Praia dos Salgados: the #1 guide
Praia dos Salgados is the most western beach in the municipality of Albufeira. The special thing about this beach is that there is a big lagoon just behind the beach. Near the lagoon you can spot many different kinds of birds. Moreover, you can go for a nice walk on one of several boardwalks. This makes the beach very popular among nature lovers. Let’s discover this beach.
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Would you like to see this beach and its surroundings? Then check out the short video below.
Praia dos Salgados is quite a big beach, stretching for well over a kilometre. It is backed by low sand dunes. The beach is bordered by Praia Grande in the west and Praia da Galé in the east. The size of the beach makes it perfect for long beach walks. If you want, you could walk west past Praia de Armação de Pêra, all the way towards Praia do Vale do Olival.
Praia dos Salgados has soft and golden sand. The sea here is relatively warm and the water is calm and transparent. This makes the beach good for swimming. In addition, there are water sports available, such as kitesurfing, stand-up paddle boarding and bodyboarding.
Praia dos Salgados is situated right next to a big lagoon called Lagoa dos Salgados. Here you can find a variety of wildlife. This combination of beach and nature is what makes the beach special.
The sunset here can be astonishingly beautiful. Make sure not to miss it.
Even though the beach can be quite crowded in summer, there is always plenty of space. Due to the size of the beach, you can always find a nice spot. Praia dos Salgados is mostly popular among families and nature lovers.
Lagoa dos Salgados (lagoon)
Just behind the dunes you can find a big lagoon called Lagoa dos Salgados. The lagoon covers an area of about 50 hectares and it is one of the most important freshwater wetlands of the region. The water in the lagoon is formed by the mouths of two small rivers: the Vale Rabelho and Ribeira de Espiche. It is separated from the sea by the dunes.
Lagoa dos Salgados is an important destination for eco-tourism in the Algarve. That is because you can find plenty of wildlife here, mainly birds. The lagoon is a heaven for birdwatching.
If you really want to make the most of your visit, make sure to visit early in the morning on a weekday. There will be fewer people and it will be more quiet. Another option is to visit late in the afternoon, when the sunlight is optimal and you can make amazing pictures. Especially during sunset you can take marvelous photographs.
When it comes to the variety of birds that can be seen here, this is one of the best birdwatching hotspots of the Algarve. About 200 different bird species have been spotted here. If you go birdwatching here, you can easily see 40 to 50 different species in a single day. Examples of birds you can see are the red heron, the black tern, the pied avocet, the spoonbill and flamingos. There is a great observation point on the west bank of the lagoon, which is popular among birdwatchers. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars if you are a serious birdwatcher.
Lagoa dos Salgados is also visited by migratory birds in the winter, who use these wetlands as a stopover. In winter you can find over 2000 birds here, amongst which are many ducks. This makes the lagoon an attractive destination in the winter as well.
Whether you are serious into birdwatching or just want to enjoy some fresh air in nature, you will probably love it here. You can easily spend 2 or 3 hours just watching the nature and wildlife of the lagoon. Beware that the lagoon is an important nesting area for birds, especially in summer. Make sure not to disturb any birds when visiting. The water in the lagoon is relatively shallow. However, it is strictly forbidden to swim in the lagoon.
There are a variety of wooden boardwalks in the area, to make sure you can enjoy the beach and the lagoon. One boardwalk starts at the car park of Praia Grande and takes you east to Salgados beach, through the dunes and wetland.
There is also a boardwalk from the parking area towards the west, over the lagoon itself. The boardwalks help to preserve nature, so it keeps the dunes in good condition. Moreover, the boardwalks are great for long walks. It is great to walk here and smell the fresh air.
Just behind the beach, on the east banks of Lagoa dos Salgados, there is also a golf course, called Salgados golf course. This 18 hole golf course was founded in 1994. It is a course for technically skilled golf players who love nature. Almost all holes are flanked by the lagoon. Hole number 6 is especially difficult, since it is very long and there are a lot of water hazards.
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. It is relatively easy to reach Salgados beach. When driving on the A22 highway, take exit 8 and continue on the EM524 in the direction of Pêra. Subsequently, take the M526 and then follow the signs towards the beach. Go through the holiday village alongside Lagoa dos Salgados. At the end, there is a big parking area right next to the lagoon. From here it is only a short walk to the beach.
Right on the beach there is a restaurant called Os Salgados. This beach restaurant has a great atmosphere. It is the perfect place to have a drink and enjoy the view. The food is very good as well, focusing mainly on fresh fish and seafood.
Just behind the beach there is a holiday village, with many accommodations and hotels.
Below you can find our favourite hotels near the beach:
- VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve. This excellent five star resort has everything you need for a great holiday in the Algarve. It has several swimming pools, a gym, spa facilities and several restaurants. Located only 3 minutes walking from the beach.
- NAU Salgados Vila das Lagoas. This four star aparthotel has wonderful green gardens, as well as several swimming pools. All apartments have a balcony, a kitchen and three bedrooms, which makes this a good choice for families with children.
- Apartments Herdade dos Salgados. These highly rated luxury apartments have all amenities you need during your stay. Moreover, there is a nice outside terrace to relax. The apartments have two bedrooms with three beds, which makes this a good choice for either families or groups of friends.
Another option is to quickly check the availability of nearby hotels. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels near Praia dos Salgados. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
We recommend to explore the area surrounding the beach, as there is a lot to see. For example, what about seeing the Benagil cave or the coastline of the Algarve? There are some wonderful excursions in the area, that can really enrich your holiday experience. Below you can find our favourite excursions nearby.
Praia dos Salgados is a Blue Flag beach, with almost all facilities nearby. There is a beach restaurant, as well as toilets and showers. Disabled people can enjoy the boardwalk alongside the lagoon as well.
Facilities in Praia dos Salgados:
- Restaurant: yes
- Bar/club: no
- Toilet: yes
- Shower: yes
- Water sports: yes
- Sunbeds: yes
- Parking: yes
- Lifeguards: yes
- Blue Flag beach: yes