The best independent guide to the Algarve
The best independent guide to the Algarve
The Praia da Falésia is one of the finest beaches of the Algarve and is an amazing destination for your beach day trip.
The beach boasts golden sands, clean seawaters and distinctive orange cliffs. Falésia is a huge beach, extending for over 8km from Olhos de Água in the west to Vilamoura in the east.
The Praia da Falésia is situated in the most touristy section of the Algarve, but the beach has a surprisingly pristine and natural setting. The beach is backed by fragile clay cliffs, and this, combined with the nature park that runs along the cliff tops, has prevented the intrusion of any ugly tourist development or mega hotel complexes.
The Praia da Falésia is a beautiful sandy beach
For your beach day trip, the Praia da Falésia is a wonderful destination to head to. The beach is vast, with a wide stretch of golden sands that extend along its entire length. The seawaters are clean and are semi-exposed to the powerful Atlantic waves that roll along the Algarve coastline. Under the right conditions, these waves can be suitable for surfing.
Most visitors to Falesia beach tend to crowd around the three main access points, at Olhos de Água, Vilamoura and Açoteias, which is to the east of the Pine Cliffs Golf complex.
From any of these locations, if you’re willing to walk for 5-minutes, you will discover near-deserted beaches, even in the peak season. The large size of the Praia da Falésia means that it is a great choice of beach in the summer season, when many of the Algarve’s other beaches are crowded.
Related articles: The best beaches of the Algarve
The Praia da Falésia close to the town of Olhos de Água is the most picturesque section of the beach
For your beach trip, the Praia da Falésia near Açoteias is probably the best section of beach to head to
The eastern side of Praia da Falésia has a much wider beach and is surrounded by sand dunes
The Praia da Falésia at Olhos de Água
The cliffs are at their highest around the Olhos de Água, and this is the most scenic section of the beach.
This is a fantastic beach if you are based in Olhos de Água, but the limited car parking means it is not a great choice if you driving. Falésia beach is often the better beach than the Praia dos Olhos de Água (the other main beach in Olhos de Água), which can get very crowded in the summer.
This section of the Praia da Falésia is supervised by lifeguards, while the headland provides shelter from the powerful waves and sea breezes. Situated on the beach are the “O Golfinho” (www.
At the base of the cliffs is a small car park (43 spaces), which is reached via a narrow road (starts at GPS:37.09547, -8.18154). At the top of the cliffs is the “Miradouro da Falésia” viewpoint, which provides stunning views of the coastline.
The golden sands of the western side of the Praia da Falesia
The Praia da Falésia at Vilamoura
To the eastern side of the Praia da Falesia, the cliffs lessen, and the beach is backed by sand dunes and beach vegetation.
At the very eastern end of Falesia beach is the resort town of Vilamoura, a popular destination for golfing holidays that is centred around an exclusive marina complex. The section of Falésia beach closest to Vilamoura is known as the Praia Rocha Baixinha Nascente, and where the cliffs begin is called the Praia dos Tomates.
The Praia dos Tomates is one of the quietest parts of the Praia da Falesia
The Praia Rocha Baixinha Nascente is an outstanding beach and can be easily walked to from Vilamoura
At Vilamoura, there is ample car parking for Falésia beach (GPS: 37.07707, -8.12898), but it is very expensive at €2.8 per hour. The dirt car park close to the beach has now been blocked off, but there is free car parking within the town of Vilamoura.
On the Praia Rocha Baixinha Nascente beach are many trendy beach restaurants, in keeping with the sophisticated nature of Vilamoura. These include “My Al Mar”, “Thai Beach Club”, and “NoSoloÁgua” (nosoloagua.com), which is also a trendy night-time venue.
At the Praia dos Tomates is a water sports centre (Nautic Drive), which offers jet-skiing, wakeboarding and parasailing; nauticdrive-algarve.com
The Praia da Falésia is only a short walk from Vilamoura, but most visitors based in Vilamoura head to the overly crowded Praia de Vilamoura. From central Vilamoura, it is only a 1.3km walk to the Praia da Falésia, and it is a pleasant route around the marina complex.
Stylish beach restaurants line the beach near Vilamoura
The Praia da Falésia at Açoteias
Açoteias is the central section of the Praia da Falésia, and is probably the best section of the beach for your beach day trip. The beach here is stunning, boasting golden sands, towering orange cliffs and kilometres of beach extending in both directions.
The Praia da Falésia at Açoteias is supervised by lifeguards and is safe for families and children. The beach is reached via a staircase, and most visitors tend to crowd around this area, but 100m from this point, the beach is near deserted.
There are no restaurants or cafes directly on the beach, with only a simple snack bar at the top of the stairs. On the beach, parasols and sun chairs can be hired for €12 per day. The waves at Falésia are suitable for surfing, and at Açoteias there is a surf school, the Albufeira Adventure (www.albufeira
As with all beaches in the Algarve, the water temperature of the Praia da Falésia is surprisingly chilly, only reaching a maximum of 22C in the summer.
At the top of the cliffs is a large free car park (GPS: 37.08832, -8.17053), and there is a secondary dirt-overflow car park.
The highly weathered clay cliffs of the Praia da Falésia near Açoteias
Heading down to the Praia da Falésia from the car park (Note: there is no car parking on this road)
Between Açoteias and the Praia dos Tomates sections of the Praia da Falésia is an incredibly scenic cliff top walk. This route follows the rugged cliffs for 3.5km and can be extended to Vilamoura or Olhos de Água by walking along the beach.
Note: It is not possible to follow the cliff tops around the Pine Cliffs golf course.
The cliffs of the Praia da Falésia are at their tallest to the west and rise 42m above the beach. These are very fragile cliffs comprising of red clays, and layers of sand and brilliant white sand. The constant erosion of the cliffs replenishes the beach with new sands but means that they are very unsteady, especially after heavy rains.