The beach in question is a stretch of around three kilometres which lies nest to the fishermans beach in Armação de Pêra in the municipality of Silves which has now been bought by the private luxury hotel Vila Vita.
According to various media reports the beach was bought by Vila Vita for around 200,000 euros and now belongs to the hotel for use by its guests.
The beach has belonged to a private family since 1913 and was put up for sale and following Portuguese law the Portuguese government has the right to refusal of the beach first, however the government failed to put in a bid for the beach and now it has been bought once again bu a private entity.
Speaking to the Portuguese news agency Lusa, a spokesman from the Ministry for Agriculture Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning said: “The land in question has been privately owned since 1913. The state had knowledge of an interest to acquire the land under Portuguese law and was aware of the right of the government to first refusal when it came to purchasing the land.”
When asked why the state chose not to buy the land the spokesman said: “Notwithstanding the short time frame in which the state could exercise the right to first refusal (eight days), there was also no budget for this purpose and the situation was impossible because of the fiscal rules that are currently in place in Portugal.”
The spokesman added: “Given the current budget constraints we are at the moment focusing the budget available to us on investing in coastal protection for people and because of this the state did not exercise its right to first refusal.”
According to the spokesman Vila Vita have pledged to maintain the environmental levels expected at the beach and that they will also work to improve the area and any parts of the beach that have become inaccessible.
It is then said that Vila Vita intend to donate the beach back to the Portuguese government when they have completed all the necessary works in exchange for them being granted the beach concession on this section of the coast.
The details of the this arrangement are yet to be confirmed or finalised with the Ministry adding that they would have to analyse the situation before any decision can be made about the future of the beach.