Spanish beaches should be reopened in summer with measures in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion. These measures include:
Limits on capacity
Distance between sun loungers
Delineating the space allowed for each beachgoer.
Beaches are allowed to reopen under Phase 2 of Spain’s deescalation plan. So far, beaches have been only open for walks and sports activities. The Institute of Quality Spanish Tourism (ICTE) established general protocols for reopening beaches. In addition, a draft agreement was reached with regional and local authorities. The final decision on beach regulations will fall to city councils, which are largely responsible for beach management. In fact, local councils will have to determine whether it is necessary to set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity.
“It’s a draft that still needs to be approved by the Health Ministry, meaning that the final version could be different,” explained a spokesperson from ICTE. “The rules are not binding, but they have been created with the input of the regions and local authorities, so we believe that most of them will be followed.”
Local governments should estimate the capacity of each beach, taking into account its characteristics and how space is used (availability of beach umbrellas and sun loungers) to determine whether it is necessary to control access or set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity.
According to the guidelines, areas for sun loungers and umbrellas must be clearly demarcated, with controls set up to ensure that “the equipment has been properly cleaned and disinfected.”
Some regions in Spain have already outlined their own regulations. In Andalusia, for example, Southern Spain, regional authorities have recommended limiting time at the beach to four hours, setting out safe distances on the sand, setting opening and closing hours, disinfecting beaches every day, and banning the use of shower facilities and changing rooms. And in Tenerife, the white-sanded Las Teresitas beach is now open under Phase 2 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan. Some watersports are even available already, like SUP tours and kayak tours for small groups.
So the answer to our question is soon! Gradually, beaches in Spain will reopen. There’s no fixed date like in Portugal, because the decision about the reopening date and the protocol for each beach depend on municipal authorities.
While most of the tourism in the Algarve is centred around the hotspots like Albufeira, Portimão and Lagos, the Algarve also has an entirely different side to it! Did you know that if you drive a bit further West, north of Sagres, there is a whole other landscape and climate of the Algarve to be discovered?
The Westcoast of the Algarve has become more and more popular especially among surfers and travellers looking for a bit less tourism and more nature! The wild and dramatic cliffs, good wave conditions and hidden beaches are worth visiting! Let us share with you our top 6 beaches at the Westcoast of the Algarve!
Praia do Castelejo
If you come by car from the Southcoast of the Algarve, you will just have to pass through the cute town of Vila do Bispo to get to Praia do Castelejo! This beach is especially popular among surf schools, as it usually is blessed with great conditions for beginners!
The beach is located in the middle of Costa Vicentina Natural Park, being surrounded only by nature! There is only one restaurant at the beach where you can enjoy some snacks and drinks, looking down at the ocean! At the restaurant, you also have toilets, which is definitely a plus!
One of the best things about this beach is that at low tide you can walk all the way beneath the impressive cliffs to Praia da Cordoama! The walk is beautiful: the sea by your left side, the raw landscapes of the Algarve to your right! At Praia da Cordoama you can also enjoy a drink or go for a dive in the sea before walking back!
The broad sandy beach also means that you can usually always find a quiet place, even during high season when the beach can get pretty crowded. Just walk a little further and enjoy the view while relaxing in the sun!
Ponta Ruiva is one of the beaches that are still very untouched, but it is becoming more and more crowded due to the good waves you can find here! However, be aware: Only try to get to Ponta Ruiva if you have a stable car that can also drive off-road, as the road there is… well, not a real road 😉
Also, you should maybe ask someone before going there what the best way is, as some navigation systems get lost in the countryside and you can easily get lost, also because there are not many signs leading you to Ponta Ruiva. It is close to Castelejo, so you also access it from Vila do Bispo.
Once you get there, it is worth it though – It is a really wild beach with no restaurants or any construction at all! You have to walk down a rather steep road to get to the sandy beach, where you have quite a lot of rocks, depending on the tides! Surfers really like this beach because if the swell is big enough, you have a really nice point break here!
But also surf schools are starting to come here more and more often to play in the white water with beginners! Just make sure you bring enough water and snacks when you come to Ponta Ruiva because the next supermarket is a long drive away 😉
Praia da Amoreira
Praia da Amoreira is a little bit further up the coast than the last two beaches! What makes this beach so special is the river mouth, that ends up in the sea. This means that you can not only lay at the beach but also far behind it along the river where you can enjoy swimming in the much calmer water – perfect for families with kids!
You can access the beach either from “behind”, by walking along the river and the sandy dunes up to the beach or you park at the main car park by the restaurant and don’t have to walk far! At the restaurant, they serve drinks and food and they also have toilets there.
At Praia da Amoreira you can also catch some fun waves, depending on the conditions! This beach has a pretty good road leading up to it, which is why it usually gets a lot more crowded than the other two beaches during high season! However, if you go along the river you will always find a quiet space!
Did you know that you can also do a SUP Tour along the river? This Amoreira SUP Tour is a great way to explore this region and paddle through the vast landscape! It is very easy, so no previous experience is needed!
Praia do Amado
Praia do Amado is probably one of the most famous beaches along the Westcoast of the Algarve! Reason for this would be the great waves and the famous surf schools that have been here for decades! But of course, the beauty of the sandy beach in front of the steep cliffs also does its part!
You can park at the top of the beach and walk down the road to the beach, or you can also access the beach from behind from the Natural Park nex to it. This is also a nice walk and you come out at the left end of the beach.
At low tide the beach has a lot of space, so you can walk quite far to both sides and enjoy the beauty of nature! There are bathrooms at the car park as well as some snack bars where you can get food and drinks to restore your energy levels after surfing or just a day at the beach.
You can book surf lessons at Amado Beach and learn the sport together with one of the oldest surf schools of the Algarve right at the beach! Sounds good right? We think so too, that’s why it is one of our top 6 beaches at the Westcoast of the Algarve.
Praia da Arrifana
Another of the top 6 beaches at the Westcoast of the Algarve has to be Praia da Arrifana! This little beach has become one of the hippest beaches of the region, and there is always something fun going on around the village and the beach!
The beach is the heart of the village with the same name, so you have quite a lot of cafés, restaurants and bars around the beach. However, you should have good fitness if you wanna go down to the beach because you will have to go back up again 😉 The road to the beach is long and veeeery steep! But there are also “shuttles”, so if you don’t feel like walking up you can just drive back up to the car park!
Down at the beach, you have a pretty cool restaurant with delicious food, where there are a lot of concerts and parties during summertime. And if you come here around the end of July, you can enjoy a weekend full of fun at the harbour of Arrifana – first the traditional Sardine fest on a Saturday where you pay entrance and can eat as many Sardines as you can get. And the day after there is usually the Arrifana Sunset Fest – a night full of fun and amazing music underneath the stars!
Praia da Arrifana is definitely one of the hot spots for all people looking for a fun time and to meet new like-minded people from all over the world! There are also plenty of surf camps and hostels around the area. And you can also do some fun SUP Tours at Arrifana, during the day and at sunset!
Praia do Vale dos Homens
The last one of our top 6 beaches at the Westcoast of the Algarve would be a secret spot – Praia do Vale dos Homens! This beach is located just before Odeceixe, and you should be fit to get there: To walk down the beach, you have to descend A LOT of stairs!
Once you get down, you can enjoy a wild beach with not many people. There is no restaurant or any other construction around this beach, so be sure to bring enough water and food! But it is worth it if you’re looking for some peace and quiet at the beach.
At low tide, you can even sit in some natural pools that form between the big rocks at the shore. And here you can also walk a little bit to the right side and explore the steep cliffs that give the beach a mystical touch! As there are no lifeguards, you should be able to swim and read the sea if you would like to go for a swim, as there are quite a lot of big rocks!
There are many many more beaches along the coast, but these ones were our top 6 beaches at the Westcoast of the Algarve! If you would like some more tips about any of the beaches or the Algarve in general, just send us an e-mail!