Praia do Vau
Tucked around the corner, but only around a kilometre, from Praia da Rocha and Portimão is yet another fantastic Algarve beach, Praia da Vau. Like its neighbours, the beach here is a swathe of golden sand backed by ocre coloured cliffs. Praia da Vau is a little more sheltered than Praia da Rocha with the cliffs to the west blocking most of the wind. Along the lengthy stretch of sand the cliffs form several distinct coves which almost have the feel of separate beaches at higher tides.
Once the preserve of wealthy Portuguese families on their summer holidays in the Algarve, Praia da Vau is now one of the most popular beaches on the western Algarve.
Whilst far from being quiet, the beach here is just far enough away from Portimão to escape the summer craziness, but close enough to pop back for the nightlife.
To the far west of the beach is a headland with some wonderful Algarve rock formations. To the far side of here is the lovely little cove of Praia do Barranco das Canas. This is a great spot to explore and maybe do a spot of snorkelling. Bathing is generally very safe on the main beach and the beach is supervised by the lifeguard service during the summer months.