Lagoa de Albufeira Beach

Tourist guide to the family-friendly beach with a lagoon opening to the sea

Lagoa de Albufeira Beach

Lagoa de Albufeira has the waters of a lagoon and of the ocean

Not to be confused with the famous resort town in Algarve (“albufeira” simply means “reservoir” in Portuguese), this is a rather unique beach as it has a lagoon connected to the Atlantic.

Lagoa de Albufeira beach

Lagoa de Albufeira is a large beach with soft sand

It’s quite a large beach, with soft sand, offering plenty of space for everyone, with dunes as far as the eye can see. The calm water of the lagoon attracts families, but the waves of the ocean are for surfers and bodyboarders.

Lagoa de Albufeira

The point where the lagoon meets the sea

The beach is part of the National Eco Reserve, so it’s popular with hikers and birdwatchers. However, it’s not exactly wild and remote, as it has cafés and restaurants by the parking lot, right on the beachfront. It’s about 25 minutes from the center of Sesimbra, but is not easy to get to by public transportation.

Lagoa de Albufeira Beach

The shallow waters in a large part of the beach make it a child-friendly destination

As it reaches the Atlantic, the 3.7km/2.3 miles-long lagoon has shallow waters, but it’s 15 meters deep at one point, making it Portugal’s deepest lagoon. It also has strong currents in winter, so swimming is not recommended outside the official bathing season in the summer. It is, however, quite a peaceful place, and was even where the Portuguese king went to meditate in the 19th century.

Surfing on Lagoa de Albufeira

The strong waves of the ocean attract surfers

Beach for: Families, Surfers
Lifeguards: Yes
Bathrooms: Yes
Showers: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Bar or Restaurant: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Parking: Yes

How to Get to Lagoa de Albufeira

Bus 240 of the TST company links Sesimbra to Lagoa de Albufeira, but it’s so infrequent, it can’t be recommended -- there are just two daily departures at inconvenient times (both in the afternoon)! So you’ll have to go by car -- it takes 25 minutes, following road N378 out of Sesimbra and then the N379, which blends into the N377.
To reach Sesimbra from Lisbon, cross 25 de Abril Bridge and follow highway A2 and road N378 (the journey takes about 40 minutes).
It’s also possible to walk to this beach from other beaches to the north and south. From Fonte da Telha and the naturist Praia da Adiça (to the north), it takes about 45 minutes to one hour, while from Meco (to the south), it takes about 20 minutes. In the summer, the water of the lagoon is usually shallow and calm enough to be safely crossed on foot.

Hotels by Lagoa de Albufeira

There are no hotels by Lagoa de Albufeira, but there’s a number of villas where you may stay: Villas in Lagoa de Albufeira

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