Praia Grande: the #1 guide
The municipality of Silves only has two beaches and Praia Grande is one of them. This big beach is a natural beauty, backed by an endless landscape of dunes. Just east of the beach there is a famous lagoon called Lagoa dos Salgados. And west of Praia Grande is the popular Praia de Armação de Pêra, which is the other beach in Silves. Praia Grande itself is quite peaceful and also an unofficial nude beach. This beach is a great destination for nature lovers and anyone looking for privacy. Let’s discover this beach.
Watch it in HD
Are you ready to see more of this beach? Then check out the short video below.
Praia Grande is a big beach, stretching for over 2 kilometres. This makes it one of the longest beaches in the Algarve. In fact, Praia Grande means big beach. It is also called Praia Grande de Pêra, because it is near the town of Pêra. The beach is backed by a lot of dunes, which can be 300 metres wide in some places. It is a very open beach, also due to the absence of large cliffs.
Praia Grande de Pêra is divided into a eastern and a western section, separated by a rock known as Pedra Amarela (yellow rock). The western part of the beach begins at the Ribeira de Alcantarilha, which is also where the town of Armação de Pêra ends. The eastern part of the beach starts at the lagoon Lagoa dos Salgados. Ironically this means that the beach is bordered by wetlands on both sides: Ribeira de Alcantarilha in the west and Lagoa dos Salgados in the east.
Praia Grande is just east of Praia de Armação de Pêra and west of Praia dos Salgados. This makes it great for long beach walks. For example, you can walk east all the way towards Praia da Galé or west all the way towards Praia do Vale do Olival.
The beach has golden sand and very clear water. The sea is usually calm and good for swimming. This makes Praia Grande de Pêra also a great beach for families with children. Furthermore, the beach is also popular for some water sports, such as windsurfing.
Praia Grande de Pêra is less crowded than the beaches of Salgados or Armação de Pêra. It is a beach where you will find some peace and quiet. Due to its large size, it is very easy to find a spot, even in the peak of summer. There are never massive amounts of people on this beach. Praia Grande is mainly popular with families, nature lovers and naturists.
Make sure to stay for the sunset, which is quite beautiful on this beach.
Praia Grande is an unofficial nude beach. In fact, the practice of nudism is quite common on this beach. Especially the western section of the beach is popular among naturists.
Lagoa dos Salgados
Just east of Praia Grande you can find a lagoon called Lagoa dos Salgados. This lagoon hosts a variety of wildlife, mainly birds. This makes it a popular place for birdwatching. There are walking trails around to explore the dune system and the nearby lagoon. It is great to walk here and enjoy the nature of the Algarve. If you want to read more about this lagoon, check out our article about Praia dos Salgados.
The future: Praia Grande Eco-Resort?
One reason that Praia Grande is unspoiled is the lack of nearby tourist resorts. For example, there is no commercial construction behind the beach, unlike Armação de Pêra and Salgados. However, there are currently some plans to develop a big tourist resort here, called Praia Grande Eco-Resort. Not surprisingly, several nature organizations are against this plan. Currently it is still unclear whether this project will proceed.
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 driving on the A22 highway, take exit 8 and continue on the M524 towards Pêra. Then follow the signs until you reach the beach. There is plenty of parking behind the dunes. From the car park, there is a wooden walkway to the beach. From the boardwalk you have a good view over the dune landscape. Moreover, part of the boardwalk takes you straight to the lagoon.
There is kiosk in the middle of Praia Grande and a proper restaurant on the western side of the beach. The kiosk offers simple refreshments and snacks. The restaurant on the western part is called Restaurante Carlos. Here you can have a variety of food and drinks for lunch. However, the reviews of this place are mixed. There are other options that have better reviews in Praia dos Salgados or Praia de Armação de Pêra.
Praia Grande is relatively close to Praia de Armação de Pêra. Thus we recommend the same hotels as you can find in the article about Praia de Armação de Pêra.
Another option is to quickly check the availability of nearby hotels. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels near Armação de Pêra. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
The area near Armação de Pêra and Albufeira offers plenty of sights to see. The best way to discover the area is by going on an excursion. For example, you can discover the coastline of the Algarve by going on a boat tour or enjoy a Portuguese wine tasting experience. Below you can find our favourite excursions in this part of the Algarve.
Praia Grande de Pêra has the most important facilities. There is a beach restaurant in the western part and a kiosk in the middle section. There are lifeguards overlooking the beach in summer. Moreover, the western part of the beach is accessible by wheelchair.
Facilities in Praia Grande de Pêra:
- Restaurant: yes
- Bar/club: no
- Toilet: yes
- Shower: yes
- Water sports: yes
- Sunbeds: yes
- Parking: yes
- Lifeguards: yes
- Blue Flag beach: yes