The „heart of Algarve“ as some refer to is part of Praia da Marinha – a beach in the South Algarve between Albufeira and Portimao. To be very precise the heart actually shows a rock formation just off-shore of Praia da Mezquita (Oeste). However, you can’t get there directly and have to start off at Praia da Marinha.
How to get to the heart-shaped rock in Algarve?
To get to the ‚heart of Algarve“ you need to go to Praia da Marinha. There is a public parking that forms the starting point of a very popular cliff walk:
Therefore it is very crowded in summer and just come early to even get a parking spot because spots are limited.
During this cliff hike you will pass the heart-shaped rock.
So go to the parking lot, and stick to the right and follow the walking trail on top of the cliffs. You can’t miss it. You will have amazing views during the whole hike and can stop and take pictures at many viewpoints.
First you will walk along Praia da Marinha, the next bay is Praia da Mezquita. After walking around 15 minutes you’ll get to a viewpoint that is secured with a guard rail. From there you will see the stunning rock formation with the two gates, that form the upper part of the heart shape.
From this viewpoint, you can’t see the full heart yet. You have to walk a bit further. From the viewpoint you will see that the cliffs form a little tip – they are reaching a bit more towards the sea there. This is where you have to go to find the heart view. It’s around here:
Important to know is also that there is not the one spot from where you can see the heart. You have to find your angle (it also depends on the vegetation, how the rocks might have changed, and so on).
When I was there I noticed that the best perspective to find the perfect heart shape is a bit more elevated. Therefore make sure to bring a tripod so that you can extend your arm.
Can I get to the heart of Algarve by car?
No you can’t get directly to the heart view by car. The only way to get there is the one described above. Drive to Praia da Marinha parking lot and walk for around 45 minutes.
Which camera or lens to use to best capture the heart of Algarve?
Very important to know is that these famous pictures of this heart-shaped rock of Algarve must have been taken with a drone. Be aware that you need a permission in Portugal to fly your drone!
However, you can capture the heart like I did with your camera and a tripod. But it’s not easy. You have to expand your tripod at max and then lift your camera as high up in the air as possible. Like this I could just capture the heart as you see it on my pictures. However if you are taller than me or have a longer tripod, it will be easier.
When is the best time to visit the heart of the Algarve?
The best time in terms of the best light is for sure sunrise or sunset. Both look magical at this spot depending on the exact season.
The best time in terms of the months is any months offseason, meaning not June, July, August, or September. This cliff hike is extremely popular because it is located just in between a very touristy area and therefore in the summer months the walking trail gets quite crowded.
However if you go there early in the morning during the summer months it will be quite as well.
How long does it take to get to the heart-shaped rock in Algarve?
It will take you around 20 minutes of walking from the parking lot of Praia da Marinha to reach the heart-shaped rock of Algarve. It might take you another 15 minutes to find the best angle that forms the heart.
Be careful when you do so. Cliffs of Algarve can get dangerous and are not always stable. Don’t walk too close to the edges of the cliffs.
Can I get there with a baby cart and small kids?
The official trail is broad and well maintained and with an agile baby cart you might take this walk. However it is not perfectly flat, there are stari, rocks, and rootes on the way. For kids that can walk on their own, the trail is perfectly suitable. The trail has a good distance to the edge of the cliffs and dangerous spots of viewpoints are secured with guard rails.
However, you should not leave the official trail with kids.
Are there any opening hours at the heart-shaped rock?
There are no opening hours of the walking trail to the heart-shaped rock at Praia da Marinha. You can go there any time.
Don’t miss to also have a look at my article about the best sunset and sunrise spots of Algarve:
I hope you enjoyed this article? Did I go to the heart-shaped rock at Praia da Marinha? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!