The Algarve region of Southern Portugal is famous for its warm weather and its beaches. The beaches are amazing and in the summer. Tourists who flock to the Algarve for fun in the sun. Towns like Albufeira, Sagres, Faro beach and Lagos explode with tourists.
We headed to the Algarve in winter, not for swimming, just to explore this region when it was not overflowing with tourists and we got to see a beautiful side of the towns that may be missed during peak times. We stayed at Albufeira which has a bad reputation among the Portuguese we spoke to. They don’t like the town, they don’t like that it’s set up for tourists and they especially don’t like that its is very Un-Portuguese.
In our time and between torrential rainstorms that lashed the Algarve for the 4 days we were there we set out to visit 2 of the best beaches in the Algarve. You know the one, you would have seen them in pictures, articles, anything that publicises this beautiful region of Portugal and they were both well worth the drive.
Praia Dos Arrifes is located 2.4 miles (3.9 km) by road to the west of Albufeira Old Town centre and is 29.6 miles (47.6 km) west of the region’s capital of Faro. To reach the sandy beach part you must descend down a set of wooden steps from the parking area. People with disabilities or mobility issues will certainly find this difficult as the descent is very steep and narrow. When we were there in the winter there was a bar and restaurant that would be a fantastic place to stop in the summer for a drink and the view. It was so close to the water we don’t know how it has not been washed into it. You would definately feel the sea spray enjoying a drink on the deck!
A notice at the establishment said it was closed in the winter. Apparently, during the summer the beach is patrolled by lifeguards. The car parking is a lottery at best with no real organised car parking. There is some adjacent land that people can park. we actually tried twice to have a look at this beach. The first time, we got out of the car and a few steps away when the sky opened and we were drenched within seconds. We had to make our way back to the hotel to change and thought we had missed our chance. Later that day we made our way back out and we were so pleased that we did.
Do you think this looks like one the best beaches in the Algarve?
Our next beach was Praia do Camilo and it is accessed down 224 stairs, Willow counted them down and back up just to be sure. Let me tell you the trip down is amazing. The chance for pictures is on every step. The trip back to the top is a gut-busting cardio workout for all and the legs are nearly on fire by the time you reach the top! Praia Do Camilo is actually two beaches. You enter the first beach off the steps and you can access the second beach through a small tunnel carved into the rock. Much like Praia Dos Arrives, there is no access for the disabled.
The day we went we had the beach to ourselves as it had been raining and was a cold, windy day. There are toilet and shower facilities at the top if the hill along with a popular restaurant with another fantastic view. They tell us that in summer you need to get here early to secure a spot on this amazing stretch of sand. One thing we learnt the hard way at this beach is that the red ‘sand’ is actually dirt washed off the surrounding cliffs and it is sticky.
Marley was the first down the steps and proceeded to step in it. As Mark was close behind her disaster was averted until they went to walk through the tunnel to the other beach…in two steps she was knee deep in it. Both shoes, pants and her top were a mess. This then gave her the opportunity to have a very brief swim to clean herself at the beach before the climb up the stairs started.
Do you have any suggestions for the best beaches in the Algarve
There are many beaches along the Algarve. These two beaches stand out for us as the best beaches in the Algarve. These beaches have scenic appeal and access from major towns on the Algarve. Do yourself a favour and visit the best beaches in the Algarve. For that matter, there are many great Portugal beaches waiting to be explored
When in the Algarve Wyld family Travel choose to stay at The Aparthotel Paladim in Albufeira
A full-time worker in Disability support and part time traveller when time, money and kids schooling allow.
Next up for Wyld Family Travel is 10 weeks in Europe from November 2016 till January 2017. We will be visiting Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, France, Poland, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia
Latest posts by mark wyld (see all)
- Play time at The Forbidden Corner Yorkshire England - January 20, 2017
- The Generator Copenhagen Reviewed – For Family Travel - January 17, 2017
- Lisbon Bus Tour – The Yellow Bus - January 14, 2017