Beaches in Praia da RochaYour guide to the best beaches along the coast of Praia da Rocha. Our Top beaches within the resort, Blue Flag, accessibility, LGBT & nudist friendly. Uncover beaches in Praia da Rocha with AlgarveUncovered.com
Praia da Rocha is just one (albeit the largest) of the beaches along this stretch of Portimão coastline, with Praia dos Três Castelos, Praia do Amado, Praia dos Careanos, Praia do Vauand Praia do Barranco das Canas (Alemão) all within easy reach. A wide, paved walk / cycle way runs along the cliff tops from the end of Tomás Cabreira avenue past Praia dos Três Castelos and then you can either walk along a cliff path to the western side of Praia do Vau or take the cliff top road. The view of the beaches from the path is well worth the walk!
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 river towards 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 with its lovely rock formations 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 and is also 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!
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.
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.
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.
Praia da Rocha Beach Flag Safety
To stay safe on Algarve beaches, always pay attention to the beach flags so see whether or not it is safe to swim or if the beach is being attended by a lifeguard.
Swimming & entering the water forbidden
Beach temporarily unattended
Algarve Blue Flag beaches
The Algarve boasts some of the best beaches in the world, and many have been given the official Blue Flag stamp of approval from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) organisation. Blue Flag works towards sustainable development at beaches and marinas through publicly awarding beaches and marinas with their exclusive eco-label if they meet strict criteria regarding water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, safety and other services. Blue Flag also accredit beaches and marinas that are suitable for wheelchair access.
Nearby Blue Flag beaches
- Albufeira: Arrifes, Aveiros, Belharucas, Castelo, Coelha, Evaristo, Falésia Acoteias, Falésia Alfamar, Galé-Leste, Galé-Oeste, Manuel Lourenço, Maria Luísa, Olhos d’Água, Oura, Oura-Leste, Rocha Baixinha-Nascente, Rocha Baixinha-Poente, S. Rafael, Salgados, Santa Eulália.
- Aljezur: Arrifana, Monte Clérigo, Odeceixe-Mar
- Faro: Barreta, Culatra-Mar, Faro-Mar, Ilha do Farol-Mar
- Lagoa: Caneiros, Carvoerio, Ferragudo (Praia Grande), Senhora da Rocha, Vale Centeanes, Vale do Olivial.
- Lagos: Batata, Camilo, Dona Ana, Luz, Meia Praia, Porto de Mós.
- Loule: Ancão, Garrão Nascente, Garrão Poente, Loulé Velho, Quarteira, Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Vilamoura.
- Olhao: Armona-Mar, Fuseta-Ria.
- Portimao: Alvor Nascente – Três Irmãos, Alvor Poente, Rocha, Três Castelos, Vau.
- Silves: Armação de Pêra, Praia Grande Poente.
- Tavira: Barril, Cabanas-Mar, Ilha de Tavira-Mar, Terra Estreita.
- Vila do Bispo: Almádena-Cabanas Velhas, Burgau, Castelejo, Cordoama, Ingrina, Mareta, Martinhal, Salema, Zavial.
- Vila Real de Santo António:Lota, Manta Rota, Monte Gordo, Santo António.
“Accessible Beaches” in the Algarve
What do we mean when we talk about the beaches being classed as an “Accessible Beach”? Well, along with many other Algarve beaches, this means that not only do they provide ramps, footpaths and walkways directly to the sand but facilities also meet certain other criteria for disable people, for example, for restaurant tables, bar and counter heights. They also have first aid posts and disabled toilets and should be equipped with wheelchairs, walking aids and other equipment capable of being used in the sea as well as on the beach. So if you see the “Accessible Beach” flag flying above Algarve beaches, you know that they have all the facilities to ensure a great day at the beach!