Praia do Castelo

Praia do Castelo beach guide, how to get there and where to stay

Parasols in Praia do Castelo, Albufeira

“Castle Beach” has no castle. The name derives from a big rock in the water, on the eastern side of the beach, which some say resembles the battlements of a castle (use your imagination). Another explanation is that it’s named after a 16th-century watchtower which protected the coast from pirates and that is now in ruins.

Rock formations in Castelo Beach, Albufeira

Sheltered by a tall, 30m-high cliff, this is one of the smallest beaches in Albufeira, but also one of the most beautiful. Due to the location away from the center, it’s never too crowded. However, it’s still quite popular, as word of mouth has brought more locals and tourists.

The sheltered side of Praia do Castelo, Albufeira

In the bathing season, most of the beach is covered with wicker parasols and sunbeds for rent, but there’s always a section (on the eastern side) for those who bring their own umbrella or who prefer to lie in the sun. The sand is soft and golden, matching the surrounding rocks and cliffs. Many people like to explore those rocks and cliffs, discovering small coves and hidden corners. Just don’t spread your towel directly below them, as there may be rockfall.

View over Praia do Castelo in Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

From June to September there are lifeguards on duty, and you’ll see the Blue Flag indicating a clean beach and good water quality. The waves are usually calm enough for swimming, paddling and snorkeling. Unfortunately, the access is via a wooden staircase, so this is not a beach for the disabled.

There’s a good view over the beach before you head down the stairs, as well as from the restaurant. Like other restaurants on the Portuguese coast, the specialty here is seafood, and it’s not exactly cheap.

Beach for: Families, Couples
Lifeguards: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
Accessible: No
Parking: Yes

How to Get to Praia do Castelo

Praia do Castelo is one of the stops of bus 75, operated by the Vamus company, which departs from Albufeira’s bus station. However, there are only about half a dozen buses per day, so going by car is the more convenient option. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the center of Albufeira, heading west on road M526. From other parts of Algarve, take highway A22 and exit to Albufeira on exit 9. Continue on road N395, and at the roundabout turn to road M526. There’s a small parking lot on the cliff, a few feet from the beach.

Beaches by Praia do Castelo

You can walk to the smaller and once-secret beach of Evaristo from Praia do Castelo (there’s a sign pointing in its direction up on the road) -- it’s about a 15-minute walk. If you’re driving, the popular beach of Galé is less than 10 minutes away to the west, while Praia da Coelha is 5 minutes to the east.
To locate these beaches, see the Albufeira beaches map.

Hotels by Praia do Castelo

Hapimag Resort Albufeira

Hapimag Resort Albufeira

This condo hotel is the only place to stay within walking distance of Praia do Castelo (for other options, you might want to check out the hotels by Praia da Galé, just over 5 minutes away by car). It’s located on the road that leads to the beach and is a decent 3-star choice for families, with studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. There’s also a restaurant, a children’s playground and a swimming pool.