Difference between revisions of "Albufeira"
Revision as of 23:49, 31 July 2012
Albufeira is a city in Algarve, in the south of Portugal. Once a small fishing village it has now developed to be a very touristic area. Many holiday makers return year after year because of the lovely beaches, very good climate, proximity of many restaurants, bars and pubs.
The town is divided into 2 parts, 'The Old Town' and the 'STRIP', or newer town, including Montechoro, Arias de Sao João.
The train station (Albufeira - Ferreiras) is 6 kilometres from the centre. There is a city bus that can take you into town. A small number of taxis are also available, and are generally timed with the train stops . Be sure to grab one quickly, as it may be a while before another one turns up. Although no wifi is offered at the station itself, a small cafe nearby offers free wifi for its customers (and surprisingly delicious pastels de nata!).
Trains to Lagos & Faro take about one hour each. The train to/from Lisbon takes 3-4 hours. There is now a rapid train that takes 2 1/2 hours but with more limited runs. A student fare costs €17 (for Portuguese students only).
Long distance buses are also available in the city centre.
There are local buses that run throughout town - ask your hotel for a timetable.
Taxis are available and can usually be found in the city center.
Car rental facilities are located in the city center and include major international chains (Hertz, Europcar) as well as local ones. Even for the expert driver, getting around can be quite challenging in Albufeira as there are no street signs to navigate you through the maze-like structure of the endless roundabouts, making maps similarly difficult to interpret. Coupled with the high cost of car rentals, taxis or buses may be simpler modes of transportation.
Fishermans beach in the Old Town is the most famous attraction. Fishermen's boats are still pulled in every morning. The beach side is lined with restaurants, bars etc., and are open at night as well as during the daytime.
There is a great variety of beaches in Albufeira. The main beach near Old Town offers a variety of water sports including parasailing, jet-skiing, and kayaking.
There are many restaurants to choose from, with many of them offering traditional Portuguese fare as well as a wide variety of fresh seafood. Dishes involving different preparations of codfish are plentiful, and the Cataplana styled dishes are well known in this region. Shellfish such as prawns, lobster, and crab tend to be very expensive, while fish is much more affordable. For a break from seafood, try the chicken piri-piri (roasted chicken with a sort of spicey sauce).
Nightclubs, cafes and snack bars are abundant in both Old Town as well as The Strip. Since 2009 the prices have been reduced considerably due to the European recession. Everything is a bit more expensive in the discos at night, so many holiday makers will drink in the bars and go to the disco after 1am (they are open until 6am in the summer!)
Colina do Mar, Rua Maria Teresa Semedo Azevedo, 3, Albufeira 8200-155, Portugal
Lagos, Silves, Lagoa, Tavira, Evora, Milfontes, Troia, Lisbon.
Lisbon: From the Old Town to the railway station the easiest route is by taxi (it's 6km). This can be bought quite reasonably for 8-10€, and the journey time is 5-10mins. The first train leaves for Lisbon at 07:19am and takes 2h 40m, other services take 3h 20m so be sure to check when the trains arrive/depart. Definitely book and print tickets in advance, www.cp.pt (there's an English version, just click the flag). Return journey cost 32€ for a regular class seat. It's well worth the money and you see lots of Portugal on the way.