The Algarve is famous for its beaches... Incredible ocean views, soft golden sand, stunning cliffs and warm waters mean that you really can't go wrong. Quinta do Rosal is lucky enough to be situated close to a great many of them and visitors to the resort can take advantage of their proximity and the consistently good weather along the coast.
This beach has been voted one of the most beautiful in Portugal, and even the world! It is attractive right from the get-go; the car park at the top of the cliff has a picnic area that offers great views out over the sea, and from here you'll follow a nice tree-lined path before descending a set of reasonably steep steps to find the beach's entrance. At only 4 km from Quinta do Rosal, the Praia Marinha is just under a 10 minute drive and simple enough to get to. There is a restaurant you can take advantage of and toilet facilities too. So you could easily spend all day there. The beach is enjoyed for its calm, clear waters and interesting rocky outcrops, so it's a good one for snorkelling.
Praia de Benagil
Only slightly further round the coast is the pretty little Praia de Benagil which is a traditional working beach with fishing boats, nets and baskets lining the short distance to the sand, and fishermen going about their business. There are several restaurants and cafés to choose from, so you can stop in for a snack or a full meal if you fancy it. This is a good one for boat trips and you will have the chance to see a number of the rocky coves that decorate the coastline.
Praia do Carvalho
Praia do Carvalho is steeped in history, known for the legends of the smugglers who are said to have once frequented its sands. At roughly 6 km from Quinta do Rosal this beach is still easy to get to, though you may have a bit of trouble finding its interesting entryway. You can see why the beach is surrounded by such tales when you discover how secluded it is; to reach the sand you must follow a set of steep steps carved into the rock that will lead you down through a tunnel which emerges on the beach. It's beautifully secluded, surrounded by high cliffs, but this does mean there are no amenities, so come prepared!
Praia do Carvoeiro
Carvoeiro is a pretty coastal town and this beach is popular with visitors and locals alike. Access is relatively easy, making it a popular one with families, and wheelchair access is possible too. The facilities here include toilets, showers and a lifeguard during the summer season, so it's nice and safe. There is a good selection of eateries nearby so you could easily spend the day here. Boat trips depart for adventures to all the nearby rocky coves; pedal boats or jet skis are also available to hire. This is a nice all-round beach and a safe one for youngsters.
Praia da Centianes
Being nice and large, and not too far from Carvoeiro, the Centianes beach makes a nice alternative to the main beach in the centre of town. It's only a 10 minute drive from Quinta do Rosal and there are good facilities here including a restaurant and different beach activities. Ramps and steps leading up to the beach bar and viewing station are nice and sturdy. Bear in mind that parking here is not the best, so if you want to be sure of a space, the earlier you leave the better!
Meia Praia beach
This one is a little further out, situated just over half an hour from Quinta do Rosal. But it is worth a visit if you're after a large stretch of golden sand – the Meia Praia is one of the longest beaches in the Algarve, reaching a length of 4.5 km, and has been designated the Blue Flag award for its cleanliness. Because of its length, this beach is a good one for walks and thanks to the gently curving crescent shape of its bay the waters are generally calm too.
Joining the Praia da Marinha and Algar Seco this clifftop walk has been constructed especially so walkers are able to appreciate the stunning rock formations. Algar Seco is just a 10 minute drive from Quinta do Rosal, so it's easy to get to. The path is usually quite quiet, giving pedestrians the opportunity to really admire the colours, textures and shapes of the famous coastline. From this walk you will have exquisite views of the Atlantic, smooth golden beaches, secret coves and access to a number of bars/restaurants along the way for that mid-walk pick-me-up.
The walk is some distance, but it a straightforward route with reasonable paths and footways throughout. That being said it is still important to take care with footing. You can download the Seven Hangin Valleys Walk trail map here. And if you are interested in finding out more, you can ask for additional information at the reception area on your arrival.