7 Most Beautiful Beaches in Albufeira, Portugal

The best beaches in Albufeira? Below you will find the 7 best and most beautiful ones.

Once again I’m visiting the Algarve. The Golden Coast of Portugal first stole my heart in 2008 and since then I’ve been going to this region regularly.

One of the reasons is that I have relatives in Albufeira but I also love the golden beaches, the red-orange-and-yellow cliffs, and the crystal-clear water.

This time, in my role as a travel blogger, I have committed myself to explore all of Albufeira’s beaches and discover not only the most beautiful but also the best ones.

A man wearing a hat and red shorts on the top of a cliff at Praia da Coelha, Albufeira, Portugal
Are you ready to discover which ones are the 7 most beautiful beaches in Albufeira?

Albufeira, a former fishing village, is now the largest resort town in the Algarve and during the summer holidays, the population grows to around 300,000 residents.

The city has a charming old town with white-washed and tiled houses sporting traditional Algarvian chimneys, restaurants, bars, hotels and gift shops.

There are approximately 25 beaches in Albufeira and you’ll have to travel quite extensively throughout the city to find the 7 beaches listed below.

Unfortunately, the public transportation isn’t good in Albufeira and you may need a car.  You can rent yours with Rental Cars without any additional cost here.

But if you wanted to go to an Albufeira beach that is more central, you could visit Praia dos Pescadores and Peneco when visiting the Old Town.

The 7 Most Beautiful & Best Beaches in Albufeira

Some of the treasures I found during my 20-day trip to the Algarve in 2018 have also made it onto this list of the 7 most beautiful Albufeira beaches, so next time you’re in the city you should check them out.

1 – Praia da Coelha

Located around 6 Km (3.7 mi) west of Albufeira Old Town, Rabbit Beach is a breathtaking beach surrounded by yellow cliffs and has fine golden sand with seashells and crystal-clear blue water.

The beach is a 10 min walk from the parking lot and has calm water, extraordinary rock formations and very picturesque scenery.

The extraordinary scenery of Praia da Coelha, Albufeira, which has crystalline green water surrounded by yellow-orangish cliffs
The extraordinary scenery of Praia da Coelha, the most beautiful beach in Albufeira.

Raised wooden walkways take you to the western part of the beach from where, along the water’s edge, you can reach the sections of Praia da Coelha that are more secluded and quiet.

You can also walk on the trail path along the hilly landscape around it to explore the magnificent viewpoints, find hidden coves and especially see the beauty of Praia da Coelha in all its glory.

There are also some coral reefs, making this beach perfect for snorkelling.

I felt like I found a real treasure while walking along the cliffs of Praia da Coelha. I was completely in awe!

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Is it a real treasure or not? 😉

Praia da Coelha is a Blue Flag beach, with lifeguards on duty, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and beach chairs and umbrellas for hire. There’s a restaurant at the entrance with Wi-Fi, reasonable prices, and bathrooms. Pets and balls aren’t allowed, though.

Praia da Coelha is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in Albufeira but also in the whole Algarve.

You just can’t miss it!

2 – Praia de São Rafael

Prior to my visit to Praia da Coelha, Sao Rafael was my favourite Albufeira beach. The two beaches are within walking distance of each other (25min).

Praia de São Rafael is another gorgeous beach surrounded by bright orange cliffs with golden sand and crystal-clear azure water.

The principal difference between Coelha and São Rafael is that there are some cliffs in the middle of the beach in São Rafael that you need to pass through to get to another section.

There are viewpoints providing breathtaking vistas, a huge parking lot, a restaurant, a kiosk selling beachwear and souvenirs, water sports with good prices, beach chairs and umbrellas for hire, and even a masseur. Pets, caravans, and camping are not permitted.

São Rafael is wheelchair accessible, and very popular among locals and tourists. Every time I visited it there were many families with kids.

But you can also stay in the second section, which has more shade because of the cliffs and is much quieter.

What I like most about Praia de São Rafael are the splendid cliffs and views that they provide. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful and best beaches in Albufeira.

Praia de São Rafael, Albufeira, Portugal
Praia de São Rafael is a popular Albufeira attraction especially because of the viewpoints.

3 – Praia da Falésia

At almost 6 Km, Praia da Falésia is the longest Albufeira beach and extends from Olhos d’Água, on the east side of the city, to the municipality of Vilamoura.

No matter from where you access this beach, it will blow your mind away.

beaches in Albufeira
One of the accesses to Falésia Beach.

The contrast between the dark red and white sandy cliffs topped by green pines against a blue sky is incredibly beautiful and makes it one of the most unique beaches in Albufeira.

beaches in Albufeira
I just love those cliffs topped by green pines contrasting with the blue sky!

Falésia Beach is perfect for long walks, sunbathing, and practising water sports including kayaking, jet skiing, and parasailing. There’s also a trail above the cliffs where you can hike or bike all the way to Vilamoura.

I’ve been to Praia da Falésia several times and this beach always impresses me. Seeing the very “long wall” formed by the differently coloured cliffs of different shapes and heights makes me appreciate even more Mother Nature’s grandeur.

Praia da Falésia, Albufeira
Apart from long walks, you can also do plenty of water sports at Praia da Falésia.

Praia da Falésia is a blue flag beach and has been ranked several times by Trip Advisor as one of the best beaches in Portugal and Europe alike.

4 – Praia dos Arrifes

From the parking lot, you can already imagine that you’re arriving at a very special beach. Walk across green grass through dozens of pine trees, and you come to one of the wildest beaches in Albufeira.

Praia dos Arrifes, locally known as Praia dos Três Penecos, is a small beach with three massive isolated rock formations emerging majestically from the water. It dominates the line of the horizon and makes this beach feel very exotic and miles away from reality.

Praia dos Arrifes, Albufeira, Portugal
You can park your car in three different parking lots at Praia dos Arrifes.

The sheltered bay among rugged rocks is one of the smallest bays in the Algarve. To access the beach, there’s a wooden stairway.

The second section, accessible only from the beach, has many interesting rock formations and fossilized bedrocks.

Some people in the water at Praia dos Arrifes, Albufeira, a small beach with three massive isolated rock formations emerging from the water
So exotic, isn’t it? I love this beach!

The third part, a satellite beach nestled among craggy rocks, is accessible only from the cliffs and is larger and more peaceful than the other two.

A person doing Standup paddleboarding on a section of Praia dos Arrifes, Albufeira, surrounded by yellow cliffs
The most secluded part of Praia dos Arrifes.

This blue flag beach is great for snorkelling, because of the coral reefs, has a restaurant on stilts with great views, bathrooms, lifeguards on duty, and chairs and umbrellas for hire.

The main disadvantage of Arrifes Beach is that there isn’t much space for sunbathing, especially at high tide, when access to the second section becomes very difficult.

I loved Praia dos Arrifes at first sight.

The beach has very unique rocky scenery and seems completely untouched.

5 – Praia da Vila Joya (Xiringuitos)

Located at the end of Galé east, 7 Km (4.4 mi) from the Albufeira’s Old Town, the former Praia dos Xiringuitos is one of the smallest beaches on this list.

Despite the hotel complexes, Praia da Vila Joya still preserves its natural look.

The small bay dotted with cliffs topped with lush vegetation has azure water, soft golden sand, and exquisite rock formations.

It’s truly a hidden gem and definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Albufeira!

beaches in Albufeira
Praia da Vila Joya, a truly hidden gem in Albufeira.

Because many people don’t know Praia da Vila Joya, it’s very serene and you get a feeling of peace the minute you arrive.

In the second section, there are some pools formed by the rocks on the shore that you can enjoy at low tide.

Three people playing with a ball at Praia da Vila Joya, Albufeira, Portugal
Praia da Vila Joya is so beautiful and peaceful.

If you want a superb beach to relax away from the crowds, Praia da Vila Joya is your beach.

There are lifeguards on duty, chairs and umbrellas for hire, and a two-starred Michelin restaurant hidden among the pine trees.

6 – Praia do Castelo

Yet another gorgeous beach located to the west of Albufeira’s Old town. In fact Praia do Castelo is right next to Praia da Coelha.

This beach is surrounded by cliffs and has a wide stretch of thick golden sand, rocks covered with seaweed, and incredible crystal-clear bright green-blue water.

beaches in Albufeira
Praia do Castelo from the cliffs.

When I arrived at Praia do Castelo I was completely speechless. The water is definitely the highlight of this beach. It’s so clear and enticing, but unfortunately just as cold as at the other beaches.

Praia do Castelo is a blue flag beach, has a restaurant with Wi-Fi, bathrooms, lifeguards on duty, chairs and umbrellas for hire, and a masseur.

7 – Praia de Santa Eulália

The last beach on my list is located 3km (1.86 mi) east of the city centre.

Praia de Santa Eulália has fine light golden sand and calm water that makes it good for swimming.

What makes Santa Eulália one of Albufeira best beaches is that it’s surrounded by cliffs with lush pine gardens that can be admired from anywhere on the beach. And the most interesting fact is that on one side the cliffs are red and on the other they are yellow.

Despite being close to the city centre and highly ranked on Trip Advisor, Praia de Santa Eulália is relatively quiet. However, during the peak season, it can get crowded and you may need to park on a very steep hill close to the beach.

Praia de Santa Eulália is wheelchair accessible, blue flag ranked, and has a restaurant, lifeguards, bathrooms, lots of water sports available, sunbed and parasols for hire, and a very large area to set up your towel.

People sunbathing and walking on Praia de Santa Eulália, Albufeira, Portugal
This is what you see when you arrive at Praia de Santa Eulália.

This is my list of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Albufeira and you can separate them into two groups, east, and west, to organize your visit.

There’s a map below so you can have a better idea of the exact location of each Albufeira beach listed in this post.

Safe travels and enjoy Albufeira.

More posts about the Algarve that might interest you:

I always recommend buying travel insurance, which can literally be your lifeline if something happens to you and if your luggage is lost or stolen.

I always use World Nomads Travel insurance for independent travellers. It’s easy to buy, extend & claim online, even after you’ve left home.

Get yours here.

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Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance.

Visiting Albufeira Beaches

Where is Albufeira?

Albufeira is a coastal city in the southern Algarve region of Portugal (check the map here).

Best time to visit Albufeira

Definitely during the summer and especially July and August. But if you don’t like crowds and heat, you should go in June or September.

How to get there?

There’s an international airport in Faro, but the most popular is the one in Lisbon.

From Lisbon, you can take a bus or a train to the Albufeira. The prices are basically the same and they take around 2h and a half to get there.

Some of the companies that fly to Faro are: Easyjet, British Airways, Ryanair and TAP.

You can book your flights with Skyscanner, which is the website that I use and trust.

Where to stay in Albufeira?

Some the hotels that I recommend in Albufeira are:

Budget: Apartamentos Turísticos Novochoro, Água Viva and Albufeira Beach Hotel.

Great Value for Money: Hotel Topázio, Rocamar Exlcusive Hotel & Spa, Hotel do Cerro and Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa.

Luxury: Salgados Dunas Suites, Pine Cliffs Residence a Luxury Collection Resort, Aqua Pedra dos Bicos and Auramar Beach Resort.

Albufeira Tours that I recommend

Extra Tips for Visiting the Beaches in Albufeira

  • Be careful when you’re visiting those beaches, especially when taking pictures because the cliffs are unstable and there is a risk of falling rocks.
  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, hats, towels and plenty of water.
  • The sea is in general very calm but sometimes the water isn’t as clear as you see in this post.
  • Don’t expect warm water because it’s not warm at all.

Helpful Links

  • For more information about the Algarve visit the page: Visit Algarve.
  • For the bus schedule between Lisbon and the Algarve visit Rede Expressos website.
  • To check the local bus timetable and prices click here.
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