Praia dos Arrifes

Praia dos Arrifes beach guide, how to get there and where to stay

View over Arrifes Beach, Albufeira

Go on a bright sunny day, with a calm sea at low tide, and you’ll have one of the best beach days in Albufeira. This is a small bay, sheltered from the wind by low cliffs, and characterized by three imposing rock formations in the water and smaller rocks on the shore. This unique natural scenery makes it one of the most beautiful beaches in Albufeira, but thankfully not too many people seem to know about it because it’s never overcrowded. In July and August, however, it might be difficult to keep some distance between sunbathers.

Rock formations in Praia dos Arrifes, Albufeira

When you arrive, you have a breathtaking view from the top of the cliff. You see a few wicker parasols and loungers, but most of the beach is occupied by the umbrellas and towels of locals and tourists who stay at the hotels nearby. Some people on boat tours also decide to spend some time here. Go early to guarantee the best spot.

The calm waters of Praia dos Arrifes, Albufeira

The water is cold (average temperature in the summer is 22C/72F), but often crystal-clear and good for snorkeling. Others prefer paddleboarding and kayaking. It’s not the best for swimming, due to the underwater rocks. When the tide is low, it’s possible to explore the coves and rock formations, and there are tidal pools where everyone likes to bathe and be photographed in. You’ll see more people taking selfies at this beach than anywhere else in Albufeira -- it’s that picturesque. When the tide is high, much of the beach disappears (especially in the winter months).

Paddleboarding in Arrifes Beach, Albufeira

Although it’s officially called Praia dos Arrifes, it’s also known as Praia dos Três Penecos, referring to the three big rocks in the water. However, there are actually five sizable rocks -- two smaller ones are behind the big three. The central one, in the group of three, has an arch, which some people attempt to go through as they swim around it.

Praia dos Arrifes, Albufeira

The water is clean, as is the golden sand, and each year this beach renews its Blue Flag certification. In the bathing season there are lifeguards on duty. Wooden stairs lead down to the sand from the cliff, so this is not a beach for the disabled.

There’s a restaurant right on the beach. It focuses on fresh fish and seafood, and is a great place to sit and admire the view.

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

How to Get to Praia dos Arrifes

Bus 75 of the Vamus company, which departs from Albufeira’s bus station, stops not far from Praia dos Arrifes in about 15 minutes. The stop is on a road (Estrada das Sesmarias) about a 10-minute walk from this beach and Praia de São Rafael. It’s a few feet from the São Rafael Suites Hotel (listed below), and you’ll see a sign pointing south towards the beach. However, this is quite an infrequent bus, so you’ll want to go by car, taxi or Uber instead. From the center of Albufeira, the 4km journey takes just 10 minutes. There’s an unpaved parking area above the beach.
If you’re coming from elsewhere in Algarve, take highway A22 and exit to Albufeira. Then head west on road M526 to the beach.

Beaches by Praia dos Arrifes

To the west of Praia dos Arrifes is a small beach called Praia da Vigia. However, this beach disappears at high tide. At low tide, you can reach it from Praia dos Arrifes, by going around the rocks. Further west (within walking distance from the road) is one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, Praia de São Rafael. Less than 10 minutes by car (continuing to the west) are Praia do Ninho de Andorinha and Praia da Coelha.
It’s recommended that you walk over the cliffs. Not only are there wonderful views, hikers can go all the way to Praia do Castelo.
To locate these beaches, see the Albufeira beaches map.

Hotels by Praia dos Arrifes

São Rafael Atlântico, Albufeira

São Rafael Atlântico

It offers direct and private access to the beach of São Rafael, but is also within walking distance of Praia dos Arrifes. It features three outdoor pools in a garden of palm trees, two heated indoor pools, a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean cuisine, and a spa. All rooms have terraces, some with sea views.


São Rafael Suites - All Inclusive, Albufeira

São Rafael Suites - All Inclusive

Located by a bus stop on the road that goes to central Albufeira and about a 10-minute walk from Praia dos Arrifes and Praia de São Rafael, this hotel is convenient for those looking for days in the sun and nights out on the town. Its suites accommodate three to six people, and are therefore the choice of families. There are three swimming pools, two restaurants, a spa, and a kids’ club.


São Rafael Holidays, Albufeira

São Rafael Holidays

Just a 10-minute walk from Praia dos Arrifes, this property is divided into standard double rooms, apartments, and villas. There’s an outdoor swimming pool, but those staying at one of the villas or one of the studios have their own private pool.