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Albufeira

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Southern Portugal : Algarve : Albufeira
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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.

Get in

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 so be sure to grab one quickly, as it may be a while before another one turns up.

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 and go the city centre.

Get Around

Walk to the beach 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.


By car

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.

See

  • Castelo de Almoáda, Paderne, [1]. Moorish 12th century castle. Free Entrance. (37º09'25.85'',08º12'00.34)

Do

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.

Buy

Eat

There are many restaurants to choose from, with many of them offering traditional Portuguese fare as well as a wide variety of fresh seafood. Codfish dishes are plentiful, and the Cataplana styled dishes are well known in this region.

  • Dream Wave, Albufeira (Albufeira Marina), +351 962 003 885, [2].
  • O Bom Garfo, in the Oura zone.
  • Teodosio In Guia. Specializes in Chicken Piri-Piri.
  • Vila Joya Restaurant, Praia da Galé, +351 289 591 795, [3]. One of the top Michelin Restaurants in Portugal, Vila Joya resembles a small oriental palazzo and is nestled in a breathtaking garden setting on a cliff with stunning views facing the sea.

Drink

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!)

Sleep

Colina do Mar, Rua Maria Teresa Semedo Azevedo, 3, Albufeira 8200-155, Portugal

Mid-range

  • Porto Bay Falésia, Quinta do Milharó, Olhos d´Água, (+351) 289 007 700 (), [4]. Located over the red cliffs and with direct access to the beach. *Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa, Rua do Munícipio, Lote 26 8200-916, (+351) 289 583 100 (), [5]. On the banks of the Ria Formosa, the interior is said to have an Arabian ambience of old southern Portugal. Online booking
  • Vila Galé Atlântico, Praia da Galé, Lote 7 - Apartado 108 8201-902, (+351) 289 570 800 (), [6]. Close to Praia da Galé and only 6 km away from the centre of city. Online booking
  • Vila Galé PRAIA, Praia da Galé, Lote 33 - Apartado 2204 8201-917, (+351) 289 590 180 (), [7]. Located right at Praia da Galé, 5 minutes away from Albufeira. Online booking.
  • Eden Resort, Vale de Santa Maria, (+351) 289 002 700 (), [8]. A condominium with luxury villas and apartments.


There's also a pascha which is very nice, only 3 euros to get in! ....

Get Out

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.



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