Albufeira is arguably Algarve’s most popular seaside resort and can be found roughly 36km west of Faro. Its home to some of Portugal’s best beaches and still has a lingering atmosphere that was inherited from the town’s fishing heritage. The original Arabic name of the town, Al-Buhera, means "Castle-on-the-Sea", and one or two buildings feature telltale Moorish arches. But as the tourist capital of the Algarve, modern Albufeira is a lively holiday hub of hotels, restaurants, and boutiques.
Top Attractions in Albufeira
Blessed with splendid unspoiled beaches, Albufeira has an abundance of picturesque beaches. There’s Praia dos Pescadores right at the town’s doorstep, nearby Praia da Oura just 2km away, the more exclusive Olhos da Água, and the stunning Praia da Falésia further east.
Albufeira Shopping District
Largo Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco is Albufeira’s hub that’s slightly over-the-top but totally irresistible. The pedestrianized square draws local and international visitors alike to enjoy its abundance of restaurants, cafés and snack bars. The fashion boutiques and the handicraft workshops that line Rua Candido dos Reis are serious crowd-pullers with their inexpensive garb and gear. The Galeria Pintor Samora Barros and the Largo Cais Herculano are two great attractions that you’ll find in the vicinity.
Albufeira’s Adventure Park was made with the adrenaline junkies in mind. Visitors have to overcome a range of obstacles to complete the course and boast a ropewalk and a Monkey’s Bridge among the many other challenges. The park can be found in the woods near Santa Eulália and Praia da Oura.
Zoomarine is where you’ll head for some great entertainment on Algarve. With spectacular dolphin shows and sea lion spectacles, the daily performances here draw crowds for their entertaining nature. You can also explore the aquarium-museum; enjoy the fairground and the amazing aqua park with its pools for kids and adults of sit back and enjoy an animate film screened in the 4D cinema. One of the most special opportunities here by far is the chance you’ll have to interact with the bottlenose dolphins, swim with them and just get to see them in another way.
The unpretentious theme park of Algarve boasts a mini zoo and some great leisure amenities perfectly suited for traveling families. The countryside setting is a happy relief from the bustling city life and the rural ambience puts you in the mood to relax. There’s a quaint petting zoo on site, a reptile zone, pony rides and a moto-quad track among the many great attractions.
Castelo de Paderne
Sitting in isolation high on a hilltop deep in the Algarve hinterland, the atmospheric ruins of Paderne Castle are a must see. The castle was built by the Moors during the 12th century and overlooks the Quarteira River. The castle itself hasn’t stood the test of time, but the vestiges of the tower gate and the outer wall remains can still be seen. The real reason to the here, however, is for the spectacular views you’ll get over the countryside, even more so during the spring time.