The Most Beautiful Beaches in or near Albufeira, Portugal

Praia dos Arrifes is an excellent destination for snorkelling
Praia dos Arrifes is an excellent destination for snorkelling | © Mikehoward 2 / Alamy Stock Photo
Mandi Keighran

Arguably the Algarve’s most visited resort, Albufeira sits nearby to some of Portugal’s finest stretches of coastline.

What was once a sleepy fishing village has been transformed into one of the Algarve’s most popular tourist destinations, with a vibrant nightlife strip and a busy marina offering boat trips, dolphin-watching tours and diving. Albufeira is also home to some of the region’s most beautiful beaches, from hidden coves where you can escape the crowds to popular family-friendly beaches with a playground and Blue Flag-rated beaches with crystal-clear waters. Planning a holiday to Albufeira? This is our pick of the best beaches in and around the town.

Praia da Falésia

This isn’t just one of the most beautiful beaches near Albufeira, but regularly pops up on lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The 6km (4mi) beach is one of the longest in the country and is defined by its bright-red cliffs topped with pine trees that tower over golden sands and clear blue waters. The beach also takes its name – which translates as “beach of cliffs” – from these colourful cliffs. The east end of the beach is where you’ll find watersports, including diving, snorkeling, paragliding, jet-skiing and some of the region’s best surfing.

Praia dos Pescadores

Praia dos Pescadores runs directly in front of Albufeira’s old town and is one of the main beaches in the resort. While it might be tricky to find a patch of sand on the 225m (738ft) beach to claim in summer months, it does offer excellent convenience and accessibility – there’s even an escalator from the Pau da Bandeira bluff down to the beach and old town. Praia dos Pescadores hasn’t always been crowded with tourists, though. Before Albufeira became one of Portugal’s most popular resort towns, it was a bustling fishing town and the beach is named after the fishermen who once launched boats from its shore.

Praia da Coelha

If you’re looking for a quieter, more secluded beach near Albufeira, head to Praia da Coelha, located between Albufeira and Armação de Pêra. This pretty cove is only accessible via a footpath through bamboo, olive groves and carob trees that leads to timber steps, which makes access slightly tricky and keeps crowds away even in peak summer months. The beach is surrounded by large cliffs that protect the beach from wind – but remember not to sit directly beneath the rocks as it can be dangerous. Despite its secluded location, there are plenty of amenities, including sun loungers and parasols for rent, toilets, showers and a beachfront cafe.

Praia do Castelo

The name of this beach near the village resort of Sesmarias might translate as “Castle Beach” but there’s no castles nearby today – rather, the name comes from a long-gone watchtower that protected Albufeira’s coast in the 16th century and a large rock formation on the east side of the beach that resembles a castle. The crystal-clear waters are watched over by lifeguards in the summer making it a popular spot for swimming and snorkelling. There’s also a small beachside restaurant, Restaurante Pic-Nic, serving up fresh seafood and sandwiches.

Praia dos Arrifes

This tiny slice of sand framed by low cliffs might be the smallest of Albufeira’s beaches, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty. The three large rock formations that sit just off the shore make it an excellent destination for snorkelling and it’s protected from the wind by the cliffs. If you plan on swimming here, however, you might want to pack some water shoes, as there are a lot of rocks near the shore. During low tide, it’s possible to explore the nearby coves as well as the many tidal rock pools.

Praia dos Alemães

To the west of Albufeira’s old town you’ll find Praia dos Alemães. This long, Blue Flag-rated beach is one of the less developed main beaches in Albufeira, but it can still get crowded. It’s particularly popular with families thanks to a floating inflatable playground, while there’s a seasonal lifeguard on duty during summer months. There are also pedal boats and kayaks for hire and the opportunity to take an exhilarating ride on a banana boat. Just want to sit back and relax? Rent one of the shaded sun loungers that line the beach, or head to one of the many beachside restaurants or bars.

Praia do Barranco

Looking for a dog-friendly beach in the Algarve? Head to Praia do Barranco. This secluded beach is located down the coast from Albufeira, on the western tip of the Algarve near Sagres. The calm waters are ideal for swimming and the cliffs provide shelter from the wind. The beach is ideal for letting dogs off leash with plenty of sand at low tide. Aside from a small parking area, there’s no amenities on the beach so you’ll need to bring everything you need with you.

Praia da Rocha Baixinha

This peaceful beach to the eastern end of Falésia Beach is perhaps better known by its nickname “Praia dos Tomates” thanks to the tomato plants growing by one of the entrances. The beach is split into two parts – the east and the west, both of which have a Blue Flag rating. The western part of the beach sits next to the mouth of the River Quarteira and the upmarket resort town of Vilamoura lies on the other side. The Vilamoura Marina is home to luxurious boutiques, making it the perfect destination for a spot of shopping.

Praia do Evaristo

This tiny cove near the village of Galé is popular with Portugal’s rich and famous – not only because of its clear waters and secluded atmosphere, but also thanks to Evaristo Restaurant. This renowned eatery opened its doors in 1986 and is located directly on the beachfront. Its specialties include fresh fish, clams, tiger shrimp, scarlet shrimp, Squid Evaristo and lobster from the Algarve coast. It even offers a maritime transfer service for guests needing to reach the shore from boats.

Praia Maria Luísa

Located in the southern Algarve, this pretty stretch of sand can be easily reached by following a narrow footpath from the resort town of Olhos de Água. While it might seem to be in a fairly secluded location, it’s often busy due to the Club Med da Balaia resort that sits on top of the red cliffs that surround the beach. The beach itself offers umbrellas, sun loungers and watersports equipment for hire, while there’s a beachside restaurant with a shaded terrace serving traditional dishes, such as grilled sardines and swordfish.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, why not book into on of the best hotels in Albufeira? If you want to take advantage of the beach, we also know all of the best beach hotels in this coastal town. For more inspiration, check out the top things to see and do while you’re here, including the best restaurants for a true taste of the Algarve.

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