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São Rafael Beach

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.


Guide to Exploring Sao Rafael Beach


Map

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See all 2,814 properties near Sao Rafael Beach
São Rafael Atlântico £168
São Rafael Atlântico

São Rafael Atlântico

Sesmarias, Albufeira
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nestled on the beach, this Albufeira hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Hotel Baia Grande £114
    Hotel Baia Grande

    Hotel Baia Grande

    Apartado 1022 Sesmarias, Albufeira
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Albufeira hotel is located by the ocean, within 1 mi (2 km) of Coelha Beach and Sao Rafael Beach. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Marina are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      São Rafael Suite Hotel - All Inclusive £168
      São Rafael Suite Hotel - All Inclusive

      São Rafael Suite Hotel - All Inclusive

      Sesmarias 8200-613, Albufeira
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Albufeira hotel is located near the beach, within 1 mi (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        Hotel Maritur - Adults Only £112
        Hotel Maritur - Adults Only

        Hotel Maritur - Adults Only

        Sao Rafael, Albufeira
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse £110
          São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse

          São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse

          Urb. Sao Rafael Lote 26 Fase II, Albufeira
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated near the beach, this apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

            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

               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Albufeira apartment building is located by the ocean, just steps away from Arrifes Beach and Sao Rafael Beach. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              Beach Villa Barreto: Large Private Pool, Walk to Beach, Sea Views, Wifi, Car Not Required
              Beach Villa Barreto: Large Private Pool, Walk to Beach, Sea Views, Wifi, Car Not Required

              Beach Villa Barreto: Large Private Pool, Walk to Beach, Sea Views, Wifi, Car Not Required

              Praia do Sao Rafael, Albufeira
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the beach, this villa is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arrifes Beach and Sao Rafael Beach. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                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

                Rua Dos Corais, 126, Albufeira
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Albufeira, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach, and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Albufeira Beach are also within 3 miles (5 km).