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Beaches of West Algarve (some of the ones I remember best)

Algarve is known for its extensive coastline and its beautiful beaches.  Many of them are difficult to reach.  Some are large plots of sand that disappear in the horizon, others hidden in alcoves and of difficult access.  Below I will try to describe some of the ones I remember best.  Most of the pictures taken from http://www.portugalvirtual.pt.

Lagos

Budget travelers in Lagos can stay at Gold Coast Hostel, winner of Best Seasonal Hostel (Hostelworld) of 2010 and Second place for 2011.

Praia da Luz located in the fishing village of Vila da Luz, is bordered on two sides by two hills.  There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer months and there is a handicapped entrance available.  There are several water sports available for your entertainment.  There are many small restaurants nearby as well as small stores where you can buy regional foods, ceramics etc.  My daughter’s godfather and his son like to fish here when they are vacationing in their Algarve home.  It is wonderful to eat freshly fished seafood.

Praia D. Ana is another local beach that brings back many memories.  My dad used to take me to this beach whenever we were in the area.  It is quite isolated, but there is a restaurant and a small parking lot.  It is a famous beach for snorkeling.

Portimão

Praia da Rocha (Rock Beach)  is a very famous beach in Algarve.  It is located in Portimão, which is a very cosmopolitan town, full of restaurants, bars, hotels, “Residenciais” (for lower budget travelers) resorts, shops  and a very active nightlife.  

This beach is punctuated by large rock formations known to the locals by such names as “Dois irmãos” (two brothers) and “3 ursos” (three bears).  This is the first beach I ever visited in Algarve when I was a very young child.

Praia do Alvor (also known as Praia dos 3 Irmãos)

This is a very wide and long beach with beautiful dunes held in place by vegetation.  Here, too, you can find local restaurants and a parking lot.

Salema – Sagres 

 

According to Travel+Leisure one of the “Best Secret Beaches on Earth” – if you want to stay away from the touristic spots, then this is the beach for you.  Salema  beach still a very authentic beach and fishing village.  Here you cannot find the larger resorts, high-rises and clubs.  It is a quiet fishing village with a handful of places to eat and drink, and outdoors market.  You can rent a room in one of the local homes or at a “Pensão”.

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