The city of Albufeira was called 'castle of the sea' by the Arabs ('Al-Buhera', as it was known in the 8th century) and it had an amphitheatre overlooking the sea. Today, Albufeira and its surrounding region is one of Portugal's main tourist destinations, offering almost 30 kilometres of coastline and more than two dozen beaches that vary greatly from one another in terms of natural surroundings, occupancy and tourism options. As an internationally renowned destination, Albufeira is known for its rich and diverse cuisine as well as the wide variety of restaurants it boasts (serving regional specialities and refined French, Italian or Germany dishes). Linked closely to the sea, this region's seafood enjoys a starring role in local gastronomy. Although tourism activities and the nightlife on the Algarve are famed, there is another reality here: quiet villages where manual arts such as tile making, copper working and wickerwork exist among dry lands with almond trees in flower and colourful orange groves. There are several types of beaches available and 20 to choose from, meaning there is something for everyone in Albufeira. PESCADORES BEACH Situated in the centre of Albufeira, this beach is highly popular with summer visitors. It is home to a small fishing port and from here you can even visit caves on the coast. This beach offers diverse dining options, shops and bars, in addition to grassy areas with shade and sea views. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=17 GPS N +37° 5' 12.66'', W -8° 14' 59.33'' SALGADOS BEACH Salgados Beach is another popular choice due to its unusual characteristics and as it is the only wet area in Albufeira. It is one of the most diverse on the Algarve in terms of bird life. The sands run next to a coastal lagoon frequented by migratory birds while in summer the quiet, quality waters attract thousands of visitors who do not respect notices to stay away from the lagoon, which is an important nesting area. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=18 GPS N 37º 5' 17.59'', W -8º 19' 31.77'' LA GALÉ BEACH They say that the origins of this beach's name are owed to the fact a galley was shipwrecked here once. The beach is comprised of two components divided by a cliff but connected via stairs. West Galé Beach extends to Los Salgados Beach while East Galé Beach is confined by cliffs except during low tide in sunny months when its sands are extensive. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?lang=&id=12 GPS N 37º 4' 56.89'', W -8º 19' 6.93'' MANUEL LOURENÇO BEACH A small beach situated between East Galé Beach and Evaristo Beach, this area offers peculiar forms. It possesses a rocky platform that enables visitors to discover marine life between tides. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=13 GPS N 37º04'35.63; W 8º18'33.99" EVARISTO BEACH This beach owes its name to the local restaurant of the same name. The beach is pleasant and rocky with less sand. It can be accessed from the road that leads to the elite Club Casa do Castela where the Portuguese jet-set get together. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=14 GPS N 37º04'27.36; W 8º18'08.11" CASTELO BEACH The area around this beach is dominated by the deep green of pine trees. The vegetation in the vicinity has adapted to the marine setting and includes fennel and glasswort. Various marine birds, like falcons and cormorants enjoy these lands, which are inaccessible to land predators. Fans of climbing will also find much to do here: discover coves and observe geological formations generated by erosion, including caves. Be careful and ensure you stay sufficiently away from the edges of cliffs. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=29 GPS N 37º 4' 23.55'', W -8º 17' 55.52'' COELHA BEACH Nestled between golden cliffs, Coelha is a small, sheltered beach. Situated 5 kilometres to the west of Albufeira, it is quite popular in summer. From above, the warm colours of marine fossils are visible, as are caves and galleries caused by erosion of the limestone. Be careful when using this beach as it is classified as a beach of limited use due to the possibility of falling rocks. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=30 GPS N 37º 4' 23,05'' ,W 8º 17' 15,35'' SAO RAFAEL BEACH São Rafael is a great family beach located between limestone cliffs, offering visitors extensive golden sands. When waters are clear, you can see mysterious underwater rocks and enjoy the marine life along this section of coast. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=15 GPS N 37º 4' 28.85'', W -8º 16' 50.63'' PENECO BEACH Situated by the town centre and also known as Tunnel Beach given it can be accessed by a tunnel dug into the limestone cliff, this beach is between narrow streets in the vibrant old town where you will find many bars, restaurants and handicraft shops. You can also access the beach using stairs the start on Esplanada Dr. Frutuoso da Silva. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=16 GPS N 37° 5' 11.68'', W -8° 15' 10.39'' ARRIFES BEACH This small cove is located between low, intensely sculpted cliffs where you can discern cave and arches. It is home to rocky formations that grant it special beauty. A quiet, isolated beach, here you can take a look at the marine life in its calm waters. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=27 GPS N 37º 4' 33,96'' ; W 8º 16' 40,35'' INATEL BEACH The sand here is narrow, obeying the shape of the landscape. As you look at the sea, to the right there is a bridge that separates it from the next beach - Pescadores Beach. Inatel is a highly popular urban beach. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=19 GPS 38º 40´ 46” N; 9º 19´ 01” O ALEMAES BEACH In industrial times, this beach was home to the facilities of Inatel, which was a factory owned by a Germany family, hence its name. This beach is delimited by a cliff and it is popular among local and foreigners alike. The beach is fairly natural in comparison with beaches further east. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzNzCkR76aQ GPS N 37° 5’ 3.66”; W 8° 14’ 16.73” AVEIROS BEACH This lovely, small beach is nestled among rocks and sandy pockets. The sea is stunning here as it is very calm and clean. The sand is located between cliffs, giving it the form of a quiet, rocky pool. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=28 GPS N 37° 5’ 0.68”; W 8° 13’ 53.45” OURA BEACH This extensive, sandy beach is bordered by cliffs. It is near hotels and tourist areas, making it popular with foreign visitors. There is a quiet bathing area with almost no waves and it is an excellent place to enjoy sports. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=20 GPS N 37° 5’ 10.08”; W 8° 13’ 35.46” SANTA EULALIA At St. Eulália the blue sea and bright tones of the sand work in harmony and are enveloped by the green freshness of the surrounding pine grove. The sands and quality, calm waters are the perfect place for a swim. There is much sand and interesting corners created by rock formations. http://www.iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=21 GPS N 37° 5’ 16.85”; W 8° 12’ 52.43” MARIA LUISA BEACH Maria Luísa Beach offers a large expanse of sand, bordered by pine trees and warm cliffs eroded by the sea. Here, you can see the remains of an enormous natural well. It resembles a house with an arched door, but lacking in walls and a roof. http://iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=22 GPS N 37º 5' 23.38'', W -8º 12' 3.42'' OLHOS D'AGUA BEACH Located in the picturesque settlement of Olhos d’Água, this beach owes its name to the existence fo several freshwater springs at the beach and within the sea. This is a highly popular beach given its urban and tourist nature. It has a central square with terraces from which you can enjoy the sea, while it also has a small promenade flanked by palm trees. http://iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=23#scene_pano1 GPS N 37º 5' 23.01'', W -8º 11' 27.66'' BARRANCO DAS BELHARUCAS BEACH Many birds (including the colourful bee-eater) make the most of the forest area and construct nests here or in the rocky walls. We recommend accessing this beach on foot as the road is winding and there is a large gorge at the top with abundant vegetation. http://iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=24 GPS N 37º 5.45298'; O 8º 11.00028' FALESIA BEACH This large sandy beach runs for around 3 kilometres. It is one of the most frequented in summer, mainly by families. Its orange and white cliffs provide scenery of vibrant colours. Their base is bursting with vegetation while they are topped with apartments. http://iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=110 GPS N 37º 5' 4.04'', W -8º 9' 39.74'' ROCHA BAIXINHA BEACH / ROCHA BAIXINHA – NASCENTE BEACH In addition to its name of Rocha Baixinha, this beach is also often known as Tomates Beach. Its location, near Vilamoura Marina, is a popular nightlife destination for famous Portuguese faces, making it one of the most sought-after on the Algarve. Considered a fashionable beach due to the numerous public figures (from politicians to footballers) who visit it in summer, it is a popular spa destination. http://iberica360.com/pano/pano.php?id=26 GPS N 37º 4' 35,56'' ,W 8º 8' 2,26''
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