The far western end of the beach is still marked by the presence of the limestone cliffs that characterise the western Algarve. To the east, however, a large, sandy bay opens out, backed by the built-up area of the tourist resort of Armação de Pera and offering beachgoers an array of facilities and services. A pedestrian seafront avenue with gardens, a view of the coastline and a selection of sunny, open-air cafés runs alongside the central section of the beach. To the east of the beach, and in keeping with Armação de Pera’s long fishing tradition, the sands are occupied by colourful fishing boats and the huts that the fishermen use to store their equipment. The beach owes its name to the fact that this is where the fishermen from the village of Pera (located farther inland) would set up their “armação” (fishing paraphernalia), which was the basis of their subsistence. Once you pass the fishermen’s beach, there are fewer signs of human activity and the horizon opens up. You can then see sand dunes stretching for as far as the eye can see, and a wetland zone that lies at the mouth of the Alcantarilha Stream, with its typical vegetation and countless aquatic birds, such as massive grey herons and small but tireless plovers.