Sao Rafael Beach

Holiday Travel Guide
Sao Rafael Beach featuring general coastal views, a sandy beach and rugged coastline

Explore tidal pools and take part in adventure sports or just sit back, enjoy the warm sunshine and admire the wonderful scenery.

São Rafael Beach (Praia de São Rafael) is close enough to Albufeira for a daytrip yet far enough away that it escapes the bustle of the city. São Rafael Beach is famous for its dramatic limestone cliffs, some of which have been eroded over centuries into curious shapes. The beach sits in a sheltered bay and boasts safe, crystal-clear water and powdery sand that runs gently between your toes.

Like much of the Algarve, swimming is possible year-round. The sea is calm, shallow and a dazzling shade of azure. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer months.

Sign up for activities at the water sports center. Cruise along the coastline via rented kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Join a coasteering tour, which includes climbing onto rocks, cliff jumping and floating through caves. Swim alongside brightly colored sea life with the use of rented snorkeling equipment.

The craggy backdrop is spectacular the full length of the beach. Some of the rocks have been given affectionate names, such as Ninho das Andorinhas (Swallow’s Nest) and Ponte Pequeña (Little Bridge). Stand beneath the bridge for a souvenir photo. When the tide is out, you can walk around the cliffs at the western edge of the bay to a quieter cove.

Find the beach 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) west of Albufeira Marina. There’s a parking lot a short walk from the entrance. A public bus service operates daily from Albufeira bus terminal in summer. It runs with a limited service in winter.

São Rafael Beach has Blue Flag status. You’ll find public toilets and showers, which are free to use. The beachfront restaurant serves up tasty fish and seafood dishes. Accommodations in the village range from all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels and self-catering apartments.

Top things to do in Sao Rafael Beach

Top Trending Hotels Near Sao Rafael Beach

São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse
São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse
Urb. Sao Rafael Lote 26 Fase II, Albufeira
The price is £47 per night from 6 Nov to 6 Nov
Situated near the beach, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of Sao Rafael Beach and Arrifes Beach. Albufeira Marina and Nossa Senhora da Orada Convent ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (140 reviews)
Location location location
"We have always visited São Rafael beach in the past so to stay so close to it in such beautiful accommodation was a real treat. Literally a few minutes walk away you have the choice of two wonderful beaches and there are also two pools to choose from. The pool at the villas is small but beautiful ..."

Reviewed on 7 Oct 2020

São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse
São Rafael Atlântico
São Rafael Atlântico
5 out of 5
Sesmarias, Albufeira
The price is £61 per night from 16 Nov to 16 Nov
Nestled on the beach, this Albufeira hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sao Rafael Beach and Arrifes Beach. Coelha Beach and Albufeira Marina are also within ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (974 reviews)
"Front desk was very pleasant and welcoming. Porter was very helpful. My room was clean and quiet . There was a safe, fridge, Kettle and coffee maker. A nice walk to the beach."

Reviewed on 7 Sep 2021

São Rafael Atlântico
São Rafael Suite Hotel
São Rafael Suite Hotel
5 out of 5
Sesmarias 8200-613, Albufeira
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £133 per night from 27 Oct to 27 Oct
This family-friendly Albufeira hotel is located near the beach, within 1 mi (2 km) of Sao Rafael Beach, Arrifes Beach and Coelha Beach. Nossa Senhora da Orada ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (650 reviews)
"Great hotel all as advertised very clean food choice excellent all day from breakfast to late evening"

Reviewed on 15 Mar 2020

São Rafael Suite Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Top Hotel Deals

São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse
São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse
Urb. Sao Rafael Lote 26 Fase II, Albufeira
The price is £47 per night from 6 Nov to 6 Nov
São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse
São Rafael Atlântico
São Rafael Atlântico
5 out of 5
Sesmarias, Albufeira
The price is £61 per night from 16 Nov to 16 Nov
São Rafael Atlântico
São Rafael Suite Hotel
São Rafael Suite Hotel
5 out of 5
Sesmarias 8200-613, Albufeira
The price is £133 per night from 27 Oct to 27 Oct
São Rafael Suite Hotel
Hotel Maritur - Adults Only
Hotel Maritur - Adults Only
4 out of 5
Sao Rafael, Albufeira
The price is £50 per night from 5 Nov to 5 Nov
Hotel Maritur - Adults Only
Spacious 2 Bed Apt.Terraces, Mature Gardens, Sea Views And Use Of Communal Pools
Spacious 2 Bed Apt.Terraces, Mature Gardens, Sea Views And Use Of Communal Pools
Spacious 2 Bed Apt.Terraces, Mature Gardens, Sea Views And Use Of Communal Pools
Sao Rafael Beach Resort, Nr Albufeira, Central Algarve
Sao Rafael Beach Resort, Nr Albufeira, Central Algarve
Sao Rafael Beach Resort, Nr Albufeira, Central Algarve
BRAND NEW VILLA W/ JACUZZI, PRIVATE HEATABLE POOL,WIFI,AC,AND STUNNING SEA VIEWS
BRAND NEW VILLA W/ JACUZZI, PRIVATE HEATABLE POOL,WIFI,AC,AND STUNNING SEA VIEWS
The price is £1,238 per night from 8 Nov to 8 Nov
BRAND NEW VILLA W/ JACUZZI, PRIVATE HEATABLE POOL,WIFI,AC,AND STUNNING SEA VIEWS
Sao Rafael Luxury Sea view Apartment in a privileged coastal location
Sao Rafael Luxury Sea view Apartment in a privileged coastal location
Sao Rafael Luxury Sea view Apartment in a privileged coastal location
2 Bedroom Spacious Apartment With Seaview & Balcony Very Close To Lovely Beach
2 Bedroom Spacious Apartment With Seaview & Balcony Very Close To Lovely Beach
2 Bedroom Spacious Apartment With Seaview & Balcony Very Close To Lovely Beach
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.