Albufeira – the city of rising from the ashes

Albufeira: relaxation, entertainment and ancient history in the south of Portugal

Albufeira Portugal

The town of Albufeira, Portugal is a southern resort of the Algarve region. Tourists from all over the world come here to enjoy the magnificent beaches of the ocean coast, have fun in the nightclubs, taste the local cuisine in the many restaurants, admire the lush nature, walk through the streets of the old town, which has preserved the atmosphere of the fishing village and architectural sights.

Geography and Climate

Albufeira is found in the south of Portugal in the sunniest region of the country, surrounded by mountains which shelter it from the northern winds. This results in a hot summer with temperatures of between +27 and +30 degrees and a comfortable winter with an average temperature of 16 degrees. The main rainfall occurs from October to March.

The high tourist season is considered the hottest months – July and August, when the air temperature rises to +30 and the water gets as warm as +24.

September is the velvet season with more comfortable temperatures and still warm sea. This is the best time for holidays with children. The beach season ends in October.

History

Houses in Albufeira

Albufeira was founded many centuries ago and began as a fishing village. Later the Romans settled here and named the place Baltum. The current name of the resort comes from the Arabic word “Al-buhera”, meaning “sea castle”.

The settlement was surrounded by strong walls during Arab rule, making it possible to preserve it for long periods untouched.

Albufeira Portugal

By Luc.T from Buggenhout, België – Albufeira, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47419619

The Mauritanian power fell in 1249, and in the early 16th century Albufeira became part of the Kingdom of Portugal.

The town was virtually destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, after which it remained a small fishing village until the early 20th century. The development of Albufeira as a tourist town only began in the ’60s.

City transport

Albufeira tourist train

Albufeira tourist train

Despite the fact that Albufeira is a small town, it is quite difficult to get around on foot because of its location on a hilly terrain. The constant ups and downs can be tiring.

To avoid fatigue, the city is convenient to move on an unusual transport,

resembling a mini-train – Albufeira tourist train. In fact, it is a car with attached carriages. Such trains move through the city with a frequency of 20 minutes in summer and 40 minutes in winter, the fare – 2.2 euros, children under 6 years of age ride free.

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Albufeira and five bus routes

There are five bus routes in Albufeira, which bypass the main attractions of the city. The ticket costs 1.3. euros.

If you prefer a cab, you have to pay 2.8. euros for boarding and then 0.5 euros for each kilometer of the trip.

Where to stay

This small resort offers a huge range of accommodation options from economy hostels to luxury apartments. Here you can rent a room in a guesthouse or book a room in a luxury hotel. Hotels 3* and above are equipped with free Wi-Fi, and rooms have air conditioning and TV. If you prefer to cook on your own, choose accommodation with a kitchen.

To save money on lodging, you can settle on the outskirts of the resort or outside the city. According to reviews of tourists who have visited Albufeira, the service of hotels remote from the center is not inferior in quality to the central.

How to get to Albufeira

Albufeira itself has no airport, but you can fly into one of the nearby airports – Lisbon or Faro, and then drive to the resort.

The distance from Lisbon to Albufeira is 250 kilometers.

  • The most convenient option is the train from Lisboa Oriente central station. The trip takes 3 hours and costs from 20.6 euros depending on the train and type of carriage. But if you buy the ticket in advance, you can get it for 9 euros.
  • The bus leaves for the resort from both bus stations in Lisbon. The trip takes about 3 hours and the ticket price is 18,5 euros.

How to get to Albufeira

Train station in Albufeira

The distance from Faro to Albufeira is 40 kilometers.

  • The best way to get there is to take a bus directly from the airport or from the bus station in the city. The journey takes about an hour, the fare is 5 euros.
  • Directly at the airport in Faro you can rent a car. The cost of the service is about 50 euros per day.
  • A cab will take you from the airport to the resort in half an hour, the cost will be about 40 euros.

Attractions

Albufeira – it is not only a great beach holiday, but also a rich history and a lot of entertainment. To make it easier for tourists to navigate, there are signs in the city, with which it is easy to find the main attractions.

Old Town of Albufeira

Old Town in the Early Morning

Most tourists visit Albufeira’s central Old Town area first thing. The narrow streets are lined with white stone buildings from Moorish times – well-preserved from ancient times, having survived both earthquakes and wars. As a reminder of Arab rule, a fragment of an arch mosque has been preserved here. The main sanctuary is the Church of St. Anne – one of the attractions of the old city. Be sure to visit the temple, you will be delighted with its decoration: the interior is decorated with exquisite decoration and frescoes. If a long walk around the Old Town tires you out, try the cuisine of one of the local cafes serving fresh seafood and national dishes.

Beaches

Albufeira Town, Portugal

Albufeira’s beaches are a real magnet for tourists. All beaches are equipped with changing rooms and toilets, sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented on the spot. A relaxing holiday here is perfectly combined with active water activities: surfing, diving, water-skiing, jet-skiing. It is worth noting that almost all beaches are characterized by strong waves, for holidays with children it is better to choose options with bays.

There are three beaches in the city:

    The most popular is the central Praia dos Pescadores or Pescadores (“fishermen’s beach”). It occupies a huge area on the edge of the old town and even in high season it’s not hard to find a free spot. The beach has an elevator and escalators for your comfortable descent and ascent. In addition to beach recreation here you can dance zumba and other dances or play volleyball. Fishing boat rides are organized from the pier.

The Beaches of Albufeira

Beaches at low tide

Several dozen beaches are located near Albufeira:

    Sao Rafael – or São Rafael – is one of Portugal’s most picturesque beaches, surrounded by carved limestone cliffs. The scenery attracts tourists here also for the spectacular pictures. The beach is small, almost always crowded, for a quiet holiday you can choose one of the coves. From Albufeira to San Rafael is about 5 kilometers: you can walk or take a cab.

Several dozen beaches

Albufeira beach

Marina de Albufeira

Albufeira Marina

By Patrick Nouhailler from Genève, Suisse – Albufeira, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58715791

The luxurious Marina de Albufeira is located 4 kilometers west of the resort. From here you can take a boat trip or sightseeing tour along the coastline from the sea.

Parque Aventura Parque Aventura in Albufeira

In the forest next to Golden Beach is the Parque Aventura, an amusement park that will definitely appeal to lovers of outdoor activities. Here you can test your strength and stamina on obstacle courses of different difficulty levels consisting of several attractions: a cable car, a monkey bridge, mazes resembling a huge spider’s web, slides and other tasks. The safety of the participants is supervised by experienced park workers.

Largo Engenhairo Duarte Pacheco

Albufeira's main street

This commercial district of Albufeira is named after the Portuguese statesman and famous engineer. Along the pedestrian streets are restaurants, cafes, stores and market stalls where you can buy both famous brands of clothing and local producers, as well as souvenirs.

Museu Arqueológico Albufeira Archaeological Museum

The Albufeira Archaeological Museum has a collection of artifacts from different eras. There are artifacts from the Roman, Arab, and Visigothic periods, such as ancient mosaics, tools from the Stone Age, and a collection of keys from the 16th century.

Igreja de São Sebastião

San Sebastian Church

By CTHOE – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4794367

The small eighteenth-century church of São Sebastião was built in the Baroque style. It is notable for its gilded wood altar and carved entrance. The facade bears a plaque commemorating San Vicente, the town’s patron saint. Several cherubs adorn the interior of the church. There are periodic exhibitions of religious artifacts.

Zoomarine

Families with children should visit the Zoomarine Algarve theme park 7 kilometers northwest of Albufeira. You can get here by bus.

Seals, dolphins, birds and seals are a big attraction for kids and adults alike. The aquarium of the park allows you to see the underwater fauna, and there are several species of sharks to admire.

There is also a variety of entertainments on the territory of the park:

SEAL Show at Zoomarin

SEAL Show in Zoomarin

  • 4D-cinema, where you can take a virtual journey over the ocean;
  • flying on a pirate ship;
  • Ferris wheel;
  • water slides, swimming pools.

Visitors will not stay hungry after such active rest: there is a cafe in the park.

Krazy’s World Krazy's World

Krazy World is another theme park with a mini-zoo with domestic animals, reptiles, and several species of exotic animals. Children can ride a pony, older tourists are offered quad bikes and a golf course. You can escape the heat by diving into the pool.

The world of the Krazi is located 13 kilometers north of Albufeira in Lagoa de Viseu.

Castelo de Paderne.

Of great interest to fans of ancient archeology are the ruins of the Moorish castle Castelo de Paderne – the main historical monument of the XII century, located in the village of the same name 15 kilometers from Albufeira. It rises on a hill overlooking the picturesque valley, the Carteira River and the Roman Bridge. ***

View of Albufeira

View of Albufeira from the Riviera Coffee House

Once you visit Albufeira, you want to return here to enjoy again the sunlight on the golden sand of the beaches, dive into the ocean waves, walk among the ancient houses. The cozy atmosphere of this Portuguese resort will be remembered forever.

Albufeira

Albufeira (Portugal) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Albufeira with descriptions, guides and maps.

City of Albufeira (Portugal)

Albufeira is a city in the very south of Portugal in the historical region of the Algarve. It is the main resort of the Faro District and boasts gorgeous beaches, a picturesque old center and a bustling atmosphere. Albufeira is once a quiet fishing village that still retains its traditional character and lovely provincial charm. Its heart is a maze of steep narrow streets with white-washed houses and fishermen’s houses that lead to a magnificent beach.

What to do (Portugal):

Sintra, the Atlantic, and Cape Roca

Sintra, the Atlantic and Cape Roca

Experience the edge of the world at sunset, visit a fairytale castle and enjoy the ocean at Guincho Beach

All around Lisbon on foot, by streetcar, cable car, and elevator.

€145 per excursion

All Lisbon: on foot, by streetcar, cable car and elevator

A colorful stroll through the multifaceted city with a glass of liquor or a cup of coffee in hand

Geography and Climate

Albufeira is located in the south of Portugal in the district of Faro. The city is located on the Atlantic coast 250 km from Lisbon. It has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters.

Albufeira has a beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear sea. It is 2 km long and is divided into three parts: Praia dos Pescadores, Praia do Inatel, Praia dos Alemães.

Algarve Coast

Algarve Coast

Tourist information

  1. Population – 40 thousand people.
  2. Area – 140.66 km 2 .
  3. Language: Portuguese.
  4. Currency – euros.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. Time – UTC 0, in summer +1.
  7. The railway station is located 6 km from the center. Train connections to Albufeira are available from Lisbon and Faro.
  8. The main shopping streets are Avenida Sá Carneira (Strip) and Avenida da Liberdade (old town).
  9. Albufeira boasts over 500 restaurants offering a wide variety of Portuguese cuisine and some delicious seafood.

History

Albufeira was supposedly founded in prehistoric times as a fishing settlement. It was later occupied by the Romans and named Baltum. The city’s modern name comes from the Arabic word “Al-buhera,” which means “sea castle. The Arabs built strong defensive constructions, making the area virtually impregnable. This allowed them to keep this land for the longest time.

City panorama

Panorama of the city

Albufeira was not liberated from Moorish influence until 1249. In 1504 the city became part of the Portuguese kingdom. In 1755 a major earthquake caused a surge that virtually destroyed the city. Until the early 20th century Albufeira was a small fishing village. The city began to develop as a tourist center in the 1960s.

Attractions

Albufeira beach

Albufeira Beach

The main attraction of Albufeira is a beautiful beach with golden sand and blue sea. It is also close to Praia da Oura beach and the picturesque Olhos da Água.

Marina

Albufeira Marina

Albufeira Marina is a luxury marina located four kilometers to the west of the resort.

Old Town

Old Town

Albufeira Old Town is filled with bustling life, many restaurants and stores. These lively pedestrian streets are lined with typical white houses and have the typical charm of a popular resort.

In Praça da República you can visit the archaeological museum with artifacts from the Roman, Visigoth and Moorish periods.

San Sebastian

Church of San Sebastian

The Church of San Sebastian is an underrated cultural attraction in Albufeira. This Baroque building dates from the 18th century and has a rare gilded wood altar.

Nossa Senhora da Conceição

Nossa Senhora da Conceição

Nossa Senhora da Conceição is a beautiful parish church built in the late 18th century. This one-nave building is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and houses her prized image.

Santa Ana Church

Santa Ana Church

Santa Ana Church is an 18th-century single-nave religious structure located in the old town of Albufeira. It is famous for its beautiful Baroque altar and carved statues. The current building was built to replace the older St. Anne’s Chapel, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1755.

Castelo de Paderne

Castelo de Paderne

12 km from Albufeira are the ruins of Castelo de Paderne, a 12th century Moorish castle built on the site of an earlier Roman fortification.

Interesting excursions

Understand and love Lisbon

€125 per excursion

Understand and love Lisbon

Stroll through historic districts and picturesque corners of the city

Tasty Porto!

€80 per tour

Tasty Porto!

Taste the main delicacies of Portuguese cuisine in the favorite restaurants of locals.

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