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The best guide to Praia da Rocha

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Praia da Rocha Beach Guide

Praia da Rocha is popular beach resort that is situated on a stunning coastline. The beautiful beaches are bounded by high sandstone cliffs that fall away to wide golden sands and crystal clear waters. The main beach of Praia da Rocha is vast and easily able to accommodate the large numbers of summer visitors. This guide will detail the beaches of the Praia da Rocha region and provide useful information visiting.

beach Praia da Rocha

The massive beach of Praia da Rocha

Beach Overview

There are three major beaches that are within walking distance of Praia da Rocha. The largest and closest to the town is the magnificent beach of Praia da Rocha. Heading west is the smaller beach of Praia dos Tres Castelos, which extends for the same distance as Praia da Rocha but is narrower and bound by higher cliffs.

Due to the outcrops and high cliffs the Tres Castelos beach sometimes subdivided into three separate beaches but all are identical. The third stretch of beach is the Praia do Vau and encompasses the western side of the bay. Vau beach has the lowest cliffs and is the most shelter and quietest of the beaches.

Praia da Rocha Beach

Rocha beach is simply stunning and certain visitors may not feel there is a reason to further explore the coast. The Rocha beach extends for over 1km around the resort, to the east is the old Santa Catarina fort and the mouth to the Portimão estuary while to the west is a rocky headland and viewpoint. The beach is wide and extends shallowly out into the sea, making it suitable for families while providing enough waves for body-boarding.

Praia de Rocha

The main beach of Praia da Rocha

Running along the base of the cliffs is a wooden promenade and there is slope entrance to the beach close to the fort. The seas that surround Praia da Rocha are shockingly cold, vary very little even in the hot summers the mean temperature is 13-15°C. The seas are fed from the Atlantic Ocean and not the Mediterranean giving the constant cold temperatures.

Large portions of the beach are reserved for deck chair and parasol hire which are priced from the captive tourist market (€ 10-15 depending on the season). There are snack bars and restaurants at the base of the cliff with a more extensive selection at the top and the main tourist strip. During the summer Praia da Rocha beach is lifeguard supervised.

Praia de Rocha

There are banana boat rides and jet skis to be hired while close to the castle is a giant children’s inflatable. Praia da Rocha beach is an amazing beach, large enough to accommodate all the visitors while also set along a stunning coastline – it is easy to understand why visitors often do not investigate further afield.

Praia dos Tres Castelos beach

Praia dos Tres Castelos is the second beach of the Praia da Rocha coastline. It is bound by the headland and viewpoint to the east and the Praia do Vau in the west. The beaches here are much narrower, without the vast expanse of sand of Rocha but offer a more idyllic and less commercial atmosphere. The rocky headland divides the 1km coastline into multiple little beaches; the Praia dos Tres Castelos, Praia do Amado and the Praia dos Careanos (east to west). All three beaches are almost identical with beautiful strata cliffs and steep steps down to the golden sand beaches.

Praia do Vau

The Praia do Vau is the most westerly of the coastline and is a very different beach from the previous two. Vau beach is situated along a flat section of land and is sheltered by a high headland. It is 2km from Praia do Vau to Praia Rocha and takes around 20 minutes. The route to Vau beach from Praia do Rocha follows the promenade and then the cliff road (M531) and is an enjoyable route which provides wonderful views over the region.

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