The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
Albufeira introduction - When to visit? - Things to do - Beach guide - 1 week - Day trips - Airport to Albufeira
Albufeira is the premier resort town of the Algarve and is situated on a coastline of magnificent sandy beaches.
These beaches range from lively and action-packed beaches through to deserted sandy coves, completely undiscovered by foreign tourists.
If you are in the early stages of planning your holiday to Albufeira, and want to know if there are fantastic sandy beaches here; the answer is simple - yes!
Extending along the coastline of Albufeira Old Town is a glorious 1.9km long sandy beach, while the picturesque Praia da Oura sits at the base of the New Town. These two marvellous beaches are where most tourists will spend the majority of their holiday, but there are many more stunning beaches within the Albufeira coastline.
To the west of Albufeira are the limestone cliffs of the Sesmarias headland, and this coastline conceals many picturesque beaches, hidden at the base of weathered cliffs or ancient river valleys. Found within this region are the beautiful Praia de São Rafael, Praia dos Arrifes and Praia da Coelha.
Slightly further from Albufeira are the two huge beaches of Praia da Falésia or Praia da Galé, which provide a fantastic alternative to Albufeira, and are only a short taxi ride away.
This article will provide a guide to the magnificent beaches of the Albufeira region.
Related articles: Albufeira introduction - Albufeira activities and sights
Albufeira sits directly on a sandy shoreline, and there are glorious beaches within walking distance of the town. The best beaches in Albufeira are:
The Praia dos Pescadores is the main beach of Albufeira, and historically fishing boats were pulled up onto this vast beach. Today Pescadores beach is a lively, family-friendly beach, with the bustling town centre of Albufeira directly behind it. There are sun loungers to relax on, sea inflatables for children, and banana-boats or parasailing for thrill-seekers.
The Praia da Oura – The beautiful beach is situated at the base of Albufeira New Town. Being the main beach of the party focused New Town, Oura beach is lined with trendy beach bars and has beachgoers recovering from the night before. The central section of Oura beach will be busy during the summer, but a 10-minute walk leads to the deserted sands of Praia da Oura Leste.
Praia dos Alemães – The calmer eastern side of Albufeira’s 1.9km sandy coastline. Alemães beach boasts the same golden sands and crystal-clear sea waters as the Praia dos Pescadores, but with a less hectic atmosphere.
Praia de Santa Eulália – A glorious sandy beach that sits between Albufeira and Olhos de Água. This beach is sheltered by a rocky headland, and has some of the calmest sea waters of the region. The Santa Eulália is a fantastic beach for families and serves the mega-hotel complexes on the outskirts of Olhos de Água.
The interactive map below shows the location of all of the beaches in the Albufeira region. The yellow pins display the main beaches of Albufeira, while the blue pins show the quieter and less well-known beaches of the region. (Note: zoom in or out to see all of the points)
The main beaches of the Albufeira region: 1) Praia dos Pescadores 2) Praia do Inatel 3) Praia dos Alemães 4) Praia da Oura 5) Praia de Santa Eulália 6) Praia dos Olhos de Água 7) Praia da Falésia 8) Praia da Galé 9) Praia de São Rafael
The quieter or less famous beaches of Albufeira: 10) Praia da Coelha 11) Praia do Castelo 12) Praia da Oura (east) 13) Praia Maria Luísa 14) Praia do Evaristo 15) Praia dos Arrifes 16) Praia dos Aveiros 17) Praia da Baleeira
Within 7km of Albufeira Old Town are many other picturesque beaches. These beaches provide a more pristine or tranquil setting than the main tourist beaches of Albufeira, and can be easily reached with a short taxi ride.
Praia de São Rafael – An idyllic cove beach, surrounded by golden cliffs and the unspoilt countryside of the Sesmarias headland. Rafael beach is the largest beach of the Sesmarias region (at 250m long), which means it is the most well-known, and in the summer the most popular. Praia de São Rafael has calm turquoise waters and is an outstanding choice for families. Kayaks can be hired from the beach to explore the coastline. São Rafael beach is only 3km (4.6km by car) from the centra of Albufeira Old Town.
Related articles: Praia de São Rafael guide
Praia de São Rafael is a wonderful beach, but it will be busier during the summer months
Praia da Falesia – The largest beach of the central Algarve, which is backed by its distinctive orange clay cliffs. Falesia beach extends for over 5.5km from the village of Olhos de Água to the exclusive resort town of Vilamoura in the east. The huge size of the Praia da Falesia means that large swathes of the beach will be nearly deserted during the summer months. The Praia da Falesia is 6km (10km by car) from the centre of Albufeira Old Town.
Related articles: Praia da Falesia guide
Looking along the cliff tops of the Praia da Falesia towards the Olhos de Água
Praia da Galé – A vast sandy beach on the western side of the Sesmarias headland. This section of the Algarve coastline comprises of ancient sand dunes and established beach vegetation, and boasts a glorious sandy shoreline of over 5km. The eastern side (Praia da Galé Leste) is the most pretty as it nestles between limestone outcrops. The Praia da Galé Leste is only 6km (7km by car) from the centre of Albufeira Old Town.
Praia dos Olhos de Água – The charming beach of Olhos de Água, where fishing boats are hauled onto after a day out on the sea. This golden sand beach is surrounded by rocky headlands and is a likeable alternative to the main beaches of Albufeira. Olhos de Água is 5km (7.3km driving) from the Albufeira Old Town.
Related articles: Olhos de Água town guide
Small fishing boats are pulled onto the pretty beach of Olhos de Água
The Albufeira coastline conceals many hidden beaches, which are barely known by foreign tourists. These beaches may need a walk or taxi ride to reach them, but their solitude and tranquillity is worth the effort.
The Praia da Oura (Leste) – Surprisingly, one of the quietest and most pristine beaches of the Albufeira region is connected to one of the busiest. The only access to the Oura Leste beach is to walk 10min along the beach, and few tourists are willing to do, which means it is always deserted.
The deserted sections of Praia da Oura Leste, only a 15minute walk from the hectic area of the beach
Praia dos Arrifes – The quieter eastern side of the Praia de São Rafael. This is a beautiful beach nestled within the golden cliffs of the Sesmarias headland, with rocky outcrops jutting out into the water. The beach is sheltered from waves and is an ideal location for snorkelling.
Praia da Coelha - This is one of the best beaches close to the village of Evaristo. The beach is surrounded by highly weathered limestone cliffs, and the sea formations include a small sea arch. The Praia da Coelha is a favourite with locals and is another great choice for a calm family-friendly beach.
The Praia da Baleeira – This small sandy beach sits on the mouth of Albufeira marina. To reach it requires a long walk around the entire marina complex, which means it is often deserted. Baleeira beach is an enjoyable setting to watch the stream of pleasure craft entering or departing from the marina, and just above the beach is the Ponta da Baleeira viewpoint.
Praia do Castelo - A picturesque beach, hidden within the western cliffs of the Sesmarias headland. At only 150m wide, it's one of the smaller beaches of the region, but also one of the quietest. Castelo beach can be easily reached from the Praia da Coelha, and there are many scenic clifftop walks around the beach.
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