One of the main attractions in the Algarve, with bars, esplanades, nightclubs, restaurants and shops, which bring the Marina to life all year round and serve as Vilamoura’s calling card.
This “haven” is Portugal’s biggest and most important marina, the setting for numerous internationally renowned sailing events. It is also highly sought out by lovers of Big Game fishing, wind surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing and scuba diving. This is also the departure point for many cruises and boat rides.
Beaches in Vilamoura
Directly in front of the Hotel Dom Pedro Marina, there is a beach with a wide expanse of clean sand, warm and tranquil water, and an excellent location. For many years now, it flies the blue flag, which guarantees maximum beach quality. The Marina Beach offers the following services: lifeguard, parking lot, sun canopies and loungers and restaurant/bar. Be sure to try the sangria at the Búzios Beach Club.
A little further east, you will find the Falésia beaches, nestled within a stunning landscape, and Rocha Baixinha beach, with excellent services infrastructures that make it perfect for the whole family.
Beaches with cliffs in the Albufeira Region
Located at the centre of the Algarve, Albufeira is one of the most charismatic tourist areas, and it offers a wide range of beaches for you to enjoy.
The large expanse of sand of Galé beach is framed to the west by sand dunes, while the cliffs to the east invite you to take peaceful walks and enjoy the views.
São Rafael beach emerges a few kilometres further east and is a shell-shaped parcel of sand tucked into the sculptural rock formations that arise from the sea and sand.
Immediately beside it, Santa Eulália beach offers good accesses and comfortable infrastructures, directly followed by Maria Luísa beach, a peaceful beach for those who prefer some tranquillity.
Still on the Albufeira coast, the beach Olhos d’Água combines a stunning landscape with the picturesque colours of the small traditional fishing boats that rest on the shore between tides. The accesses are prepared for people with reduced mobility.
Beaches with ciffs and caves in the Lagos Region
The beaches surrounding Lagos are considered some of the most beautiful in the Algarve, such as Dona Ana beach, a favourite among tourists, possibly due to the widespread advertising it receives from featuring on many postcards. A little further on you’ll find Camilo beach and Meia Praia beach, that stretch for 4 kilometres to the west of Lagos.
The sand here is especially soft and white, and you can uncover wedge clams in the low tides. Due to its size (it is one of the largest bays in Europe) and the lack of rocks, this beach is ideal for practicing a variety of water sports. There is a windsurf centre and, at the Marina, you can find information on other activities: scuba diving, water skiing and game fishing.
Along the coastline, you will find, in succession, Solaria beach, Batata beach and Estudantes beach, all connected by tunnels carved into the rocks, ending at Pinhão beach.
Islands and virtually deserted beaches
Make your way to Tavira. Catch a boat to Tavira Island and enjoy perfectly conserved beaches in a heavenly setting. Another must is Barril beach, on Tavira Island, which can be reached via Santa Luzia or through the Pedras d'El Rey resort.
After going over a bridge, you can choose between catching a small train or taking a 10-minute walk to the beach. This is a stunning beach with fine, white sand, and the water here is warmer than at most other beaches.
Less frequented beaches
In the Algarve, you can still enjoy the sun and sea on peaceful, virtually deserted beaches. Near Vilamoura, in the Albufeira region, there is a small beach nestled between rocky cliffs, that doesn’t have infrastructures or surveillance – it is Arrifes beach.
In the Faro region, we highlight Barrinha beach, which has to be reached by boat or on foot from Faro Mar beach, and Ilha Deserta Mar, a beach sheltered from the wind, with calm waters and fine sand, also reached by boat.
10km from the town of Tavira, don’t miss Pego do Inferno, a lagoon in Mediterranean green hues with a high waterfall. Legend has it that Pego is connected through tunnels to the Gilão and Guadiana rivers. This is a different kind of Algarve.
One of the ultimate golf destinations in Europe, today the Algarve is considered an elite product for golfers, due to the mild climate that enables you to play from March to November, in 40 golf courses all along the coast. Some courses are considered among the best in the world, such as the Old Course, in Vilamoura, Laranjal, in Quinta do Lago and Vale de Lobo, these three making up what is known in the golf world as the “Golden Triangle”.
The Dom Pedro Hotels in Vilamoura offer a Golf Desk that guarantees full assistance in booking green fees, as well as a free Shuttle to and from Vilamoura’s golf courses.
A day in Cacela Velha and deserted beaches
Approximately a dozen kilometres east of Tavira you will find the village of Cacela, at the top of a hill from where you can see the eastern end of Ria Formosa.
Cacela Velha is part of Portugal’s extraordinary architectural heritage. The former name was “o Sítio da Igreja” (the Church Site). This ancient fishing village located on a hilltop, offers a unique panoramic view of Ria Formosa and the sea.
The traditional houses, the medieval church, the Islamic ruins, the Roman ovens, the remains of the ancient medieval wall, the Fortress and the view, make this town a must. To reach the beach, visitors use a boat service that takes them on a quick trip along the estuary. At the end of the day, be sure to taste the clams Bulhão Pato style and the incredibly fresh oysters in the Fortaleza region.