From the edge of the Guadiana River all the
way to Manta Rota, there is a long stretch of beaches in Vila Real de Santo
António. Famous for its warm
waters, the beaches are all backed by low sandy dunes and a large pine forest,
known as Mata Nacional das Dunas de Vila Real de Santo António.
The first beach on the
East coast of the Algarve is Praia de Santo António. The beach is set just
across the border of Spain and it’s very popular with both Portuguese and
Spanish tourists. Praia de Santo António is the nearest beach to the Mediterranean Sea so it has
the warmest waters in the Algarve. The sand is soft and
extends as far as the eye can see, making it the perfect choice for long walks
on the beach. If you look carefully
you might spot camouflaged chameleons in between the pine areas.
There is an eco-trail
that leads to Praia de Santo António called “Caminho dos Três Pauzinhos” which
is reserved for pedestrians, bikes and a touristic train that runs during the
summer. The train takes around 40 minutes and stops in front of the Clube de
Ténis at Avenida Ministro Duarte Pacheco and the fire department near the LIDL
roundabout before it reaches the beach.
Praia de Monte Gordo is located a bit further down and has the same warm waters as Praia de Santo António. During low tide, it’s possible to walk up to 30 metres into the sea, allowing beachgoers to collect clams buried in the sand.
Behind the beach, there
is a promenade lined with a series of bars, cafés and restaurants. Monte Gordo was once
famous for its fishing community and you can still find many fishing boats
resting on the west side of this beach.
Fishermen used to sell
their catch of the day at Praia da Lota. Today, the beach thrives mostly on
tourism, welcoming a crowd of sunbathers every summer. To get to Praia da
Lota, simply follow the long wooden pathway that starts at the car park.
In the town of Manta Rota, you will find Praia da Manta Rota, which stretches for 10 km. Praia da Manta Rota is a great choice for families since it provides plenty of facilities including a lifeguard service, restaurants, showers and toilets. From this beach, you can walk to the Ria Formosa Nature Park, which is home to a variety of migratory birds and wildlife species.