Praia de Alvor, central Algarve
Alvor beach occupies the western section of a large picturesque long white sandy beach separating the salt waters of the Atlantic ocean from the lagoon of the river that forms part of a bay. It is a wonderful beach to relax and watch the world go by, much loved by locals and visitors alike. The beach has many sunbeds and shades to rent and an excellent choice of cafes and restaurants along the beach front. "Bolinhos frescos" shout the sellers that walk the sands with baskets of freshly baked donuts. Alvor beach is easily accessible on foot into the village. Car park next to the beach.
The walk on the boardwalk running parallel with the sea and the sand dunes around the estuary is one of great natural beauty and tranquility offering stunning views. The estuary is a very important nesting ground for many species of birds. There is a section on the estuary which is popular with kite surfers and wind surfers.
Alvor beach has an EU blue flag for safety, cleanliness and the quality of its facilities, one should be aware of the warning flags that can be seen along the beach. Green flag - swimming allowed. Yellow flag - swimming not recommended. Red flag - swimming banned, do not enter the water. Chequered flag - beach is temporarily unattended
Praia dos Tres Irmaos
Translated into The Three Brothers, so named because of the three tall rock formations that rise from the ground and tower over the sands beneath offering shelter from the sun. This lovely beach is characteristic of much of the western Algarve coastline with golden cliffs.
The beach is on the eastern end flanking Alvor village. From this beach take the stunning cliff top walk at Prainha and eventually to Praia do Vau.
This small beach is called after the cliff top holiday complex which provides a lift up and down between April and October. Out of season there are steps.
Joao de Arens
Still further west this cove is one of several among the cave- pitted cliffs. It can be reached by road or by walking along the clifftops or by sailing.
Praia do Vau
Located next to Praia da Rocha, this pretty beach has easy access from a car parking area. Cliffs give afternoon shade at one end.
Praia da Rocha
This is a huge beach with acres of wide open golden sand in front of Praia da Rocha's seafront road, It is very popular but so big there is plenty of space for everyone. A tunnel at one end leads to a narrower stretch of beach made even more attractive by the cliffs and pillars of rock close to the shore. Access by steps at various points from the seafront road. A wooden walkway runs along the length of the beach flanked by cafes and restaurants. At one end is the Fontaleza de Santa Caterina, a fort dating back to 1691, offering views over the beach and to the marina. Portimao is the next stop.
There are many more wonderful beaches further west which are worth a visit. To name a few, Meia Praia and Dona Ana in Lagos (20 minutes drive from Alvor). Praia da Luz, Burgau, Salema, Zavial & Ingrina (little gems), Arrifana and the huge surfing beach from the village of Carrapateira called Bordeira and Amado.
Algarve Tourism Boards guide to Beaches in the Algarve
Please feel free to download the guide by clicking on the image. All guides are produced by the Portuguese Tourism Board