Beaches in Portimao

Your guide to the best beaches along the coast of Portimao. Our Top beaches within the resort, Blue Flag, accessibility, LGBT & nudist friendly. Uncover beaches in Portimao with

Portimão Beaches include “Praia da Rocha” (the most well known and the largest beach that even at the height of summer has space for everyone) and continuing westward along the coast there is “Praia dos Três Castelos” , “Praia do Amado” , “Praia dos Careanos”, “Praia do Vau” and finally to “Praia do Barranco das Canas” (also known as “Alemão“). For all of these beaches you can find out about beach facilities, beach bars, water sports and disabled access right here on Portimão Beaches…Uncovered!

Praia da Rocha

Praia da Rocha is just around the corner from Portimão marina. It is a beautiful beach, boasting the customary golden sands that we come to expect of Algarve beaches. The beach is not only long, but also very wide and even at the height of summer there is plenty of room.

It has a wooden walkway running the entire length of the beach with a selection of beach cafés and restaurants behind it, making it easy for families with pushchairs or wheelchairs to access all the facilities, and is a great place to get a taste of beach life in the Algarve.

At the eastern end of the beach there is a fort, Fortaleza da Santa Caterina, which was built in 1691 to protect the mouth of the River Arade. From the top of it you can look down the whole length of Praia da Rocha, to see it in its full glory and if you look over to the left, you can see the fantastic multi-coloured marina and across the mouth of the river to Ferragudo. Many visitors like to come to the fort to watch the sunset.

There is another great viewpoint at the western end of Tomás Cabreira avenue, complete with seating areas to take in the view. You can see Praia da Rocha to the left and Praia dos Três Castelos and beyond to the right.

Praia da Rocha has several access points along its length. Although access at the western end is by way of steep steps there are other access points, including ramp access, along its length suitable for disabled access. There are several lifeguard stations along the length, including a first aid post. In the summer months visitors can rent awnings and sunshades and there is a choice of watersports including jet ski, pedalos, windsurfing and paragliding. The eastern end also has an area for beach sports where lots of competitions take place during the summer.

Praia da Rocha is supervised by lifeguards during the main season (normally April to the end of September) and is classed as an ‘Accessible Beach’.

Praia dos Três Castelos

Praia dos Três Castelos is the next bay west of Praia da Rocha and the beginning of about a kilometre of sands between there and Praia do Vau that include Praia do Amado and Praia dos Careanos. The beach has various rocky outcrops and curving cliffs and is larger than it appears at first sight.

Três Castelos is easily reached on foot from the western end of Tomás Cabreira Avenue where a wide, paved walkway runs along the cliff top above the beach. Access to the beach is by way of steps down the cliff.


There is a reasonable size car park near the beach after passing the fountain roundabout heading in the direction of Praia da Rocha on the Avenida V6.

The beach derives it’s name (Three castles)from the isolated rock formations in the sea and which are typical of the coastal landmarks along this stretch of the Algarve.

Praia dos Três Castelos has sunbeds for hire and two beach bar /restaurants so no need to leave the beach all day but if you do there are also lots more places to eat and drink on the Avenida just above the beach.

The beach is supervised during the beach season.

Praia do Amado

Praia do Amado is just to the west of Praia da Rocha and has a lovely, sheltered position beneath the red and ochre coloured cliffs.

There is a small car park just off the Fountain roundabout on the main dual carriageway just before Praia da Rocha if you are lucky enough to find a parking space!

For pedestrians there is a wide paved walk / cycle way along the cliffs from the end of Tomás Cabreira avenue and the bonus is enjoying the fabulous views along the way!

Access to Amado beach is by way of fairly steep wooden steps down the cliff from the car park so perhaps not the easiest place to get to for families with young children.

It is easy to see from the quite amazing rock formations that the cliffs are eroding and are really quite crumbly in places. There are warning signs along virtually all of the Algarve cliffs to beware of rock falls so don’t be tempted to sit under the cliffs to get out of the sun.

Praia do Amado is a supervised beach during the bathing season.

Praia dos Careanos

Praia dos Careanos is the next bay along from Praia do Vau and is part of the kilometre or so of sands that include Praia do Amado and Praia dos Três Castelos – the last bay before Praia da Rocha – a lovely walk when the tide is right if you want a break from lying on the beach!

Access to Praia dos Careanos is down some fairly steep steps from the cliff road and as with all this stretch of coastline there are signs warning of the risk of rock fall so choose a spot away from the cliffs to spread your towels.

There is a tarmac road along the cliffs above the beach from the fountain roundabout on Avenida V6 near Praia da Rocha to Vau. There is a limited amount of parking next to the roundabout from where it is a very pleasant stroll along the cliff path that runs from Praia da Rocha to Praia do Vau. The path is marked by wooden barriers which also keep people away from unstable areas of the cliff face. Alternatively there is limited parking along the roadside.

The beach has sunbeds for hire and a lifeguard during the beach season.

Praia do Vau

Praia do Vau is a sheltered sandy bay in a peaceful corner of Portimão, just to the west of Praia da Rocha, surrounded by low-rise holiday apartments and complexes and is accessed from the Avenida V3 dual carriageway heading towards Praia da Rocha.

Praia do Vau is a very popular holiday spot being close to Praia da Rocha for anyone wanting a more lively nightlife, but with everything to hand for those who enjoy long lazy days soaking up the Algarve sunshine!

Praia do Vau extends for quite a distance with the cliffs jutting out at various points forming smaller secluded bays. As with any Algarve beaches backed by cliffs it is advised to beware of possible rock falls so avoid sheltering from the sun directly under the cliffs.

Just around the headland at the the eastern end are Praia dos Careanos and Praia do Amado and in the sweep of the cliffs visible at the western end is the beautiful Praia do Barranco das Canas.

There is quite a good sized area for parking right behind the beach, but it is also easily accessible along the cliff top walkway from Praia da Rocha. There are beach bars for refreshments and meals and also sunbeds and pedalos for hire.

Praia do Vau is supervised during the beach season and is also classed as an ‘Accessible Beach’.

Praia do Barranco das Canas

Praia do Barranco das Canas (named after the reed beds on the approach to the beach) is a beautiful sheltered sandy bay at the western end of this stretch of coastline that runs from Praia da Rocha to the picturesque rock formations at Ponta João d’Arens.

It is just a short distance from Praia do Vau on foot or if you are driving – head towards Praia do Vau / Rocha and there is a turning on the right hand side of the V3 road just before a large pink apartment building “Solar do Vau” on the opposite side. The tarmac road leads to a rough parking area just above the beach. The turning doesn’t appear to be signposted!

The beach has a small kiosk for refreshments as well as sunshades and sunbeds for hire and the sheltered water just invites a swim!

There is a path part of the way along the cliff tops towards Praia do Vau which is worth an exploratory stroll for the views but it (and the cliff!) does stop short of Vau beach.

Praia do Barranco das Canas is supervised during the bathing season.

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