Albufeira combines the traditional Portuguese life with an air of modernity. Whether on a business trip or vacation with family or friends, spending quality time in Albufeira will be rewarding.
Albufeira is the largest city of the Algarve and provides visitors with a range of activities and attractions that no other city is capable of. Being a major holiday destination, visitors may feel a bit overwhelmed when they visit the city for the first time.
Here are the top-rated things you should do if you visit this city.
- Visit the Praia de Sao Rafael
- Water Sports
- The Castle of Paderne
- Aqua Show Park
- The Roman Ruins of Cerro da Vila
- Traditional Portuguese Cuisine
- Traditional Village of Guia
- Relax in the Regional Capital
- Boat Trip
- Day Trip to Loule
- Dining at the Cataplana Club
- Queda do Vigario
- Archaeological Museum of Albufeira
- Spend a Beautiful Night Out
- Praia da Falesia
Visit the Praia de Sao Rafael
A beach known for its natural beauty and unique orange rock formations, the view is also, spectacular. The sand has a goldish color and the sunset from the top of the cliffs is definitely something you should experience if you happen to stay until the evening hours.
Visitors can also, take part in activities like swimming and snorkeling.
Some of the most well-known, peculiar shapes of cliffs await visitors for a photo down at the Praia de Sao Rafael. The Shallow’s Nest, along with the Small Bridge, are two additionally impressive rock formations.
Various caves and grottoes can also be seen from down the beach.
Canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard and windsurfing are among the most widely performed water activities visitors can try out in the beaches that surround the coastline of the city.
A lot of organized water sport clubs and trainers are available to help you choose the sport that suits you best. Tuition and equipment are also available in most clubs.
The Castle of Paderne
This 12th century castle is one of the few traditional castles that are well-preserved in Portugal. The castle’s thick walls are constructed by a special type of concrete that’s actually a combination of soil, limestone and gravel.
The castle was built by Arabs and it is one of the most characteristic monuments of the Arabic architecture.
Following the well-preserved route that guides you to the entrance of the castle, visitors are advised to hike around the castle and reach it on foot, rather than by car. Although the outside of the castle is more impressive than its interior, you could go on a guided tour and learn about some of the history that surrounds the castle’s existence, as well.
Be aware of the fact that the castle is open only once per week, so be sure to check beforehand the day and hours of the tours.
Aqua Show Park
The largest water park in Portugal and the perfect destination for a family, the Aqua Show Park is one of the top-rated destinations in Albufeira. With an affordable entrance cost and special family packages, there are so many attractions inside the park, that the day will pass by without even realizing it.
Apart from the water slides, pools and thematic rides, visitors can also experience animal shows during the day. Dolphins, sea lions and seals are all there for you to watch and become familiar with. The park is also, home for other animals, including alligators, various species of birds and marine organisms.
The Roman Ruins of Cerro da Vila
A short drive from Albufeira, if you walk along the ruins, you will be able to distinguish between the most important pieces of a Roman’s residence, including stations for baths, kitchen and the living rooms.
Although most visitors prefer to walk around the ruins, there is also a permanent exhibition inside the building that offers a clearer picture of the way of living during the Roman era.
The whole archaeological site dates back to the 1st century and habitats of Albufeira believe that the manor house was actually part of a busy port.
The Cerro da Vila Archaeological Museum offers visitors an insight of the Villa and of other ramparts of the region.
Traditional Portuguese Cuisine
Portugal is known for its unique cuisine and various traditional dishes. There is also the choice of tasting some healthy vegetarian food, or even international cuisines, like Asian, Mexican and Italian. A lot of street food options, along with fast-food meals are also, available for visitors around the city’s roads.
If you are willing to spend some money on a memorable meal, then you should by no means miss some of the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, including the famous Vila Joya Restaurant.
Traditional Village of Guia
Only a few kilometers outside of Albufeira there is a small village with picturesque roads and traditional Portuguese attractions. Here, visitors can become familiar with some old churches, traditional buildings and various native dishes.
Guia is also, the place where the first shopping center in the Algarve was built. This modernized place has many top European brands, along with a big cinema, a food court area and little shops where you can purchase local products.
If you visit Guia, you cannot leave without tasting the traditional chicken piri-piri accompanied by some delicious fries.
Visitors usually visit the local vineyard Adega, owned by Sir Cliff Richard, that produces some of the most aromatic wine you will be able to taste in Albufeira.
Relax in the Regional Capital
Being the capital of Algarve presents itself with major benefits. The historical center down the old town of Faro has unique attractions like the Faro Cathedral, the Municipal Museum and the Igreja de Carmo.
Just a quick drive from Albufeira, this city will make you relax and enjoy the clear air and the decreased traffic. If you decide to visit Faro, you should not miss the opportunity to stroll around the well-known Ria Formosa natural park. Its most impressive characteristic is its unique coastal lagoon, constantly changing throughout the year due to the continuous winds.
The whole area is protected and it is home to rare species of animals including flamingos, and the symbol of the park, the Purple Swamphen.
The city’s marina is the ideal place for a boat trip. Cruising trips and yacht sanctions are on offer in the event that you wish to head out on a journey along Albufeira’s unparalleled coastline.
If you go on an organized boat trip, you’ll be able to visit some of the most impressive caves that exist along the coastline of the city. Those caves are ideal for a little diving experience and if the weather permits it, you can use your free time to stop at a remote beach and spend some time swimming or fishing.
Day Trip to Loule
Guests are attracted to Loule for its character, vivacious market and certifiable Portuguese air.
As you walk down the market, you’ll be able to visit some shopping boulevards, tree-lined squares and a warren of back streets which have scarcely changed since the medieval period.
The Gothic Igreja Matriz church stands proudly in the middle of this city, as well
When you visit Loule, you’ll have the chance to look at the gypsy Portuguese market. There, you can purchase souvenirs and admire some traditional artifacts.
The Moorish-inspired market in Loule is also a place worth visiting.
Dining at the Cataplana Club
If you wish to take part in a Portuguese traditional dining experience, then the Cataplana Place is the ideal place for you. Perfect for guests searching for an option in contrast to an eatery, this dinner club allows chefs to attempt dishes cooked in a cataplana, a copper vessel normally utilized for fish stews.
In addition, your culinary specialist will discuss with you the dishes of the day as they are arranged and gives precious tips on how to prepare them alone.
This club offers regular cooking classes that enable customers to cook their own meals with the help of Michelin-starred chefs.
Queda do Vigario
If you are a nature lover, you will not wish to leave Albufeira without the chance to visit a place of unparalleled beauty known as the Queda do Vigario.
This waterfall is concealed from the rest of the city by dense trees and a hidden trail.
Ideal for those wishing to spend time in a peaceful place or for those wishing to get away from the city’s crowds.
It is also the perfect stop for a romantic encounter. Do not forget to bring your swimsuit along and spend some time in the bright blue waters of the waterfall.
Archaeological Museum of Albufeira
In the center of Albufeira stands the archeological museum, the city top rated attraction.
What’s amazing is that the greater part of the museum’s collection was amassed by a cleric in the mid-twentieth century.
When you visit this museum, you should not miss one of the various guided tours with local guides that will inform you about each era and the specific characteristics of every period of the Portuguese history.
Spend a Beautiful Night Out
If you visit the old town at night, you will be able to enjoy quiet time at one of the many seafood restaurants or taste a glass of white sagres at a traditional Portuguese bar.
If, however, you get closer to the beachfront, you can have a more exhilarating experience since a variety of night clubs, bars, fast-food stalls and cocktail bars with loud music await visitors, particularly those of the younger generation .
Almost every week, outdoor parties are held in bars or clubs that are near the beach. If you wish to spend a crazy night out, you should discover where the next big party takes place and go have some fun with your friends.
A lot of spots also host local DJs. Portuguese people are extremely good dancers and they know how to spend a good time together.
Get prepared for some exhausting dancing experience if you visit one of the many clubs of the region or if you happen to visit Albufeira during a dancing event or festival.
Praia da Falesia
This six-kilometer seashore is one of the very best beaches of the Algarve. Visitors can walk the length of the shore and enjoy the sunsets. Children can spend joyful evenings building sandcastles and chasing shells.
Above the rock formations, there is a unique hiking trail where you can watch the beautiful beach from above. The beach is actually divided into two parts: the east part with the lower cliffs and the west side with the high red cliffs.
For a unique experience, you can go to the beach at sunrise and enjoy the spectacular view.seaside