This one time small fishing village with it´s pretty cobbled streets and beautiful sandy beaches has something for everyone whether you are a family group, couples or singles.
Originally known as Baltum and then re-named Al-Buhera by the Moorish settlers in the 8th Century, Albufeira has everything you need for the perfect holiday.
In Albufeira Old Town the original charm remains. With its whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and central square decorated with trees and colourful shrubs, you can take time to relax at one of the many outdoor cafés and restaurants. The labyrinth of streets leading off of the square are a shoppers delight with clothes shops, leather goods, gift shops, street stalls and of course, all the more practical shops for day to day necessities.
If you are looking for a more lively nightlife, with bars and clubs then you will enjoy the Areias de São João area, home to "the strip", otherwise known as Avenida Dr Francisco Sà Carneiro, or nearby Montechoro, both of which are about 2kms from Albufeira old town.
On the western outskirts of the town is Albufeira Marina with its candy coloured apartments. The marina is the starting point for a variety of boat trips, fishing trips and diving excursions. Or alternatively take a stroll along the boardwalk, or enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the marinas many fine restaurants or cafés.
Just around the corner is the fishing port where you can see the fishermen going about their daily business and also get a lovely view of Albufeira across the bay.
Last but not least Albufeira has a great choice of sandy beaches, some of the cleanest and best kept in the Algarve. There are two main beaches in Albufeira itself - 'Fisherman’s beach' (Praia dos Pescadores) and Albufeira beach (Praia do Túnel). On the easterly side of town is the golden expanse of Praia de Oura Beach close to "the strip" . The smaller beaches of Coelha, São Rafael and Vigia are close by, surrounded by colourful rocks and cliffs.
Albufeira, like many Algarve towns, has the remains of a castle dating from Roman times, but most of the castle along with the town, was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. The most visible pointer to the castle remains is the Torre do Relógio (clock tower), which was built on one of the old castle towers, and is normally lit up on festive occasions. During the "War of the Miguels" the town was besieged and set ablaze. The destroyed town consequently suffered a very long period of poverty and really only recovered with the boom of tourism in the later half of the 20th Century.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN OR NEAR ALBUFEIRA:
Torre do Relógio (The clock tower): One of the major landmarks in Albufeira, surviving the earthquake of 1755.
Arco da Travessa da Igreja Velha: Originally the site of an Arab mosque it was later converted to a Christian Church, the arch on Rua da Igreja Velha is all that remains.
The Church on Rua da Igreja: 18th century (the original Church was destroyed in the earthquake) and has a 28 metre tall bell tower that was added later.
The Sacred Art Museum: Inside the Church of São Sebastião in Praça Miguel Bombarda.
Albufeira Market: Takes place on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month in Caliços, on the other side of the Avenida dos Descobrimentos from the town.
The Municipal Archaeological Museum: Inside the ancient Albufeira City Hall.
Paderne: Ruined castle liberated from Moor occupation in 1248 by Dom Paulo Peres Correia.
Ponte Grande: Impressive caverns with large arches, and also the underwater caverns of Grutas do Xorino.
Albufeira tourist office is on Rua 5 de Outobro, just before the tunnel to Albufeira beach. Here you can find information regarding additional places of interest such as the new Virtual Archaeological Museum, Montechoro Family Fun Park, Sir Cliff Richards Winery in Guia and Algarve Shopping Centre.