Praia da Falesia: One of the World's Best Beaches

Praia da Falesia translates to “beach of cliffs” and it is widely believed to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. With golden sand, clear waters, stunning red cliffs and an abundance of things to do both on the beach and off, you should definitely make this a must-see stop on your Portuguese holiday.

Located in the Algarve, between Vilamoura and Albufeira, Praia da Falesia is 6 kilometers (km) of sheer perfection. The name translates to Beach of Cliffs and with one look at the bright red cliffs that serve as a backdrop to this sandy oasis, it isn’t hard to see why.

To help you navigate your way around this popular destination, we’ve put together this handy guide.

How to Get to Praia da Falesia

Like most places on the Algarve coast, Praia da Falesia is pretty easy to get to.

From Faro

If flying into the Faro airport, you can rent a car and drive to Praia da Falesia in about 30 minutes.

Simply take the IC4/N125-4 then merge onto the A22 headed towards Lisboa/Portimao/Albufeira. After about 14km, take exit 11 for the N270 toward Boliqueime. At the roundabout, take the second exit (N125-3) and drive until you reach Olhos de Agua and the beach.

If you are not planning to rent a car, you can take the train from Faro into Boliqueime. The train ride is about 25 minutes long and once you reach your destination, you can take a taxi the rest of the way.

For those traveling on a strict budget, consider taking a bus into Vilamoura or a rideshare into Quarteira.

From Vilamoura

From Vilamoura, you can easily walk to the beach. Head towards the Vilamoura marina and take the footbridge located near the Original Surf School.

If driving, parking can be a little tricky. The beach has a parking lot but it fills rather quickly during the summer season. You can also park for free on the streets that run alongside the beach or use the free parking lot located about 200 meters away.

From Albufeira 

A little farther away than Vilamoura, there are still a few easy ways to get to Praia da Falesia from Albufeira.

By car, it takes about 15 minutes to arrive in Olhos de Agua. Take Rua do Oceano to Av. Infante Dom Henrique. Then take Estr. de Albufeira to Caminho do Deposito in Olhos de Agua. Continue along Caminho do Deposito towards Praia do Barranco das Belharucas. From this beach you can walk east and hit Praia da Falesia.

Taxis, rideshares, and buses are also available.

Praia da Falesia: What to Expect

Not just one of the best beaches in Portugal, Praia da Falesia has been praised over and over again as one of the best beaches in the world. The 6km stretch of sand that makes up this Blue Flag beach can be divided into two parts.

The western end of the beach, near Olhos de Agua, is sheltered by high, bright, red-colored cliffs. The eastern end at Vilamoura has much lower cliffs and a much wider section of the beach.

The cliffs are topped with lush green pine trees and pink spiny thrift flowers, and white sand lilies are along the cliff bottom. Contrast the colors with the bright blue sky and clean shimmering waters and you have a true treat for the eye.

During the high season, this beach can get rather crowded but, with so much available sand, all you have to do is walk for a little bit to find your own space. Crowds typically thin out in the evening so you can have a little more privacy then.

The beach has sand that is soft to the touch and the water is clear and refreshing. Falesia beach is ideal for a day spent relaxing in a sun lounger, taking a swim in the Atlantic, or participating in a whole range of water sports and activities.

The bulk of the activities are centered around the east end of the beach and include paragliding, diving, snorkeling, jet-skiing, and some of the best surfing in the Algarve.

If you would rather keep your feet firmly planted on the ground, consider walking the length of the beach between Olhos de Agua and Vilamoura. The round trip should take about 2 hours. Just be aware of the tide schedule. There are a few places along the beach, particularly near the western end, where high tide means you’re likely to get your feet wet!

Praia da Falesia does have public bathroom facilities, showers, and a lifeguard on duty during the high season.

For a romantic moment or an awe-inspiring sight, visit the beach and/or cliffs at sunrise or sunset. The contrasting colors are spectacular and worth making the effort.

Things to do Near Praia da Falesia

Great news for any visitor to the beach, there are lots of nearby activities to occupy your time!

Hike the Cliffs

Along the tops of the cliffs is a magnificent hiking trail. This trail will take you the entire length of the beach while providing you with some of the best views of the Algarve coast and the Atlantic ocean.

Be careful taking the trail after a rainfall, however. It can get quite slippery in parts and the last thing you want to worry about is injuring yourself by falling over a cliff! 

Go Golfing

The Algarve is more than just a beach destination. With some of the best courses in Europe, the Algarve is also a popular golf destination.

Quinta do Lago is one of the most popular European courses. This resort is made up of 3 golf courses with the famous South Course playing host to the Portuguese Open on 8 different occasions.

Vale Do Lobo has two championship courses, an amazing clubhouse, lovely resort facilities, a golf shop and academy, and a luxury beach!

Pinheiros Altos is a 27-hole golf course and home to one of the “must play” holes in Portugal. There are some challenging greens on this course but the idyllic surroundings make even the worst round feel like a thing of beauty.

For more information on golf courses in the Algarve region, check out our Guide to Golfing in the Algarve.

Visit Other Beaches

Praia da Falesia isn’t the only beach in the area.

  • Praia De Vilamoura can be found between the Vilamoura marina and Quarteira harbor and is a very popular and lively beach. The waters are clean, calm, and accessible and the sand is soft. There are lots of bars, cafes, and restaurants lining the beach so it is easy to grab a little break from the sun and surf. Kayaks and paddleboards are available to rent as well as sun loungers and parasols.

  • Praia de Quarteira is located in front of Quarteira and is lined with a promenade. This Blue Flag beach provides all the amenities you could want. The beach is lined with rock groins that help protect the sand from erosion and provide bathers a little break from the waves. 

  • Praia da Oura is located in front of the resort village of Oura, near Albufeira. This is a laid back beach with excellent accessibility making it perfect for a family trip to the ocean. The sand stretches for 2km and reaches the nearby Praia dos Olhos d’Agua. Soft golden sand and many nearby restaurants and cafes mean you could easily spend the whole day here.

  • Praia dos Olhos d’Agua is found at the western end of Praia da Falesia. This small beach is a popular family spot and is where you will find the natural springs that are famous to the region. The springs are located on the eastern end of the beach, among the rocks. At low tide, you can see several circles in the sand indicating the location of a spring. These circles look a little like eyes which explains the beach’s name. Praia dos Olhos d’Agua translates in English to “eyes of water.”

This particular stretch of the Algarve is home to several amazing beaches so if you want to do some additional exploring in the sand, we suggest talking to a local. No doubt they have a favorite or two they could recommend.

Go to a Theme Park

If you need a break from the beach, there are several nearby theme parks and waters parks.

Aquashow Park is in Quarteira and home to one of the largest water rollercoasters in the world! If you are an adventure seeker, this might be the coaster for you as it can reach speeds of 70km/h! If speed isn’t your thing, take a spin in the wave pool or on one of the many waterslides.

10 km west of Albufeira is Zoomarine. This park hosts dolphin stunt shows, an aquarium, swimming pools, waterslides, and a lazy river. It is not only fun for the family, it is educational too!

Parque Aventura is perfect for the adrenaline junkie. The park features high rope courses, ziplines, and a paintball course!

Visit Casino de Vilamoura

Vilamoura is a popular destination for the world’s rich and famous and the casino is one of the major reasons why.  The casino has over 500 slot machines and several gaming rooms that include blackjack, poker, and roulette.

The casino also houses 3 restaurants, a bar, and a nightclub. It is not unusual for there to be scheduled live entertainment and cabaret shows so be sure to check out their events listings.

It is important to note that the casino does have a dress code. This means that men will be required to wear a tie and jacket while inside.

Enjoy the Nightlife

The Algarve region is known to have an active nightlife. And lucky for you, Albufeira and Vilamoura are two of the most popular and most active towns!

In Vilamoura, check out Dice Club in the casino, as well as the bar called Lick, which is known to feature some of the world’s greatest DJs.

In Albufeira, visit Sherry’s Bar. It is the place to be for a pub experience. And, Sal Rosa cocktail bar serves up a relaxed atmosphere, delicious drinks, and incredible ocean views. If you are looking for a nightclub, check out Kiss, one of the oldest clubs in town. It is three floors high and each one has it’s own theme and music type. There is something here for everyone!

For more details on the area’s nightlife, check out our guide to the Algarve nightlife here.

Where to Eat Near Praia da Falesia

The restaurants and cafes that surround Praia da Falesia provide a full range of culinary delights. Our favorites include:

Restaurante O Golfinho

Located on the beach in Albufeira, Restaurante O Golfinho is a great, and reasonably priced, seafood restaurant. The terrace provides incredible ocean views and the friendly staff makes you feel at home. Fresh fish is prepared daily making this an ideal location for an authentic lunch or dinner experience.

Ostra D’Ouro

If you are looking for real, traditional, Portuguese food, head to Ostra D’Ouro. Tucked away on a quiet street overlooking the Vilamoura marina, you’ll be glad you stopped in. The sea bass, monkfish, oysters, sardines, and the lamb stew are all smart choices.

Where to Stay Near Praia da Falesia

Because this area is a popular tourist destination, the number of hotels, resorts, and holiday rentals are plentiful. Mentioned above, the areas of Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, and even Aquashow Park have great accommodations and rooms available. But outside of those, these  are our top picks for places to stay:

PortoBay Falesia

Located in Olhos de Agua, the PortoBay Falesia hotel has direct access to Falesia beach and has a lagoon-style swimming pool that offers fabulous ocean views. On site, there is a Finnish spa with a steam bath and a fitness room. There are also two very highly rated restaurants in the hotel so you’ll know a good meal is never far away.

Epic Sana Algarve

For a true escape from the ordinary, visit the Epic Sana Algarve 5-star hotel. This hotel provides large, contemporary rooms each with a balcony that offers either partial ocean views or resort views. Aside from the indoor and outdoor swimming pools, you will find multi-sports court, a fitness center, and an extensive spa. And for top-rated meals prepared by a Portuguese chef, visit the hotel’s restaurant, Al Quimia. Trust us, you will not be disappointed. 

Hotels and resorts aren’t for everyone. If you are for something more private and unique, consider renting an apartment for the duration of your stay. At Iberian Escapes, we have several available accommodations in both Albuferia and Vilamoura. Contact us and we’ll make sure you find the perfect spot.

Praia da Falesia is one of the most spectacular beaches in Portugal. With so much to do in the region, and with our help, we know your visit will turn into an experience to remember. For more ideas on what to do in Albufeira and the region, check out our 2-day itinerary here.

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