Armação de Pêra featured

Armação de Pêra is a former fishing village that became a popular resort town in the 1960s. Although, it has just around 5,000 permanent residents, in the summer nearly 80,000 people come here to spend their holiday and sunbathe at its beaches. This is a more affordable alternative next to Albufeira and attracts many Portuguese families as well.

What to do and see in Armação de Pêra

The main beach stretches for over a kilometer and most of it is backed by high-rise apartment buildings and hotels. It can get crowded, but offers the convenience of restaurants, shops, and accommodation within walking distance.
The water is usually calm enough and safe for children and swimming, and there’s lifeguard supervision and access for the disabled. In the bathing season (June to September), there are also parasols, sunshades, and loungers for rent, as well as equipment for water sports, such as paddleboarding, flyboarding, wakeboarding, kayaking, and jet skiing. One of the fun group activities is a banana boat ride.

Praia de Armação de Pera
Praia de Armação de Pêra

Behind the beach, there is a promenade with open-air restaurants and bars. About halfway you’ll find the remains of a 16th-century fort. The Fortaleza de Armação de Pêra was built in 1571 to protect the coast but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755 so there’s very little of it left.

Fortaleza de Armação de Pêra
Fortaleza de Armação de Pêra

What still stands is a small chapel from 1720, the Capela de Santo António, within its walls.

Capela de Santo António
Capela de Santo António

If you’re traveling with children, you’ll closely find the Zoomarine, a theme park that’s part zoo, part funfair. It’s less than 10 minutes away by car or bus (operated by Vamus, n° 51 or 57). Both kids and adults enjoy seeing dolphins, sea lions, seals, and alligators, or also have fun on the water slides, at an artificial beach, and in swimming pools.

Beaches by Armação de Pêra

Off the main beach located in the center of town, there is a bigger one to the east (Praia dos Salgados) and a smaller one to the west (Praia do Vale do Olival).

If you prefer much quieter beaches, go to the east of the main beach of Armação de Pêra. There you will find the Praia dos Salgados beach which is a popular stretch of white-sand beach flanked by dunes, marshlands & a wooden promenade. A small river known as Ribeira de Alcantarilha serves as the border between the two beaches. If you enjoy long walks by this sea, walking to these beaches is highly recommended.

Praia dos Salgados
Praia dos Salgados

The western end of the beach of Armação de Pêra becomes the small Praia do Vale do Olival, which is backed by limestone cliffs. These cliffs mark the beginning of a stunning coastline of golden cliffs and rock formations that characterize the southwestern Algarve.

Praia do Vale do Olival
Praia do Vale do Olival

From here you can follow a trail over the cliffs to the small, romantic beaches of Praia dos Beijinhos and Praia dos Tremoços. And, if you take a longer walk, that will take you to the iconic promontory of Senhora da Rocha, which divides two more beaches. By the way, by car from the center of Armação de Pêra, you’re there in less than 10 minutes.

How to get to Armação de Pêra

By car, Armação de Pêra is 40 minutes from Faro via the A22 highway, and 20 minutes from Albufeira, following road M526. There’s a lot of free parking around the town, but in July and August, it is sometimes not enough. The closer to the beach, the more difficult it is to find a spot. The bus (Vamus n°57) from Faro’s bus station departures very rarely, it has just about half a dozen on weekdays and only a couple on weekends. Check the schedule on the Vamus website. The way lasts about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Faro to Armação de Pêra since it makes several stops on the way, including Albufeira.

Accommodation in Armação de Pêra