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Praia do Camilo is a magnificent cove located on the East side of Ponta da Piedade. The beach can be crowded on high season but the snorkeling is spectacular and among the best in Algarve. The seabed presents interesting rock formations and life is abundant.

School of silver fish at Praia do Camilo
Praia do Camilo underwaterscape.

How to go snorkeling at Praia do Camilo?

Praia do Camilo is located approx. 3km south to Lagos city center (10 minutes by car). A free car park accommodates the guests but it is not unusual to see a long lane of cars parked on the side of the tiny road. A long stair leads to the beach divided into two parts (here defined 1 and 2), these are connected by a gallery carved in the rock divided the two sides.

Praia do Camilo snorkeling map, Lagos

Water entrance for snorkeling Praia do Camilo

Enter the water from the beach exploiting the sandy gaps in the otherwise rock-covered seabed. Beware of high waves and current, do not attempt snorkeling if the current is too strong. On rough seas, the beach may completely disappear until the ocean becomes quiet again.

Beware also of the frequent kayak tours and their support boats passing nearby. Because of the long stair leading to the beach this spot is not wheelchair friendly.

Also, the water temperature is between cold and chilly all year round with a short exception for the hottest summer months when it can be pleasant. Hence, a wetsuit may be needed. This spot is good for snorkeling both on low and high tide.

Praia do Camilo snorkeling exploration tips

Praia do Camilo has two recommended snorkeling areas:

Part 1: South – Right-hand side when facing the ocean

This is the least interesting of the two sides. As you enter the water you will pass a sandy area poor in fish (10 mt from shore, 2 mt depth). After crossing a seagrass area another sandy area opens up ahead of you (30 mt, 3-4 mt depth).

It is around this circle that the snorkeling is more interesting with the seabed alternating between abundant seagrass and rocks. School of seabream, seabass, and sargo populate this area.

Zebra seabream
Zebra seabream is common at Praia do Camilo.

Part 2: North – Left-hand side when facing the ocean

This area is the most interesting one and the one where fish is more abundant. The shallow sandy area where we recommend entering the water is quickly surrounded by seagrass and rocks.

The seagrass extends for the majority of the front part of the beach (starts 10 mt from shore, 2-3 mt depth) while the sides include very interesting rock formations where you may spot lobsters and observe the shells that colonized the area.

The right-side rocky area is spectacularly rich in fish (0.5-1.5 mt depth), the same kind you may find on the other side of the spot but in glorious numbers.

Rainbow wrasse
Rainbow wrasse abounds around the seagrass beds.

You may occasionally also spot sergeants. It is also worth exploring the rocks alongside the shore as the formations are indeed interesting and timider fish often find shelter there but beware of the waves and the current that sometimes tends to push the swimmer against them.

If you venture further (50 mt from shore, 5 mt depth) you will notice that the water temperature suddenly drops leaving the exploration being cut short without a wetsuit to protect you.

Sargo in Praia do Camilo
A juvenile sargo in Praia do Camilo.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Restaurante Camilo, located right in front of the stair access, offers food and toilet facilities.

 

  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersCurrents, waves, kayak/boat traffic
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.