Blue Flag Beaches in the Western Algarve
The Algarve is world-famous for its stunning beaches, and it's easy to see why. With its calm sea, fine sand and clear waters, the beach is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the incredible views. However, the Algarve beaches have more to offer than just their beautiful scenery. Every year, the region receives blue flags. Do you understand what these flags mean? Do you know all the blue flag beaches in the Western Algarve? Discover these beaches and enjoy the summer while staying at Estrela da Luz.
Blue flag, what is it?
It is a well-known and trusted sign, established by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in Copenhagen, Denmark, to promote safety and access for all to Blue Flag awarded places and to develop and spread sustainable practices in these places.
Where can blue flags be found?
Find the blue flags on beaches along the coast, rivers, and lakes. However, marinas, harbours, and recreational boats can also get this badge if they match the standards. If you see a blue flag with a white circular symbol with the sea in the centre, you’ll know it is a qualified place with environmental quality.
How are the areas selected?
The Foundation for Environmental Education works tirelessly to ensure that the criteria are strictly followed by new and old participants in the programme. The standards are the same from Copenhagen to the rest of the globe, differing only from bathing areas to marinas. In short, the criteria are based on the following pillars:
- Information and environmental education: Program information, water quality information, beach behaviour information, and promotion of at least six environmental education activities.
- Water quality - Water sampling frequency and compliance with requirements.
- Environmental management and equipment - A beach management committee and development of a management plan sanitary facilities, and other beach equipment, must be adequate and well-maintained.
- Safety and services - The beach should have lifeguards and first aid services during the bathing season, and one of the community beaches should have disabled access and toilets.
- Environmental information and education - Information on fragile ecosystems, code of conduct for environmental protection, development of 3 environmental education activities, and all staff should be aware of the Blue Flag programme.
- Environmental Management - Create a marina management committee to regularly examine the marina’s amenities and conditions. Environmental plan, as well as the usage of ecologically friendly goods and energy-efficient lighting. Presence of water extraction systems. Conservation of existing buildings and equipment.
- Safety and services - The presence of life-saving equipment, first aid and fire-fighting facilities. Electricity and water connections near boat moorings. Facilities and equipment suitable for individuals with reduced mobility.
- Water quality - The water must be devoid of debris, grease, and other contaminants.
On the official website, you may learn more about the criteria for granting the Blue Flag to beaches and marinas.
Which beaches in the Western Algarve have a blue flag?
The Algarve region leads the way in the number of blue flags, 96 in total, distributed between eastern and western Algarve among beaches, marinas and recreational boats. The Western Algarve (Barlavento algarvio), where you spend your holiday, has most of the flags, with 62. Get to know the places with blue flags and the distance of each one from your holiday resort- Estrela da Luz.
1. The beaches of the municipality of Aljezur are part of the Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park, and all have a rare natural beauty. One of the beaches has two distinct landscapes, with the sea and the mouth of the Aljezur stream as a backdrop on Amoreira beach.
Monte Clérigo beach - 39 minutes away.
Amoreira-sea beach - 41 minutes away.
Arrifana - 42 minutes away.
Odeceixe-sea beach - 55 minutes away.
2. The following are the blue flag beaches in the municipality of Vila do Bispo. The beaches in this municipality are distributed across two stretches of the Algarve coastline, and all share an unspoiled scenery with towering protecting cliffs and steep shores. Many of these beaches are popular among surfers and other water sports enthusiasts.
Burgau - 8 minutes away.
Almádena - Cabanas Velhas - 13 minutes away.
Salema - 16 minutes away.
Zavial - 25 minutes away.
Ingrina - 26 minutes away.
Castelejo - 28 minutes away.
Tonel - 28 minutes away.
Cordoama - 29 minutes away.
Martinhal - 29 minutes away.
Beliche - 30 minutes away.
Mareta - 30 minutes away.
3. Lagos' blue flags are spread over sandy and rocky beaches, a marina and one of the longest beaches in the region, stretching for about 4 km. The water in Lagos is calmer and warmer than on the beaches of Vila do Bispo and attracts thousands of visitors in high season. One of the award-winning beaches is Praia da Luz, next to Estrela da Luz!
Luz - 4 minutes away.
Porto Mós - 13 minutes away.
Lagos Marina - 14 minutes away.
Meia Praia - 17 minutes away.
4. Portimão is a seaside town with wide beaches and various support facilities for bathers on the beach. Portimão's marina, like Lagos', has been awarded the Blue Flag, one of 18 in Portugal. There are also two award-winning ecotourism boats here.
Alvor West - 33 minutes away.
Alvor East - 34 minutes away.
Vau - 33 minutes away.
Três Castelos - 32 minutes away.
Rocha - 35 minutes away.
Portimão Marina Beach - 36 minutes away.
Portimão Marina - 35 minutes away.
Sun Boat I - This ecotourism boat is located in Portimão Marina.
Sun Cat I - This ecotourism yacht is located in Portimão Marina.
5. Lagoa has several beaches, many are urban, and others are natural beaches in their purest state. To get to some beaches, such as Praia Vale Centeanes, you can take the hiking trail of the 7 Hanging Valleys and enjoy the scenery from the top of the cliff. Another popular way to get to know the beaches of Lagoa is by boat, passing through the most famous cave in the country - Benagil's Cave.
Praia Grande - 36 minutes away.
Carvoeiro - 37 minutes away.
Caneiros - 38 minutes away.
Vale Centeanes - 39 minutes away.
Vale do Olival - 40 minutes away.
Senhora da Rocha - 42 minutes away.
6. Silves is home to two Blue Flag beaches. They are popular tourist destinations with pristine seas and warm temps. Bathers and fishers cohabit on these beaches, which evoke memories of the old Algarve.
Armação de Pêra - 39 minutes away.
Praia Grande Poente - 41 minutes away.
7. Albufeira has the most award-winning areas in the region, including the Albufeira Marina. The beaches are very close to each other but differ in both size and landscape.
Salgados - 41 minutes away.
Galé-West - 43 minutes away.
Galé-East - 44 minutes away.
Manuel Lourenço - 44 minutes away.
Peneco - 44 minutes away.
INATEL - Albufeira - 44 minutes away.
Castelo - 45 minutes away.
Pescadores - 45 minutes away.
Evaristo - 46 minutes away.
Rafael - 46 minutes away.
Coelha - 47 minutes away.
Arrifes - 47 minutes away.
Alemães - 47 minutes away.
Albufeira Marina - 48 minutes away.
Maria Luísa - 48 minutes away.
Olhos d'água - 48 minutes away.
Oura - 48 minutes away.
Oura-East - 48 minutes away.
Aveiros - 49 minutes away.
Belharucas - 50 minutes away.
Falésia Açoteias - 51 minutes away.
Falésia Alfamar - 53 minutes away.
Rocha Baixinha-West - 56 minutes away.
Rocha Baixinha-East - 57 minutes away.
Choose the Algarve beaches with the quality symbol for your holiday. Many beaches in the Western Algarve, just minutes from the Estrela da Luz holiday resort, have the blue flag.