The beautiful Rocha Beach, known as Praia da Rocha in Portuguese, is one of the most well-known on the Algarve. Luckily, thanks to its vast size and length, it has ample room to accommodate sunbathers. Follow the wooden walkway that hugs the length of the beach to find the perfect spot.
With shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as easy direct access to the sands, Rocha Beach is a natural choice for families. Even during high season when the beach attracts more sun-seekers than ever, it’s still possible to find enough space for the whole family.
Bring a swimsuit and brave the cold Atlantic waters. Paddling in the shallows is a great way to cool down. Lifeguards patrol the beach during summer and no dangerous currents exist here, making it ideal for anyone traveling with children or for those who are not strong swimmers. Plenty of restaurants and bars can be found just steps from the beach.
For a more high-energy experience, take part in some watersports. Attempt to stay on during a bouncy banana boat ride, swoop over the seas while parasailing or rent a kayak and paddle to some quieter, hidden-away coves along the coast. Head to the eastern end of the beach during the summer to see sports being played on the sands.
Don’t leave without viewing the 17th-century fort at the eastern end of the beach where the River Arade meets the sea. From Fortaleza da Santa Caterina, admire views across the golden sands of the beach.
Go during summer to experience Rocha Beach at its buzziest and most vibrant. For a more serene experience, come in winter when fewer tourists are present on the sands. Several access points can be found along the length of the beach. Those who have babies in strollers or mobility-impaired visitors using wheelchairs should avoid the entrance at the western end, which has steep steps, and enter via one of the other entry points instead.