Stunning Barril Beach

When hearing the word Algarve most people think of golden sand beaches, spectular rock formations and high-rise hotels. This is true for the Central Algarve region, but couldn’t be more different if you head farther east along the coast – to the Eastern Algarve.

The Eastern Algarve stretches from the east of Faro all the way towards Spain. The most important cities are Olhão, Vila Real de Santo António and Tavira. The latter being one of the prettiest towns in the Algarve with its Moorish castle and an impressive seven-arched bridge.

There’s plenty of reasons why you should visit this beautiful region of Portugal, but the main draw is that it’s relatively unspoilt and peaceful. The area is mainly undeveloped due to the Ria Formosa right off the coast – a nature park of over 18,000 hectares with salt pans, marshes and lagoons forming a barrier from the sea to the land. It can be explored by boat or kayak and is a bird watcher’s paradise.

Ria Formosa's white sand beaches - Image Credit: Google Earth

Ria Formosa’s white sand beaches – Image Credit: Google Earth

Islands such as Barreta, Culatra, Barril and Cabanas are famous for their fine white sand beaches and warm crystalline waters.

My boyfriend and I went on a short trip to the Eastern Algarve in October 2013 together with another couple. Click on the links to read about our trip and for tips on what to do and see.

Where to stay

Barril Beach