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Holidays in Albufeira
The bustling resort of Albufeira is one of the most popular destinations in the Algarve. Settled by the Moors, its old medieval streets still hum with life today. By day, unwind on one of the sandy beaches or explore the surrounding hills and orange groves by jeep. In the evenings, find a quaint restaurant to sample some authentic Portuguese food, or head to the new town for Albufeira’s thriving club scene.
Albufeira enjoys a steady climate with long, warm summers and mild winters.
2 hours 45 minutes
Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, about 47km east of Albufeira.
Spend your days on one of Albufeira’s seven beaches, then party all night at a trendy nightspot. Book your holiday now with Thomas Cook.
What is included ?
Spend your days soaking up the sun on the silky sands of Salgados Beach. You’ll learn more about Albufeira’s history at the sand-coloured ruins of Paderne Castle or in the narrow streets of the old town (Cerro da Vila). You’ll find a Moorish arch amongst the whitewashed houses. In the new town, head to the marina for watercraft rentals, dolphin safaris and yacht charters. For shopping, browse the strip in the Montechoro area. Known as North Strip, it’s the quieter end of the main tourist street, which continues into lively São João.
The most popular attractions in Albufeira are its many beaches. You’ll find something different at every one, from the white dunes at Salgados Beach in the west to the golden cliffs at Falesia Beach in the east. Peneco Beach (also known as Tunnel Beach) is one of the best loved. There’s a tunnel to its long sands, plus bars, restaurants and water sports. Follow the promenade to Xorino Cave, carved out of the rock at the sea’s edge. Fisherman’s (or Pescadores) Beach at the edge of Cerro da Vila is just as picturesque; you’ll often see fishing boats pulled up on the sand.
To eat as the locals do, look out for rustic fishermen’s dishes. Tuck into a hearty lunch of cockle soup rich with coriander and bay, or fresh sardines in tomato sauce. One of the favourite local dishes is cataplana, fish cooked in a copper pot. You’ll also see lots of dishes with almonds and honey. Try sweet almond balls and amarguinha, an almond liqueur. Lamb roasted with honey, almonds and rosemary is particularly delicious. If you’re wondering where to go in Albufeira for the most authentic dining, the Cerro da Vila area is top of the list.
Whether you’d rather sit down to steak and a show, or dance to house or garage at an all-night club, there are lots of places in Albufeira for a great night out. Most of the after-dark action takes place under the neon lights of the new town’s São João area. With all sorts of lively venues along the party strip, it’s perfect for a night of fun. If you’re after something more relaxing, Albufeira has plenty of chilled-out cocktail bars. Perfect if you fancy rounding off a day’s sunbathing with a couple of mojitos.
What is included ?
Night owls: The party lasts all night in the clubs and bars of the São João strip.
Beach lovers: Stretch out on the sands of Peneco Beach and explore the golden cliffs at Falesia
Foodies: Tuck into rustic fishermen’s dishes like fresh sardines in tomato sauce.
Language: The language spoken in Albufeira is Portuguese
Currency: The currency used in Albufeira is the Euro (€)
Local time: Albufeira is the same as GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, about 47km east of Albufeira.
Flight time from UK: Approximately 2 hours 45 minutes
Tourist Information: Further Albufeira tourist information can be found at www.visitportugal.com/en
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Albufeira.
Temperature: 10-24 °C
You can enjoy t-shirt weather in Albufeira throughout the whole of the summer. Even spring and autumn sees warm temperatures in the early 20s. Rainfall picks up during the winter, but the mild weather makes it a perfect time to get out and explore the resort.
On foot: You’ll find lots of interesting nooks and crannies when you walk around the winding medieval streets of Albufeira’s old town (Cerro da Vila).
By taxi: An easy way to travel between Albufeira’s different areas. Though traditionally black and green, most taxis are cream or beige these days. There are fixed surcharges if you book by phone or have luggage.
By hire car: If you’re keen to explore the surrounding area there are lots of car rental services around the resort.
Local festivities: Ranging from Carnival in February/March to the Festa do Pescador (Fish Festival) on Fisherman’s Beach in September, Albufeira loves a celebration. The Festival of Our Lady of Orada in August is the biggest of the year, with fireworks and a seafront parade.
Watch the skies: Visit Albufeira in the middle of June and you’ll see the sky dotted with hot-air balloons for the annual balloon meet.
Fresh sardines: Feast at the Sardine Festival in the neighbouring fishing village of Olhos de Agua every August.