Get a dose of Vitamin Sea!
Portugal has been awarded 330 Blug Flag creditations for its beaches in 2021, of which 87 can be found in the Algarve.
The president of The European Blue Flag Association (EBAE), José Archer has confirmed that 2021 is set to be an excellent bathing and that the Blue Flag status is only given when a beach meets all the high standards for safety, including pure water, clean coasts, environmental management and education and access for all.
Under the theme of 'Ecosystems Recovery' the Blue Flag Programme will also have an ecological component this year, notably near the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. Archer states that ''Ecosystems have a determining importance in the environment in general terms. If we manage to recover 50% of ecosystems that are degraded, this will allow more than half of CO2 emissions to be retained by nature and more than 70% of endangered species to be recovered''.
Known for its picturesque golden sandy coastline and pristine waters the Algarve boasts some of the best beaches in Europe. Have you been yearning for the beach yet?
Here are some of Liberty's favourite local Blue Flag beaches:
Quinta do Lago
Quinta do Lago beach is accessed across the iconic wooden bridge across the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, past Gigi's restaurant. The flat easy boardwalk allows for easy access and offers seclusion and an exclusive atmosphere. This Blue Flag beach is one of the most natural sections of the coastline and stretches as far as the eye can see, evenutally links to Faro island. The Q beach bar is located on the left hand side as you enter the beach and provides drinks, snacks and light meals. Despite the waters being safe to swim a lifeguard is present during the summer months.
Also accessed from a flat new boardwalk that was recently completed in 2021, Praia do Ancão is a short distance from Quinta do Lago. This long sandy beach that runs alongside high sandy dunes has the excellent beachside restaurants - 2 Passos, the Bold Octopus and Waves. There is a beach bar for refreshments, 3moços as well as watersports, and a lifeguard whilst sunbeds and beach umbrellas can be rented, making the beach very popular for families.
Stretching between Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, Praia do Garrão borders the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and a natural pine forest. Private areas dotted with sun loungers and umbrellas can be found alongside superb beach restaurants António Tá Certo, Izzys, Eduardos and Julias, whilst there are also open areas to enjoy alongside a good selection of watersports with jet skiing, banana boats and pedalos. Further down the far west side of the beach past orange sandy cliffs you can find a lagoon, frequently visited by migrating birds as well as BJ's Oceanside restaurant.
Ilha do Farol
The island of Farol can only be accessed by a 30 minute ferry boat or private water taxi from Faro or Olhão. As a small fishing village, Farol is known for its distinctive lighthouse and beautiful long sandy beach that is compared to a tropical and deserted Caribbean island. It is a barrier island for the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve and connects to Ilha da Culatra and Armona. Stretching over 6km Farol has a handful of cafes and restaurants to choose from, sunbeds to hire, a lifeguard and watersports as well as a pier to walk down to get a full view of the beach. Perfect for a fun family day out!
All you need to bring is the sunscreen!