Barril beach is one of the best beaches in the country! It is located in the central part of Tavira island.
BARRIL BEACH , TAVIRA
An extensive and magnificent sandy beach as far as the eye can see. The sea is very crystal clear and the water temperature is almost always higher than in all other Portuguese beaches (including the western Algarve – the area between Portimão and Sagres). The beach has no rocks, which allows for even more relaxed bathing. It is part of the Natural Park of Ria Formosa. It has a considerable number of beach facilities (although restaurants and cafes are a bit expensive…). It also has some stores where you can buy tourist articles. A fishing community once existed here. The old fishing houses were later transformed into stores, restaurants and cafes. In case you forget your beach umbrella or chair, know that you can rent them at this beach.
WHERE IS BARRIL BEACH?
It takes 3 hours and 24 minutes from Lisbon to Barril beach to Lisbon. It is 7,8 kilometers from Tavira and only 9 minutes by car. It is a tongue of sand between the Ria Formosa and the Atlantic Ocean. The sandy beach is approximately 1500 meters from the road.
HOW TO GET TO BARRIL BEACH?
To visit this beach, you will have to cross one of the floating bridges over the Ria Formosa. There are two bridges you can use: the new pedestrian bridge and the old pedestrian bridge. The old train (a mini train) will take you from Pedras D’el Rei to the new floating bridge that gives you passage to the mainland. If you choose to do the route on foot, after the floating bridge you will have to walk approximately 1 kilometer. You can also cross the river by boat that leaves from the island of Tavira.
THE PRAIA DO BARRIL TRAIN
To establish the connection between the beach and the mainland, there is an old train that in the past was used to serve the fishing activities. This means of transport was used essentially to carry the fish caught from the beach to the mainland. The train departs from Pedras D’el Rei.
Today, the train is more of a tourist attraction in the area. TRAIN PRICES: The route is only 1 kilometer and the ticket price (round trip) is 2 euros.
FERRY BOAT CROSSING TO PRAIA DO BARRIL BEACH
There are two routes you can take with the ferry boat. The first optiondeparts from Tavira city center. The second option departs from the pier of 4 waters (2 kilometers from the center of Tavira). Both departures end at the same pier on the island of Tavira. After leaving the ferry,
you will have to walk about 400 meters to the beach. The ferry that leaves from the city center has a regular schedule. The second option (the second pier), only works when it has a sufficient number of customers (i.e. the crossing is dependent on demand). Between June and September, departures take place every 30 minutes. During the low season, schedules are variable and depend on demand. The ticket (round trip) costs 1.90€ – adult price. Children pay 0.90€ (round trip). The crossing through the Ria Formosa Natural Park takes 20
ATTRACTIONS AT BARRIL BEACH
The fishing anchors of the old fishing community now lie on the sandbanks of the beach. In the past they were used to keep the nets well positioned when catching tuna. The site functions today as a memorial known as the Anchors Cemetery (there are more than 100 rusty anchors
THE TUNA FISHING HOUSES
This place was in the past a cluster of houses. As many as 80 families lived in this village between the months of April and September each year. Tuna fishing dominated the economy of this village until 1960. With the end of the tuna stock (in the 1960’s), the residents abandoned the place. The dwellings were later restored and some houses have given rise to cafes, restaurants, and cottages.
BIRD WATCHING IN PEDRAS D’EL REI
The atmosphere in Pedras D’el Rei is very quiet even in high season. The houses of the village are in the middle of green spaces and, because it is a protected area, it is possible to observe many birds, which contributes to the relaxation of those who visit the place.
NATURISM (NUDE SUNBATHING) AT BARRIL BEACH
The beach has a naturist area. It is a reserved area that is 1500 meters from the train station. If you are at Barril beach, you should know that the naturist area is 1000 meters (westward) from the last awning concession on the beach (the area has no surveillance).
WINDSURFING AT BARRIL BEACH
If you are a windsurf enthusiast and want to know how the wind will be on this beach, you can check the wind forecast by clicking HERE!
BEACHES NEAR PRAIA DO BARRIL BEACH
So that you can organize your choices and excursions, we have prepared a map with the 4 beaches closest to praia do barril: praia da terra estreita, praia da ilha de Tavira, praia do homem nu, and praia da barra da Fuseta. We hope it will be useful.
From Barril beach to the beach of Ilha de Tavira is about 4 kilometers. There you will find a long sandy beach, crystal clear and often warm water! To get there you can take a cab boat, the traditional Tavira boat or you can take the 4-water boat (a smaller
crossing). It is usually a less crowded beach which means more space on the sand. Nearby you will find some good restaurants with beautiful fresh fish and seafood.
Only 2 kilometers separate Barril beach from Terra Estreita beach. It is an even narrower portion of this sandy tongue. A beach with a clean sandy beach and crystal clear, tepid water. The narrow land beach
is usually calm and quiet (because you have to take a boat to get there). But the catamaran trip alone is enough to justify the choice. Besides being able to enjoy the beach, you also have the possibility to
see the saltpans and the birds of the beautiful Ria Formosa. It has some
beach support facilities.
A few minutes from Barril beach. Is a very long sandy beach, ideal for naturism. After the OFFICIAL naturist zone (which is in an isolated area and difficult to access), it is possible to find some shellfish
fishermen. To get there without crowds, we suggest you drive to Pedras. The other option is the already mentioned train and then a nice walk.
Do you like to catch “cadelinhas” (clams)? Then this beach is for you. A beach of choice that excels for its tranquility and (often) warm and crystalline water. To get there you have to take a cab boat that will cost you 3€ per person. A sandy beach of about 120 meters “wedged” between the river and the sea. There are no beach support facilities so
don’t forget to bring food and drinks to spend a perfect day at the beach.
VIRTUAL TOUR OF BARRIL BEACH
WHAT TO VISIT NEAR BARRIL BEACH
Near Barril beach there are many villages and places that deserve a close visit. In case you are going to spend a vacation in this part of the Algarve, we suggest you also visit 4 other places: Cacela Velha, Tavira, Castro Marim and Vila Real de Santo António. Below is a map so that you can gauge distances and plan your trips more efficiently.
You’ll need just 9 minutes (by car) to travel the 8 kilometers between the pier and Barril beach to the town of Tavira. A city with white houses, a historic center with narrow streets and a river that crosses
the city, giving it even more charm. Today Tavira is a cosmopolitan city that attracts thousands of tourists and foreign residents. Attracted by the phenomenal climate that the Algarve and in particular the city of Tavira offers.
From Barril beach to Vila Nova de Cacela is 18 kilometers, a distance that can be covered in 20 minutes (by car). Cacela Velha is a white-painted terracing on the summit of a rocky hill. A place that has resisted the big tourist developments and has maintained its
traditions and architecture. A great place to eat some oysters and visit the viewpoint of the fortress, which offers a magnificent view of the beach and the ocean.
From Barril beach to Castro Marim is a distance of 38 kilometers. It takes only 29 minutes by car, and it’s an effort that will be well rewarded. The town of Castro Marim sits on top of a hill with a privileged view of the Guadiana River. The town has a lot to see and do. Here are some suggestions: visit the castle, climb up to the fort of São Sebastião, visit the salt house and the main church, stroll through the historic center, and go to the fantastic salt spa in Castro Marim. Castro Marim is a village right next to the Spanish border that can be visited in 2 days.
A 30-minute drive separates Praia do Barril from Vila Real de Santo António (40 kilometers away). A town built in one go in the 18th century after the earthquake that destroyed everything there. The main
attractions are: Marquês de Pombal square (hence its Pombaline layout), Monte Gordo beach, lighthouse, main church, and Sapal natural reserve.
BARRIL BEACH RESTAURANTS
The gastronomic recommendations that we make in this site are often the consequence of personal experiences that we had in those same restaurants. On other occasions, we do online research and analyze the comments from users. From this careful analysis come our suggestions for the best restaurants in the area. This time, we have to say that none of the restaurants located in Praia do Barril meet the minimum requirements for us to suggest them (none of the restaurants have a minimum rating of 4 stars). Therefore, we will recommend
restaurants close to the beach.
BRUNO’S TASQUINHA (A TASQUINHA DO BRUNO)
A rating of 4.6 (out of 5) on Google and more than 130 customer reviews. It is the highest rated restaurant in the area. The comments mention with insistence the friendliness of the staff (a small family), the cozy atmosphere and the quality of the tapas. It seems to be the perfect
place for tapas and wine at the end of the day. The space is small and the quality-price ratio seems fair.
O Capelo” is a seafood restaurant with more than 520 reviews and an overall rating of 4.3 stars (out of 5). The most positive comments often refer to the good fish, good seafood, the beautiful view of the Ria Formosa and a good price/quality ratio. The tuna steak (of course) seems to be a house speciality.
HOTELS AT BARRIL BEACH
There are many lodging options in the vicinity of Barril beach. We will make a suggestion that is related to 3 factors, namely: 1.Proximity to Barril beach; 2.A good rating on google and 3.A good relation between price and quality.
PEDRAS D’EL REI
It has over 1000 reviews on google and an overall rating of 4.4 stars (out of a maximum of 5). A very good place to travel with the family. The apartments are equipped with a kitchenette. Positive things to note are the outdoor pool, the minimarket inside the village, the friendliness of the staff, the proximity to the beach and the restaurants that are very close.