Things to do in Albufeira
As the largest resort town in the Algarve, Albufeira has plenty of things to do to keep you and your loved ones occupied during your next villa holiday. What was once a sleepy fishing village has now become one of Portugal’s most popular resorts – and for good reason. Unspoiled beaches, a historical town centre and plenty of theme parks, boat tours, day trips, shops, restaurants and bars make Albufeira a fantastic holiday destination for all ages. Here’s our guide to the best things to do in Albufeira.
Investigate the Old Town and Strip
There are two sides to Albufeira – one is ancient, historic and calm, while the other offers a more lively social and nightlife scene. However you like to spend your holiday, both the Old Town and the Strip are worth exploring. Once occupied by Arabs and Romans, Albufeira has an intriguing history that reveals itself in the Old Town. The local 18th-century church of Sant’Ana in Largo Jacinto d’Ayet is an interesting landmark, as is Albufeira’s archaeological museum, which offers artefacts dating all the way back to the Stone Age. Meander around the Old Town and take in the local history while stopping on occasion for refreshments at a traditional cafe.
Livelier is the Strip, which is the home of Albufeira’s nightlife. Stretching from north Albufeira to Oura beach, it is filled with places to eat offering Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English fare, as well as plenty of bars, clubs and shops. Whether you visit during the day or night, this area of the resort is always buzzing with life.
Explore Paderne village
If you feel like heading a little further out from Villa Casa Pinheiro (located on Albufeira’s outskirts), around 13km away from the resort and set back into the Portuguese countryside lies Paderne village, which is perfect for a tranquil day out and experiencing rural life. Wander around the historic village centre, which features an old watermill, renovated windmill, historical bridge and two churches – Nossa Senhora da Esperança (from the 16th century) and the Nossa Senhora do Pé da Cruz (from the 18th century). If you and your family love the great outdoors and hiking, take the walking trail up to Moorish Castle, which rewards you with magnificent views once you reach the top, as well as intriguing castle ruins. Art lovers are catered for too, with the Corte Real gallery selling a variety of international artworks that you’ll want to take home.
Enjoy a beach day
Stroll along one of the longest stretches of sand in Portugal, the Praia da Falésia, which stretches 6km from Olhos de Água to Vilamoura, and offers spectacular views, whether you decide to walk along the clifftop or the shoreline. Albufeira offers plenty of stunning beaches just a stone’s throw away, but if you want to head further up the coast to a quieter spot, hop in the car and drive to Praia Galé, which is just west of Albufeira. This beach offers epic rock formations, calm waters for snorkelling and plenty of bars and restaurants for refreshments – the ideal place to spend the day on the beach, before returning to your Villa Marina View.
Head to a theme park
When you’re on a family holiday with the kids, Albufeira offers plenty of things to do. Zoomarine offers an amazing family day out, and features water slides, a 4D cinema, bird shows and of course, dolphins. If you’d rather stay out of the heat during the day, head to Hot Wheels skating park – an indoor complex that has the boastful title of the Algarve’s fastest karting track, and which also features a bowling alley nearby. If water parks are more your thing, the whole family can cool off at Aqualand, which has everything from a lazy river to adrenaline-filled water slides, kamikazes and more.
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