Praia do Submarino

Praia do Submarino beach guide, how to get there and where to stay

Praia do Submarino, Alvor

This beach is known by very few. You won’t even find it on most maps. It’s hidden at the bottom of a cliff and only accessible when the tide is low. It’s stunning when seen from above, and one of the best on the coast between Portimão and Alvor for a peaceful day in the sun. The seclusion means that it mostly attracts naturists (many of them straight and gay couples), and is therefore an unofficial nude beach.

Praia do Submarino, Algarve

The name derives from a rock emerging from the water that looks very much like a submarine. The rock formations here are spectacular, and you have to go through an arch on the cliff to reach the main part of the beach. Other openings lead to a magnificent scenery of caves and rocks carved by the sea over the centuries. However, that’s only possible at low tide. If you make it there, keep paying attention to the rising water. When it’s reaching the cliff with the arch, it’s time to leave.

Arch and calm waters in Praia do Submarino, Algarve

The sea tends to be calm and is crystal-clear. It’s good for swimming and snorkeling. Although it’s generally safe, stay by the shore, as there are no lifeguards. Also keep some distance from the cliffs, due to the risk of rockfall.

Rock formations in Praia do Submarino, Algarve

There are no facilities of any kind, so make sure that you bring enough water and snacks, and don’t forget to take all the trash with you when you leave.

Submarine-shaped rock in the water in Submarino Beach, Algarve

Location: Alvor
Beach for: Naturists
Lifeguards: No
Bathrooms: No
Rentals: No
Bar or Restaurant: No
Accessible: No
Parking: Yes (nearby)

How to Get to Praia do Submarino

Access to Praia do Submarino, Algarve

Praia do Submarino is about a 10-minute drive from Portimão and less than 10 minutes from Alvor. Bus 14, departing from Largo do Dique in Portimão or from a stop by the roundabout on Rua do Rossio de São Pedro in Alvor, stops in Prainha, which is about a 15-minute walk up the road (Caminho da Praia de João de Arens) from this beach. This bus departs every 30 minutes from Monday to Friday. On weekends, the same route is covered by bus 1P, but there’s only about one departure per hour (in the months of July and August, this frequency increases to every half hour). From Portimão it takes about 25 minutes and from Alvor less than 10.
Tunnel that leads to Praia do Submarino, Algarve
If you’re driving, park at the end of Caminho da Praia de João de Arens, just before Villa Casa da Guarda (see below). Follow the path from there to the top of the cliff and keep walking to the right until you see the submarine-shaped rock in the water. Carefully follow the trail down to the beach (don’t wear flip flops!) and you’re there in just over 5 minutes. Those who suffer from vertigo or have any mobility issues, should not go. Another way to reach it is by walking over the cliffs from the beaches to the west and east (see below).

Beaches by Praia do Submarino

The closest beach to Praia do Submarino is Praia de João de Arens. You’ll see the trail down to this beach about a 5-minute walk away, following the clifftop to the east (to the left when facing the sea). From there you can walk over the cliffs and follow footpaths and the coastal road all the way to Praia da Rocha, the most famous beach on this coast, for about 45 minutes. In just 15 you’ll arrive at the beaches of Boião and Alemão. If you go in the opposite direction from Praia do Submarino (to the west), you’ll reach the beautiful Prainha in about 15 minutes.

Hotels by Praia do Submarino

Prainha Clube, Algarve

Prainha Clube

This is the best place to stay by Praia do Submarino. It’s located about a 15-minute walk up the road, and has studios and 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. It’s perfect for families or couples on a romantic getaway. Facilities include four restaurants, two tennis courts, a multi-sport court, two swimming pools, a spa, and even a supermarket for those who wish to prepare meals in the apartments. It’s surrounded by gardens and offers a panoramic view of the coast.


Villa Casa da Guarda, Algarve

Villa Casa da Guarda

Located by the edge of the cliff, between Praia do Submarino and Praia de João de Arens, this villa is for those looking for privacy and peace. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a swimming pool with a sea view.