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).Timetables and Prices
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.
- Castelo de Almoáda, Paderne, . Moorish 12th century castle. Free Entrance. (37º09'25.85'',08º12'00.34)
The main attraction of the Algarve is the extended coast line with its numerous beaches. Especially during the busy summer holidays, you will find the larger beaches filled with beach chairs and parasols and usually one or more places where you can book water sport activities like parasailing and jet-skiing. Most beaches have life guards on duty during the summer period.
In Albufeira there is a great variety of beaches:
- Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermans Beach) – next to the old town of Albufeira. Here you can find a boulevard with many restaurants
- Praia do Peneco – Also in the old town. At the end of Rua 5 de Outubro, straight ahead through the Tunnel
- Praia da Oura – At the end of the well known “ Strip” (Avenida Sá Carneira) you keep walking down, until you reach the waterfront.
If you don´t like the large crowds, there are many smaller secluded beaches, ideal if you travel with small children or just if you like something more characteristic:
- Praia dos Arrifes & Praia de São Rafael – in São Rafael (minutes away from the Marina of Albufeira)
- Praia do Coelho, Praia do Castelo, Praia do Evaristo – here you can see the large rock formations and little basins where the kids can enjoy the sea
- Praia do Lourenço & Praia da Galé – in Galé (about a 10 minute drive from the city of Albufeira)
- Zoomarine, EN 125 65KM (Guia), . (Lat. 37.7.37 N,Long. 8.18.50 W)
- Balaia Golf Course, Sitio da Balaia (Albufeira), ☎ 00351 289 570 200.
- Pince Cliffs Golf, Praia da Falésia, Apartado 644, Falésia (Sheraton Algarve, Albufeira), ☎ 00351 289 500 377 (fax: 289 501 311).
- Medieval Fair June 6, 2013 - June 9, 2013, Marina de Albufeira. €3/adults, €1/kids.
- The Strip, Avenida Sá Carneira. Road with many souvenir shops, where you will find for example portuguese pottery, beach articles, jewelry and much more!
- Avenida da Liberdade, Old Town of Albufeira. Road with many souvenir shops, where you will find for example portuguese pottery, beach articles, jewelry and much more!
- Rooster of Barcelos, Any souvenir shop. A typical portuguese souvenir, supposedly bringing you "good luck"
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 spicy sauce).
As a general rule, places near the beaches tend to offer average to downright bad quality food for 'touristy' prices, but as you go uphill the quality gets better.
- A Ruina, Cais Herculano (Fishermans Beach), ☎ 00351 289 612 094.
- Cabana Fresca, Cais Herculano (Fishermans Beach), ☎ 00351 289 585 456.
- Casa da Fonte, Rua João de Deus 7 (Albufeira), ☎ 00351 289 514 578.
- Dream Wave, Albufeira (Albufeira Marina), ☎ +351 962 003 885.
- Bom Garfo, Estrada de Sta Eulalia (Albufeira Oura area), ☎ 00351 289 541 627.
- Teodosio, (Guia), ☎ 00351 289 541 627. Specialized in Chicken Piri-Piri
- Vila Joya Restaurant, Praia da Galé, ☎ +351 289 591 795, . 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.
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!)
- Apartamentos Marina de Albufeira, Galeria Comercial da Orada, Lt. 6, Nº 35 Marina de Albufeira (The property is also located just a few minutes' drive from the beaches and 27 km from Faro Airport.), ☎ +351 289 582 044, . All rooms are equipped with kitchen, dining area, washing machine, balcony and TV. Some of its facilities and services are restaurant, bar, outdoor swimming pool, tours/ticket assistance, room service, airport shuttle, car rental and laundry service. Rates start at 145.98 EUR.
- Varandas de Albufeira, Rua do Indico 14, ☎ +351 289 540 850, . checkin: 02:00 PM; checkout: 10:00 AM. This hotel in Albufeira offers rooms equipped with cable TV, air conditioning and kitchenette. Some of its facilities and services are restaurant, bar, game room, billiards, outdoor swimming pool, safe deposit boxes and housekeeping. Rates start at 26.00 EUR.
- Valmangude Jardim, Rua Dunfermline, Lote 5/7, ☎ +351 289580820, . All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, cable television and kitchenette. Some of its facilities and services are bar, pool bar, outdoor swimming pool, billiards, 24 hour front desk, safe deposit boxes, high-speed internet access and housekeeping. Rates start at 78.00 EUR.
- Perola do Algarve, Rua do Pacífico, Lote 24, ☎ +351 289 540 850, . checkin: 02:00 PM; checkout: "10:00. Perola do Algarve offers rooms equipped with cable TV, air conditioning and kitchenette. Some of its facilities and services are bar, pool bar, restaurant, game room, outdoor swimming pool, air-conditioned public areas, billiards, 24-hour front desk and housekeeping. Rates start at 45.50 EUR.
- Vila Galé Cerro Alagoa, Rua do Munícipio, Lote 26 8200-916, ☎ (+351) 289 583 100 ([email protected]), . 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 ([email protected]), . 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 ([email protected]), . Located right at Praia da Galé, 5 minutes away from Albufeira. Online booking.
- Porto Bay Falésia, Quinta do Milharó, Olhos d´Água, ☎ (+351) 289 007 700 ([email protected]), . Located over the red cliffs and with direct access to the beach.
There's also a pascha which is very nice, only 3 euros to get in! ....
- Eden Resort, Vale de Santa Maria, ☎ (+351) 289 002 700 ([email protected]), . A condominium with luxury villas and apartments.
- Encosta da Orada, Rua Jose Ramos Pimenta, ☎ +351 289 381 551, . Encosta da Orada offers rooms equipped with television, kitchenette, refrigerator and microwave and has a swimming pool, casino, garden, tennis court, golf course, room service, dry cleaning, parking, bicycle rental and airport shuttle. Rates start at 145.98 EUR.
- Jardins de Santa Eulalia, Estrada de Santa Eulalia (500 m from Santa Eulália Beach), ☎ +351 289 381 551, . Jardins de Santa Eulalia offers rooms equipped with in-room safe, kitchenette, refrigerator, fireplace, television and dining area, and has a bar/lounge, garden, outdoor swimming pool, airport shuttle, laundry service and car rental service. Rates start at 145.98 EUR.
Lagos, Silves, Lagoa, Tavira, Evora, Milfontes, Troia, 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.
Sand Sculpture Festival Algarve
- Alte - known for its Springs, typical Algarve village
- Castle of Silves - Silves, about 19 km (12 miles) from Albufeira
- International Sand Sculpture Festival - Each year from May 25th - October 25th in Pêra (about 28 minute drive from Albufeira )