Planning to enjoy the 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 visit this region every other year. 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 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.
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 you visit the Old Town.
The 7 Most Beautiful 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 beaches in Albufeira, 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 azure water.
The beach is a 10 min walk from the parking lot, has calm water, extraordinary rock formations and very picturesque scenery.
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 also some coral reefs, making this beach perfect for snorkeling.
I felt like I found a real treasure while walking along the cliffs of Praia da Coelha. I was completely in awe!
Praia da Coelha is a Blue Flag beach, with lifeguards on duty, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and beach chairs and umbrellas for hire and there is 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 favorite 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, very popular among locals and tourists and both times I visited it there were many families with kids. But you can also stay on the second section, which has more shade because of the cliffs and is much quieter.
What I like most of Praia de São Rafael are the splendid cliffs and views that they provide. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Albufeira.
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 Vila Moura.
No matter from where you access this beach, it will blow your mind away.
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.
Falésia Beach is perfect for long walks, sunbathing and practicing water sports including kayaking, jet skiing and parasailing. There is also a trail above the cliffs where you can hike or bike all the way to Vila Moura.
I’ve been to Praia da Falésia several times and this beach always impresses me. Seeing the very ‘long wall” formed by the differently colored cliffs of different shapes and heights makes me appreciate even more Mother Nature’s grandeur.
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.
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.
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.
This blue flag beach is great for snorkeling, because of the coral reefs, has a restaurant on stilts with great views, bathrooms, lifeguards on duty and chairs and umbrellas for hire.
Be aware that at high tide, access to the second section is very difficult.
I loved Praia dos Arrifes at first sight. The beach has very unique rocky scenery and seems completely untouched. It’s not on the top of my list of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Albufeira just because its beauty is apparent mostly at low tide when the water is shallow and you can see the contrasting coral reefs.
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!
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.
On the second section there are some pools formed by the rocks on the shore that you can enjoy at low tide.
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, has a wide stretch of thick golden sand, rocks covered with seaweed and incredible crystal-clear bright green-blue water.
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 center.
Praia de Santa Eulália has fine light golden sand and calm water that makes it good for swimming.
What makes Santa Eulália one of the most beautiful beaches in Albufeira is that it’s surrounded by cliffs with lush pine gardens that can be admired from anywhere on this beach. And the most interesting fact is that in one side the cliffs are red and the other they are yellow.
Despite of being close to the city center 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, subbed and parasols for hire and a very large area to set up your towel.
This is my list of the 7 most beautiful beaches in Albufeira and you can separate then in two groups, east and west, to organize your visit.
There’s an Albufeira beaches map below so you can have a better idea of the exact location of each.
Safe travels and enjoy the beaches in Albufeira.You cant’ miss this post: Three Most Beautiful Beaches in the Algarve Want more beaches? Here are 7 Must-See Beaches in Lagos
I always recommend to buy a 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 travelers. It’s easy to buy, extend & claim online, even after you’ve left home. Get yours here.
Where is Albufeira?
Albufeira is a coastal city in the southern Algarve region of Portugal (check the map here).
Best time to visit the Algarve
Definitely during the summer and specially July and August. But if you don’t like crowds and heat, you should go June or September.
How to get there?
There is 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 Algarve. The prices are basically the same and they take around 2h and half to get there.
Some of the companies that fly to Faro are: Easyjet, British Airways, Ryanair and TAP.
I really recommend you to hire a car while in Albufeira because the public transportation isn’t that good. You can hire yours with Rental Cars without any additional cost here.
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 Exlusive 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 Agramar Beach Resort.
Pack your Bag with My Beach Essentials
- Be careful when you’re visiting those beaches, specially when taking pictures, because the cliffs are unstable and there is 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 and you see in this post.
- Don’t expect warm water because it’s not warm at all.
- 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.