Praia de Santo António: the #1 guide
Praia de Santo António is the closest beach to the town of Vila Real de Santo António. The beach is big and relatively quiet. It is a great beach for nature lovers, since there is a big pine forest nearby. Discover why Praia de Santo António is worth visiting.
Watch it in HD
If you would like to see a glimpse of Praia de Santo António, then watch the video below.
Praia de Santo António is a big beach, stretching for about 3 kilometres. The beach is about 250 metres wide. Praia de Santo António is the easternmost beach of the Algarve and in fact of all of Portugal. It is bordered by Praia de Monte Gordo in the west.
The beach is backed by low dunes and a pine forest, known as Mata Nacional das Dunas de Vila Real de Santo António. This pine forest is great for hiking and biking. The air here is very fresh and clean. There are no tourist developments near Praia de Santo António, in contrast to Praia de Monte Gordo, which is backed by high-rise apartments and hotels. Also, there are walkways across the dunes to reach the beach, in order to protect the ecosystem.
The sand is soft and extends as far as you can see. This makes the beach excellent for long beach walks. You could walk all the way to Praia de Cacela Velha if you wanted to. The water at Praia de Santo António is very warm, because it is the closest beach to the Mediterranean Sea. The beach is located next to the mouth of the Guadiana River. On the other side of the river is Spain. From the beach you have a great view over the Spanish town of Ayamonte.
The beach is not very touristic. There are less people on this beach than on Praia de Monte Gordo. It is a relatively quiet beach. However, during weekends in the summer, the beach will be more crowded. Praia de Santo António is popular among Portuguese locals. Due to the proximity to Spain, the beach is also popular among Spanish tourists.
On the east side of the beach, near the Guadiana River, there is a pier extending out into the water. This is also a great place for a stroll. You could easily spend an hour walking here. From the pier you have a great view over the beach of Santo António.
How to get there
Praia de Santo António is a couple of kilometres from Vila Real de Santo António. There are three ways to reach the beach:
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 only a couple of minutes by car from Vila Real de Santo António. To reach the beach, follow the road along the Guadiana River. Part of this road is a dirt road. You can park your car next to the road and then walk to the beach.
Caminho dos Três Pauzinhos
There is an ecotrail behind Praia de Santo António, which is actually a great way to reach the beach. The trail is about 1,5 kilometres in length and great for walking and biking. During summer there is also a tourist train along this route. In this area you can also spot wildlife, such as birds and even chameleons.
From Praia de Monte Gordo
Walking from Praia de Monte Gordo, you could also walk east to reach Praia de Santo António.
On the beach is a basic beach bar where you can get refreshments, such as drinks or ice cream. Not too far from the beach is another beach bar, called Grand Beach Club. This place has a nice infinity pool and a great vibe. It is a great place for having a cocktail after visiting the beach.
If you wish to stay in Vila Real de Santo António, we recommend any of the following hotels:
- Grand House. This luxurious five star hotel in the centre of Vila Real de Santo António has an infinity pool and offers great views over the harbour and the Spanish town of Ayamonte. There are wellness facilities as well. This is the most upscale hotel in town.
- Hotel Apolo. This three star hotel offers great value for money. They have an outdoor swimming pool and good facilities, while prices are very reasonable. Highly rated as well.
- Alojamento Baixa Mar. This guest house offers private rooms for a cheap price. The place is clean and rooms have a view over the river or the harbour. Also, the host is very friendly. She will make sure you have an excellent stay.
Since Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted, we recommend to book your hotel now, as it will probably sell out soon. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels in Vila Real de Santo António. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
There is a lot to discover in the eastern Algarve and we recommend to take an excursion to make the most out of your stay in this region. A guide will give you insights into the local culture and traditions that you couldn’t get otherwise. Some of these excursions can already be booked online. Below you can find our favourite excursions in the eastern Algarve.
Praia de Santo António is a Blue Flag beach, which means that the beach conforms to certain standards of safety and facilities. There are lifeguards here during summer and there are some water sports available on the beach. Also, there is a beach bar where you can get refreshments. However, this beach has relatively fewer facilities than other Blue Flag beaches nearby.
Facilities in Praia de Santo António:
- Restaurant: yes
- Bar/club: no
- Toilet: yes
- Shower: yes
- Water sports: yes
- Sunbeds: no
- Parking: yes
- Lifeguards: yes
- Blue Flag beach: yes