While the wonderful town of Albufeira has plenty else going for it, there’s no doubt its main attractions are the incredible beaches that surround this coastal destination. There are shorelines for those who don’t want to hear anything but the waves, and for those who need easy access to amenities as they’re travelling with kids or dependents. And, of course, in true Albufeira style there are plenty of spots to start the party early, with music, drinks, and plenty of fun to be had on the sand. If you’re keen to make sure your beach escape is up to scratch, then read ahead for our guide to the best beaches and bays in Albufeira.
Beach Falesia Acoteias
An incredible beach on its own terms, Beach Falesia Acoteias is made all the more special thanks to its dramatic, crimson cliffs that give the already beautiful beach an even more stunning backdrop. Although the cliffs are a major feature of the space, it’s still an easily accessible beach with plenty of amenities nearby.
At low tide there’s plenty of room on the sand, so you can have all the benefits of a popular, connected beach with added seclusion and quiet, if you’re around at the right time of day. The sun hits the shore almost all day long, and the waters are clean and calm, making it a perfect place to go for a dip.
While it isn’t a location for those looking to get on the party scene, there are plenty of bars and restaurants a short hop away where you can indulge in a beer or two.
Praia da Coelha
This blue flag beach is just a short drive (or long walk) from Albufeira. The slight distance from the buzzing centre of town makes it one of the most serene Albufeira beaches, a notion that’s only confirmed when you take in the scenic views from the shore. There’s a car park so it’s easy to come here on four wheels, and even the tarmac is aesthetically pleasing to pass through as it’s lined by olive, carob, and bamboo trees.
Praia de Coelha is also served by many well-maintained boardwalks, which means comparatively easy access for buggies and wheelchairs.
Plus, families and those with dependents will be happy to know there’s a small beach bar and restaurant serving beachgoers, offering a shower and bathroom area for after your day on the sand. The beach itself is defined by soft, golden sand, with a few interesting rock formations that add to the beauty of the view.
Praia do Tunel
One of the two main beaches in Albufeira, Praia do Tunel lies at the Western end of town and is the pinnacle of what an urban beach should be. Named for the 20m-long tunnel that cuts through the cliffs that link the town square to the beach, it’s the perfect spot to relax after a hard night of hitting the dancefloor, or even to luxuriate in the sun while the rest of your family frolics in the calm seas. If you’re interested in local history, this Albufeira beach is right next to a cave known as the Xorino Grotto; legend has it the Moors used the cave to hide from the Christians after the latter conquered the region.
Praia do Tunel is surrounded by bars, shops, and restaurants, and offers easy access for those with buggies and wheelchairs thanks to numerous ramps and even a lift. There are also lifeguards on constant call during the high season, and you can easily rent loungers, parasols, and even pedalos.
Praia dos Pescadores
The other major beach in Albufeira proper, Praia dos Pescadores – or the Fisherman’s Beach – runs along the eastern side of town and is unparalleled when it comes to amenities, space, and atmosphere. Originally where the fisherman of the village would operate from, the shoreline is now an expansive paradise of soft sand and lapping waves.
There are plenty of facilities on the beach thanks to its prominent location. Two car parks mean easy access for those driving, and although one is at the top of a cliff it has an escalator for accessibility purposes.
There are dozens of restaurants nearby to indulge in some local treats, and you don’t even have to leave the beach if you want to grab a nice, cold beer, as vendors walk around with beverages. If you want to get active or try something new you’re in luck too: there are beach volleyball courts, water sports centres nearby, and the water is calm and warm during peak tourist months, so perfect for swimming. This is the ideal urban beach, and perfect for everything from pre-partying on the sand to passing out under an umbrella.
Praia Santa Eulalia
Without a doubt one of the best beaches in Albufeira, Praia Santa Eulalia is like a little slice of heaven. Here you can escape from the rest of the holidaymakers who are visiting the Algarve. On the eastern outskirts of town, the beach is blessed with soft, fine, golden sand that shimmers under the endless sun, and has plenty of rock formations to explore if you’re feeling a little adventurous.
Despite being quiet a lot of the time, the beach is well connected and has excellent facilities. There are boardwalks running through the area, right from the car park. You can rent the usual beach amenities, or if you want to get the adrenaline pumping you can try out windsurfing, water skiing, or even banana boating. And, before you head back into the car, there are showers to get the last of the sand off you.
Praia dos Arrifes
Known colloquially as ‘Beach of Triple Rocks’, Praia dos Arrifes is known for the three large, solo rock formations that jut out of the horizon when taking in the sea view from the beach. The rocks are topped with plant life and add a bit of drama to the aesthetic of the beach, making them perfect for photo opportunities. There’s also plenty of other nearby nature to discover, including pine trees and dwarf fan palms, Europe’s only native palm species.
The beach itself is small but stunning, especially with the added beauty of the rocks.
It’s not the most accessible thanks to only being reachable via a set of wooden stairs from the carpark, but there is a bar and restaurant nearby that’s open during spring and summer, as well as the ability to rent loungers and parasols. A wonderful day out if you’re looking for a well-placed beach with plenty of amenities, without the crowds.
Praia dos Salgados
A busy beach that is split almost in two by a small lagoon, Praia dos Salgados is great for relaxing and learning about the incredible natural features of Albufeira – something often forgotten in the bustle of the tourist town. While the beach is busy, it remains more sparsely populated than the two major urban beaches in Albufeira. Its popularity is aided by the nature reserve that’s right behind the shoreline. Here you can see some of Portugal’s most beautiful sand dunes and spot some unique local wildlife in the protected area.
The boardwalk means Praia dos Salgados is accessible for all visitors, and the fact the sand stretches well over a kilometre in length means you can choose to be among the other beachgoers or find your own secluded spot.
It’s also a great beach for swimming and has lifeguards patrolling during the tourist months. If you’re really looking for something special, stay for sunset, which is magnificent when viewed over the lagoon and dunes.