Praia dos Três Castelos: the #1 guide
Praia dos Três Castelos is an urban beach in the municipality of Portimão. It is just west of the famous Praia da Rocha. Praia dos Três Castelos is most known for its isolated rock formations in the sea. If you have the chance, this is a great beach to spend a day. Let’s discover this beach.
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Would you like to see the beach and its surroundings? Then check out the drone video below.
Praia dos Três Castelos is a large beach, both long and wide. The beach is backed by big ochre cliffs. Literally, the name means three castles beach. The name of this beach comes from the three largest rocks in the water, which characterize the beach.
There are many high-rise buildings just behind the beach. They are mostly holiday apartments and tourist resorts. On the cliffs behind the beach there is also a nice paved walkway, from where you have a nice view over the beach.
The sand on this beach is golden and nice to walk on. The sand slopes down slowly towards the sea. It is also a good beach for swimming. During low tide you can find some rock pools, which children usually love. In general, it is just a great beach to sunbathe and relax.
There are many big rock formations on this beach, both in the water and on the sand.
If you explore the beach, you will come across several caves and tunnels. However, the three biggest isolated rock formations in the water are the easiest way to recognize this beach.
On some places on the beach, near the cliffs, you can actually see grass.
Praia dos Três Castelos is bordered in the east by Praia da Rocha. There is a big cliff, which separates the two beaches. On top of this cliff you can find the viewpoint of Três Castelos. On the picture below, Praia da Rocha is on the left and the beach of Três Castelos on the right.
There is a tunnel through this cliff, so you can easily reach Praia da Rocha on foot, without having to go back up the cliff. Another easy way to reach Praia da Rocha is through a natural arch near the water. However, you can only take this way during low tide. You can also see a small pier in the water here.
In the west, Praia dos Três castelos is bordered by Praia dos Careanos. You can recognize the border between these two beaches by a big rock formation that is separated from the cliff. The beach of Três Castelos is much larger than Praia dos Careanos, but smaller than Praia da Rocha.
Praia dos Três Castelos is quite popular in summer. However, due to the size of the beach, it is always possible to find a spot to put your towel. Praia dos Três Castelos is popular among both locals and tourists. You can see families as well as couples enjoying this beach. The most popular section of the beach is the eastern section, near Praia da Rocha.
The western section of the beach is usually more quiet, even though it can still be busy in summer. This is the section just next to Praia dos Careanos. Outside the summer months you definitely have more privacy here.
As a matter of fact, outside the summer months, there are only a handful of people on the beach.
The western part of Praia dos Três Castelos is also known as Praia do Amado (not to be confused with Praia do Amado on the westcoast). However, most people see this as the same beach and refer to it as part of Praia dos Três Castelos.
It can be a bit warmer on the beach of Três Castelos than on Praia da Rocha, since the cliffs shield you against the wind. However, always keep some distance from the cliffs.
Praia dos Três Castelos is great for long beach walks. For example you can walk east all the way towards the end of Praia da Rocha. Or you can walk west all the way towards the rock formations of João de Arens. Along the way you will pass Praia dos Careanos, Praia do Vau and Praia do Alemão. In the picture below you can see that the coastline here consists of several coves on the left side.
The area around the beach attracts many people. One good thing about this is that you won’t be bored after sunset. There are plenty of bars and clubs in this area. The nightlife around Praia da Rocha is famous for a reason.
Três Castelos viewpoint
Before visiting the beach, make sure to go to the viewpoint of Três Castelos. It is called Miradouro dos Três Castelos. You can access it via the main walkway of Avenida Tomás Cabreira. The viewpoint has traditional Portuguese pavement stones, which gives it a nice atmopshere.
From the viewpoint you have a wonderful view over both Praia da Rocha and Praia dos Três Castelos. Take your time to admire the fabulous view, before going down to the beach.
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. Drive to Portimão and follow the signs towards Praia da Rocha. When you reach the road behind the beach, Avenida Tomás Cabreira, turn right towards Praia dos Três Castelos. You can park your car along the road or in one of the organized parking areas near the beach. From here it is only a short walk towards Praia dos Três Castelos. There are in fact several access points to the beach, because there are multiple staircases down along the cliff. The most popular descent is right at the Três Castelos viewpoint.
There are two restaurants/bars right on the beach:
- Restaurant Rocha Azul. This restaurant is the first one you see from the viewpoint of Três Castelos. It offers Portuguese cuisine, focusing mainly on fish and seafood. It has a fabulous view over the beach. This is the best restaurant to have lunch right on Três Castelos beach.
- Restaurant Branquinho. This restaurant is also located on the beach, but a bit more to the west. It offers more simple and quick dishes.
In addition, there are many more restaurants on the avenue just above the beach.
If you would like to stay in this area of Portimão, we recommend any of the following hotels:
- Apartamento Sea Coast. This luxury apartment has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and can accommodate up to 4 guests. There is a fully equipped kitchen, a balcony and of course a swimming pool. Great for families. Highly rated.
- Jupiter Algarve Hotel. This four star hotel is right behind Praia da Rocha, within a short walking distance from Praia dos Três Castelos. It has evening entertainment as well as several wellness facilities. This is one of the most popular hotels in the area.
- Club Amarilis. This aparthotel provides good value for money. The apartment is clean and the room is comfortable, while the price is not expensive. They have a good location, about 350 metres from the beach.
Another option is to quickly check the availability of nearby hotels. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels in Portimão. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
The area around Portimão is very beautiful and we recommend that you explore it further. For example, you can go on a boat tour and admire the coastline near Portimão. You can book these excursions online beforehand, which saves you time. Below you can find our favourite excursions in the area.
Praia dos Três Castelos is a Blue Flag beach and has very good facilities. There are two restaurants on the beach, where you can also find toilet facilities. There are sunbeds for hire and lifeguards supervising the beach. In addition, there is a first-aid station.
Facilities in Praia dos Três Castelos:
- Restaurant: yes
- Bar/club: yes
- Toilet: yes
- Shower: yes
- Water sports: yes
- Sunbeds: yes
- Parking: yes
- Lifeguards: yes
- Blue Flag beach: yes