Albufeira is a beautiful and bustling beach resort on Portugal's Algarve coast. It is made up of two parts: the atmospheric and pretty Old Town and the Strip, which contains most of the hotels, bars and clubs. Albufeira has stunning beaches, excellent nightlife and is a firm favorite with many tourists.
The beaches of the Algarve coastline are famous and Albufeira has some fine examples, such as Praia dos Pescadores and Praia da Oura.
Albufeira's Strip is the place to go for some great clubs like Liberto's and Club Heaven. For a more laid back evening, try heading to Piccadilly cocktail bar in the Old Town.
The Algarve has a long and fascinating history, with lots of Moorish sites to visit. Make sure to visit the 12th century Castelo de Almoáda.
Albufeira has become known as a good spot for dolphin watching and there are a number of trips available from the marina.
The Algarve coastline has some of the best surfing in Europe and there are beaches with waves to suit everyone, from beginners to the pros.
Stretching out over more than three miles of sand, this stunning beach beckons guests with sun-kissed shores, red cliffs and an unearthly tranquility. Locals know the area as a beach town, and despite some tourism it's still a great example of authentic Portugal. Come stretch out on the sand or swim along shore for hours. Nearby towns make it easy to finish up your day at the beach with a meal or drink at an outdoor cafe.
Kids will love the massive water park that includes an astonishing variety of entertainment options. Water slides and themed rides will keep the young ones happy. Meanwhile, a wide variety of animal shows with trained sea creatures fill stadiums throughout the day. Kids even have the opportunity to swim with dolphins at this exciting adventure park. If you come during summer, you may be on time for the Sam's Club summer camp, which spans five days and features both fun and educational activities.
If you're looking for boating, restaurants and bars, this is the place for you. The Marina is situated right next to the quaint Old Town, which has many award-winning eateries. Finish your food and go on a walk down to the dock - you may find yourself hitching a ride on one of the many boats available for hire. During the day, you'll have the chance to rent rocket speed boats, jet skis and yachts. Or, try parasailing before chartering a dolphin safari. Either way, the Marina is an absolute must during your stay.
This local museum is a must for any history buff. Featuring artefacts found throughout the region that date back to prehistoric times, the establishment offers a fresh look at those who used to call this place their home. Top pieces in the collection include a Neolithic vase from 5000 BC. After checking out the permanent collection, head upstairs for one of the rotating temporary exhibits. While the museum is small, it's a great compliment to any stay in the town, as it shows that Albufeira is more than just a beach town.
During your time in Albufeira, you'll have the chance to visit one of the seven castles that graces the Portuguese flag: the Castelo de Paderne. Consisting of strong sandstone walls clustered on the top of a hill that commands arresting views over the nearby landscape, the castle is a great day trip from the town center. The castle is reachable on foot, and the hike to the fortifications is in itself a worthy attraction. It's a must for anyone interested in medieval history and Portugal's Moorish heritage.
Albufeira benefits from a warm southern European climate and is comfortable all year round. The peak season is the summer months, when most people visit for the great weather and beaches.
The nearest airport is Faro International, which has lots of scheduled services across Europe. A taxi to Albufeira will cost around EUR70.00.
There are regular trains from Faro, Lagos and Lisbon. Fares from Faro are from EUR17.
The main A22 route runs right along the Algarve coast from Lagos to Faro.
Regular buses run from Faro to Albufeira. The express service takes 55 minutes and is EUR5.50, while the slower but more frequent local bus is EUR3.85.
Varandas de Albufeira on Rua do Indico have rooms from EUR26, while Encosta da Orada on Rua Jose Ramos Pimenta is a more luxurious option, with rooms from EUR150.
The Strip - This is at the heart of Albufeira's nightlife scene and has lots of modern hotels along the beachfronts.
The Old Town - The Old Town offers a more relaxed environment and has some smaller hotels set in atmospheric squares with some of the best restaurants in town.
Praia da Galé - This is around 10 minutes out of town and is ideal for those seeking a quieter beach holiday experience.
Albufeira has a good local bus service with a flat fare of just EUR1.40.
Taxis are an easy way to get around town, with an initial fare of EUR3.50 and then around EUR1.50 per mile
The roads in and around Albufeira are good and car rental is widely available in the center of town from EUR30 per day.
Avenida Sá Carneira on the Strip is a good place to find jewelry, pottery and beach goods, while Avenida da Liberdade in the Old Town is excellent for fashion and souvenirs.
A quart of milk in Albufeira is priced at EUR0.62, while a dozen eggs will cost EUR1.60.
Blue Sky on Areias S. João is a good place to try local specialties, such as chicken piri piri and cataplana. Expect to pay around EUR15 for mains. Vila Joya Restaurant at Praia da Galé is one of Portugal's finest Michelin-starred restaurants, with superb seafood dishes and dinner at upwards of EUR100.