Rough ochre rock formations, picturesque natural scenery, and dreamy bays – that’s how I got to know and love the rocky Barlavento region of the Algarve. Learn my best tips for beach hopping in the Algarve and enjoy an unforgettable holiday in this sunny paradise.
As a beach lover and seeker of impressive landscapes, I love spending my holiday seeking out the most beautiful corners of Barlavento.
The TUI BLUE Falesia is the ideal starting point for a fabulous road trip along the coast.
Because once you know these insider tips and tricks, you’ll be able to experience the Algarve up close. Discover my insider hotspots in this blog article.
Let yourself be inspired and have fun reading.
#instagram – the most beautiful beaches in the Barlavento region
Along the southern coast of Portugal, there are beautiful beaches and hidden coves that invite you to swim and relax. As you head west from the TUI BLUE Falesia, you will experience the famous Barlavento region, or “rocky Algarve,” which is adorned by its distinctive cliffs. The best means of transport for beach hopping in the Algarve is of course the hire car. I got into the car and explored the most beautiful beaches and insider tips of Barlavento. Spoiler alert: I took a lot of fantastic photos!
Praia da Falésia
For one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, you need only look out of your hotel room at the TUI BLUE Falesia: The Praia da Falésia is right on the doorstep and is known for its deep red sandstone cliffs. Compared to most beaches in the Algarve, the Praia da Falésia stretches over several kilometres and is therefore also ideal for long walks on the beach.
São Rafael Beach in Albufeira
For the next hotspot, you need to spend about 20 minutes in the car. Albufeira is home to the São Rafael Beach. A sidewalk brings you to the wild and romantic sandy beach, completely surrounded by rocks. Immediately I see the four-metre-high rock in the middle of the sea, which makes the view of the beach even more spectacular. There is also a beach bar where you can buy cool drinks and snacks. I first treat myself to a Pastel de Nata, the typical Portuguese pastry, before exploring.
The next bay on my Algarve beach-hopping excursion seems to be relatively unimpressive at first glance, but it hides two gems of beautiful natural scenery. Albandeira Beach is located between Armacao de Péra and Carvoeiro. Pack the camera – breathtaking photo opportunities await you here. Great pictures and a spectacular view of the emerald green water framed by the rocky bay await you if you dare to climb on the rocks and shoot a photo from above. But beware: in Portugal, you’re technically allowed to climb the rocks, but it is at your own risk. So take care!
If you go further, you’ll reach the second secret dreamscape on the right side of the bay. A rocky bridge that juts out into the sea. You can also trek out over these rocks to enjoy an incredible horizon-to-horizon view of the sparkling sea.
Praia do Camillo near Lagos
Welcome to the Instagram Beach: Lagos’ Praia do Camillo, with its long wooden staircase, is the perfect photo hotspot and is popular with many influencers. More than 100 steps lead you from the car park down the cliff to two small bays, which are connected by a rocky tunnel in the water.
Sunset at the westernmost point of Europe
Sagres, the world’s end – the Cap Sao Vicente lighthouse in Sagres is known for its bright red sunsets overlooking the sea. So before you head back from your beach hopping excursion in the Algarve towards the TUI BLUE Falesia, the sunset in Sagres is still an absolute must-see. It’s best to get to the lighthouse about an hour before the actual sunset. Then you can experience a spectacular change in the colour of the sun from yellow to orange to a deep red. I recommend that you also bring a jacket. Up there it’s windier than you might think 😉
Spectacular holiday experiences while beach hopping in the Algarve
My next hotspot is located at Praia de Benagil between Albufeira and Portimão. You’ll quickly notice that many tourists on boats, stand-up paddleboards, or simply swimming in the ocean disappear within the rocks of the bay. From the beach, it’s hard to imagine that a breathtaking cave hides in the middle of the cliffs – the Benagil Caves. To get into the cave, you can either take part in a boat tour, which incidentally is offered as a bookable excursion from several locations in the Algarve, hire a paddleboard, or just swim. It is about 50 metres from the shore of the beach to the cave.
Those of us seeking a challenge, myself included, will swim! Once you’ve arrived in the cave, you’ll find an impressive sight: In the middle of the ceiling, there is a great opening through which shimmer the sun’s rays across the centuries-old rocks, illuminating the unusual and beautiful forms in golden light.
Ponta de Piadade in Lagos
A whole paradise of rocks, grottos, and caves illuminated in a beautiful gold tone awaits you in Lagos. The rocks of the promontory Ponta da Piedade are among the most beautiful rock formations and are among the top tourist attractions in the Algarve. Boat tours are offered at Lagos’ harbour for €20. The small fishing boats are designed exactly so that they can deftly meander around the narrow rock sculptures. The boats depart every 15 minutes, so there are no queues. Alternatively, you can also take part in a guided canoe tour. You’ll paddle into several caves and past various coastal beaches. The sea shines in beautiful shades of blue and green, and you can see spectacularly shaped caves, rocks, and sculptures named after animals or objects. With a boat trip, you can also wonderfully combine a small city exploration through Lagos, which, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting and beautiful cities of the Algarve.
Do you fancy a beach hopping excursion in the Algarve? I highly recommend everyone explore these breathtaking corners of the Algarve’s rocky Barlavento region. It’s worth it!
Have you ever been to Barlavento? What are your favourite places and insider tips? Let me know in the comments 🙂