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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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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


Top Sao Rafael Beach Flight + Hotel Deals

Top Hotel Deals

See all 9,195 Properties near Sao Rafael Beach
São Rafael Atlântico £83
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 Praia dos Alemães are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Hotel Baia Grande £38
    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 Marina and Albufeira Old Town Square are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Sao Rafael Beach Resort, Nr Albufeira, Central Algarve
      Sao Rafael Beach Resort, Nr Albufeira, Central Algarve

      Sao Rafael Beach Resort, Nr Albufeira, Central Algarve

         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Albufeira, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Arrifes Beach and Sao Rafael Beach. Albufeira Marina and Albufeira Old Town Square are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        São Rafael Villas, Apartments & GuestHouse £43
        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 hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Praia dos Alemães are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Sao Rafael. Stunning 2 Bed G.floor Apt. Beach/pool 250m. Albufeira 5mins by Taxi
          Sao Rafael. Stunning 2 Bed G.floor Apt. Beach/pool 250m. Albufeira 5mins by Taxi

          Sao Rafael. Stunning 2 Bed G.floor Apt. Beach/pool 250m. Albufeira 5mins by Taxi

             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Albufeira apartment building is located by the ocean, within a 10-minute walk of Arrifes Beach and Sao Rafael Beach. Albufeira Marina and Albufeira Old Town Square 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

               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              This family-friendly Albufeira apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Praia dos Alemães are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              Gardenia Apartment, Pool, Wifi
              Gardenia Apartment, Pool, Wifi

              Gardenia Apartment, Pool, Wifi

                 
                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 Praia dos Alemães are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Lovely Ground Floor Studio Apartment With Sun Terrace Close to Sao Rafael Beach
                Lovely Ground Floor Studio Apartment With Sun Terrace Close to Sao Rafael Beach

                Lovely Ground Floor Studio Apartment With Sun Terrace Close to Sao Rafael Beach

                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated by the ocean, this romantic apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Arrifes Beach, Sao Rafael Beach and Albufeira Marina. Albufeira Old Town Square and Praia dos Alemães are also within 3 miles (5 km).