Praia de Albandeira – the complete guide
Praia de Albandeira is a beautiful secluded beach near Lagoa. It is famous for its stunning arch in the water. Compared to the nearby beaches of Marinha, Benagil and Carvoeiro, Albandeira beach is relatively unknown. However, Praia de Albandeira is one of the best kept secrets the Algarve has to offer.
Watch it in HD
Looking forward to visit Praia de Albandeira? If not, then let the video below convince you to pack your bags.
Praia de Albandeira is a sandy beach, with fine and gold-coloured sand. The beach is relatively small, about 80 metres. However, its size does not compare to its beauty. Praia de Albandeira has been ranked the third best beach of Europe by Condé Nast.
Praia de Albandeira is very good for swimming. The colour of the water is almost transparent. This makes the beach also very popular for diving and snorkeling. Watch out for rocks in the water though, especially on the right side. The sea is usually quite calm, because of the protection of the cliffs on the side. In the winter the sea can be more rough, but always decide for yourself if it is safe to swim. There is no lifeguard around here.
Praia de Albandeira is divided in several small areas. When you arrive, a rock section divides the beach into two sections. The left side of the beach is larger than the right side.
At the entrance of the beach, there are stairs going to either side. In the middle of this rock, there is a space with several natural pools. These pools fill with water during high tide. Children love to play in those natural pools.
This is the left side of the beach:
And this is the right side of the beach:
Even though Praia de Albandeira is an amazing beach, it is not as crowded as some of the other beaches in the Algarve. Nearby beaches like Carvoeiro or Marinha are more crowded. Even though relatively few people visit Praia de Albandeira, it can still feel a bit crowded, due to the small size of the beach. This is especially true in the summer and during high tide. The beach is mostly popular with locals, especially families.
Arco de Albandeira
On the right side of Albandeira, on the other side of the cliff, you will also see a famous rock that looks like an arch. This arch is known as Arco de Albandeira. The arch has been formed by many years of erosion. These unusual rock formations make Praia de Albandeira a unique beach.
From Praia de Albandeira, you can actually swim underneath Arco de Albandeira. Just swim to the right side of the beach and turn around the corner. You can swim all the way to the other beach, Praia da Estaquinha. It gives a magical feeling to swim underneath this arch.
It is possible to walk on top of the rocks, including the arch. From the entrance of the beach, walk on top of the cliffs to the right. From here, you will see another small beach, called Praia da Estaquinha.
Praia da Estaquinha
There is actually a second beach, right next to Praia de Albandeira. It is called Praia da Estaquinha. You can see it standing on the cliffs.
You can go here in two ways:
- By tunnel from Praia de Albandeira. This is a short walk, but be careful with the tide.
- From Praia de Albandeira, swim around the rocks on the right side. You can swim below the arch, all the way to the beach of Estaquinha.
During high tide, this beach almost disappears. It is recommended to visit this beach only during low tide. From this beach you can see the famous Arco de Albandeira.
There is a tunnel directly from Praia de Albandeira to Praia da Estaquinha. You can find it on the right side of Albandeira beach. The tunnel can only be used during low tide. Make sure you run in between the waves, in order to avoid getting wet.
Praia de Albandeira is not suitable for walks along the beach. If you do like a walk, it is possible to walk on top of the cliffs. You can walk all the way to Praia da Marinha. From the top of the cliffs you can also enjoy some amazing views over the beach and the arch.
How to get there
Praia de Albandeira is only accessible by car. Coming from the EN125, exit the road at the International School in Lagoa. You can then proceed to follow the signs. If you prefer to enter an address in your GPS, you can enter Vale de Engenhos, Lagoa, Portugal. Beware that the road to get here is quite narrow. There is plenty of free parking on the sides of the road toward the beach.
Rocks falling (danger)
Be warned to not sit directly underneath the rocks, since there is the risk of rocks falling. You can see evidence of fallen rocks on several places near Albandeira beach. It can be very dangerous to sit too close near the rocks, so make sure to keep some distance.
There is one hotel near Praia de Albandeira. This is the Suites Alba Resort & Spa. This luxurious hotel offers a beautiful garden and an infinity pool with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. The restaurant of the hotel has a very good reputation and the hotel is highly rated. This hotel is popular among tourists who like to stay near Albandeira and Marinha.
Beach bar (closed)
Above the beach, there is a wooden bar, called O Pirata. However, the bar is closed since 2017. It does not exist any longer. The building is still there, but you will not be able to order any drinks from there.
Praia de Albandeira is surrounded by beautiful caves and grottoes. The coastline in this area is considered to be the most beautiful in the Algarve. The best way to discover this area, is by going on a boat excursion. There are plenty of great excursions that can be booked right now, online. Below you can see some of our favourite excursions in this area.
Praia de Albandeira – Facilities
To access the beach, you have to go down a staircase. This makes the beach not accessible by wheelchair.
Although it is a beautiful beach, there are not a lot of facilities on the beach itself, especially since the closing of the beach bar O Pirata. So make sure to bring your own food and water. Praia de Albandeira is thus a good beach to spend a day enjoying the sun, taking a swim or reading a book.
Facilities in Praia de Albandeira:
• Restaurant: no
• Bar/club: no
• Toilet: no
• Shower: no
• Water sports: no
• Sunbeds: no
• Parking: yes
• Lifeguards: no
• Blue flag beach: no