With a 30km-long (18mi) coastline, Albufeira offers an excellent choice of several golden-sand beaches, from those that sit beneath the Old Town to many more stunning beaches that lie just a short walk or drive away.
Discover long strands of golden-sand beaches indented with tree-covered headlands that frame idyllic coves, with perfect conditions for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
On occasions some of the beaches are also good for surfing and windsurfing.
Albufeira has three connecting beaches, which lie directly beneath the whitewashed cottages and narrow alleyways of the Old Town.
The best beaches in Albufeira and nearby, include…
Dig your toes into the soft golden sand of one of Albufeiro’s main beaches.
Praia do Peneco sits in the west, and is separated from Praia dos Pescadores by a protruding cliff. To the east, Praia dos Pescadores is bordered by Praia do Inatel. It's easy to walk from one beach to another.
If you like collecting shells, this is your beach, since so many shells lie scattered in the sand.
Praia do Peneco (also known as Praia do Túnel) can be reached through a 20m-long tunnel from the Old Town. This is the main entrance to the beach. Or you can take the escalator, staircase or elevator from the cliff top. The 28m-tall Elevador do Peneco also offer a great viewpoint over the beach.
Facilities include parasols, sun loungers, banana boats, jet skis and pedalos (foot pedal boats) for hire, lifeguards, toilets and showers.
There's also a beach bar, called the Roca Beach Bar, where you can buy ice cream, a cold beer or enjoy a meal. The beach bar also has free toilet facilities.
To the west, lies the cave of Xorino (Gruta do Xorino), once used as a shelter by the Moors to hide after the Christian conquest of the town, in the 13th century.
Directly behind the beach and in the nearby streets of the Old Town you can find numerous shops, restaurants, bars and cafés.
If beach gets too crowded for your liking, just wander east and you can find a quiet spot along this 2km-long (1.2mi) stretch of golden sand that links Praia do Peneco with Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Inatel.
Framed by soaring rock formations, Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman's Beach) – so-called because local fishermen once beached their boats here between fishing trips – is about 225m (246yd) in length. During low tide, it is more than 100m (109yd) wide.
As the fishing activities are no longer on the beach, many locals tend to call this beach simply Praia de Albufeira.
Together with Praia do Túnel, Praia dos Pescadores forms one big beach, ajoining Praia do Inatel to the east. It's easy to walk from one beach to another.
The fine and gold-coloured sand is soft, with many broken shells in some sections. It's a good idea to wear sandels or flip flops when walking on the beach. There is a wooden boardwalk on sections of the beach.
Facilities include parasols, sun loungers, banana boats, jet skis and pedalos (foot pedal boats) for hire, lifeguards, toilets, showers and a beach bar. In summer, there's also an inflatable water park for children
Make sure to check the magnificent views over the old city and beach from the Pau da Bandeira lookout, located on the cliff top at the eastern end of the beach.
From Pau da Bandeira, you can descend the cliff top to the beach via an escalator.
Directly behind the beach lies a large square, surrounded by many restaurants, bars and cafés.
Praia dos Pescadores is very popular with locals and visitors alike, and may become crowded, especially during the summer months. It is also very lively at night.
If the beach gets too crowded for your liking, just wander east and you can find a quiet spot along the 2km (1.2mi) stretch of golden sand that links Praia dos Pescadores with Praia do Inatel and Praia dos Alemães.
Praia do Inatel is named after the Inatel Hotel, which sits right on the 800m-long (874yd) beach. At low tide the beach is around 500m (546yd) wide.
Although close to the Old Town of Albufeira, Praia do Inatel is less crowded than the town beaches of Praia do Túnel and Praia dos Pescadores. Praia do Inatel is an easy 10-minute walk from Old Town of Albufeira.
The beach is mainly visited by guests from the Inatel Hotel and other hotels nearby. It's a good beach to visit if you want more space, but also want to stay close to the Old Town.
The beach is bordered by an ochre-coloured cliff, which features several cliff-top walking trails that lead to special miradouros (viewpoints) where you can take in the panoramic views.
Facilites include sun longers, toilets, lifeguards as well as food and drink kiosks.
The Inatel Hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and sun-lounger terrace as well as bar and restaurant facilities – even if you're not a guest. The hotel provides several watersports activities, including diving.
Praia do Inatel is located between Praia dos Pescadores (to the west) and Praia dos Alemães (to the east).
Praia dos Alemães is an extension of Praia do Inatel and offers more space if the beaches closer to Albufeira are crowded.
This golden-sand beach stretches for around 500m (546yd) and is framed by low cliffs.
The beach is home to several holiday apartments and hotels along with numerous holiday and residential villas. These developments are separated by small pathways giving access to the beach.
A raised boardwalk runs east to west along the beach, with the main access point at the Hotel Monica Isabel Beach Club.
Beach facilities include parasols, sun loungers, toilets, showers, lifeguards and watersports equipment for hire. The beach is lined with several licensed bars and restaurants. In summer, there's also an inflatable platform for children a few metres off the beach.
At the eastern end of Praia dos Alemães, the beach ends at a rocky outcrop, however a wooden staircase gives access to a coastal path leading to Praia dos Aveiros.
Discover a scenic alternative to Praia dos Pescadores.
This 900m-long (984yd) crescent of golden sand is framed by sun-bleached cliffs topped with green trees and is easily accessible by following a coastal path over a rocky bluff. The beach has some small caves and coves.
Praia da Oura lies between Praia dos Aveiros (to the west) and Praia de Santa Eulália (to the east). At low tide, it's possible to walk east all the way to Praia dos Olhos de Água.
Facilities include parasols, sun loungers, lifeguards, toilets and showers, as well as banana boats, jet skis and pedalos (foot pedal boats) for hire. Nearby sit a large choice of cafes, bars, restaurants, apartments and hotels.
Come for a day or stay at the luxury Oura Beach Club, which overlooks the golden sand and turquoise water.
Praia da Oura comes alive at night, especially during the summer months. The beach is a short walking distance from the Strip entertainment district, which is home to numerous bars and clubs. Not surprisingly, Praia da Oura is considered the number one party beach on the Algarve.
Praia da Oura is located 3km (1.8mi) to the east of Albufeira, around 8 minutes by car. It is situated in a neighbourhood called Areias de São João and is very near the new centre of Albufeira, a lively district with lots of bars and restaurants.
Unwind on this 500m-long (546yd) crescent of fine, golden sand that nestles beneath ragged red-ochre cliffs topped with pine trees and pink spiny thrift and white sand lilies at the base.
The beach shelves gentle into the sea, which is generally crystal clear and calm. This beach is perfect for swimming and snorkelling the rocky headlands.
Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, and lifeguards patrolling the beach during summer. Watersports for hire include jet skis, parasailing and banana boats.
Discover creature comforts at a choice of nearby hotels including the luxurious Grande Real Santa Eulalia – one of the most luxurious hotel resorts in the Algarve.
Praia de Santa Eulália is located 4km (2.5mi) east of Albufeira's centre, which makes it often less crowded than other beaches in Albufeira.
Framed by rugged sandstone cliffs and fronting a small, charming fishing village of the same name, Praia dos Olhos de Água offers a soft sand beach shelving gently into usually calm water.
Praia dos Olhos de Água is famous for its natural springs, visible when the retreating tide uncovers a number of springs among rocks on the eastern side of the beach as well as several places on the beach. The water is fresh, cold and can be drunk.
This natural phenomenon gives the beach its name: local residents call the natural springs 'Olhos d'Água', meaning 'eyes of water'.
Behind the beach fishing nets hang out to dry alongside colourful boats and fishermen's huts.
A promenade separates the beach from a small pedestrian precinct where you can find several restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and hotels.
Beachfront facilities include sun loungers and parasols.
While relatively small, Praia dos Olhos de Água is less crowded than some beaches around Albufeira. During low tide, you can walk east all the way to Praia da Falésia and Vilamoura. To the west lies Praia da Oura.
On the east side of the beach a narrow path leads over the cliffs towards Praia da Falésia.
Praia dos Olhos de Água is located about 7km (4mi) east of Albufeira.
Unwind on this 6km-long (3.7mi), narrow beach that lies beneath towering russet-coloured cliffs topped with pine trees.
Praia da Falésia stretches east from Olhos de Água to Vilamoura, and is famous for its impressive red cliffs, especially around Olhos de Água.
The beach is perfect for a long beach walk. From the small village of Olhos de Água to Vilamoura takes about 2 hours.
At low tide you may see people collecting small clams, called conquilhas – a delicious local specialty.
Praia da Falésia consists of two sections: Alfamar and Açoteias, which are quite different from each other. For instance, the beach is considerably narrower at Olhos de Água than at Vilamoura.
Praia da Falésia Açoteias is the west section of the beach (near Olhos de Água) and is famous for the high red cliffs.
Here, you can find several popular hotels a short walking distance from the beach, including the 5-star Epic Sana Algarve Beach Hotel, which was designed in the style of an Algarvian village and set amid a subtropical garden dotted with pine trees overlooking the beach.
Above the cliffs, a hiking trail (photo) offers spectacular views over the beach and the sea.
Praia da Falésia Alfamar is located at the east end of the beach (towards Vilamoura), named after the Alfamar Beach & Sport Resort, which has a beachfront restaurant where you enjoy a drink or meal.
The beach here has lower cliffs; the more you walk east, the lower the cliffs. The beach is also wider and the waters are quite shallow, especially during low tide, when you can walk up to 50m into the water.
On this section of the beach, there are excellent beach restaurants as well as all types of watersports, including paragliding, diving and a surfing school.
Sunbathe on the soft, golden sand and swim in crystal clear water. Or windsurf should the south-westerly winds kick-in.
Beach facilities include parasols, sun loungers and pedalos for hire, as well as lifeguards, toilets, showers and beachside snack bars.
Praia da Falésia is around 10km (6mi) east of Albufeira and adjoins Praia da Vilamoura to the east.
Dig your toes into the soft golden sand of this long beach (also known as Praia Marina) that stretches infront of the popular beach resort of Vilamoura.
A choice of luxury, beachfront hotels including Dom Pedro Golf Resort Hotel, Vila Sol Spa & Golf Resort and Hilton Vilamoura lie just steps away.
Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, lifeguards, toilets, showers and beachside snack bars. Water sports include pedalos, parasailing and jet skiing.
This entire region is one long beach strip identified by different names. To the west lies Praia da Falésia Alfamar, while to the east Vilamoura Beach continues into Praia da Quarteira.
Praia da Vilamoura is around 10km east of Albufeira and 15km west of Faro Airport.
(Vale do Lobo) – Relax on the soft golden sand of this idyllic stretch of beach that nestles beneath red-sandstone cliffs topped by palm trees and the green fairways of the Vale do Lobo Resort’s world-class golf course.
Come for a day or enjoy a wide range of creature comforts at the resort.
Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, lifeguards, toilets and showers. Unwind at the several beachside bars, cafés and restaurants.
The resort of Vale do Lobo is located around 25km (15mi) east of Albufeira.
To the west of Albufeiro, lie a gorgeous string of small, secluded golden-sand beaches.
Framed by scenic ochre-coloured sandstone cliffs and craggy rock formations indented with numerous rock pools, caves and grottos, these beaches are a less-crowded alternative to Albufeiro’s bustling town beaches.
Visit the secluded tree-fringed Praia Evaristo and Praia Coelho, accessed by descending winding hillside tracks, or check out Praia do Castello and Praia São Rafael, a wide expanse of golden sand framed by scenic rocky outcrops.
Framed by orange-coloured cliffs, Praia São Rafael offers a wide expanse of soft, golden sand that shelves gently into crystal-clear water. The beach is great for both swimming and snorkeling.
In summer, Praia São Rafael is divided into two sections: one with sunbeds and one without – you can bring your own parasol. A beach restaurant – Restaurante da Praia de São Rafael – serves fresh seafood, along with cold drinks.
The beach is well known for its scenic rock formations with very peculiar shapes – the result of thousands of years of wind erosion. Nearby lie several caves and grottoes that are interesting to explore.
A cliff top walking trail offers panoramic views over the beach and surroundings.
Praia São Rafael is located around 6km (3.7mi) west of Albufeira.
Backed by orange-coloured cliffs, Praia da Coelha (rabbit beach) offers a tranquil golden-sand beach that shelves into calm, crystal-clear water that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Praia da Coelha is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve. Shelter from the sun under the shade of the cliffs or explore rock tunnels along the water's edge that lead to remote sections of the beach.
Facilities include a lifeguard and a café located at the entrance to the beach where you can cool off with ice cream, cold drinks and snacks.
Surrounded by coastal shrubland, the beach is accessed via a small trail lined with carob trees. Other trails branch off the track into the hilly coastal landscape. These paths lead to magnificent viewpoints and more hidden coves.
Praia da Coelha is located around 7km (4.3mi) west of Albufeira.
Framed by picture-perfect deeply fissured sandstone cliffs, Praia do Castelo offers a 100m-long (109yd) expanse of golden sand that shelves into calm, crystal-clear water.
Facilities include sun loungers and umbrellas for hire, lifeguards and a beachside restaurant
Apart from the restaurant the beach is completely undeveloped and unspoiled.
The smaller cliffs and rocky outcrops that project out of the sea provide great diving and snorkelling opportunities.
The large cliffs may also provide shade, although for safety reasons you should heed the warnings about falling rocks and keep at a safe distance.
The beach is accessed down a wooden staircase from the nearby car park. A clifftop walking trail leads to an adjacent secluded cove.
Praia do Castello is located around 7km (4.3mi) west of Albufeira.
(Galé) – Pick your own spot to unwind on the soft, golden sand of this 2km-long (1.2mi) beach that merges into Praia Armação de Pêra in the west.
Although in effect one long beach, Praia da Galé comprises several beaches that lie side by side, merging seamlessly into one another: Praia da Galé Leste (in the east) merges into Praia da Galé Oeste (in the west), which in turn merges into Praia dos Salgados, then Praia Grande de Pêra and finally the beach of Armação de Pêra.
Much of Praia da Galé still has an undeveloped feel and is a pleasant escape from the more crowded beaches of Albufeira, and is perfect for long beach walks by the sea.
An environmentally protected dune landscape stretches behind most of this long beach area.
The eastern side of the beach – Praia da Galé Leste – offers excellent swimming conditions and is characterized by rock formations, while the western beach side – Praia da Galé Oeste – is much wider.
At Praia da Galé Leste the sea is quite shallow and there are natural rock pools, as well as sea caves. Small, intimate coves form on the beach.
The rock formations provide shade in addition to the sun loungers that are available for hire.
Facilities on Praia da Galé Leste include parasols and sun loungers, lifeguards, toilets and showers, with several beachside snack bars and restaurants nearby.
Water sports include banana boats, jet skis and pedalos. The beach is wheelchair accessible.
Access to Praia da Galé Oeste is by a wooden walkway from the adjacent car park. The long approach is also wheelchair accessible.
Praia da Galé Oeste offers several walking rails through the dunes, where you can see many different plants and birds.
Facilities here include sun loungers, lifeguards and some water sports, such as surfing and jet skiing. If you want more action, head to Praia da Galé Leste.
Come for a day or stay longer at the exclusive beachfront Hotel Estalagem Vila Joya; this luxurious boutique hotel boasts a renowned Michelin 2-star restaurant.
Praia da Galé is around 9km (5.6mi) west of Albufeira.
(Benagil) – Relax on this secluded 300m-long (328yd) beach of golden sand that nestles beneath impressive steep sandstone cliffs facing the calm turquoise waters of a pretty cliff-framed cove.
Follow the cliff-top walking trail to find two smaller and even more secluded beaches.
Or snorkel beneath the towering headlands, indented with grottos and caves just waiting to be explored. Take your own food and drinks, as there are no facilities at this beach.
Praia de Marinha is located between the small towns of Benagil and Vale de Engenhos, around 23km (14mi) west of Albufeira.
Latest update: Best Beaches in Albufeira: 22 December, 2019
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