Praia do Manuel Lourenço - A rather unspectacular bay with a first-rate restaurant
On the south coast of the Algarve, several kilometres west of the popular holiday resort of Albufeira, lies Praia do Manuel Lourenço beach. It's very easy to get here as the route is well signposted. However, to snag one of the scarce parking spaces you'll need a bit of patience - especially in the height of summer.
The bay is approximately 160 metres long, and the somewhat coarse-grained sandy surface is very small by comparison. The verdant rocks at the back are quite flat and unspectacular compared with many other Algarve beaches. Flat rocky promontories project from the land into the water, creating natural plateaus. The gritty, uneven surface is pleasant to look at, but rather uncomfortable to lie on. It's better to rent one of the loungers, of which there are normally plenty available. There is seaweed in the water, though not a great deal, and once you get a few metres into the water, it’s free of natural debris.
This small cove is not one of the popular, well-known and highly frequented holiday bays in the south of Portugal. There are much more spectacular bays nearby. The trade-off, however, is that it is really quiet here. Occasionally large groups of children come here on a trip and then it can get much noisier. Other than that, there is a sound infrastructure and the beach is in fact wheelchair accessible.
A good reason for coming to Praia do Manuel Lourenço beach is to dive with your own equipment and explore the interesting rock formations underwater. Another, probably even better reason is the one and only restaurant. Here, in a laid-back but charming atmosphere, you can enjoy sophisticated, delicious dishes of freshly caught fish. At sunset you can make yourself comfortable with a drink on the terrace of the kiosk linked with the restaurant. If you feel like combining a culinary excursion with some sunbathing and a plunge into cool water, we can thoroughly recommend Praia do Manuel Lourenço beach.