The fishing village of Albufeira is the largest resort town in the Algarve, but head for Albufeira Old Town and you'll see that the original charm is still there. The quaint cobbled streets, decoratively painted buildings, and winding alleys are the perfect place to lose yourself on a sunny afternoon.
The main squareLife in the Old Town revolves around the leafy main square, the Jardim Publico de Albufeira, surrounded by galleries, restaurants and shops. This is a great place for some people-watching on sunny days; just grab a cold beer, glass of port, or a coffee, pull up a chair outside one of the bars or cafés and soak up the laid-back atmosphere.
Drinking, dining, shoppingThe Old Town's chilled out vibe attracts families, couples and groups of friends looking to relax, but there's still plenty to see and do here. Dine on fresh seafood from the marina, watch musicians and street performers, or come to the Old Town early in the morning for the daily market, which sells fresh fish, fruit and vegetables. You'll also find a huge array of stalls selling local crafts and handmade souvenirs to take home. Shopping in Albufeira Old Town is the perfect chance to pick up clothing and gifts from independent boutiques. You'll find everything from beach toys to branded clothing here, but look out for the locally crafted leather goods. There are some great handbags, wallets and belts to choose from, as well as hand-crafted jewellery. Fancy a drink? You could always pick up a bottle of Portuguese port or liqueur on your travels.
Soak up some history and cultureAfter all that shopping and dining, why not experience some of the local history and culture? The Galeria de Arte Pintor Samora Barros is housed in an old power station and features work by local artists. Or you could visit some of the town's major landmarks like the Museum of Sacred Art, housed in the pretty church of San Sebastian, the Albufeira Igreja Matriz or the Church of Sant'Ana.
Enjoy the town's beachesAlbufeira Old Town is just a short stroll from some of the resort's best beaches. Albufeira Beach is packed with bars and restaurants, while Praia dos Pescadores (Fisherman's Beach) has a more family-friendly atmosphere, with golden sands and calm waters that's ideal for nervous swimmers and younger children.
Stroll around the districtIt's best to wander around the Old Town on foot, just soaking up the charming traditional atmosphere. As you stroll around you'll see beautiful tiled frescos, iron balconies, and historic buildings around the corner of every cobbled alleyway.
The Old Town after darkAs darkness falls on the Old Town, you'll find the nightlife here lively but a little more chilled out than on The Strip. If you're looking to party, you can hop on the tourist train in the summer months from Pau da Bandeira Viewpoint and get off at The Strip, where the clubs and bars are open practically 24 hours a day. You'll find plenty of cosy British pubs, craft beer bars, and wine bars to choose from here, most of which stay open until around 2am. Many also feature live bands on a regular basis, so you can unwind with a drink or two and some good music after a day of shopping and sightseeing.
The marinaIt's just a short drive or bus journey from the Old Town to the train station and the more modern part of town. Head for the marina on the town's western outskirts with its striking pink, yellow, green and blue buildings and enjoy a spot of people-watching or look at the boats while having drinks or a meal at one of the restaurants or bars lining the marina. The marina's long promenade is a popular place to rent a Segway for exploring, or take off on a diving or fishing trip from the harbour.
Something for all agesAlthough Albufeira Old Town is popular with those looking for a more laid-back pace on their holiday in Albufeira, it really does have something for all ages, whether you prefer shopping, lazing on the beach, or people-watching on sunny afternoons.