There is an endless supply of incredible beaches and viewpoints around Armação de Pera Portugal and, over the course of our 7-week stay in southern Portugal’s Algarve region following our slow foot journey along the Portuguese coast on the amazing Rota Vicentina trek, the best of Portugal’s hiking trails which goes along the Costa Vicentina through the beach towns and charming villages of Aljezur, Odexeice, Zambujeira, Almograve, Carrapateira, Vila Nova de Milfontes and Porto Covo along the way, we spent hours walking every day and became extremely familiar with most of them. Of course, those less enamoured with hiking don’t necessarily have to expend all that energy to enjoy this stunning scenery. Most of the spots we’re going to describe can be reached either directly from a parking lot or at the end of a very short walk. Some of the Armacao de Pera beaches have staircases for easy access, while a couple involve a tricky scramble down through the rocks. As you’d expect, the less accessible the beach, the quieter it tends to be.
With one massive, uninterrupted stretch of beautiful sand heading east toward Galé and a fascinating string of cliff overlooks and stunning, sheltered beaches to the west, you could spend weeks exploring all these amazing locations. The following map shows all our favourite viewpoints and 20 different beaches, all within walking distance of town. In our previous post: A Guide to Walking in Armação de Pera, we described all the best walks in the area, including detailed hiking maps and directions.
Map of Armacao de Pera Beaches and Viewpoints
Disclaimer: These photos were taken during the coronavirus pandemic – I expect that during normal times these beaches and trails would not be quite so empty…
Armação de Pera
Praia de Armação de Pera
Armação’s main beach is partially sheltered and easily accessible from everywhere in town.
Praia do Vale do Olival
Accessed from the parking lot at the west end of the malecón, this small stretch of beach features the best set of cliffs and rock formations right in town.
Beço das Lanchas
While the Armação de Pera old town doesn’t necessarily compare with some of the larger and more famous versions located in other parts of the Algarve, it is still a picturesque little jumble of narrow streets and colourful houses.
East of Armação de Pera
The beach stretches for roughly 5 km to Galé and is backed by a nice area of fields, paths, boardwalks and a bird-filled lagoon.
Praia Grande de Pera
Praia dos Salgados
Lagoa dos Salgados
Armação de Pera East Viewpoint
West of Armação de Pera
If it wasn’t for Vilalara Resort, it would be possible to stay on the cliffs from Armação de Pera all the way to Praia de Benagil. This one annoying detour, however, is easily overshadowed by the impressive line of terrific beaches and expansive viewpoints.
These are listed in the order you will reach them walking from Armação de Pera, although you can also drive to large parking lots at Praia Albandeira and near Praia da Marinha.
Armação de Pera West Viewpoint
Praia dos Beijinhos
Praia dos Tremoços
Praia da Cova Redonda
Somehow we didn’t manage to get a photo of this cute little crescent beach on the west side of Vilalara. It has its own staircase off of Rua Cova Redonda (easily remembered). Just before the bottom of the steps there is a path through the fence and up the hill that you can follow across the front of the Pestana Viking Resort past Praia das Escaleiras to Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha.
Praia das Escaleiras
Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha
Praia do Barranco
Praia da Morena Viewpoints
Praia das Fontainhas
Access involves a rugged scramble down through a small ravine.
Praia de Albandeira
Arco de Albandeira Viewpoint
In my opinion, the single best viewpoint along this stretch of coast (although Praia da Marinha offers some pretty good competition).
Algar de Albandeira
There are several of these natural caves and sinkholes in the area but this is definitely one of the best.
Praia do Barranquinho Viewpoint
Praia do Barranquinho
Praia da Malhada do Baraço
Praia do Pau Viewpoint
Praia do Pau
You’ll need to brave a tricky climb to reach the bottom of this secluded gem.
Praia da Marinha
Clearly the highlight of the area, this outstanding beach is equally terrific wandering among the rock formations down at the bottom, exploring the badlands-style trails along the cliff edges or just hopping from viewpoint to viewpoint.
Praia da Mesquita
This is really just the west end of Praia da Marinha but I separated the photos by view.
While the beach itself isn’t particularly notable (considering the high standard set by the previous dozen beaches along the way), it is still the most popular place to board a boat tour to see all the caves that are only accessible from the water.
Armação de Pera’s beaches and viewpoints are a perfect example of why so many people flock to the Algarve every year. With perfect weather, good walking, affordable prices and the ability to explore a different secluded beach every day of your vacation, this beautiful area is an ideal long-term stay destination.
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