Praia do Alemão – the #1 guide
Praia do Alemão (also known as Praia do Barranco das Canas) is a wonderful beach in the municipality of Portimão. The beach is characterized by the many rock formations in the area. Moreover, if you explore the beach you will find many hidden corners, full of arches and grottoes. Let’s explore this beach.
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Would you like to see what this beach looks like? Then check out the following video.
Praia do Alemão is backed by yellow/orange cliffs that dominate the landscape. On the cliffs behind the beach there is a large pine forest. Literally, Praia do Alemão means beach of the German. The beach is named after a German man, who was the first to build a house here. Another name for this beach is Praia do Barranco das Canas.
The beach is clean and has fine golden sand, just as most of the other beaches in Portimão. The water at Praia do Alemão has a beautiful turquoise colour. It is great for swimming, even though it can be a bit cold at times. In addition, snorkelling and diving are awesome here as well, because there is a lot to discover near the rock formations.
Praia do Alemão is located just west of Praia do Vau. The beaches are separated by a big rock formation. Both of these beaches are located in the same bay.
Praia do Alemão can be a popular beach in summer, but it is definitely less crowded than Praia do Vau. Some areas of the beach are actually pretty quiet. Due to the size of the beach, there is always a spot to put your towel. Praia do Alemão is visited by both locals and tourists.
The area around Praia do Alemão has been heavily affected by erosion. If you explore the area, you can find hidden arches, grottoes and coves. You can even find secret passages, leading to small beaches around the corners. This is a great activity for kids as well, who love to explore hidden areas. Basically there is almost an infinite number of places to explore on this beach.
Around the beach you can see many big rocks on the sand and in the water. Sometimes you can also see a variety of birds on the nearby cliffs. However, don’t put your towel right underneath the cliffs.
When looking west (facing the sea, to the right), you can see the rock formations of João de Arens.
Praia do Alemão is great for long beach walks. If you wanted to, you could walk all the way towards Praia da Rocha. Along the way you will pass Praia do Vau, Praia dos Careanos and Praia dos Três Castelos.
João de Arens rock formations
To the west of Praia do Alemão you can see the rock formations of João de Arens. These rock formations provide shelter from the wind and protect the beach against big waves.
You can see that there are many hidden small beaches between the cliffs.
When looking up close, you can see how truly unique this landscape is.
It is also great to explore the cliffs. There is actually a footpath on top of the cliffs that is called Varandas sobre o mar. This walking trail takes you along the cliff tops and gives you wonderful views of the coast and the town of Portimão. The trail starts at the car park behind Praia do Barranco das Canas.
There is even a small beach at the head of the cliff, called Praia de João de Arens. It is great to visit during low tide, but it takes some effort along the cliffs to reach it.
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 are in Portimão, follow the signs towards Vau. Praia dos Alemães is just after Praia do Vau. You can park your car behind the beach. From the car park, it is only a short walk to the beach via a dirt road. There is no staircase. Another way to access Praia do Alemão is by walking from Praia do Vau.
If you are looking to stay in this area of Portimão, we recommend any of the following hotels:
- Jardim do Vau. This four star hotel behind Praia do Vau offers modern apartments that come with a complete kitchen. There is a pool bar serving good cocktails and an area for kids to entertain themselves.
- Apartamentos Turisticos Coral do Vau. This aparthotel has many facilities, including two swimming pools, a tennis court and a children’s playground. They can even pick you up from the airport.
- Hotel Alcaide. This hotel offers very good value for money. They have an outdoor swimming pool and comfortable rooms, while not being expensive. You can also rent a bike from this hotel.
Another option is to quickly check the availability of nearby hotels. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels near this part of Portimão. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
If you would like to discover more of Portimão, we recommend to look at it from another perspective. For example, a boat ride along the coast shows you another side to this area. You will see beaches that are otherwise inaccessible and see amazing rock formations. Below you can find our favourite excursions in the area.
Praia do Alemão has the most important facilities. For example, there are lifeguards overlooking the beach in summer and there are sunbeds for hire. Furthermore, there is a small beach bar where you can get snacks and refreshments. If you are looking for a proper meal or lunch, you should head towards nearby Praia do Vau.
Facilities in Praia do Alemão:
- Restaurant: no
- Bar/club: no
- Toilet: yes
- Shower: no
- Water sports: no
- Sunbeds: yes
- Parking: yes
- Lifeguards: yes
- Blue flag beach: no