Praia do Vale dos Homens beach is located in the Costa Vicentina Natural Park just outside the village of Rogil in the Western Algarve. It is well off the beaten tourist track which makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a great “get away from it all” location. While some websites say it is suitable for bathing, I am not absolutely convinced. If you look at the video and pictures you will notice at low tide there are rocks along most of the shoreline.
I created this short video of Praia do Vale dos Homens – not a perfect recording but I hope you enjoy! Unfortunately, after walking up 200 of the 285 steps you can hear me gasping for breath while trying to describe the beach at the same time!
The clarity of the video is not brilliant because it is taken with a standard camera, however, it does begin to give you an idea of the location and the aura of tranquillity. At one with nature and far from the concrete jungle and high-rise hotels of the more “touristy” areas of the Algarve the Praia do Vale dos Homens is definitely worth a visit if you prefer a more natural beach.
While road access to the car park is easy, just 3km from Rogil by road, the only access to the beach, however, is down 285 wooden steps so not for the feint-hearted! I can only say I found it far easier walking down than I did coming up! I certainly sound out of breath when I am talking on the video.
On the plus side, there are welcome resting areas with seats providing an excellent opportunity not only take a moment to catch your breath, but also enjoy the wonderful vistas to the beach and ocean below.
This beach does not have any facilities such as cafés or toilets. It is listed by some travel websites as having a life guard in the bathing season as well as being popular with “naturists”, body boarders and surfers. I observed several local fishermen casting from the shoreline if this counts as a beach activity and you enjoy fishing!
When we arrived at Praia do Vale dos Homens we paused on the clifftop to admire the beautiful view across the bay and to the deserted beach below. It was then we noticed a white stork nesting on an outcrop of rocks to one end of the beach. Until last year I had only seen them nesting on tall chimneys or telegraph poles so I was absolutely amazed to discover white storks also nested on rocky outcrops in the sea. I also learned, thanks to a comment left on one of my blog posts, that Portugal is the only part of the world where white storks nest in this type of location. I am so pleased I remembered to take my camera as it is not everyday you can photograph a white stork nesting in this stunning natural habitat…
As we looked across to the nest from our clifftop viewpoint we could see what could only be described as a red “blob” in the nest. Unfortunately, we did not have binoculars and the zoom on my camera is not powerful enough for long distance shots. I tried to enhance the photograph in Photoshop on my return home, but I am still non the wiser as to the identity of the red blob. Any ideas? Are baby storks or the eggs red?
“Praia do Vale dos Homens” loosely translated means “Beach of the Valley of the Men” Please correct me if I’m wrong. Also I am confused whether it should read “de” or “do”. I have “googled”, looking for inspiration, but both options “Praia de Vale” and “do Vale” are listed so I opted for the version on the official Portugal tourism website www.visitportugal.com Any language gurus out there?