Discover the Quietest Beach in Albufeira. Discover São Rafael Beach

Discover Praia de São Rafael

If you’re planning a holiday in Albufeira and want to know if there are any beaches without so many people, the answer is yes!

Albufeira attracts thousands of tourists every year and it’s easy to see why: the town itself is beautiful and traditional, with a historic centre full of restaurants, bars and shops and a modern area full of hotels and flats to rent, equipped with all the services and facilities. It also has a coastline full of cliffs, sands and lovely rocks.

Here we find one of the Algarve’s most emblematic seaside resorts. A quiet and peaceful beach located on a coast full of beautiful beaches packed with all kinds of activities and deserted coves that foreign tourists ignore.

Characteristics of Praia de São Rafael

São Rafael beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Algarve and even in Portugal, with characteristics very unique to the region. The best thing about it? It hasn’t been taken over by tourism yet, so it’s still one of the quietest beaches in the Algarve.

It’s surrounded by beautiful warm-toned limestone cliffs and golden cliffs, with a clear and smooth 250 metre stretch of sand, making it the longest beach in the Sesmarias area.

It has an idyllic cove surrounded by golden cliffs and unspoilt landscape – not to mention calm, transparent waters that will enchant anyone.

São Rafael beach lies where the Atlantic Ocean is bright, turquoise blue and the massive cliffs and rocks that surround it are so beautiful that they seem surreal.

How to get to Praia de São Rafael?

To the west of Albufeira rise the limestone cliffs of the Sesmarias promontory. This coast hides many picturesque beaches at the base of weathered cliffs or in old river valleys. In this area you’ll find Praia de São Rafael, Praia dos Arrifes and Praia da Coelha.

São Rafael beach is located in the municipality of Albufeira, 5 minutes from the city of Albufeira by car and 3 km from the historic centre of Albufeira.

It lies between Ponta Pequena Beach, Paradinha Beach and Vigia Beach, next to Arrifes Beach. The nearest hotel is the NAU São Rafael Atlântico.


Access to Praia de São Rafael

By car: the most traditional access to Praia de São Rafael is by car, leaving the car in the car park and walking along the wooden path until you reach the beach.

On foot: only if you go via the beaches next door, as it can be a long way from the centre of Albufeira.

Other ways to get to São Rafael beach: by sea, on a SUP or kayak trip, or even by boat. In any of these options you’ll be presented with a walk along the coast with magnificent views.


As if its beauty wasn’t enough, it still has several facilities around it, such as:

  • Free, large car park on the ground floor;
  • A typical restaurant right on the beach;
  • Men’s and women’s toilets;
  • Bathing support;
  • Options for rent surfboards or SUP boards;
  • A supermarket 7 minutes away by car;
  • A trail from Praia de São Rafael to Praia da Coelha (5.79 km), with access to several beaches.

What to do?

This beach has calm, crystal-clear waters and is perfect for families. As we’ve already said, it’s also possible to hire kayaks or stand-up paddleboards here to explore the coast in a very different way to the conventional one.

For the more adventurous, we challenge you to try coasteering on the magnificent cliffs found in this area (find out what coasteering is in this article).

Venture out on whichever one you like best and be sure to try one of these activities on this beach that hasn’t yet been polluted by mass tourism. It will be an unmissable experience to get to know Albufeira’s famous Golden Beach through a different activity.

Related Articles:

Discover what to do in Albufeira besides going to the beach

Don’t miss the list of the 7 best surf beaches in the Algarve

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