Albufeira: beaches, nightlife and sights

Abufeira is one of the most popular holiday cities in Portugal, lying in the southernmost part of the country, in the province of Algarve. It is not only a city, but also the most famous resort of the Algarve. For a special holiday you have to be in this city. Albufeira has beautiful beaches, many attractions, wonderful excursions, nice shops and a rich nightlife for young and old. It is the most touristic city of this region.

Albufeira

Albufeira is a municipality in the district in Faro with a number of small municipalities, including the city of the same name. The towns of Guia, Ferreiras, Olhos d'Aqua and Paderne also fall under the municipality of Albufeira. The city of Albufeira, built against the rocky coast, was once a fishing village, but has now become a tourist attraction, partly due to its location on the Atlantic Ocean. The Arabs gave this city the name Albuhera which means 'castle of the ocean'. From 1960 onwards more and more tourists came to this city and in 1986 Albufeira got city rights. Fortunately, you still come across the characteristics of the fishing village, such as the colorful fishing boats and nets that you occasionally encounter. But the characteristic appearance of the houses have also been preserved over the years.

Nightlife

The two areas in Albufeira where many tourists come are the new part of the city, namely 'the strip' and the old center. The strip is a very long street in the new part of the city and here you will find various cafes, cocktail bars, discos and restaurants. In the older part you will find a number of bars and clubs, such as the party cafe bloopers. These two areas are approximately 3 kilometers apart. You can walk for about half an hour to 45 minutes, but you can also arrange a taxi that will take you from one place to another.

Clubs

In and around Albufeira there are many different bars and discos, such as bars with live music, karaoke and bars where you can dance. At most discos you cannot enter before 01:00 and stay open until dawn. If you want to enjoy the nightlife, then you are in the right place in Albufeira. A number of occasions are:
  • Party café Bloopers is part of a travel organization especially for young people (Beachmasters) and originally a Dutch café. It stands in the middle of the old center of Albufeira, hidden between the cozy old alleys. Every night this café is open until 4 a.m. The staff is Dutch and most Dutch tourists can be found here.
  • Bar Twist is close to party café bloopers and is well visited by tourists every evening. There is a cozy atmosphere and the bar staff, together with the DJs and a live band, create a festive mood with fun and entertainment. Different styles of music are played, so suitable for everyone.
  • Another Dutch party cafe is celebrations that can be found in a side street of the strip. This café also has Dutch staff, plays a lot of Dutch-language music and in this way focuses specifically on Dutch tourists.
  • Wild & Co is a bar-restaurant that can be found at the beginning of the strip and an absolute must if you are on holiday in Albufeira. In this bar it looks like you are entering an American saloon or an Irish pub. On the ground floor is the bar and above the bar is a restaurant overlooking the sea. At the beginning of the evening there is live music in the bar and there are various music performances by various artists. If you like to see dancing ladies at the bar, you have to go to wild & co. Later in the evening there is a DJ and if you want to order a cocktail, you get a free show from the bartenders. The people who come are of different nationalities.
  • Discotheque the Kiss Club is one of the oldest discos in Albufeira and is very well known. This disco has three dance floors including house, hip-hop and techno music. There are always many guest appearances by famous Dutch people and DJs here and you can also come across many Dutch tourists. It always gets very busy around 3:00 AM and the club is open until 7:00 AM. You can find this club in the side street of the strip near the Restaurant Wild & Co.
  • Fiesta is a modern party club in the old part of the city. This club is known for its theme nights. Different international artists and DJs come every evening and they ensure a great party evening.
  • Café Del Mar is on the strip and is crowded early in the evening by various international tourists. This cafe is close to other clubs on the strip.
  • Garage Bar is a cozy bar where you can start your party evening and where you can dance, sing karaoke or watch football. Every night there are local DJs who play popular hits and where you can also request request numbers.
  • Vegas is an international bar and is located in the old town of Albufeira. There are regular live performances and there is a cozy and friendly atmosphere. The bar is not very big, there is only room for 120 people, but it is open until early in the morning.
Pescadores Beach / Source: Robiweber, Pixabay

Beaches of Albufeira

Albufeira has several beaches that are very well maintained. One beach can be reached by stairs, the other is fairly easy to reach from the center. Each beach has its own characteristics:

Pescadores beach

This beach is located on the old center of Albufeira and is very well cared for. It is a sandy beach with many lifeguards, which is very important for safety. The sea water is very clear and runs very slowly. After 30 meters it becomes deeper, which is therefore very suitable for families with children. You can rent beds and umbrellas on the beach and you can also find several eateries. Showers and toilets are also available on this beach.

Beach do Tunel / Beach Do Peneco

This is another beach in Old Albufeira and can be easily reached via a tunnel from the center. This beach is located in the west of the wide beach of Albufeira. Here you can take a wonderful walk to the 'Gruto do Xorino' cave. Rumor has it that the Moors used this cave when Albufeira was conquered in the 13th century. It is worthwhile to visit this cave. Furthermore, there are also various dining options on this beach, as well as showers and toilets. Umbrellas and cots can be rented and there are several lifeguards walking around for safety.

Beach Inatel

One of the busiest beaches in Albufeira. The large hotel Inatel is located on this beach, which is why the beach was given this name. It is a busy beach, but not noisy, so you can relax well. From this beach you can also walk well and you can view the different caves that lie on the edge of the beach. There is also a restaurant where you can get different tapas and snacks.

Beach dos Alemães

This beach is situated on a calm sea and is surrounded by cliffs. During the day there are lifeguards present for safety and you can also rent sun beds and umbrellas on this beach. You can get something to eat at a small bar and there are showers and toilets.

Beach dos Aveiros

This is not a very large beach and lies in a bay of rocks and cliffs. Here you have the opportunity to dive into the sea. This beach is next to the main beach of Albufeira and you can get there by a staircase next to the Auramar hotel. Here too you can rent sun beds and umbrellas, and there are showers and toilets on the beach. You can go to the restaurant for a snack and a drink. Lifeguards are also present.

Beach da Oura

The main beach of Albufeira, also called the "Golden Beach". It is located at the end of the strip, a well-known entertainment spot for young people, which you will encounter a lot on this beach. Here you can dive and windsurf very well. If you want something a little quieter on the beach, it is advisable to walk to the east at Hotel Pedra dos Bicos, where it is a bit quieter. You can also rent sun beds and umbrellas on this beach. There are also showers and toilets available (also for the disabled).

Sights

Albufeira does not have much to offer when it comes to cultural heritage or other sights. But what the city has is beautiful and special. If you want to see something different from the beach, then there are a number of places that are worth visiting. The earthquake in 1755 destroyed many buildings, but there are a number of buildings and churches that have survived, and still look very good. They are definitely worth a visit. These ancient monuments can all be linked to important events in the history of Portugal or Albufeira and can mainly be found in the old part of the Albufeira.

Museums

There are a number of museums in Albufeira that are open daily in the summer months. Galerie de Arte is a small ceramic museum in Albufeira. The museum is located in the old Power Station and has two floors. Another museum in Albufeira is the archaeological museum in the old town hall. In this museum you can see all the important things from the history of Portugal to the present. There are exhibitions, old texts on paper written by hand and old objects made by hand by the former residents. In this museum you can feel and see the history of the country.

Churches

Right in the center of Albufeira is the beautiful church of St. Anna from the 18th century that is open daily. This church is a real sight of Albufeira because of its old classical forms that are typical of that time. The altar in the church is entirely made of wood and designed by the famous Portuguese masters Zhou Baptista and Francisco Javier. But there are also other beautiful, wooden statues to be found in this church. There are also beautiful drawings and paintings in the church and there are beautiful wall and ceiling paintings. Next to the church is a statue of Saint Vincent, a Christian martyr. Visiting the São Sebastian and Igreja da Matriz Church is also recommended.
Source: Yellowhorse, Pixabay
Boat trips and caves
The Albufeira coastline is stunning because of the rugged rock formations that the beaches have and the caves that they have. It is very special to visit these caves. There are boat trips that realize this and with which you can sail along the caves, but also get into the caves. Beautiful caves of Albufeira are Ponte Grande, Cerro de Malpique, Lajem do Cónego, Penedo de Peneco and the Cova do Xorino. The last cave is the rumor that the Moors hid during the Christian reconquista in the 13th century.

Finally

  • You should not drink the water that comes out of the tap in Albufeira. It is advisable to buy bottles of mineral water in the supermarket.
  • It can happen that the medicines have a different name than in the Netherlands, to be sure to bring a medicine passport, or show a package if you have to buy medicines.

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