Out of the Algarve’s 30 kilometres of sun-kissed coastline, Albufeira contains some of the most beautiful stretches of sand.
White houses glimmer on the town hillside as residents and visitors alike lay on the glorious beach – voted one of the finest in Europe. Old fortresses hint at a fascinating past, while the ruins of a Roman settlement and century old churches make for a days of fun-filled exploration. An Albufeira holiday is the kind during which you watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand after a day of discovery and well-deserved pampering.
Broken up into three distinct areas, a holiday to Albufeira could see you staying in western, central or eastern Albufeira. Many of the resorts are found around the centre of the town, right beside the long sandy beach, top attractions and lively restaurants. Parts of the Old Town still retain a deep sense of charm, with the quaint cobbled streets and single story houses creating a picturesque image of an older Algarve.
For a little more seclusion, choose one of the neighbouring areas like Olhos de Agua. Here you can still access the town in a matter of minutes, but also have a respite from the activity.
Top hotels in Albufeira
Paraiso de Albufeira Aparthotel
Auramar Beach Resort
Muthu Clube Praia Da Oura
Alfamar Villas - Algarve Gardens Apartments
Albufeira Jardim I & II Apartments
Building sandcastles, jumping in the sea, making new friends, and eating ice cream may be at the top of your child’s list for a fantastic summer holiday. Parents might add useful services like babysitters, mini clubs, and entertainment geared to all …
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Portuguese
- Time Zone: GMT +0
- Average flight time: 2h 55m
When to go
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Albufeira is the most popular visitor destination in the whole Algarve region, much loved and frequented by British holidaymakers year after year, and with an excellent climate to match. As such, this former fishing village offers everything you'd expect from a bustling seaside town, including plenty of restaurants, family amenities, and no shortage of bars and pubs. It also provides a great base for exploring over a dozen beaches in the nearby area, ranging from the seriously crowded to the more secluded and remote. You’ll be spoiled for choice with all the fun things to do in Albufeira.
A tourism capital in Portugal, visitors are drawn to Albufeira for the fascinating blend of history, beautiful architecture and, of course, award winning Blue Flag beaches.
A holiday to Albufeira will appeal to history buffs keen to see the legacy that ancient civilisations have left all over the roads, bridges and buildings of the town.
Easy to navigate and use, the public transport system in Albufeira means that you don’t need to hire a car, making life that little bit easier. The town is also very compact, allowing you to walk to most restaurants bars and beaches.
Like most places in the Algarve, Albufeira receives warm weather throughout most of the year, with very little rain. While the sea is at its warmest in July and August, you can escape the crowds by visiting in the cooler months for a slice of winter sun.
Wine and Dine
Unsurprisingly for a coastal town with a large fishing fleet, seafood is plentiful in the local restaurants, and must count as another of Albufeira's attractions. Here you'll find fresh sardines, tuna, cod, and monkfish on the menu, as well as plentiful supplies of clams, oysters, prawns, plus octopus and squid. If you enjoy your fish grilled, and your atmosphere warm and friendly, we'd recommend a meal at Tasquinha do Rossio, located in the beach-front area of the old town.
There are plenty of Albufeira attractions which will appeal to the kids. Not least of these is Zoomarine Algarve, an oceanic theme park open from March until the end of October. Located 10km from Albufeira, it's well worth the short journey, with more than enough activities to keep the little ones entertained. These include an aquarium, sea lion shows, bird of prey demonstrations, plus a fantastic opportunity to interact with trained bottlenose dolphins! Covering 16000 acres, Slide and Splash is Portugal's largest water park and widely considered to be one of the best in Europe. And with direct bus transfers from Albufeira itself, it's easily within reach. For the adults, there are thrilling chutes and slides galore, including the Kamikaze, the Bonzai, and The Black Hole. Meanwhile, the children´s area is an absolute treat, with a water-spitting dragon and the chance to slide down an elephant´s trunk.
Action and Adventure
There's no shortage of things to do in Albufeira, whether taking to the waves or remaining on shore. One of our favourite watery day-trips is the Algarve Pirate Ship Cruise. Once you're on board “The Little Lion,” you can sit back and enjoy some smooth sailing along the Algarve coastline, as the caves and rock formations go passing by. Either that or keep an eye out for the local dolphins. Back on dry land, why not head for Almanicol Karting, on the road to Faro, and take a spin around its model replica of the Brazilian Formula One circuit.
Life's a Beach
You won't need to wander far to get off the beaten track, and another of Albufeira attractions are those quieter beaches within easy reach, only minutes away from the Marina. Praia de São Rafael is one such option, a long sandy bay sheltered by ochre and red cliffs, offering easy access via steps and with a single beach bar for snacks and drinks. Praia dos Arrifes is another option, close to the village resort of Sesmarias, and with stunning rock formations to marvel at. Although it's not the largest of beaches, especially at high tide, it does offer spectacular views across the bay.
When night arrives in Albufeira, attention turns to its famous strip, where the music is pumping and the party people come to get down! The south end is the livelier of the two, with a densely packed mix of bars, world famous DJs in attendance, plus karaoke, live music, and bucking broncos. There are also no shortage of happy hour offers and drinks promotions, making it a good place for those on a budget to let their hair down. For those who want to party until dawn, Kiss Club fits the bill, offering everything from RnB to electro beats. The north end of the strip is a little calmer, with more of an emphasis on shopping, and with a garden area towards the far end. Meanwhile, for those who prefer something altogether quieter, we'd recommend the laid-back charm of Albufeira old town, with its pleasant central square surrounded by street cafés.
The Algarve is a fantastically romantic place, the scenery everywhere is conducive to good feelings and so even strolling through the surf on the white sand is sure to be a romantic activity. For a romantic day trip, take a cruise on the Catamaran Mara and watch the sunset while drinking champagne, even take a dip from the boat if you feel like it.
There are lots of hotels to choose from that are adults only, so that you can have some quiet time away from children and there are plenty of restaurants perfect for the a romantic meal with sea views and fine food.
Albufeira is big on celebrations and throughout the summer particularly there are lots of festivities to take part in. From June to September there are events organised throughout the town with dance and music and theatre featuring heavily. There is a big jazz festival in September if you are visiting then, this is definitely worth sticking around for. In July, the Festa do Frango no Churrasco is a 3 day celebration of chicken! Chicken barbecues are held on the beach and other festivities as well all centred around the chicken! In August there is Albufeira’ municipal holiday with fireworks in the evening and sports events throughout the day and the 14th is the celebration of the patron saint of fishermen. There is a procession to the beach and back to the church with entertainment throughout the town.