Spring, Summer, Autumn
June – August
LCY → FAO
Freedom of movement
Lunch ≈ 7 £GBP
Dinner (for two) ≈ 21 £GBP
Espresso ≈ 1.80 £GBP
Bottled water ≈ 0.38 £GBP
Travel insurance is recommended
If there is a place that really put Portugal’s Algarve on the map it’s Albufeira. The pretty old town is brimming with pavement cafés, restaurants and boutiques, and this modern resort has a main strip, which becomes the centre of the action at sunset. The whole scene is complemented by a 30 kilometre coast consisting of unspoiled beaches and small bays.
The coastline of this city boasts no less than 25 beaches for Albufeira holidays and all different from the last. The beach off the old town is known as Praia dos Pescadores, or Fisherman’s Beach, and family-friendly swimming is supplemented by fantastic dining options. At the end of the strip is Praia d’Oura, a 5 kilometre, Blue Flag awarded beach tailor-made for fans of watersports. Further to the east is Praia da Falesia, which is overlooked by ochre-coloured cliffs. And that’s only the beginning.
In the noon sun, light reflects off the white-washed walls that make up Albufeira’s old town. You can take shade from the blazing sun in its churches, many of which date back to the 16th century, or lose yourself in the maze of cobbled alleyways that also provide a cooling alternative to the heat. By evening, the main square springs into life and draws in the diners and casual drinkers like moths to a flame.
Temperature: Average of 14 degrees Celsius climbing to a mild 24 degrees Celsius in summer.
Best time for holidays to Albufeira: Spring through to autumn.
The weather in Albufeira is tee-shirt throughout the summer. Even in spring and autumn you will experience temperatures in the low 20s degrees Celsius. Rainfall increases during winter, but the weather remains mild and it is the perfect time for getting out and exploring the resort.
Established by the Moors, Albufeira’s medieval old streets still buzz with life today. During the day, relax on one of the sandy beaches (there’s plenty to choose from) or go exploring in the surrounding hills and orange groves by jeep. By evening, find a charming restaurant to sample authentic Portuguese cuisine, or head into the new town to experience lively club scene on your Albufeira holidays.
About an hour west is Lagos by car or bus; it is centre of Portugal’s illustrious maritime past. It was from this harbour that Henry the Navigator set the stage for the Age of Discovery. The site of the first slave market in Europe is another must-see. It is located under the arches of the old Customs House and serves as a reminder of the town’s darker past.
Spend days of your holidays to Albufeira basking in the sun on the silk-like sand of Salgados Beach. You can learn more about Albufeira long history at the sandy-coloured Paderne Castle ruins or by wandering Cerro da Vila’s - the old town - narrow streets. You will discover a Moorish arch among the white-washed houses. Meanwhile in the new town, visit the marina for dolphin safaris, watercraft rentals and to charter a yacht. The strip in the Montechoro area is great for shopping. Known as North Strip, it’s the less hectic end of the main tourist street and runs into lively São João.
The most popular lure for tourists in Albufeira are many beaches. Each one is different, from the snow-white dunes of Salgados Beach to the west to the golden-coloured cliffs at Falesia Beach to the east. Peneco Beach (also called Tunnel Beach) is one of the most loved and perfect for Albufeira holidays. You go through a tunnel to get to its long sands, bars, cafes and restaurants and multitude of watersports. Walk the promenade to Xorino Cave. Fisherman’s (or Pescadores) Beach at the edge of the old town is just as attractive.
To eat like a local, look out for rustic fish-bases dishes. Sample a hearty lunch of cockle soup rich with bay and coriander, or fresh sardines cooked in tomato sauce. A local favourite is cataplana, which is fish cooked in a copper pot. You’re also bound to find lots of dishes with honey and almonds. Try sweet almond balls washed down with amarguinha, an almond-based liqueur. Lamb roasted with honey, rosemary and almonds is a stand-out dish.
There is a multitude of venues for a memorable night out on holidays in Albufeira. Most of the night action takes place in the glare of the neon lights of the São João area in the new town.