The Beautiful Beaches of Eastern Algarve
Eastern Algarve Beaches are long stretch of sand that runs uninterrupted from the edge of the River Guadiana at Vila Real de Santo António to Faro. Including Manta Rota, Praia de Monte Gordo, Praia da Lota, Ilha de Tavira at the eastern end of the Ria Formosa.
Eastern Algarve Beaches
Praia do Barril
Praia do Barril (“The Barrel Beach”) is one of the most emblematic beaches of Tavira. This beach is really an extension of Ilha de Tavira. However, this section is easily reached from the tourist villages of Santa Luzia and Pedras del Rey. From the latter village a small train takes the visitors across the Ria Formosa and into the sandy island bar in a slow journey which reminds everyone that they are definitely on holidays! To the West, the Praia do Homem Nú “Beach of the Naked Man” is officially a naturist spot.
The Beach of Barril is located half way through the island of Tavira, a narrow tongue of fine white sand. To get there you need to cross a narrow footbridge that rises above the river of the estuary (Ria Formosa) and then later on foot or in the small tourist train, for about 1Km until you reach the sandy beach.
Photograph supplied by www.photographsofportugal.com
Praia de Cabanas
To the East side of Ilha de Tavira you will find Ilha de Cabanas, a narrow but long strip of land before the last bar across the river estuary to the East. The beach is situated in front of the village of Cabanas, whose origin goes back to the old days of tuna fishing in this area, and which even today remains a picturesque fishing village. From the waterfront at Cabanas, fishing boats can be seen anchored in the Ria Formosa.
The branch of the Ria Formosa that separates the Island of Cabanas from the mainland is quite narrow and you can cross it by foot at low tide. The preferred means of access is, however, by boat, a journey that only takes a few minutes from Cabanas.
There are boats to the island (in the form of a taxi service) from the waterfront at Cabanas (signposted and roughly one and a half kilometres from the N 125). The parking area is organised. The beach has basic support facilities (restaurant and toilets) and is supervised during the bathing season.
Praia da Manta Rota
Praia de Manta Rota runs for 10 km, starting near the village of Manta Rota. This extensive beach marks the eastern end of the Ria Formosa.
Access to the beach is by way of raised wooden footpaths across the sand dunes which not only make it easy for disabled visitors, but also are there to protect the dunes. Praia de Manta Rota is less frequented than the neighbouring Praia de Monte Gordo and offers some peaceful areas away from the crowds, particularly at the ends of the beach.
Follow the N125 road to Vila Nova de Cacela, In Cacela follow the sign “praia da Manta Rota” at the end of the road you wil find some bars, restaurants and the beach.
Praia de Monte Gordo
The beach in Monte gordo, “Praia de Monte Gordo”, really is a fantastic beach! Located just a little bit further down from Praia de Santo António in Vila Real, the waters are some of the warmest in the Algarve because of the short distance to Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. The sand is almost white in the sunlight, it is soft and clean and there is lots of it! Monte Gordo really is an excellent introduction to the beach life of the Algarve.
Praia de Santo António
The beach at Vila Real de Santo António is the last tip of sand at the Spanish boarder-end of the Algarve; this is the furthest east that you can go in the Algarve.
The waters are the warmest in the Algarve, because it is the nearest part to the Mediterranean Sea that lies between Spain and Africa. The soft golden sand is also extremely clean and the beach is simply a great place to spend time with family or friends. For those who like walking, this sand strip is perfect, because you can simply carry on walking for miles, all the way to Tavira in fact! The beach is supervised during the season.