The name Albufeira is from the Arabic “Al-buhera“, which means “the Sea Castle.” And there was indeed a castle in Albufeira at one time. Very little of it remains today because much of the town was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and subsequent tidal wave, but if you visit the town museum you will see artifacts dating back to the Roman and Medieval times. The main church was built in 1800 on top of the old church and castle gate. The morning can be spend in visisting the church.The church is well worth visiting and is easily recognizable by its clock tower, one of the most important sites of Albufeira. The clock tower still rings on the hour, and if you look around you might find a tour to take you to the top, where you’ll discover a fantastic view of this idyllic city and the coast. Explore the neo-classical church and you’ll find paintings by local artists inside.
Albufeira is the Algarve’s premier resort town, which boasts glorious beaches, a scenic old town and a buzzing atmosphere. The town is often purely regarded as a beach holiday destination, but there is a surprising amount to see and do within the central Algarve region. This guide will detail the most popular sights and activities for a holiday to Albufeira.
The afternoon can be spend at the beach in Old Town. The Algarve is famed for its beautiful beaches and Albufeira has one of the largest beaches in the central region. The vast beach extends for 2km from the Old Town all the way to the rocky headland in the east, and though one continuous beach it is divided into three sections; the Praia dos Pescadores, the Praia do Inatel, Praia dos Alemães. This wonderful beach provides soft golden sands, crystal clear waters, which are clean and safe for children to swim in.
Lunch and dinner can be done with lots of choices of restaurants. You can be spoilt when eating out, as Old town boasts over 200 eating establishments, and this diverse selection of restaurants, cafes and bars cover every cuisine style, budget or dietary requirement. Food is significantly cheaper than other parts of Europe and generally of a high standard. Old Town is an ideal location to try local and traditional Portuguese cuisines.
Portuguese food tends to be hearty and filling (often served with rice, chips and bread as a starter) and Algarve specialities are based around freshly caught fish or shellfish. One dish to try is Cataplana, a seafood rice stew, that is both cooked and served in a large copper dish and is designed to be shared. Locally produced wines are the perfect accompaniment to any meal!
Then visit the Jardim Square in Old Town. It’s the place to see live music, street performances by living statues, dancers, and even international groups. There is a very distinct nightlife of Albufeira; the Old Town, which is more family and conventional holiday focused. In the Old Town visitors are entertained by live music and socialising over a local beer or wine.
To get the best view of the Old Town, take a drive up to the hills above the town. The views of the town and sea from the hills are noteworthy, and it’s a good place to watch the sunset. Looking out to sea, you can understand why the early Portuguese people wanted to explore the world.