Sixteen kilometres north of Carrapateira lies the village of Aljezur, which is considerably larger than Carrapateira and probably one of the prettiest and liveliest towns on the western Algarve. From here buses run to a couple of outstanding beaches, the largest of which is Praia da Arrifana, ten kilometres to the south west.
Arrifana village, which spreads itself over the cliffs above the beach, has been turned largely over to tourism, although development has been restrained and it has maintained a strong sense of localness. Go past the half dozen cafes, bars and hostels directly overlooking (but vastly higher than) the beach and you will come to the remains of a ruined fort.
The beach itself, which is reached via a torturously steep single-lane road, recently banned to vehicles, is sandy, sheltered and hugely popular with both surfers and swimmers. There is a café and toilets at the base of the cliff and ample parking at the top. There are a couple of options for staying overnight at Arrifana and a well-equipped campsite just 8km further north in the village of Monte Clerigo.