Beaches – how do I know if they’re full?

Ask Afpop
In this monthly column, afpop, Portugal’s largest foreign residents’ association, aims to answer some of the most frequently-asked questions by members.

Question: I know that occupancy levels on beaches are reduced, but how do we find out before we set off if the beach is already full?
afpop Answers: It’s a good question and fortunately there are a couple of answers, depending on how you like to get your information. You can either access the information on your phone if you have a smart phone or via your computer on the internet if you prefer that method. There are two main apps to download for smart phones and the environment agency website for the computer.

The environment agency (APA) app is called “InfoPraia” and is available in Portuguese and English. Simply download the app from your preferred webstore.

Once you have the app downloaded, you can either search for beaches near you by turning on your mobile phone location, or if you prefer not to announce to the internet where you are, you can search for beaches near you or in the area that you want to go to. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can check the information on the APA website at

The other app is ‘Posso ir‘ (Can I Go) and is supported by the consumers’ rights agency DECO. This is only available as an app and also includes the locations and occupancy levels of supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants near you, as well as information about beaches. Look for the logo (pictured) in the app store.

Some reminders about visiting the beach:
▪ Remember to keep a distance of at least one and a half meters from bathers in other groups and maintain this distance when traveling by the sea and bathing. If you have a parasol you must keep them three meters away from those already on the beach.

▪ Park only in authorised locations and follow the parking recommendations. When accessing the beach wear shoes and stay on the right of walkways, a metre and a half away from other people. On boardwalks and paths there will be signs indicating this.

▪ When going to the bar, the beach restaurant or the bathroom, take a mask and shoes, keep the safety distance and use hand hygiene at the entrance and exit.

▪ Remember the flags on the beach reflect bathing conditions and are separate from the markers at the entrance to the beach indicating the occupancy levels. On the beach a red flag prohibits entering the sea and the yellow flag indicates “do not swim”.

For more information about the Benefits of Membership of afpop, the largest Association for Foreign Residents in Portugal, you can visit their website; email them direct on [email protected] or call the afpop office on 282 458 509 or 938 252 100. Please remember to quote the Algarve Resident contacting them.