Famous for its 3 large rock formations, Praia Dos Arrifes Beach in Algarve, Portugal, is a stunning little cove to explore. Below is my guide to help you plan your visit, with plenty of photos and a video.
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Why visit Arrifes Beach in Algarve?
As you can see in the panorama below, the beach of Arrifes is recognizable by its 3 rock formations enclosing the cove.
It is also called Praia dos Tres Penecos (Beach of the triple rocks) because of those 3.
With golden sand, it is a great place for photography and for kids to play.
Below is a short video with the waves around Arrifes Beach. It will give an an idea of what your visit could look like.
PLANNING TIPS - Praia dos Arrifes Algarve
How to get to Praia dos Arrifes Algarve
- South of Portugal on the Algarve Coast - see my article with the best things to do in Algarve
- Just West of Albufeira and East of the famous Sao Rafael Beach
- Albufeira to Arrifes = 10min drive
- Last 200 m to the carpark are not paved
This location with its GPS coordinates and planning info is included in my eBooks to help you plan your itinerary in Portugal:
Visiting Arrifes Beach
- Wooden steps to access the beach but not many as the cliffs are low
- Restaurant A Sardinha
- Parasols and chairs for hire
- Mix of sand and rocks - watershoes could be useful
- Better to explore at low tide for access to the rocks and all the coves.
- Small and near Albufeira, very crowded in summer
- I don't know if it was allowed, but many motorhomes had settled on the land near the carpark
- Check out the best rated accommodations in Albufeira
Access to Arrifes Beach - Restaurant and sand
The cliffs at Praia Dos Arrifes are quite low so access to the beach and its restaurant is easy, way easier than the Algarve western beaches such as the magnificent Camilo Beach.
I visited late afternoon as the sun was lowering. There would not be enough interesting light at sunset, but at the time I was there, some of the rocks were turning golden.
A Sardinha Restaurant
The beach has a restaurant at water level: A Sardinha.
Mediterranean cuisine with seafood and fish.
Facilities on the Beach
As you can see in the pictures above and below, the sandy area is quite small overall, and really small at high tide. It is only 75m in length.
Being very closed to the large town of Albufeira, it gets crowded in Summer. So, plan ahead.
Parasols are available for hire.
Plus, as there are many rock formations, this is a great beach for snorkeling.
This is not the best beach to swim in the Algarve, but it is a great one for those enjoying snorkeling or photography.
Beach of Arrifes in photos - Praia dos Tres Penecos
It was actually one of my favorites to photograph as there were smaller rocks everywhere making the water swirl in every direction:
According to Wikipedia, the plants at the top of the rock formations are salt resistant and grow there because the sea stacks are tall enough above water.
View from the cliffs
You can also admire Arrifes Beach from the surrounding cliffs. Just be careful with stability near the edge.
Arrifes beach has several coves better accessed at low tide. From some angle the 3 rock formations almost look attached as one.
And just for the pleasure, here are a couple more shots of the sea stacks, one has a big hole at the top.
Praia Da Vigia
As you walk on the cliffs west from Arrifes Beach, you can see the smaller neighboring beach called Praia da Vigia.
At high tide, it almost disappears.
From the cliffs in the distance (towards the East) you can also spot the colorful Praia da Falesia, my favorite beach in Portugal. As the sun sets, the colors stand out even more!
Cliff walk to Praia Sao Rafael
And you can keep walking east to Praia Sao Rafael. It is the next beach.
It is the most famous beach in the area of Albufeira. It has a large sand area and all the facilities (but it gets even more crowded in Summer).
And if you enjoy those views, keep walking to the other side of the Sao Rafael beach for more amazing cliffs.
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