Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
Albufeira is one of the most popular and liveliest resorts in the Algarve. As well as the many great beaches on offer, there are some beautiful churches and pretty cobbled streets that are well worth a visit. There is a large selection of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes.
Albufeira has for many years been the most popular resort in the Algarve. Split into 2 main areas known as "The Old Town" and "The New Town".
The old part of town is a pedestrianised maze of cobbled streets centred round the main square. In and around the main square you will find lively bars and fantastic restaurants where you can sample the local dish of grilled sardines caught fresh from the famous Fishermans beach.
In stark contrast there is the New Town, centred around the lively "strip" area, packed with late night bars and discos. For even later night action you should visit the famous Kiss Nightclub, where you can dance until the sun comes up!!
At the very end of the Strip, and down "cardiac hill" you will find the beautiful Oura beach. All in all Albufeira is very popular with couples, families, the young and livelies and, of course, the young at heart. Fantastic holidays for everyone!
Stretching for some 30km the Albufeira coastline has around 25 beaches, from secluded spots ensconced by walls of rock to long stretches of golden sand backed by countless bars and restaurants.
Set in front of the old town are two beaches; the Fishermans Beach (Praia dos Pescadores) and adjoining Albufeira Beach (Praia do Tunel, accessed via a tunnel in the cliffs and a few steps). Both beaches are backed by many shops, bars and restaurants and are extremely popular during the height of the season.
The Praia da Oura (Oura Beach) is the nearest beach to the strip area and along with the ample sunbeds and umbrellas to hire there are watersports aplenty; pedal boats, banana boat rides, parasailing and windsurfing to name a few. There is a paved promenade behind the beach lined with all the expected tourist shops, cafes and restaurants.
Things to Do
There are 3 golf courses in the area (Salgados Golf 9km, Pine Cliffs Sheraton 9km and Balaia Golf Village 6km) and one Golf Academy, and there are many more within easy reach such as the Vilamoura golf courses just 12km away.
The Aqualand Waterpark is situated 15km outside of Albufeira and is open from the beginning of June to the beginning of September. Features of the waterpark include a variety of sized water-slides, a wave pool, a lazy river and two children's play-pools.
Just outside of the resort in Guia is the 'Zoomarine' sea-life amusement park, featuring dolphin, seals and sea lion presentations; and a shark aquarium. It even offers a large pool and waterslide making it a great day out for all ages.
Out and About
There are two areas in Albufeira good for nightlife, the 'street of bars' in the Old Town and the 'Strip' in Oura and Areias de S. Joao. Popular with those wanting to party till the early hours, the Albufeira Strip is packed with shops, themed pubs, bars and clubs, and restaurants offering the ubiquitous all day English breakfast.
The usual souvenir and tourist shops can be found all around the resort, or for a more 'high-street' experience there is a large shopping Mall in Guia, 5km away. Mainly an open air mall the 'Algarve Shopping' features a 'Continente' supermarket, cinema, a large food hall and numerous clothing, accessory, electrical and home furnishing shops, including many well known names.
Getting around the resort is easy thanks to the efficient and cheap Albufeira buses travelling between the Strip and other areas of Albufeira. There's also the quaint tourist train which travels between the Strip, Fishermans Beach and the Modelo supermarket, it runs throughout the day at regular intervals until late at night.
Albufeira has the remains of a castle dating from Roman times, most of which was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. The most visible remains are the clock tower (Torre do Relogio) found in the old town and part of the old castle wall in the Rua Joaquim Pedro Samora.
The marina is the starting point for many popular boat trips, fishing and diving excursions, lined with shops, bars and restaurants it's also a great spot to simply sit and watch the boats go by.
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