Combine fabulous beaches with upbeat nightlife, and we're talking holidays in Albufeira. For this is a resort with a lot to offer. Quiet evenings of starlit dinners, or late nights with the volume turned up. The fun-loving, contemporary seafront, or the cobbled streets of the old town. Acres of golden sand at Praia d'Oura or the smaller, quieter coves tucked beneath the cliffs to the east. Once a quaint fishing village, Albufeira has retained loads of Algarve charm, but now brims with holiday pizzazz.
Before the sixties Albufeira was only a charming fishing village, but since the influx of tourism the town has transformed to become one of the largest and debatably the best holiday resorts on the Algarve. The town is home to under 14,000 year round residents and the bigger municipal area (including Albufeira) is a tad over 35,000. The general concensus is that in high season people on holiday outnumber the locals by 8 or nine to 1.
Although Albufeira has grown massively in recent years however the town retains much of its charm with narrow streets aplenty to remind one of the town's former life. But dont imagine that Albufeira is stuck in a timewarp. As the sun falls the centre of Albufeira changes it's character. There is a massive collection of restaurants, bars and clubs which inevitably begin to fill-up with people, frequently spilling into the surrounding street. The long and short of it is that the town is a lively place especially the Summer months.
In Albufeira beach lovers will have a number of good beaches radiating in both directions out along the coast from the town. The Portuguese name for beach is Praia and the the main beaches are called Praia de Castelo, Praia de Balaia, Praia de Galé, de Olhos d’Agua, Praia de Maria Luisa, Praia de Falésia and Praia de São Rafael. The boating fraternity are now also comfortably looked after in Albufeira by a new marina which was developed to the west of town bringing in a new wealthy clientele to the town. Those interested in culture should be interested in a visit to the exhibitions held by the municipal art gallery or the small museum. The town now also features an unusual Virtual Archaeological Museum which could be interesting.