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.
Like most places on the Algarve coast, Praia da Falesia is pretty easy to get to.
If flying into the Faro airport, you can rent a car and drive to Praia da Falesia in about 30 minutes.
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, you can easily walk to the beach. Head towards the
Vilamoura marina and take the footbridge located near the Original Surf
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.
A little farther away than Vilamoura, there are still a few easy ways to get to Praia da Falesia from Albufeira.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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
Praia da Falesia isn’t the only beach in the area.
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.”
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.
If you need a break from the beach, there are several nearby theme parks and waters parks.
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
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,
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.