Albufeira is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Algarve and it is easy to see why, with so many things to do and different places to stay in Albufeira for all ages and budgets.
Whether you are here on holiday with your family, are staying with friends, have come for a romantic break or are celebrating a stag or hen weekend, there is a place to suit you.
Where to stay in Albufeira?
If you are looking for a great place to enjoy a family holiday then the Old Town of Albufeira is one of the best locations to choose in the local area.
While many of the other areas of Albufeira have been developed to meet the needs of the ever-growing tourism industry, the Old Town retains the charm and traditions that first made it popular with visitors decades ago.
If you are looking to be able to experience cobbled streets, winding alleys, boutique shops and traditional cafes and restaurants then this is the best part of Albufeira for you.
In the summer time it is very busy in this area with live music and entertainment not only in the bars and restaurants, but also out on the streets, while during the festive season you can enjoy the lights and quieter times with family and friends.
The heart of the old town has to be the main square area, the Jardim Público de Albufeira. Around this square you will find the open air restaurants, cafes and bars where you can take a break after browsing the local shops.
In the old town of Albufeira you can also find many of the historical sites of the local area, including the Sant’Ana Church and the Museum of Sacred Art.
Areias de São João (The Strip)
This area of Albufeira is where you will find the busy nightlife and is perhaps the most lively place in the Algarve. Because of the concentration of bars and reasonably priced restaurants, shops, tattoo parlors, nightclubs and fast food outlets, it is not surprising that The Strip, as it is known to the locals, is the most popular place for groups of friends, stag and hen parties and generally those looking to party until the early hours!
This is the place to come in Albufeira if you are looking for a party atmosphere with the busiest months being in June, July and August. However even in the low season you will bump into your fair share of stag and hen parties at weekends.
There is definitely an “adult” feel to this area of Albufeira, although during the day it is quite calm if you fancy exploring. The strong tradition of this part of Albufeira being geared towards groups for parties means that you will find many bars with discounted drinks, karaoke, late night clubs, gentlemen’s clubs and adult shops.
Located in the new area of Albufeira, Montechoro sits at the north end of “The Strip” and while there are still lots of bars and restaurants in this area it has a quieter atmosphere more suited to those looking to enjoy the nightlife but without being in the thick of it.
Montechoro is home to many hotels, apartments and other forms of accommodation, usually reasonably priced which makes it popular with anyone who is travelling on a budget. There is however such a huge choice of places to stay here that you are sure to find something to meet your needs and budget and it is only a short walk to shops, cafes and much more, making it a great choice to stay if you do not want to hire a car.
Set further back from the beach than other areas in Montechoro, here the buildings are not on top of one another and you have more of a feeling of space, thanks to municipal gardens and green areas.
The Oura area of Albufeira is a great place for families and beach lovers as this area is very close to the coast with a beautiful cove beach.
There are many resorts and hotels in this area and while it is a not in the heart of all the nightlife and entertainment, it is only a short walk away from “The Strip” and because of this you can find younger travellers in the area, all happily enjoying the sunshine alongside families with children and solo travellers.
Oura has a wide choice of restaurants and cafes as well as typical shops you would expect to find in a beach destination and because of the combination of accommodation options, the beach and amenities this is possibly the best area of Albufeira for anyone wanting to experience a beach holiday.
Olhos de Água
Anyone looking for a more low-key holiday in the Albufeira area should consider staying in Olhos de Água. The traditional fishing village feeling remains here thanks to the quaint cobbled streets and golden beach which is still home to fishing boats and fishing huts.
This is a good area for those looking for self-catering accommodation, although there are still many resorts and hotels to choose from if you prefer.
There is a large expat community in Olhos de Água and this tends to be a place favoured by older visitors and families wanting a relaxing holiday in the sunshine while still only being a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the new town of Albufeira.
There’s a good choice of shops in the local area, including supermarkets for those staying in villas and apartments and needing supplies to cook at home, but generally Olhos de Água has a more natural and less built up feeling than other areas of Albufeira which helps to create the relaxed atmosphere.
Albufeira Marina is a recently developed area only a short distance away from the main areas of Albufeira itself to the west of Albufeira old town
You cannot miss the Marina, mainly due to its very distinctive paint job, with all the blocks of the building painted in different candy colours and creating an effect that you will either love or hate, but one that you certainly won’t forget in a hurry!
For most people, the marina is the place to go to get a boat trip from Albufeira along the coast, with many leaving from the safe and calm waters of the marina before heading out to explore the caves or to search for dolphins, however the marina is also a lovely place to come for a few hours with family and friends.
Albufeira Marina may not be as big as its neighbour in Vilamoura but it has its own special sense of charm thanks to little touches, such as the brightly coloured dolphin statues dotted about or the fact that you can enjoy a quick lap or two around the go kart track while friends have cocktails overlooking the waters – and all in one place.
Want to know more about Albufeira before you arrive? Have a look through our handy FAQ’s to get the best out of your time here in Albufeira.
What are the beaches like in Albufeira?
One of the best things about Albufeira is the choice of beaches that you have on your doorstep! Wherever you are staying in Albufeira you will never be far from a beach and each has its very own distinct atmosphere and features.
From west to east, here are a list of the beaches in Albufeira:
Praia dos Salgados
A paradise for nature lovers, this long sweeping beach is backed by sand dunes rich in local flora and fauna and a lagoon area which is home to plenty of birdlife. You can walk all the way from Albufeira to Armação de Pêra along this beach so you will never struggle to find a spot to lay your towel here – even in the peak of summer!
Praia da Galé
Explore the rocky outcrops and play in the usually gentle waves along the east and west Galé beaches. A perfect place for families with children who are old enough to explore the little path, waves and play around the rocks while parents relax on the fine sandy beach.
Praia do Evaristo
Not the easiest beach in the world to find and most famous for the restaurant that you will find here which is far more than your average beach restaurant. There is not a lot of parking here so it is better to visit in the quieter months unless you are happy to walk a bit.
Praia do Castelo
A picture perfect cove beach with craggy cliffs, white sands and clear waters. This beach is just around the corner from Evaristo and gets its name because the rocks here look like a castle. A good one for small children as the beach is not too large and you can keep a good eye on the entire beach if you need to.
Praia da Coelha
A small and intimate cove beach with stunning cliffs forming the back drop. There is good access down to the beach but in the summer time its small size means that it can become very crowded and parking can be a challenge.
Praia de São Rafael
A cove beach but this time with a bit more space making it a good place to go with friends or groups – although if you want to park it is a struggle during the summer months. The cliffs here are beautiful and there is a good beach restaurant to soak up the views. One of the highlights of this beach is the rocky outcrop on the shoreline – making this a perfect place for an Instagram post or two!
Praia dos Arrifes
One of the smallest local beaches with shallow waters, this beach is good for families with young children but be sure to get there early in the summer to find a space as it can get very busy making it perhaps more suitable for a visit out of season in the spring or autumn.
Praia do Túnel/Peneco
Known as both Túnel or Peneco beach this is the most local beach for anyone staying in the old town of Albufeira and is a long sandy beach with easy access. Because it is one of the larger beaches you can get on to this beach at several different points which makes it a great choice for meeting up with friends as everyone is sure to be close to a way on! One of the access points is through the tunnel in the old town which is located next to the tourist information office and is worth seeking out for a great photo opportunity.
Praia dos Pescadores
In English this beach is known as the fisherman’s beach and is one of the most famous and photographed beaches in Albufeira. The city may now be a tourist hotspot but the fishermen still use this beach which is located near to the escalators in Albufeira old town. A great spot for some people watching, or to catch a couple of hours of sunshine while exploring Albufeira old town. This each is also home to a number of open air concerts, including New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Praia do Inatel & Praia dos Alemães
These two beaches join so you can only tell which beach you are on depending on whether or not the café is to your left or your right! The widest part of the beach is on the Inatel side while the beach becomes narrower as you move towards Alemães. Because these beaches are still within walking distance of the centre of Albufeira they can become very busy during the summer but are perfect for those who don’t want to drive or take a taxi.
Praia da Oura
Once you have descended the very steep hill down from the Strip in the new part of Albufeira you will be met with Oura beach. The very steep hill up and down to the beach makes this not great for people with accessibility issues but once you are there then you are rewarded with a sheltered beach with a small promenade area home to restaurants and bars. This is the closest beach to the Strip so can attract a younger crowd, however plenty of families also use this popular beach.
Praia de Santa Eulália
A long sandy beach with good parking. This beach has a trendy feel to it thanks to Le Club being located here and feels a million miles away from other beaches.
Praia da Maria Luísa
This beach is popular with people staying in Olhos de Água and is famous for the red cliffs that flank the golden sands. The cove beach has an intimate feel and a relaxed atmosphere making it ideal for older visitors or those looking for a calm day down by the sea.
Praia dos Olhos d’Agua
This is the main beach of Olhos de Água and is right in the very heart of the resort town making it a top choice with the families and groups staying here who don’t want to drive to the beach in the summer. This beach has a traditional feel to it thanks to the fishermen’s huts at the end of the beach and fishing boats that are still in use.
Which beaches have a Blue Flag near Albufeira?
Within easy reach of Albufeira there are over 20 beaches which have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag status. The Blue Flag means the beach has been assessed based on environmental standards, such as water quality and beach cleanliness, and also on important facilities including toilets and lifeguards.
In the Algarve the lifeguards normally work from 1st July to 30th September.
Below you can find a map of every Blue Flag beach near to Albufeira:
What are the best things to do in Albufeira?
Albufeira has the biggest range of attractions and activities in the Algarve so there really is something for everyone which means there is too much to fit into this guide! To find out more you might enjoy our dedicated guide on this “Top 52 Things To Do & Love in Albufeira“.
When is the best time of the year to visit Albufeira?
Albufeira is a fantastic place to visit at any time of the year but the atmosphere and feel of the destination changes over the months, so choose when to come depending on what you are looking for!
Spring / Autumn – This time of the year the weather is mild and you will find many groups of golfers out and about taking advantage of the perfect golfing conditions. The beaches are far less crowded and the weather is usually still good enough to get in a good few days of sunbathing. With children in school at this time, there are less families with children around and visitors tend to be older and looking for a more relaxing holiday. Weekends are when the nightlife is at its best and you are likely to come across a stag and hen party or two, especially along the Strip.
Winter – This is the quietest time of the year but if you are looking for a budget holiday then you can’t go wrong in Albufeira for the winter. Many retirees choose to spend the winter months in Albufeira and you can find lots of great deals on food, drinks and long holiday rentals. The weather is still generally good and if you enjoy walking then this is an ideal time to take in the natural beauty of the area. Much of the Strip closes down for the winter but you will still find places for a drink, especially at the weekend when the locals come out for the night. Albufeira also hosts a big New Year’s Eve party with fireworks and live entertainment on the beach and throughout the streets over the festive season.
Summer – The majority of visitors choose to come to Albufeira in the summer months, creating a busy, bustling and lively atmosphere. Depending on the area of Albufeira you stay in will depend on the level of nightlife and crowds at this time of the year. You can be sure of high temperatures, all the bars, restaurants and attractions will be open and pop up nightclubs, beach parties and shops all appear in the peak summer months. Wherever you are in Albufeira during the summer you can be sure to find something going on and there are some great offers available for families, friends and groups coming to the area in June, July and August.
What is the weather like in Albufeira?
The Algarve enjoys some 300 days of sunshine every year, making it one of the very best places in Europe to come if you are looking for warm weather and blue skies throughout the year.
The hottest weather is in the summer months of June, July and August when daily highs can easily surpass the 30ºc mark and it is very rare to even have a single day of rain.
The coldest weather is in December, January and February. However its worth noting that even in these months, while you might need a jacket for the evening, during the day the temperature can be a very pleasant 18ºc.
Its also worth noting that even in the wetter months is often raining for less than 10 days in the whole months which still leaves 20 days of sunshine for you to enjoy.
You can find more information about the weather in the Algarve here.
Where is the best place to eat in Albufeira?
Albufeira has restaurants, snack bars and cafes to meet every budget and taste:
High end – If you want to treat yourself then head over to Vila Joya for a Michelin star meal in an exceptional setting. This is true luxury at its best with incredible food served with an unforgettable view over the ocean.
Budget – All you can eat buffets and special promotions and offer run throughout the year in the Oura area of Albufeira. Choose from Chinese food, Indian, British, Sushi, Portuguese, Mexican and much more in this area that is great for those looking to eat for less.
Portuguese – The old town in Albufeira is where to go if you are looking for more traditional Portuguese foods. In the summertime it can be hard to get a table at peak times so consider booking ahead. Don’t forget to try out some of the local fish specialties including the cataplana fish and rice dish.
Where is best place for a night out in Albufeira?
Families, couples and groups can all enjoy a great night out in Albufeira!
Families – Visit the Albufeira marina to promenade safely along the front without the worry of traffic in the evening. Enjoy a meal in one of the restaurants, some family entertainment in one of the bars and an ice cream or two as you take in the atmosphere here.
Couples – Enjoy a great cocktail, some live music or simply sit back on one of the open air terraces and watch the world go by in the Albufeira old town. There are some great intimate bars here, while the pretty main square is an ideal place for a walk with a loved one.
Groups – Hens, stags, groups and everyone looking for a big night out in Albufeira heads to the Strip in the new town of Albufeira. In the summer months every night is a party night with special offers for groups, karaoke, live music, dancing on the bar tops and clubs that stay open into the very, very early hours!
How far is Albufeira from…?
Albufeira is in the centre of the Algarve making it ideal for exploring wherever you’d like to go!
Faro Airport – 45km (approx. 40 minute drive)
Vilamoura – 16km (approx. 25 minute drive)
Zoomarine – 11km (approx. 17 minute drive)
Aquashow water park – 33km (approx. 30 minute drive)
Algarve Shopping Centre, Guia – 8km (approx. 15 minute drive)
Spanish Border – 80km (approx. 50 minute drive)
Sagres – 85km (approx. 1 hour)
Lisbon – 250km (approx. 2hr 30)
Seville – 230km (approx.. 2hr 30)
(all distances have been rounded up)
Where is the bus station and train station in Albufeira?
The bus station is located on Rua Paul Harris which is about 1.5km from the centre of the Old Town or 2.5km from the top of the Strip.
The train station is not in the main town and is located in Ferreiras approximately 6km from centre of Albufeira. By taxi, traffic allowing, it normally takes about 15mins and cost about €5-€10 depending on where you’re staying.
How much is a taxi from Faro Airport to Albufeira?
Please bear in mind that Albufeira is quite spread out but as a guide if you’re staying near Oura the airport is approximately 45km and 40 minutes away.
As a guide for the price if you take a taxi from the rank outside the airport its about €50 each-way (€100 return), or by pre-booked private transfer about €35 each-way (€70 return) so its well worth booking in advance if possible.
Some taxis charge extra (€2-€5) if you take the toll road which is a little quicker. Larger vehicles, such as 8-seater mini-buses also cost a little extra however it does work out significantly cheaper than 2 normal (4-seater) taxis.
If you’re on a budget there are shuttle buses available which cost approximately €10 however note this is per person so while great value if you’re travelling on your own for groups you would be better with a private transfer. Also note that shuttle buses make several stops so can take considerably longer, but if you’re not in a rush that shouldn’t matter!
It is possible to travel by train, however note that you would need to get a taxi or bus from the airport to Faro train station, and then Albufeira Ferreiras station to your accommodation in Albufeira so for most people its generally not cost effective or convenient.
Algarve Fun are one of the leading ticket companies in Portugal for activities and attractions including water parks, theme parks, boat trips, water sports and over 200 more. Tickets and bookings can be made via their website and during peak season also at their ticket shops at various locations across the Algarve. Their friendly staff are available to answer questions and help you find your perfect attraction, activity or trip so don’t hesitate to contact them.
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