Albufeira is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Algarve, in particular for British citizens. Although perhaps best known for its beaches and nightclubs, the town is also steeped in local history.

Previously known by the Romans as Baltum, the city became the important Moorish seaport of Al-Buhera (which means Castle on the Sea) in the 8th Century. When the Crusades saw the town fall back into Christian hands in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Albufeira was born.

An earthquake in 1755 and widespread fires during the Portuguese Civil War (also known as the Miguelite War), in the first half of the 19th Century, caused the city to fall into relative poverty – although since the tourism boom of the 1960s, conditions have greatly improved.


Albufeira's beaches are for most visitors the main attraction. Albufeira beach itself is very popular, although greater rewards are to be had by heading slightly out of town. To the west of Albufeira lie the Galé, Castelo and São Rafael beaches, whilst to the east are the Praia da Oura (about 1.5 miles) and the Olhos de Agua (6 miles). The Falésia beaches (about 7 miles east of Albufeira) are particularly impressive.

Beaches aside, Albufeira retains fine examples of Iberian architecture in and around the historic centre and its main square, the Largo Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco. These include impressive, whitewashed, terracotta buildings and churches, such as the Igreja de Santana. Albufeira also has a Municipal Art Gallery and an Archaeological Museum.

Near to Albufeira are a range of beautiful villages, such as Guia, Paderne, which boasts an historic Moorish castle, and Alté, a hidden gem of the Serra de Caldeirão foothills.

If you are looking for thrills and spills, then Albufeira lays claim to two nearby theme parks: Krazy World, which is about 12 miles northwest of the city, and Zoo Marine, which lies about 6 or 7 miles to the west of Albufeira.


There are many supermarkets in and around Albufeira. However, for more specialised products and gifts, the central Rua Candida dos Reis offers local arts and crafts, whilst the Gypsy market is a vibrant flea market in Caliços, which lies to the north of the city centre.

Nightlife and Eating Out

Albufeira is swarming with various bars and restaurants – although most tourists forsake the city's more mature centre in favour of Montechoro, or 'the Strip', which lies to the east of the city and which abounds in English-language drinking pits. Recommended bars in town include 7.5 (Seven and a Half), Bizarro, JoJo’s, Café Latino, Sir Harry's and Portas da Vila. Kiss, which is a taxi ride out of town, is the most prominent nightclub.

Albufeira has everything one could ask for by way of food, but no trip would be complete without trying the local specialities, the seafood cataplana and the piri-piri chicken dishes. Recommended restaurants include A Lagosteira, the Piri Piri Steakhouse, the Restaurante Três Coroas, and A Taberna do Pescador. Vila Joya, a restaurant on the Galé beach, also comes highly recommended.

Tourist Information

Câmara Municipal de

Posto de Turismo de Albufeira (RTA)T: +351 289 585 279Posto Municipal de Turismo de Santa EuláliaT: +351 289 515 973


Most tourists reach Albufeira via Faro airport, which is about 35 miles away. Faro offers regular flights to and from many European destinations, in particular Britain, Germany, France and Ireland, via budget airlines.

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