarteira” and the picturesque fishing village of “Olhos d’Água”, is home to the magnificent tall, red, brown and white coloured cliffs topped with pine woods, making it perfect for long, relaxing walks.

The busiest beaches and those nearest the built-up areas are to be found between Oura beach and Peneco beach. This stretch of coastline also reveals a remarkable landscape morphologically speaking, with strange-looking, majestic rock formations emerging from a rock platform skilfully sculptured by the sea.

A must stop is Pescadores beach (Fishermen’s Beach), Albufeira’s picture postcard and stage to various sporting and cultural events during the summer.

A special mention should go to the nationwide renowned New Year’s Eve party, another event held on this beach and which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Continuing westward from Galé beach you will come to Salgados beach. This is where the landscape changes. The coastline here is distinguished by a curious dune formation and characteristic vegetation. Lagoa dos Salgados (Salgados Lagoon) is highly recommended, being renowned for its exotic birdlife.

The beaches of Albufeira can be used for a wide range of purposes. Walking, leisure, sport, or just plain relaxation. You can take it all in and make the most of this immense natural heritage.

From the end if April to October, the period when the beach franchises are in operation, practically all the beaches provide a variety of sporting and leisure activities to get your adrenaline going. Beaches are equipped with first rate infrastructure and seaside services ensuring you enjoy your moments of leisure in total safety and comfort.

Scuba diving is another activity Albufeira has to offer and the beauty of the underwater world is sure to take you by surprise.

For the remainder of the year you can choose from a variety of activities, from a brisk walk along the beach to just lying on a towel reading a book.

Salgados Has an extensive area of sand interwoven with a chain of dunes cut off by a small depression caused by runoff from the Lagoa dos Salgados (Salgados Lagoon) during the rainy season. To reach the beach you have to cross a tourist development associated with the nearby golf course. The beach boasts 1,500 meters of sand and an adjoining parking area with spaces for people with reduced mobility. The lake is a large body of water with ample wetlands vegetation, particularly where the salt pans border the reed beds. Coots, shags, purple swamp hens, flamingos and black-winged stilts (the last two of which are endangered species in Europe) are a few of the species of birdlife presented here. Services available in the recreational area: Pedal boats and jet skiing.

Galé West A 500 meter long beach that merges with Salgados beach. Rock formations jut out of the sand providing bathers with little bays and shelters. There is a paved parking area and the beach is reached by dirt ramps. It is extremely popular in the high season. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, shark rides, water skiing and jet skiing.

Galé East A smallish beach with jagged rock formations and an interesting yellow and orange-coloured cliff topped with a pine wood, lending it a peculiar plasticity. There is a parking area with spaces for people with reduced mobility and easy access that allow cars to park close to the beach, which is reached by stairs or ramp.

Manuel Lourenço A small beach located between Galé East beach and Evaristo beach, which features a strangely-shaped jagged cliff. It has a rocky platform where you can walk around at low tide and discover marine life. It is accessed by road and a dirt path. There is a parking area at the entrance to the beach with spaces for people with reduced mobility, which can be reached by ramp or wooden stairs. It is nestled into a cliff and offers good infrastructure and amenities, and is ideal for diving and exploration activities.

Evaristo A 400 meter long beach set between cliffs with large slabs of rock in the surf zone with good infrastructure and amenities. The beach is accessed by road and cars may be parked in an unpaved area near the beach. A ramp and stairs lead down to the beach. There are a few tourist developments in the surrounding area of this beach, composed of residences and hotels.

Castelo A small strip of sand around 200 meters long sheltered by a cliff, with 30 meter high, jagged, rocky walls with clefts providing bathers with small coves and bays. The beach is accessed by wooden stairs. There is an unpaved parking area with a paved access road. The beach is named after the watchtower built in the middle of the 16th century to guard the coast from North African pirates. The ruins can be seen beside one of the developments on the way to the beach.

Coelha A little bay huddled between tall cliffs. The beach is reached by walking through fields, the parking area being situated around 400 meters away. The beach itself is accessed by wooden stairs. The original vegetation has been conserved and erosion has formed large clefts in the cliff, creating footpaths.

São Rafael Ringed by a fractured cliff with small bluffs emerging from the sea, the beach offers good infrastructure and amenities. It has a parking area near the beach with spaces for people with reduced mobility and the beach is accessed by stairs and ramp.

Arrifes A small bay with a few bluffs, this beach is sheltered from the wind by low cliffs with natural wells. It has a rocky platform where you can walk around at low tide and discover marine life, and is also ideal for diving and exploration activities. There is an unpaved parking area and the beach is reached by wooden stairs.

Peneco Located in the middle of the town, it is accessed by a tunnel excavated through the cliff connecting the beach to “5 de Outubro” street. It is also possible to get to the beach using the stone steps leading down from the Esplanade “Dr. Frutuoso da Silva” or the new lift right next to the steps making it accessible for people with reduced mobility. The beach is 1 kilometre long and separated from Pescadores beach by a cliff.

Pescadores Cut off by a cliff to the east and by an amphitheatre to the north and west, the beach is accessed through the lower town along the 25 de Abril Avenue. Parking is solved by 2 multi-storey car parks. The beach is named after the many fishing boats that used to anchor here and that have now found a home in the modern Porto de Abrigo (Harbour). Foot volley games often take place at the end of the afternoon, the sport having its roots on these sands. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, water skiing, ring rides, shark rides and parasailing.

Inatel Typically urban, this beach is named after the nearby Inatel building, and is framed by a steep, rectilinear cliff.

Alemães This beach is located directly east of Inatel beach. It has various lines of flowing rainy waters giving it characteristically sculptural shapes. On the top of the cliff there are small clusters of pine trees. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats.

Aveiros A beach set under a cliff and flanked by sugar cane fields, with a small waterline that washes onto the sand in the rainy season. The beach is 200 meters long and the access road is part paved, part dirt and may be reached by car, bicycle or on foot. On the eastern side there is a large rock platform forming a long path, perfect for a pleasant stroll down to Forte de São João beach.

Oura Near an urban complex of residences, restaurants and shops, Oura beach is an extensive stretch of sand split down the middle by rocks. Access is by road and the beach has a parking area and a multi-storey car park, as well as good infrastructure and amenities. It has a recreational area with several facilities and is ideal for water sports. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, jet skiing, water skiing, shark rides, parasailing and sailing.

Oura East Located between Oura beach and Santa Eulália beach near an urban complex of residences, hotels, restaurants and shops, this beach is accessed by road. There is a multi-storey car park near the beach and it can be accessed by ramp. The beach is nestled under a cliff, and has good infrastructure and amenities. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, jet skiing, water skiing, shark rides, parasailing and sailing.

Santa Eulália A long stretch of sand circled by low cliffs topped with pine woods. It has a parking area with spaces for people with reduced mobility and is easily accessed. It offers good infrastructure and amenities and several secluded coves among the rock formations. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, water skiing, shark rides, ring rides and jet skiing.

Maria Luísa Nestled under a cliff, the waterline of this beach breaks onto the sand during the rainy season, forming a ravine and splitting the cliff in two. It is accessed by road and dirt track with a parking area at the entrance to the beach with spaces for people with reduced mobility. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, water skiing, shark rides, ring rides, canoeing and jet skiing.

Olhos D’Água Located in the picturesque village of Olhos d’ Água, this beach is named after the famous ‘olheiros’ (freshwater springs), that gush up from the sand flats at low tide. Here you will still see traditional fishing boats and fishermen, and the beach has an imposing reddish sand and clay cliff as a background. The parking area has spaces for people with reduced mobility and it also has a multi-storey car park. It is accessed by a ramp and stairs.

Barranco das Belharucas A long stretch of sand framed by a continuous cliff, this beach boasts good infrastructure and amenities and offers a wide variety of water sports. It can be accessed by car or on foot down a track. There is a small parking area adjoining the beach with spaces for people with reduced mobility. The nooks and crannies of the tall cliffs that line this beach make it a favourite nesting place for the “abelharucos” (a type of bird from the Meropideo’s family) during the mating season. In 2000 it was awarded the “Bandeira Dourada” (Golden Flag) for its rich and moderately used surroundings from an environmental point of view. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, jet skiing, water skiing and shark rides.

Falésia - Açoteias The beach lies beneath a 40-metre high, red clay cliff speckled with white sand. The top of the cliff is covered by a pine wood criss-crossed by paths providing walks above the coastline. From the top of the cliff you get a perspective of just how this place has been blessed by nature. The cliff stretches eastward out of sight beyond the limits of the council, and westward where it is abruptly cut off to make way for a yellowish limestone cliff. The beach is accessed by road and has an adjoining parking area reached by wooden stairs. Recreational equipment is available. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, shark rides and ring rides.

Falésia - Alfamar Located next to the Alfamar Hotel, this beach boasts a long stretch of sand and a continuous cliff. Access is provided by a road to the parking area, followed by a path and finally a ramp down to the beach.

Rocha Baixinha West The beach is sheltered by a low clay cliff gradually giving way to dune crests with typical vegetation sprouting from the sand. The clay composition of the cliff gives it an intense reddish tone, especially when bathed in sunlight. You can drive or walk to the beach along a dirt track. There is a parking area near the beach accessed by a ramp and stairs. Services available in the recreational area: jet skiing and pedal boats.

Rocha Baixinha This 500 metre strip of sand is located between Rocha Baixinha East and Rocha Baixinha West beaches. A dirt track leads down to the beach and there is a small parking area. Services available in the recreational area: jet skiing, water skiing, shark rides, ring rides and pedal boats.

Rocha Baixinha East Located on the limits of the council of Albufeira, this beach has a backdrop of dunes and diversified flora and can be observed from various elevated points. Access to the beach is provided by a dirt track. Services available in the recreational area: pedal boats, jet skiing, water skiing, shark rides, parasailing, volleyball net and children’s playground.