Here, an angular cut in the coastline shelters a small, welcoming bay lined by deeply-eroded ochre rock walls. A huge, scenic rocky ledge marks the central line of the beach, dividing the horizon. The cliffs remain high along the entire length of the beach. Access to the sands is through a hand-dug tunnel the rocky wall, where you can see marine fossils. And someone took pleasure in digging out not only the tunnel but also a number of porticos and even a convenient space for a bar, right in the cliff face. The verdant gully preceding the beach is home to dense coastal scrub, comprising mainly juniper, mastic trees and dwarf fan palm, Europe’s only native palm tree. A tangle of liana grows profusely over the bushes, which are coloured by patches of lichens in the rainy months. Typical cliff plants, such as the eye-catching gold coin daisies, grow on the limestone rock exposed to sea spray.
Note: Given the risk of landslides and loose stones falling on to the beach, you are advised to keep a safe distance from the cliffs. Although beachgoers do use the beach, it is classed as a restricted use beach, since a large part of it lies within an area where there is a risk of landslides.
Road access is by a tarmacked road from Lagoa, following the signs for “praias” (beaches). The beach is signposted. There is a medium-sized area for organised parking at the holiday village Urbanização Algarve Clube Atlântico and informal parking on beaten earth approximately 300 m from the Terraços de Benagil development. There are no support infrastructures and usually no lifeguard on duty during the summer holiday season. Orientation: south.
Carvoeiro, Distrito de Faro, Portugal