Praia da Falésia – the #1 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. Falésia beach is one of the best beaches in the Algarve. Even if you are not a beach lover, this beach is definitely worth a visit.
Watch it in HD
Watch the short video below to get a little impression of the clean water and sand. Enjoy!
Praia da Falésia is more than 6 kilometres long. It stretches from Vilamoura in the East all the way to Olhos de Água (near Albufeira) in the West. The sand on the beach is beautifully soft. The sea is clean and the water is crystal clear. Going for a swim here is very refreshing on a hot summer day. According to Tripadvisor, Praia da Falésia is one of the best beaches in the world.
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.
When standing on the beach, you see how high the cliffs actually are. The sheer magnitude of the cliffs makes you feel tiny.
Award winning beach
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.
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.
Praia da Falésia is the perfect destination for a long beach walk. It is wonderful to walk along the sea, while you watch the impressive rock formations that characterize this beach. You can walk either to the west, towards Praia da Rocha Baixinha, or the the east, towards Praia do Barranco das Belharucas. The full beach walk from the east to the west of the stretch of sand takes about 2 hours. By low tide you will see some people collecting small clams, called conquilhas, which is a delicious specialty.
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.
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 metres 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.
Praia da Falésia is considerably narrower in Albufeira than in Vilamoura.
Travelling to the Algarve this year? Dont’ forget to bring the Marco Polo Travel Guide.
When to visit
Praia da Falésia can be visited all year round. 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.
How to get there
The easiest way to move around in the Algarve is by car. If you don’t have one, make sure to rent a car. 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 metres distance, there is a free parking area that is a bit larger. The largest free parking space is at 200 metres distance from the beach.
In Praia da Falésia you can find some superb restaurants near the beach. Many of them are located close to the town of Olhos de Agua. Our favourite restaurants near Praia da Falésia are:
- Al Quimia. If you want a culinary experience, go here. This restaurant is located within the Epic Sana hotel. It has some highly original dishes, which are designed by a Portuguese chef.
- Taste of Punjab. This highly rated Indian restaurant makes the best curry in the Algarve.
- Restaurante O Golfinho. This great seafood restaurant offers fresh fish and reasonably priced food in a stunning setting with wonderful views.
For a quick snack that you can take to the beach, you can find a snackbar near the car park.
There are many hotels in the area of Albufeira/Vilamoura/Olhos de Água. Our favourite hotels near Praia da Falésia are:
- Epic Sana Algarve. This 5 star resort has all the facilities you need for an extraordinary holiday in the Algarve, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wellness centre and a sauna. Inside the hotel you can also find the amazing restaurant Al Quimia.
- PortoBay Falesia. This 4 star hotel has an amazing terrace, overlooking the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. It houses two restaurants: an international one and an Italian one. Highly rated.
- 3HB Falésia Mar. This aparthotel offers apartments with a balcony and a kitchen. The hotel has a buffet restaurant, offering amazing views over the sea. It also has a swimming pool and a nice garden. Located near Olhos d’Água.
After the busy summer season of last year, we recommend to book your hotel now, as it will probably sell out. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels near Praia da Falésia. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
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!
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.