Albufeira is the largest, busiest and most vibrant of all the resort towns that overlook the southern coast of the Algarve in Portugal. This welcoming place offers stunning beaches, a mild climate, a wide variety of restaurants and a bustling nightlife. All this has turned what was once a humble fishing village into the most popular holiday destination in the Algarve.
A little of the city’s history
Albufeira was known as Baltum in Roman times, then renamed Al Buhera by Moorish settlers in the 8th century. Finally, in the mid-13th century the city was taken from the Moors by the Knights of the Order of Santiago. Albufeira was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1755, when the sea waves destroyed almost all the buildings along the coast.
Until the 1960s Albufeira was a small fishing village. One because of a decline in its catch had to convert it into a tourist resort, and today Albufeira with a population of about 13 thousand people in the holiday season is growing to about 300 thousand residents. But the old town with narrow cobblestone streets and typical one-story houses lining the road, still retains the atmosphere of a cozy village.
The resort’s climate
The weather in Albufeira, 250 km from Lisbon, is perfect for a beach holiday from May to mid October. Be warned however that the sea is surprisingly cold and barely reaches 18 degrees centigrade in high summer. In June in Albufeira children should not swim. The high holiday season lasts from June to September, so you need to take care well in advance about accommodation and transport tickets. The bright and sunny spring and fall days are a great time for travelers looking to explore the region. The winter months are mild but unpredictable in terms of weather, with an equal number of sunny and rainy days.
Attractions and attractions in Albufeira, Portugal
Although this city welcomes a wide range of visitors, it is primarily for families, with amenities and activities that are ideal for adults and children of all ages:
- Beaches. Albufeira has one of the biggest beaches in the Algarve, stretching for 2 km from the Old Town all the way to the rocky promontory to the east. It is divided into 3 parts:
- Praia dos Pescadores;
- Praia do Inatel;
- Praia dos Alemas.
This wonderful beach offers soft golden sands, crystal clear waters in which children can swim. A second sandy beach at the base of the Strip, called Praia da Oura, is the perfect place to recuperate after a rough night.
- A vibrant nightlife . Albufeira has two very different areas:
- The family-friendly and laid-back Old Town, where visitors are entertained by live music with a glass of local beer or wine;
- “Strip,” which is perfect for groups looking for vibrant nighttime entertainment combined with booze. At Strip drinks, for example, raucous parties continue until sunrise. Heaven on the Strip has an experienced DJ and Kadoc (halfway between Albufeira and Vilamoura) has a reputation as the best nightclub in the Algarve.
- Boat trips, excursions and fishing . The marina is the starting point for a variety of boat excursions, including coastal trips, dolphin watching and deep sea fishing. For thrill-seekers, there are speedboat tours, jet boats and ski trips. Photos taken during the outings will capture the most exciting moments of your vacation in Albufeira, Portugal.
- Water Parks . There are three such establishments around the city:
- Slide and Splash;
The numerous attractions of the water parks, including gravity (near-vertical) slides and wave pools provide a lot of fun for adults and children of all ages.
- A trip to Silves . If you’re tired of the sun, sand and long nights of Albufeira, take a day trip to the beautiful town of Silves for a dose of history and culture. Admire its imposing castle and stroll the cobblestone streets that lead down to the slow-flowing waters of the Arade River.
- Zoomarine Marine Park . Here you’ll find a wide variety of attractions including dolphin shows, aquariums and another great water park with slides, wave pools and rapids.
- Luso Aventura rides . Those who long for adventure should go to Luso Aventura with its high rope trails, vertical nets and spider-web bridges spanning the forests east of Albufeira. The trails have varying levels of difficulty and are suitable for children and adults alike.
If the glow of neon signs and the adrenaline of late-night entertainment don’t appeal to you, it’s best to stay near the Old Town. There you’ll find plenty of Albufeira hotels with all the amenities for a vacation with kids. If you are looking for a lively nightlife, you probably want to stay in the Arias de San Juan or near Montejoro. Numerous hotels are located within 2 km of the Old Town and a few minutes from Oura Beach, some of them:
The city welcomes its guests with a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and bars covering all styles of cuisine, budget or dietary requirements. The food is quite cheap, but usually of a high level. Albufeira is an ideal place to try local and traditional Portuguese cuisine. Some of the restaurants are:
- Restaurante Palacete;
- Dom Carlos Restaurante;
- Três Pammeiras.
The Strip is a street far from the Old Town, filled with themed bars and late-night clubs that are very tolerant of noisy fun.
Shopping in Albufeira
The streets leading from the main square of the Old Town will delight shoppers with clothing stores, leather goods, souvenir stores, street stalls and, of course, stores with everyday necessities.
If you are staying in Albufeira, there is no need to rent a car, as during the summer months the Algarve is so crowded with tourists that it is even difficult to park here. The city operates a tourist train, which runs between the strip of beaches and the Old Town, as well as a minibus network “Giro”. For those who want to visit one of the water parks, there are several agencies in Albufeira that offer reasonable prices for transportation.
How to get from Lisbon to Albufeira?
There are several ways to get to Albufeira from the capital and, thanks to its central location on the map of southern Portugal, their routes are fairly easy:
- by car;
- by train;
- by bus.
You can fly from Lisbon to Faro Airport and then take a car or bus to Albufeira. The drive from Faro takes about 40 minutes.
Features of holidays in the resort of Albufeira
Portugal is quite a popular country for tourists. There are a variety of ways to vacation, and almost any, even small, town is ready to meet its tourist. Albufeira is a great place for a beach holiday. If you see it today, it is hard to believe that not so long ago it was a small quiet town where the locals were engaged mostly just fishing. About what a holiday in Albufeira in 2022, its attractions, entertainment, beaches and prices will tell in this article.
To date, it has everything you need for a good holiday. You can bask on one of the sandy beaches, do windsurfing, sailing, stroll through the stores, see the local attractions, go to cafes or restaurants that serve dishes only from fresh products. Portugal is famous for its delicious seafood dishes.
How to get there
There is no airport in Albufeira itself, you must fly to either Faro or Lisbon. The closest to the resort is Faro, from which you can take a cab, train or public bus. If desired, you can rent a car directly at the airport, the cost per day will be on average 3500 rubles. It is possible to overcome 35 kilometers on the cab for 30 minutes at that it will be necessary to give on the average 2500-2800 rubles. There are transfer companies that provide services for transferring groups of people.
The most affordable option is public transportation. There are two routes 14 and 16 from the airport. The cost of the trip is only 150 rubles. Buses run from seven in the morning until 22:10.
Albufeira on the map:
Alfoubeira, unlike other resort towns in Portugal, can boast an established public transport system. Services are provided by the local bus company GIRO. Buses go in five directions. It gives tourists an opportunity to visit all the sights. Buses begin their work at seven in the morning and run until 22:00. The cost of one trip on public transport is only 100 rubles.
Cab rides are also popular among tourists. Getting into a cab will cost 220 rubles. Each kilometer is paid at a cost of 35 rubles. The counter is activated after the distance of 1.8 km. In addition there is a charge for luggage in the amount of 115 rubles.
Very popular among tourists trips on the Albufeira Tourist Train. This is a car, to which are attached small wagons. Go such a car every 20 minutes in the summer and 40 minutes in winter. The cost of travel on the Albufeira Tourist Train will cost tourists 175 rubles. Children under the age of six years can ride for free.
Albufeira is located in the southern part of Portugal. It is the sunniest and brightest place, there are about 300 sunny days. The weather conditions are ideal for holidays. It is protected from cold winds by the mountains and from the south side a warm wind blows from the Atlantic currents.
In winter and summer the temperature here is not much different. In winter, the thermometer rarely falls below +16 degrees. In summer, the index stays at +26-27 degrees. Because the temperature is above zero in winter, instead of snowfall here is the rainy season. Beginning in late October and ending in March once a week you should be prepared for rain, and that is as a minimum.
Of course, most tourists come here to enjoy a beach vacation on one of Albufeira’s sandy shores. But besides that, you can also enjoy walking around the city itself. Here everything is made in the Moorish style. The greatest interest is certainly the historic part of town. There is a Moorish arch on the Travesa da Igreja Velha that is a reminder of Arab influence. The arch is all that is left of the mosque that once stood there.
There is also a museum to visit in Albufeira, the city’s art gallery. The gallery always has exhibitions throughout the season. Vacationers can also check out the virtual archaeological museum and the new marina. It has all the entertainment for any tourist.
To see the Castelo de Almoada fortress, you have to go to a village near the town called Paderne. This fortress was built back in the 12th century. You can go inside and see the ancient structure for free.
See the show of dolphins, seals and wild birds can be seen in the park Zoo Marine. It is worth going here for travelers with children.
Most vacationers come here precisely because of the local beaches. And the people of Albufeira really have something to be proud of. Within the city and its suburbs are quite a few beaches, but there are three main, which are of incredible beauty.
The most popular and largest beach in the city is Peneca. Some even call it “tunnel beach”. This name he got because the road to him runs through a small tunnel between the rocks. After the tunnel the traveler reaches the terrace. On Peneca there is everything for recreation. There are cafes, restaurants, everything for diving, windsurfing and much more.
Quite nearby is the beach of Pescadores. Its second name is “Beach fishermen. It differs from the first beach in that near the shore is a lot of fishing boats and boats. Here you can also book a boat tour along the coast of the city.
Well the third beach is nestled between the rocks and the famous complex here. It is a quiet place where not everyone comes to sunbathe and swim. That is why it is not as crowded as the other beaches. This beach is called Inatel.
All these beaches are right in Albufeira. But very nearby there are others that can be reached by car. You don’t have to book a cab to get there. You can rent a car and drive yourself to where you need to go.
That way you can leave and spend the whole day at San Rafael Beach. The beach is surrounded by rocks that have taken the most incredible shapes over time under the influence of the waves. There are also several small ponds that have been formed over time.
For those who want to go scuba diving and see the local sea life, Praia do Evaristo beach is the place to go. It is also away from the city.
There are plenty of places to stay in Alfoubeira, from cheap hostels to top class accommodations. About half of them are located in the old part of the city and adjacent regions.
Among the 4* hotels Rocamar Exclusive Hotel & Spa and Hotel Sol E Mar are the most popular. The price for a room in such a place starts at 15500 rubles.
Among the 3* hotels a special place takes Cheerfulway California Hotel and Colina do Mar rooms here are much cheaper, and the price range starts from 6,000 rubles per night.
For those who want to save money or tourists who have a limited budget should pay attention to the Lost & Found Hostel and DU4ARTE hostel, where rooms will cost about 2000 rubles.
The largest number of institutions, where you can eat are located in the Old Town or along the waterfront. Immediately it should be noted that the cost of a full meal in such places is much more expensive than elsewhere in the city.
Location on the ocean had a huge impact on the formation of national cuisine. There is simply a huge number of dishes prepared on the basis of seafood. Among the authentic dishes, the fish espada cooked with fried bananas, octopus in wine or fish shish kebab, fried shrimps or lobster pate occupies a special place.
If you have a desire to taste the city, you must try the cataplana. The dish was named after the dish in which it is prepared. This dish is served with rice or potatoes. The average cost of one serving will make up 1500 rubles, and the price also includes wine.
In addition to seafood, you can also try dishes based on meat, chicken, cornmeal.
There are many sweets. In most of them almonds are added. Especially popular among tourists are the famous almond balls or almond flour, as well as cakes with the addition of this nut.
Especially popular among tourists are restaurants Eurasia, Atrium, Casa da Fonte. In the restaurant called Granfinus Restaurant Bar & Terrace you can try the most delicious salad of octopus and sardines cooked on the grill, which give in with a salad or potatoes.
Prices in mid-level restaurants and cafes are quite democratic. For a dinner for two you will have to pay about 2500 rubles, this price will already include wine. At venues in the city center, such as Os Arcos Restaurante, for the same dinner you will have to pay already 3500-4000.
Very popular place is Dom Carlos. There are only 10 tables here, so you will need to book a place in advance. Here you will be served five courses for a dinner for 3500 rubles per person.
The portions at all establishments are large enough and everyone has an opportunity to order half a dish.
The budget-friendly establishments include Koala Garden and Monsoon. The second specialize in Thai and Indian cuisine and the prices here are an order of magnitude lower.
A huge number of stores where you can buy brand products, located on the Largo Eng Duarte Pacheco. This place attracts many tourists who want to please themselves with fashionable clothes.
From the square itself diverge five streets in different directions where there are many stores and souvenir shops. Here you can buy a variety of gifts for the lady. Each shop offers a variety of souvenirs and leather goods, as well as many Portuguese delicacies to choose from. On Rua 5 de Outubro there are many stores where you can buy high-end jewelry and watches from famous manufacturers.
Small boutiques are open 6 days a week. Sunday is a day off. The working day starts at 9:00 and lasts until 9:00 in the evening. The lunch break here lasts from one to three o’clock.
Major shopping centers are open without lunch from ten in the morning until ten in the evening. The two most popular shopping malls in Alfoubeira are the Centro Comercial Modelo Albufeira and the Algarve Shopping Mall. Here you can buy luxury perfumes, brand name clothes and shoes, souvenirs and products for children.
The Algarve Shopping Mall has many cafes and restaurants, a cinema and a huge selection of goods. In addition, there is a season of discounts. The first season officially begins on January 7 and lasts until February 28. The second period of discounts in summer, lasts from August 7 to September 30. Located outside the city, you can get here by cab for only 600 rubles. During discounts you can buy great stuff at a very reasonable price. This time it is very crowded, and it is best to come at the beginning of the period of discounts. This will give you the opportunity to choose the best products.
You can buy fruits, vegetables, and other things at an affordable price at the market. This market works only twice a month on the first and third Tuesday. From 9 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.
Video about the resort:
Alfoubeira is a great place not only for a beach holiday, but also a place where you can see many architectural monuments and enjoy the natural beauty of the region. The well-established infrastructure makes it possible to vacation in 2022 with full comfort at the most suitable price.