If you’re planning to visit Portugal, then Albufeira is one of the most exciting and vibrant places to visit there. Located in the heart of the Algarve region, Albufeira is only a 30 minutes drive Faro international airport. There are over 25 golf courses within easy reach of Albufeira, as well as stunningly beautiful beaches. Add in some great nightlife and shopping, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Albufeira.
Until the 1960s, Albufeira was little more than a town reliant on fishing. Gradually tourists began to discover the charms of this beautiful, sun-drenched region, and Albufeira became a prime tourist destination. More than 5 million tourists visit the Algarve region every year, with large numbers of them heading for Albufeira. This influx of visitors has caused Albufeira to expand, with many facilities being developed specifically for visitors. Recent additions include the huge Algarve Shopping Center near Guia, and the Albufeira Marina. Restaurants, shops and cinemas have sprung up to provide entertainment for tourists, as well as the more recent influx of permanent residents.
If you’re interested in historical things, then you will enjoy wandering some of the older parts of Albufeira, where there are narrow streets, whitewashed houses and a feeling that you’ve stepped back a few centuries. Albufeira also has a small museum with historic Ming ceramics, as well as the new Virtual Archaeological Museum. The Municipal art gallery also regularly holds exhibitions with paintings from past centuries. Nearby there are ruined castles, or the caverns at Ponte Grande if you want to explore some natural history.
Perhaps sitting back and relaxing is more your style, in which case you should grab a coffee on the central square, Largo Engonheiro Duarte Pacheco, and sit back to watch the world go by. When you’re done, there’s a nearby pedestrian-only mall and tunnel that leads through to the town’s main beach, so you can go and soak up some sunshine.
For a family day out, visit Zoomarine and enjoy the shows of seals, dolphins and other sea animals. Your children can swim with the dolphins, as well as enjoy various other interactive programs. You can travel a little further afield and fine water slides and other fun activities.
One of the best things about Albufeira is that it’s a great place for a holiday all year round. In some ways, it’s actually better to visit outside the peak time of summer, so that you can avoid some of the crowds. The low season from November through to February is particularly good if you want a little bit of peace and quiet and fast service in the restaurants. The weather is still very mild, and you get more of an opportunity to experience the friendly locals.