Despite its location at the westernmost end of the sandy bay of Armação de Pera, the sands at Vale Olival still lie within a typically rocky area. The cliff surrounding the beach is deeply gullied, indicative of the existence of rainwater runoff, around which reed and tamarisk plantations have grown up, reaching all the way to the beach. A torrential stream, bordered by dense riverine vegetation, runs out on to the sands in the rainy months.
The rocky walls rise up to the west and you can follow a cliff-top trail to the neighbouring beach, Praia dos Beijinhos. Typical coastline plants grow alongside the path and there are fabulous panoramic views over the ocean and the rock formations that have been carved out by the elements: rocky ledges, arches, sinkholes and underground galleries mark out the coastline. Having arrived at Praia dos Beijinhos, a staircase descends the cliff face to the sands, lined by aromatic thyme and eye-catching sweet alyssum. On the small but welcoming beach, two huge rocky ledge cut into the horizon with just a slit between them.