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Praia dos Arrifes

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Praia dos Arrifes


This little bay is sheltered by low, deeply-eroded cliffs where you can see sinkholes, arches and caves. Three huge rocky ledges, clearly out of proportion in comparison to the size of the beach, dominate the horizon, giving you the illusion of bathing in an impressive rock pool. This is why the beach is also known as Três Penecos Beach, since “três” means “three” and “peneco” is a local word for “ledges”. These rocks, too, are deeply eroded and the central ledge forms a curious window looking out over the horizon. Sea-spray resistant plants such as Mediterranean saltwort and samphire have succeeded in colonising the ledges, although out of reach of the tide. The area surrounding the beach is cloaked in the green of the pine trees, and in the undergrowth you can see dwarf fan palms, Europe’s only native palm tree. If you look over to the east, you will see the line of white and red cliffs on the still distant Praia da Falésia.

More information

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 tarmacked road from the S. Rafael holiday village, following the signs to the beach. Medium-sized organised paved parking is available about 150 metres. Next to the beach, parking is on beaten earth. Support infrastructures include a restaurant, WC and information facilities, and there are lifeguards on duty in the summer holiday season. Orientation: south / south-east.GPS: 37° 4'34.01"N 8°16'39.10"W


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