Beaches in Albufeira come in a great variety and offer different sights and activities, so you’ll want to visit more than just one. There are beaches with natural wonders, ensuring lifelong memories for families and couples. Other beaches are all about nightlife – expect vibrant parties all night, every night!

    Water sports and family fun are the highlights on some beaches like Praia dos Alemaes. Others, like Praia dos Arrifes, are secluded gems where you can rather get away from it all. Whatever kind of experience you're looking for, there’s bound to be a beach in Albufeira that can provide you with more than just Mediterannean sun and sand on the Algarve coast.

    1

    Praia da Falesia

    Loads of sunbathing space beneath red cliffs

    Praia da Falesia is an ideal spot to unfurl the towel and bathe in the European rays. The reason? It runs for nearly 6.5 km as it wiggles beneath the rocky shoreline south of stylish Vilamoura. It's so wide and long, there's rarely any competition for space. What's more, the high cliffs behind add plenty of privacy and seclusion.

    Speaking of cliffs, they are renowned at Praia da Falesia for their rust-red tint. It's particularly vibrant at sundown when the evening light shimmers ochre and cinnamon across the whole bay. The wooded hiking trails above the sand are excellent for wintertime strolls.

    Location: Rua da Falésia Mar, 8200-593 Olhos de Água, Portugal

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    2

    Praia dos Olhos de Agua

    Visit a quaint fishing town

    Praia dos Olhos de Agua is an excellent place to catch a glimpse of real fishermen going about their daily lives. Bright blue huts stand in a row while equipment lays idle nearby, waiting to be used. It's a quaint image that makes you feel far removed from touristy centres when in fact, Albufeira is just an hour's walk away.

    The landscape is gorgeous, too. It's not just the fact that it's a beautiful beach with golden sand. Here, you also have unique rock formations around the beach as well as natural freshwater springs. These springs lend the beach its name, which means ‘eyes of water.’ Praia dos Olhos de Agua is home to natural phenomena you can't find anywhere else.

    Location: Rua dos Pescadores 3, Olhos de Água, 8200-634 Albufeira, Portugal

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    3

    Praia dos Pescadores

    Relax on Albufeira's main beach

    Praia dos Pescadores – known to Albufeira's loyal returnee visitors as Fisherman's Beach – is the closest stretch of sand to the town itself. You only need to walk to the south end of the Old Town, and you'll find yourself gazing over the clifftops to a 220-metre run of gold-flecked sand lapped by the sea.

    From the warm spring months onwards, Praia dos Pescadores is where the locals and holidaymakers of Albufeira will go in search of a tan. There are clusters of sunbeds for rent in the middle, surrounded by paint-peeling fishing boats. Just behind, rows of buzzy beach bars have cliffside terraces and cheap cocktails.

    Location: R. da Praia 11, 8365-131 Armação de Pêra, Portugal

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    4

    Praia da Oura

    Live the nightlife until sunrise

    Praia da Oura is one of the busiest beaches in Albufeira. Soak up as much sun as you can – you're going to want to save your energy for some epic nightlife. Loads of pubs and restaurants line the beach and the dancing goes all night.

    When the sun rises in Praia da Oura, you can relax on the warm sand and look out at the cliffs or enjoy various water sports. It's also safe for little ones to take a dip, thanks to gentle and inviting waves. You'll bid your hangover farewell in no time. By sunset, you may even find you're ready to do it all over again.

    Location: R. Ramalho Ortigão, Albufeira, Portugal

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    5

    Praia de Santa Eulália

    Spread out on this expansive beach

    The beautiful Praia de Santa Eulália is a clean, medium-sized beach with simple and functional amenities nearby. At low tide, the beach becomes You'll find a comfortable water temperature even in the off-season.

    Praia de Santa Eulália has superb accessibility, despite requiring a relatively steep climb. The locals have made up for it by providing access for the disabled. One can also expect smaller crowds here, though you can expect more tourist traffic in the summer. Visit Praia da Balaia nearby for a quieter alternative.

    Location: Praia de Santa Eulália, Portugal

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    photo by Stavros1 (CC BY 3.0) modified

    6

    Praia dos Salgados

    Explore all kinds of flora and fauna

    Praia dos Salgados is a diverse beach, in terms of landscape and wildlife. It is surrounded by low dunes, making it feel more remote than other beaches in the area. Close by is a lagoon where you can see many different migratory birds and even protected species. Don't be surprised if you spot a flamingo on the path to the beach!

    The waves at Praia dos Salgados are excellent for water sports and the firm sand is good for walking. You also have pubs and huts for a quick break. Keep walking and you’ll reach Praia da Gale close by, another lovely spot for beach strolling.

    Location: Praia dos Salgados, Portugal

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    7

    Praia da Coelha

    Blue seas and gold-tinted sands await at this gorgeous cove

    Head to Praia da Coelha if you're looking for something secluded on the stunning coast of the Algarve. You only need to travel a little to the west of Albufeira. The trip is around 15 minutes in the car. Then, it's down a breezy footpath between pockets of scrub and boulders, before emerging onto a wide bay that's hemmed in by high sandstone cliffs.

    There are rarely the same crowds to contend with on Praia da Coelha compared with the beaches closer to the resort's heart. But you do get the same classic south-Portugal, golden sand, glistening green-blue waters, and a charming little bar with regional seafood just metres from the waves.

    Location: Aldeamento Happymag 6, Albufeira, Portugal

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    8

    Praia dos Arrifes

    Wade underneath natural geological wonders

    Praia dos Arrifes is one of the best beaches in Albufeira, boasting a view of 3 imposing rock formations. This makes it truly different from other beaches; a unique natural wonder that’s something to behold. The changing tide and sunlight create the illusion that the rocks are moving, so the view is never the same twice. Seeing them in golden light at sunset is even more breathtaking.

    Swimming at Praia dos Arrifes isn't great due to the rocky landscape, but those that want a secluded spot should come here. This beach lies near a nature reserve, too, so there's even more beautiful scenery in the surrounding area.

    Location: Praia dos Arrifes, Portugal

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    9

    São Rafael

    Kayak against picturesque caves and rocky outcrops

    Praia São Rafael is a wonderful hidden cove where you can escape from the crowds of Albufeira while only being a 20-minute drive from the major Algarve holiday resort. You can walk over the cliffs and look over the scenic strip with its rocky formations set against the blue Atlantic backdrop.

    Stairs lead you down to the soft and fine-grained sand, with plenty of crevices that you can explore on foot. You can access wondrous sea caves by paddling out in a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). Parasols and beach chairs are available for daily rents from about €16.

    Location: Praia De Sao Rafael, 8200-613, Portugal

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    10

    Praia do Barranco das Belharucas

    Walk along colourful cliffs

    Praia do Barranco das Belharucas is a picturesque beach with giant cliffs that have alternating colours and various shapes, sculpted by nature. You can walk under them for miles on a thin and winding beach, or you can laze the day away by reclining on the sand. Make sure to take a stroll, though, as the scenery around the beach is just as gorgeous. If you walk long enough, you'll eventually hit Praia da Falesia.

    Water sports are popular here, as the waves can get pretty strong! There are also plenty of facilities and restaurants serving drinks and local food.

    Location: Praia do Barranco das Belharucas, 8200-629 Albufeira, Portugal

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    photo by Kolforn (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    11

    Praia dos Alemaes

    Let the kids run wild

    At Praia dos Alemaes, ‘family-friendly’ is the name of the game. This Albufeira beach offers an array of water activities, including an inflatable playground several metres offshore. Pedal boating and kayaking can also be done here, as well as a banana boat ride where players try to stay on for as long as possible. There’s simply lots of fun for kids and adults.

    Praia dos Alemaes is the farthest from Albufeira, and the land around it isn't as developed. This gives the beach a more natural feel, ensuring smaller crowds than at other beaches. Since it is also quite spacious, it’s easy to find a good spot to perch an umbrella.

    Location: Forte de São João, Portugal

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    12

    Praia do Castelo

    Watch the water from your throne of sand

    Praia do Castelo is surrounded by jagged cliffs, giving it the feel of a crumbling, ageing castle. The beach is also secluded and undeveloped compared to other beaches in the area. There is still plenty here to help you have a good time, though, like sun loungers for rent and a restaurant serving some excellent seafood.

    Divers should take special notice of Praia do Castelo, as the rocky landscape extends underwater, creating a vibrant seascape with many nooks and crannies to explore. Finish the day with a sunset walk along the cliffs, and you've got yourself one great beach experience.

    Location: R. da Torre Velha 2, Albufeira, Portugal

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    13

    Praia Maria Luisa

    Live the resort life at this well-supplied beach

    Praia Maria Luisa is a little gem among beautiful red cliffs running along the coastline. The beach is a bit hidden, but the connected resort hotel ensures you'll have everything you need for a comfortable stay, like sun loungers and beach parasols. There is also plenty of equipment to rent for various water activities.

    The soft sand slopes gently and the waters are calm, allowing you to wade at your own pace. This is a great place to bring children. Lifeguards are here to keep a watchful eye, so you can lay your worries to rest as you sit back and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

    Location: Praia Maria Luisa, Portugal

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    14

    Praia de Manuel Lourenço

    Find tranquillity at a less-visited locale

    Come to Praia de Manuel Lourenço if you don’t mind trading a little bit of quality for some old-fashioned peace and quiet. At first glance, this beach doesn't have much going for it. The natural landscape is a bit drab compared to what you can find nearby, and the uneven beach isn’t the most comfortable for sunbathing. But that also means there's less likely to be a crowd. Rent a sun lounger here and enjoy the beach in peace.

    The view of the water is, of course, just as stunning as it is at nearby beaches. The fresh seafood restaurant is also a major draw. If you're looking for amazing food and a simple atmosphere, Restaurante Praia Lourenco is highly recommended.

    Location: Rua dos Mareantes, Albufeira, Portugal

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    Benjamin Gorman | Contributing Writer

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