Summer lovin’

children on beach

Algarve is the prime destination for a holiday and, with beaches at the top of most visitors’ lists of what they want to do whilst staying in the region, we thought it would be helpful to give you an update concerning beach use this summer.

Beaches in Portugal opened on June 6 and systems are now in place to help beachgoers choose which beach would suit them best, what the occupancy of the chosen beach is plus other information that may help give visitors peace of mind.

Based on data from epidemics such as SARS and MERS, scientists believe that there is a low risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus through water. However, as people will of course sneeze and cough whilst on the beach, which is how the virus can be transmitted, various measures need to be adopted.

Using the app infopraia, for Android click here and for Apple here, visitors are able to track the occupancy of beaches in advance. The app uses the traffic light system; green representing low occupancy, yellow high and red full occupancy. The same applies using flags on the beaches themselves.

Not sure which beach may suit you? Visit this link where you will find an interactive map showing where beaches are and what is available on them.

Signage on Carvoeiro beach

It is wise to use footwear when accessing the beach, which is done on the right-hand side. Each beach will have signage to remind you of what is required and also suggestions on how to make your day at the beach a pleasant and safe one.

You need to keep a minimum of 1.5 metres between yourself and the nearest person/group. Also, bear in mind when you go for a swim and come back out afterwards to leave as much space as possible between yourselves and others.

Beach cafés and restaurants are open, with a lower capacity and with staff following strict protocols as per government guidelines. You are required to wear a face mask and footwear when entering these premises and can obviously remove the mask once seated – a reminder to don the mask when you use the rest rooms.

Some councils have been offering training sessions to beachside business owners and have implemented patrols of beaches to aid people should they need help with understanding the various guidelines. You will also find that hand sanitiser dispensers have been placed at the entrance to some beaches.

Another interesting aid can be found at the entrance to Carvoeiro beach. The UV sensor was devised by a local school and won a national competion in 2017. It offers an index to advise the strength of the UV rays at any particular time which in turn can guide you on precautions you should take.

Carvoeiro beach – with lifeguards and shady area for wheelchair users

Many beaches have life guards but not all and there are also a fair few beaches that have access for wheelchair users, click here for an updated list.

Algarve was awarded 87 Blue Flags this year. The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label award to beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators.

To qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.

Beaches in the western Algarve holding the flag this year include:
• Silves and Lagoa areas: Armação de Pêra, Praia Grande Poente, Vale do Olival, Senhora da Rocha, Vale Centeanes, Carvoeiro, Caneiros and Ferragudo.
• Portimão area: Rocha and Marina, Três Castelos, Vau, Alvor Nascente – Três Irmãos andAlvor Poente.
• Lagos and Luz areas: Meia Praia, Portode Mós, Luz.

For suggestions on self-catering properties click here. We have properties with private pools and others without, something to suite all tastes.

Visit our Discover pages to learn more about the western Algarve and to help you decide where you would like to stay in the region.

Alternatively contact us by email or phone on +351 282 763 902 or 0330 808 2219 (UK only).

Whether you’re an Under the Boardwalk, a Summer Nights or Kokomo person, Algarve is the place to be for your holiday.

Main image: Courtesy of SJ

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