Praia de São Rafael
Praia de São Rafael beach is not to be confused with a bigger, better-known beach of the same name, which is also situated on the Algarve. This one lies hidden near Albufeira and the beautiful area of sand, which is completely enclosed by an impassable cliff on the shore side, can only be reached from the water. Alternatively, you can walk here and bathe in the smaller but equally idyllic adjacent bay. Between them lies a small lagoon, which is completely enclosed by rocks and only accessible on land via a narrow set of steps or by water through a hole in the rocks. Secluded, wildly romantic and simply dreamy!

Praia de São Rafael - Hard to reach dream beach with secret rock lagoon

Tucked away on the Algarve in Portugal, right near the popular tourist stronghold of Albufeira, with its busy beaches, you'll find a completely different world. Praia de São Rafael beach can only be reached over the water by private boat, so it's anything but crowded. The area of light sand invites you to linger a while and the crystal-clear water is magnificent for swimming. You'll have a good chance of spending a wonderful day either almost or completely alone here on the beach.

If you prefer to stay on dry land you can at least see the view over Praia de São Rafael beach from the ochre-coloured cliffs that completely surround it and which are typical of the region. To bathe you can head to the even more tucked away neighbouring bay to the east, where the picturesque rocky scenery continues and which offers a smaller, but equally fine area of sand. There is more natural shade here thanks to the rocky promontories and the close cliff faces.

Between the two bays there is another very special insider's tip: here a narrow set of steps cut into the stone leads down to a small lagoon, completely surrounded by high, close cliff faces. The shady area of sand invites you to linger a while and you can paddle in the lagoon. Through a gateway-like hole in the rock you can see and swim out to the open sea. If you're feeling brave you can also jump from a high cliff face outside the lagoon and then swim through the opening to get back to shore.

Everything you need to know

Yours Beach Inspector Alina Beach Inspector Sandra

Our rating
  • Relaxation
    5/10
  • Family
    1/10
  • Water sport
    1/10
  • Party
    1/10
How did you like the beach?
Praia de São Rafael is suitable for
Every beach is unique. Apart from how the beach looks and its surroundings it is mainly the people and the amenities here which give the beach its character.
Relaxation: 5/10 points
Place 53 of 107
Although it can get a little busy, you will find a nice spot here where you can relax.
Family: 1/10 points
Place 106 of 107
No facilites and completely unsuitable atmosphere - this beach is not for families.
Water sports: 1/10 points
Place 76 of 107
No wind and no waves here mean that this is definitely the wrong place for water-sports enthusiasts.
Party: 1/10 points
Place 66 of 107
There is nothing going on at this beach and no party in sight for miles.

Atmosphere at the beach
7/10
Ease
4/10
Beauty
1/10
Romance
3/10
Exclusivity
2/10
Flirt
Age and nations
We from Beach-Inspector were actually at the beach for you and have spoken personally with the locals to get the complete picture.
Age groups
< 14 Years
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14-21 Years
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22-35 Years
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36-50 Years
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> 50 Years
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