This beach is divided into two parts -- there’s Galé-Leste (East) and Galé-Oeste (West). The eastern side (to the left when facing the sea) is the end of a nearly-10km stretch of sand that starts in the town of Armação de Pêra, and the western side merges with Praia dos Salgados, a beach in between.
It’s about 7km west of the center of Albufeira, and while the western side can get quite crowded, the eastern side tends to be quieter. On the east it’s narrower, the sea shallower, and there are large rocks, around which tidal pools are sometimes formed. There are also small caves, and parasols and loungers for rent in the summer.
Due to the proximity of parking lots and access through ramps, this beach is a good choice for those with mobility issues. The water is clean, and it’s awarded a Blue Flag (for quality and safety) each year. Waves can go from weak to strong, depending on the tides and currents, so you’ll sometimes see surfers, although there are other beaches in Algarve more suited for the sport. There are lifeguards on duty in the bathing season (June to September).
Although there are always tourists, this seems to be a favorite of Portuguese families. Many also visit in the winter, for the restaurants nearby, which remain open throughout the year.
It’s worth staying for the sunset.
Beach for: Families, Couples
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
How to Get to Praia da Galé
Bus 75, operated by the Vamus company, goes from Albufeira’s bus station to Guia, stopping in Galé. However, there are only about half a dozen departures per day, so you’ll want to go by car instead. From the center of Albufeira, it takes about 15 minutes, heading west on road M526. From elsewhere in Algarve, take highway A22 and follow the directions to Albufeira. There’s parking on both the eastern and the western sides of the beach, but make sure you arrive early in the high season or it might be difficult to find a spot.
Note that there’s another beach named Praia da Galé in Portugal, on the Alentejo coast, by Melides. When using a GPS, make sure you’re being directed to the Praia da Galé in Albufeira.
Beaches by Praia da Galé
You can walk from Praia da Galé to Praia dos Salgados, which is the last beach in Albufeira. That beach then becomes Praia Grande de Pêra, followed by Praia de Armação de Pêra and Praia do Vale do Olival, which is at the far western end of the single stretch of sand. If you’re driving, in less than 10 minutes you can be at the rocky bays of Evaristo and Castelo.
To locate these beaches, see the Albufeira beaches map.
Hotels by Praia da Galé
One of the best hotels in Algarve is right above Praia da Galé (the eastern side). There are foodies who travel to Portugal just to dine at its 2-Michelin star restaurant, which was placed among the world’s top 50. With its ocean views and Moorish-inspired architecture, it’s also one of the most romantic places to stay in the region. There are two outdoor pools and a spa for relaxation.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Villa Joya
Vila Galé Collection Praia
Located on the road that takes you to Praia da Galé, this 4-star hotel offers rooms with balconies, overlooking an outdoor swimming pool and a palm tree garden. Facilities include a spa, an indoor pool, a gym, and a restaurant.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Vila Galé Collection Praia
Vila Galé Atlântico
It could use a renovation, but this 4-star hotel is conveniently located a short walk from the beach. It caters to families, with rooms and suites for adults and children, swimming pools for all ages, and a children’s playground. For the parents, there’s a spa and a gym.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Vila Galé Atlântico
Apartments Herdade dos Salgados
Found roughly between Praia dos Salgados and the western side of Praia da Galé, this property is made up of spacious apartments with terraces. All guests have access to an outdoor swimming pool.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Apartments Herdade dos Salgados
If you’re on a budget, you might want to stay at these 3-star apartments which are within walking distance of the beach. They’re fully equipped and provide access to an outdoor swimming pool.
SEE PRICES, AVAILABILITY AND MORE DETAILS HERE: Apartamentos Debimar