Algarve's Traveler Guide - Nature, Environment and Wonders of the Algarve: Parks, Viewpoints, beaches and heritage sites in the Algarve
Tourist Guide Albufeira roadmap - Nature, Environment and Wonders of Lagos Parks, Viewpoints, beaches, heritage sites of Albufeira
Praia de São Rafael beach Albufeira
Praia de São Rafael beach, is situated near Sesmarias, in Albufeira, it's a beautiful large sandy beach set amidst warm coloured limestone cliffs, full of furrows and crevices.
On São Rafael beach, there are a wide diversity of very curiously shaped rocks, for example the Ponte Pequena (small bridge) and Ninho das Andorinhas (swallows’ nest): arches, undercutting at the base of the cliffs, potholes and isolated groups of rocks, shapes and forms resulting from the combined action of the mechanical force of the waves on the cliffs and of the rainwater which dissolves the limestone.
In the area around the beach are green patches of pinewoods and enormous mastic trees, hanging over the deeply furrowed and fissured cliff tops. On the sand and exposed to the marine environment is an abundance of sea orachs, a plant that, so to speak, transpires salt, it being possible in the morning or early evening to see salt crystals glittering on its leaves. When the water is sufficiently clear, you can see the mysterious outlines of the submerged rocks, so that a little snorkelling is recommended to discover the abundant marine life in this section of the coast.
The beach is reached by walking down some wooden steps or down a wooden ramp. Traffic is strictly controlled on the top of the cliff in order to minimise destabilisation of the cliff. When you’re on the beach, particular care is recommended when walking near the cliffs due the possibility of falling stones or rocks. Access: There is a tarmac road signposted to the beach from the road between Guia and Galé. The beach has a fairly large and organised car park and basic support facilities (restaurant and toilets), as well as being supervised during the bathing season. The beach faces south.