A former fishing village in the southern Algarve, Albufeira is now a major tourist destination.
It is a lively and popular resort town with stunning beaches, a beautiful climate, and scores of restaurants and bars – renowned for its buzzing nightlife.
Albufeira is popular with travellers of all kinds, from youthful revellers to family holidaymakers.
High season, and the hottest months, are July and August; while October marks the end of the holiday season and winter falls during December and January.
This popular tourist resort is situated 40 kilometres west of Faro Airport. Travelling by car on the toll road takes approximately 36 minutes.
It is worth noting that airport shuttles booked with accommodation usually stop at a selection of hotels.
Renting a car is customarily the most convenient way to travel around the Algarve, but there are also other options when staying in Albufeira.
If parking is difficult during the summer months, there is the convenience of a tourist train that runs between Areias de São João and the Old Town.
There is also the excellent local mini-bus network Giro.
If you are travelling from Faro Airport to Albuferia and need transport options and information, check out our transport guide.
The Old Town
Albufeira’s Old Town is the most interesting part of the city, and offers a relaxed and charming atmosphere. Panning out from a delightful main square, the Old Town is filled with pretty cobbled streets lined with coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, clothes shops, leather goods shops, gift shops and street stalls.
There are numerous bars in the Old Town, staying open until late.
Meandering streets are lined with whitewashed houses and many alleys have pavements laid in pretty patterns.
Below the Old Town, on Rua 5 de Outubro, is a foot tunnel through the rock that takes you out to the beach.
This part of Albufeira is full of historic and notable buildings.
The city’s castle, together with most of the town, was destroyed in the infamous 1755 earthquake.
The Torre do Relógio (clock tower), which was built on one of the old castle towers in the Old Town, is normally lit up on festive occasions.
Igreja de Santa Ana (the Church of St. Anne) is a must-see for any visitors to Albufeira. Situated near the bell tower on Rua Miguel Bombarda, the 18th century church is the most visited historical sight in the city.
Visitors to Albufeira have a superb choice when it comes to eating out.
There are over 500 eateries, ranging from high-standard restaurants to budget cafés.
Albufeira is the ideal place to try traditional Portuguese cuisine, but there are many other culinary styles available.
Cataplana, the Portuguese seafood and rice stew, is a must to try here.
On the western outskirts of town, you will find Albufeira marina. In fact, with its bright candy-coloured apartments, you can’t really miss it!
This is a great place to spend a languid afternoon people-watching from one of the many cafés and bars overlooking the marina’s walkway.
Take a stroll along the walkway, admire the boats in the marina and check out the interesting dolphin statues along the way.
The marina is also the starting point for popular boat journeys, fishing trips and diving excursions.
Albufeira’s Areias de São João area is a hub for the party crowd. Home to “the strip”, or Avenida Dr Francisco Sà Carneiro, this is the loud and bustling part of Albufiera where you will find a plethora of bars and nightclubs – and everyone in a festive mood.
If neon lights and late-night partying aren’t for you, it’s better to stay nearer the Old Town.
The Albufeira coastline stretches along 30 kilometres of the Algarve.
The two main beaches in Albufeira are Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman’s Beach), which is probably the best known, and the adjoining Praia do Túnel (Albufeira Beach).
While you can walk straight onto Fishermans Beach, there are steps down to Albufeira Beach. Both are overlooked by a variety of restaurants.
There are many other dune-backed beaches and delightful coves stretching along the coastline away from the main centre of the resort.
Located between Vilamoura and Albufeira is Praia da Falesia, one of the longest beaches in Portugal.
Another popular beach in the Albufeira area is Praia de São Rafael. Set about two kilometres from the main resort, this beach is far enough away not to be overly busy, but is still within easy reach.
Set in an attractive bay, Praia de São Rafael is flanked by pretty rock formations and offers shallow, crystal-clear waters.
There are many companies in Albufeira arranging kayak, canoe and stand-up paddleboard excursions.
Between beaches, the Albufeira coastline is dimpled with caves only accessible by water.
The waves on Albufeira’s western beaches are breezier and on most days offer perfect conditions for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
While there are not any water parks in Albufeira itself, many tour operators in Albufeira offer trips to the popular Zoomarine, Aquashow Park and Aqualand Algarve at reasonable prices, including transport.
They pick up from designated hotels in Albufeira.
The water parks have both gravity-defying slides and wave pools, with something for all ages to enjoy.
Zoomarine offers marine animal demonstrations, as well as a water park. You will also be able to see alligators and tropical birds here.