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Praia de São Rafael

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Praia de São Rafael


The beach is framed by warmly-coloured, very craggy and fissured limestone cliffs. There is a remarkable variety of rock formations on this beach – arches, caves, sinkholes and ledges – which have been formed by the joint effects of the mechanical force of the sea battering against the cliffs and the rain, which dissolves the limestone rock. Two these rock formations are the Ponte Pequena and the Ninho das Andorinhas.

Around the beach, you will see patches of pines and huge century plants, hanging over the deeply-gullied and grooved cliff tops. Down on the sands, and exposed to the marine environment, there is an abundance of Mediterranean saltbush, a plant which, you could say, sweats salt; if you take a look in the morning or late afternoon, you will notice the formation of gleaming salt crystals on its leaves. When the sea water is clear enough, you will catch a glimpse of the mysterious outline of submerged rocks. A snorkelling expedition here will unveil the secrets of the abundant marine life on this part of the coast.

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Note: Vehicle traffic is restricted on the cliff top to help minimise destabilisation of the cliffs. On the sands, and given the risk of landslides and loose stones falling on to the beach, you are advised to keep a safe distance from the cliffs.

Road access is by a tarmacked road from the road connecting Guia to Galé, following the signs for the beach. There is plenty of organised parking. Support infrastructures include a restaurant, WC and information facilities, and there are lifeguards on duty in the summer holiday season. Orientation: south.

: 37° 4'29.74"N 8°16'51.09"W


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