Praia-do-Gale beach, Portugal

Portugal’s Algarve has so many fantastic beaches that it’s near impossible to pick just one favourite. However, Praia do Galé, just to the West of Albuferia, is surely near the top of the list for plenty of those in the know.

Praia do Galé broadly separates into two sections. At one side of the beach there is a vast array of sand, albeit one that’s heavily populated with sunbeds and watersports concessions during the peak summer months. The eastern area features a range of rock formations, which create warm pools and fun areas to splash through, depending on the tides and the strength of the waves.

If this was all Galé offered, it would already be a rather dreamy destination, but there’s a surprise in store for those who stay until dusk. Due to the fact that this beach faces west, it provides one of the best places from which to watch one of the Algarve’s beautiful sunsets. With cloud sometimes creating some of the most memorable sunsets of all, it doesn’t even need to be a perfect day.

If the weather is kind, however, and it usually is on the Algarve, there are three beachfront restaurants to choose from.

The best of the bunch is simply called Praia do Galé, and it stays open long enough to give you the perfect sunset vantage point. Full meals are available here, but one of the most enjoyable options is to just order platters of clams and prawns to share, and to accompany them with rustic Portuguese bread, olives, and the essential ice cold green wine (vinho verde).

Portugal has so many beaches that it’s often tempting to try a different one, but Galé has a special magic that makes you want to go back again and again. Try it, and you’ll see what we mean.