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Praia do Barril, Algarve

The Praia do Barril is one of the best beaches in eastern Algarve, with soft golden sands and beautifully clear, calm waters, making it a favourite for families with young children. The region is protected by the Ria Formosa nature park, a haven for small saltwater aquatic life and migratory birds. Therefore, tourist development has been limited and so the idyllic coastline remains pristine and unspoilt. As a Blue Flag award beach, Praia do Barril has plenty of facilities and is lifeguard patrolled during the summer season. At the far western end of the beach is an officially designated nudist zone.

The beach was once the location of a small tuna fishing community and the former fishermen’s huts have been sympathetically converted into cafes, restaurants and shops. Of special interest is the Cemitério das Âncoras (Cemetery of Anchors/Anchor Graveyard), where hundreds of huge, rusting anchors are embedded like a sculpture in the sand dunes and act as a memorial to the tuna fishing industry. There is also a small museum within the restaurant, displaying interesting photos relating to the history of this area.