Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on August 13, 2021
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Restaurante Camilo, located right in front of the stair access, offers food and toilet facilities.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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