Portugal City Travel Guide: Albufeira & The Algarve
Albufeira (from the Arabic al-buhera meaning "Castle on the Sea") is a fun resort, popular with people from the UK of all ages, with plentiful nightlife and things to do for children during the day. Enjoy a stroll on the pedestrianized seafront, a drink in one of the town's many fine bars and a sample a variety of food that takes in British fish and chips as well as Indian and Thai curries.
The Algarve continues to thrive as Portugal's most popular destination and Albufeira holidays set the scene for the perfect getaway, with stunning beaches, a beautiful climate, and a huge variety of bars and restaurants.
Beach at Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Looking down at the beach and sea at Albufeira
The beach in town is the Praia do Penico but there are other fine beaches within easy reach: to the east of the town centre is Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen's Beach) about half a kilometer distant, Praia da Oura about 3km, Praia da Falésia 10km and Balaia and Olhos de Água slightly nearer to town. All of these beaches can be easily reached by local bus. To the west of Albufeira are some beaches located in coves such as the jet-ski and water-skiing center of Praia da Galé. Easily reached by car, there is no direct bus - its a 2km walk from the main road to Portimão.
Back in Albufeira town the main square is the pretty Largo Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco. Albufeira is all about sand, sea and fun but for sightseeing there's a free Archeological Museum (Museu Arqueológico) in the old town hall, the Ermide de São Sebastião and the Igreja de Santana - two historic chuches set in the old town. Albufeira's main festival is the Festa da Ourada held on August 14 which celebrates the patron saint of fishermen with a procession and giant fireworks display.
Other things to do besides soaking up the sun on the beach include a visit to Zoomarine (Tel: 289 560 300) 8km northwest in Guia with a host of swimming pools, water slides as well as an aquarium and dolphin shows.
Aqualand - The Big One (Tel: 282 320 230) claims to be Portugal's biggest water-theme park with a variety of huge water slides and pools. Aqualand is 15km from Albufeira in Alcantarilha. There are buses from town.
Aqua Show (Tel: 289 389 396) claims Europe's largest wave pool and also has exotic wildlife, bungee jumping, mini-golf and various water rides. Aqua Show is in Vilamoura, 10km east of Albufeira.
There are numerous golf courses in the Algarve, riding facilities and tennis courts within easy reach.
Beach homes in Albufeira, Algarve
Fishing boat, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Rua 5 de Outubro (tel. 289 585 279)
Albufeira bus station (tel: 289 589 755) is 2km north of town reached by a shuttle bus from outside the Bus Shop on Avenida da Liberdade. There are buses to Faro, Lagos and to Lisbon as well as to Heulva in Spain for Sevilla.
Albufeira easily connects with the east-west IP1/EO1 (for the Algarve and Spain) and north-south A2/E1 (for Setubal and Lisbon) motorways. From the west, take Route 125. From Spain, get onto N125 going west or the IP1/EO1 motorway.
From the Airport
The nearest airport is Faro 40 minutes by bus to the east.
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Albufeira has some of the most varied cuisine outside of Lisbon from traditional Portuguese through Indian, Chinese and British-style breakfasts and fish and chips.
Rua Candido dos Reis is the centre of the bar and disco scene as rival establishments compete for your Euro.
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The average high June temperatures for Portugal is between 22 degrees Centigrade and 26 degrees Centigrade.