Praia da Falésia – the complete guide
Imagine the Grand Canyon sitting on a beach. Welcome to Praia da Falésia. The beloved beach is characterized by its incredible red cliffs. In fact, the translation of the beach is Beach of Cliffs. Moreover, this beauty is more than 6 kilometers long. Falésia beach stretches from Vilamoura in the East all the way to Olhos de Água (near Albufeira) in the West. Even if you are not a beach lover, this beach is definitely worth a visit. According to Tripadvisor, Praia da Falésia is one of the best beaches in the world. The beach made it to the list of the Top 25 Beaches in the World by TripAdvisor’s 2018 Traveler’s Choice. It is ranked 12th and it is the only beach from Portugal that has entered the list.
When to visit
Praia da Falésia can be visited all year round. It is the perfect destination for a good beach walk. The beach is especially wonderful at sunrise and sunset. We recommend you to enjoy both experiences, as the beach looks completely different in the morning compared to the evening. During summer it is quite a popular place and can get pretty crowded during the day. In the evening it is more peaceful. However, because of the vast size of the beach, there are always more quiet areas to be found, even in the summer. This requires a bit of a walk though. In summer it can also get very hot, so don’t forget to bring or rent a sun umbrella, especially if you have children.
Award winning beach
In 2018 Praia da Falésia has been considered the number one beach in Portugal, the third best beach in Europe and the number 12 best beach in the World by TripAdvisor. Travelers praise the beach for its beauty and diversity. The orange rocks contrasting with green pines and dark blue skies make this one of the most memorable beaches in Portugal. Praia da Falésia is a very clean beach, which is one of the reasons it has consistently earned the Blue Flag Beach title.
Watch it in HD
This 30 second video gives you a little impression of the clean water and sand. Enjoy!
The beach consists of two parts, which are quite different from each other:
- The West side (near Olhos de Água) is famous for the high red cliffs. This part of the beach is also called Açoteias. You can find several popular hotels on walking distance from the beach. A highly rated option is the 5 star Epic Sana Algarve Beach Hotel.
- The East side (towards Vilamoura) is called Alfamar, named after the Alfamar Beach & Sport Resort. This part has lower cliffs. The more you walk to the East, the lower the cliffs become. The beach on the East side is very large and the waters are shallow. Thus, especially during low tide, you can walk perhaps 50 meters into the water, which makes the beach especially suitable for children. On this part of the beach, there are all sorts of water sports to do, including paragliding, diving and a surfing school. You can find superb beach restaurants here.
What to do
From Vilamoura you can make a beach walk of about 2 hours until the small village of Olhos d’Água. About half of the beach towards the Albufeira region is protected by red and orange colored sandy cliffs, with pine trees on the top and beautiful flowers at the bottom, such as the pink spiny thrift and the white sand lilies.
Praia da Falésia is considerably narrower in Albufeira than in Vilamoura. By low tide you will see some people collecting small clams, called conquilhas, which is a delicious specialty. Falésia beach near Albufeira is famous for its nightlife. The beach has recently won an award being the best beach for nightlife in Portugal.
Above the cliffs there is a hiking trail. From this trail you will get spectacular views over the beach and the sea. Be careful to not walk on this trail after it has rained: it can get quite slippery when wet.
If you would like to experience this beach, it is possible to see this beach in 360 degrees.
Parking & how to get there
When you come from Albufeira, follow the Sheraton hotel signs. The beach is very near the hotel. In your GPS, you can enter: Rua da Falésia, Aldeia da Falésia, Olhos de Água, Albufeira.
Praia da Falésia has parking spaces but during peak season, there is a high chance that you will have difficulty finding an available spot. If possible, arrive as early as you can and expect to walk if the closest parking lot is full. You can park your car for free near the side of the streets close to the beach. Be aware that people don’t park their cars as neatly as you would probably hope and that there is very limited space here, so you have to be very lucky to find a spot.
At 100 meters distance, there is a free parking area that is a bit larger. The largest free parking space is at 200 meters distance from the beach.
Food (secret tip)
In Praia da Falésia you can find two superb beach restaurants. They are located close to the town of Olhos de Agua. Restaurante O Golfinho is the best rated option. This great seafood restaurant offers fresh fish and reasonably priced food in a stunning setting with wonderful views. Maré at Pine Cliffs offers the same perfect setting, but the prices are more expensive. For a quick snack that you can take to the beach, you can find a snackbar near the car park.
There are many excursions you can take around the Albufeira / Vilamoura area. What better way to explore the Algarve than from the sea? You can take a boat trip to see the coastline of the Algarve or visit the Benagil cave. These trips are highly recommended!
Praia da Falésia – Facilities
Facilities in Praia da Falésia:
• Restaurant: yes
• Bar/club: yes
• Toilet: yes
• Shower: yes
• Water sports: yes
• Sunbeds: yes
• Parking: yes
• Lifeguards: yes
• Blue flag beach: yes
Are you ready to pack your bags? We hope you have all the information you need for your next holiday adventure in the Algarve! Don’t forget to check out our other pages and discover all the secret tips on more dream destinations in the Algarve.