Praia da Rocha was the first beach resort of the Algarve. For a little more than a century, it has been a tourist destination because of its beaches. During this time, the location changed radically from a small village by the sea with a handful of houses to a large urban centre that attracts thousands of tourists in the summer. During this transformation, small chalets on the top of the cliffs were replaced by apartment buildings and hotels, and family guesthouses gave rise to major hotel chains. Small business commerce and entertainment – being the most important the casino -, have grown to provide restaurants, cafes, bars, nightclubs, shops, and a new gambling site. This excessive urban growth, which occurred mainly during the last decades of the twentieth century, is very similar to what occurred in most coastal settlements in the Central Algarve. The case of Praia da Rocha, however, is paradigmatic. Since the start of the tourist boom, in the early 70s, major interventions took place. The beach was artificially enlarged in order to increase its use and sun bathing capacity. This change also prevents waves from hitting the cliffs that could endanger the buildings built there in the last decade.