Praia da Arrifana – the complete guide
Praia da Arrifana is a beautiful beach and a popular surf destination. It is located in the small fishing village of Arrifana, in the municipality of Aljezur. After reading this article, you will know why this beach is such a gem.
Watch it in HD
If you cannot wait to see Praia da Arrifana, then watch the short video below.
Praia da Arrifana is a long and narrow beach, stretching for more than half a kilometre. It is located in a small bay and is surrounded by high black cliffs and authentic white houses. The scenery around the beach is absolutely stunning.
There are many rocks in the back of the beach, near the cliffs. They are a unique aspect of this beach.
Some of the rocks have really interesting shapes. When you walk around the area, you will probably see some interesting ones.
The sand on the beach is soft and golden. The water of the Atlantic Ocean is really transparent and looks beautiful, especially from above. However, the water on this beach is very cold, so make sure to wear a wetsuit. The water here has good waves, which is perfect for surfing. Additionally, the water at the northern part of the beach is great for diving as well. Due to its great surf conditions, Praia da Arrifana mainly attracts surfers, but it also attracts some families.
Furthermore, during high tide the beach becomes really narrow and almost disappears. During high tide the sea drives you towards the uncomfortable rocky area near the cliffs.
On the left side of the beach you see high cliffs.
On the right side of the beach there is a small fishing port.
Furthermore, you can find some walking trails on the cliffs surrounding the beach. If you like to walk in nature, these walking trails are highly recommended.
Make sure to watch the sunset from the beach as well. The sun sets in the ocean, which is really beautiful.
Praia da Arrifana has great conditions for surfing. You can surf here almost every day of the year. The beach faces west / southwest and the cliffs protect it from the northern winds. However, the sea here catches quite some swell. This is a great beach to learn how to surf and you can see many beginners trying to stand on their boards for the first time here. But intermediate and professional surfers won’t be disappointed here as well. This is because there are two types of waves here: the beach break that is perfect for beginners and the point break on the right side of the beach, which is only for experienced surfers. In practice this means that you can see beginners in the middle of the beach and the experienced surfers on the right side of the beach. Thus it is safe to say that surfing here is for all skill levels.
Many surf schools in the area come to Praia da Arrifana to practice. If you want to learn how to surf, check out Arrifana Surf School, which is located near the beach. If you don’t need classes but you do need equipment, you can also just rent surfboards, bodyboards and wetsuits from Arrifana Surf School.
In case you are wondering how it is to surf at Praia da Arrifana, then check out the video below to get an impression.
Pedra da Agulha
On the southern side of the beach (the left side when looking at the sea), there is a big tall rock in the water. The rock kind of looks like a statue and is known as Pedra da Agulha (Needle Rock). This rock has become a famous icon of the area.
On the cliffs near the beach you can find Arrifana Fortress. From here you have a beautiful view over the beach and the surrounding area. The fort was originally built in 1635 in order to defend the coast and fishing grounds. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755 and subsequently rebuilt. Later it was damaged again and in the 19th century it was abandoned. The fortress was completely in ruins. Only in 2007, a reconstruction of the entrance to the fort was done by the municipality of Aljezur. This is what you can see nowadays.
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. Praia da Arrifana is located in the small fishing village of Arrifana and is quite easy to get to. When coming from the south, take the N120 in the direction of Aljezur. Turn left before Aljezur and follow the signs of Praia da Arrifana. At the top of the hill, turn left and then just follow the road. You can park your car on top of the cliffs. However, during summer it can be difficult to park. In that case you can always park a bit further and walk to the beach.
From the top of the cliffs, you have to walk a steep winding road to get to the beach. While you can see cars parked on this street, parking here is for residents only.
There is a restaurant right near Praia da Arrifana, overlooking the beach. This restaurant is called Restaurante Praia Arrifana, but it receives mixed reviews. We recommend the following restaurants nearby:
- Sea You Surf Cafe. This is a surf cafe that serves tasty food and has reasonable prices. They serve good breakfast as well. You can also get some surf equipment here.
- Tasca D’Arrifana. This restaurant offers delicious local food in a nice atmosphere. Especially their seafood is awesome. Great service as well.
If you would like to stay near Praia da Arrifana, then we recommend any of the following hotels:
- Arrifana Retreat. This guest house is located in a modern villa and has 4 private bedrooms. Some of the rooms have a balcony with a great view of the sea. Moreover, the breakfast is awesome. Highly rated.
- HI Arrifana Destination Hostel. This hostel has private rooms as well as beds in a mixed dormitory room. The hostel has a terrace, a bar and a shared lounge. You can also rent a bike here, which is a great way to explore the area.
- Herdade Monte Do Sol. This villa in the countryside offers private terraces, a swimming pool and hammocks. The location is amazing and has great views of the surrounding area. There is also a kitchen, so you can cook your own meals if you want to.
After the busy summer season of last year, we recommend to book your hotel now, as it will probably sell out. Below you can find a map with the location of hotels near Arrifana beach. By changing the date of your holiday, the map will show you the current prices.
Praia da Arrifana is a blue flag beach, which means that the beach complies with high environmental and quality standards. There are restaurants and toilets nearby. During Summer, there are lifeguards overlooking the beach.
Facilities in Praia da Arrifana:
- Restaurant: yes
- Bar/club: no
- Toilet: yes
- Shower: yes
- Water sports: yes
- Sunbeds: no
- Parking: yes
- Lifeguards: yes
- Blue flag beach: yes