Live the vibrant life of Albufeira.

Albufeira is a city, seat, and municipality in the district of Faro, in the southernmost Portuguese region of the Algarve. The municipality population in 2011 was 40,828,[1] in an area of 140.66 square kilometers (54.31 square miles). The city proper had a population of 13,646 in 2001. It is 250 kilometers (160 mi) from Lisbon and is within close proximity of Paderne CastleLagos is located 30 kilometers (19 mi) to the west, and Faro 45 kilometers (28 mi) to the south-east. A tourist destination (due to its coastal conditions), Albufeira expands to approximately 300,000 residents during the summer and during New Year celebrations, owing to the number of hotels and lodgings in the district, that includes marina facilities, golf courses, restaurants and bars for the annual flood of visitors.

The name originated from the Arab Al-buhera, which means castle of the sea, owing to its location along the coast, or alternately al-Buħayra, for the lagoon, in reference to the lagoon that formed in the lowlands. The Arabs constructed strong defensive structures, making the area almost impregnable, allowing this area to remain in the hands of their forces longer than other possessions in Portugal. The development of agriculture during this period was notable, with the introduction of new techniques and plant species. The Moors used the plow and fertilizers, as well as winches for lifting the water from the wells, introducing the irrigation of fields, constructing dams and transforming uncultivated areas into gardens and orchards.

The XX Century 

In the first decades of the 20th century, the export of fish and nuts represented the largest contribution to the local economy of the municipality. The town itself had five factories employing 700-800 people, mostly wives of fishermen working in local production. Yet, between 1930 and 1960, there was a considerable decline in fortunes, resulting in the closing of many of these factories, the reduction in fishing boats along the coast and the abandonment of many of the homes. The population was reduced by half and the fishing industry became a subsistence activity, supporting local consumption only.

The town started to become a hub for tourism in the 1960s and has grown to accommodate this since, growing out into the surrounding hills to accommodate thousands of the 5 million tourists who visit the Algarve region each year.

The tourist areas are divided into two main areas, Areias de São João, known colloquially as The Strip, and the Old Town. The Strip’s main street is Avenida Francisco Sá Carneiro which is full of bars, restaurants, and open-air discothèques. It is not a pedestrian street so cars pass through the crowd at all hours. It is a very nightlife oriented area, very popular with young people. The Albufeira bullring is close by.

The Old Town is situated right at the seafront and is predominantly a pedestrian area. Street-artists entertain the crowds and there is a large choice of restaurants, bars, and shops. There are many bars that have live music.

 

Beaches

  • Praia dos Alemães (German Beach) is a blue flag beach located west of Albufeira old town and is flanked either side by Praia dos Aveiros to the west and to the east by Praia do Inatel provide sheltered coves from strong windy conditions;
  • Praia dos Arrifes is a beach close to the village resort of Sesmarias which is within the Municipality of Albufeira, Portugal. This beach is located 3.9 km by road to the west of Albufeira old town center.
  • Praia dos Aveiros is a small blue flag beach in the area called Areias de São João or Saint John’s Sands, in the town of Albufeira. The beach is enclosed in a small cove and is made up of fine golden sands and is flanked at either end by cliffs and rock formations.
  • Praia da Balaia is a small satellite beach at the eastern end of its larger neighbor, Praia Santa Eulália, on the Atlantic south coast of the Algarve. It’s 3.1 km east of the town of Albufeira and 1.7 km west of the coastal village of Olhos de Água.
  • Barranco das Belharucas Beach is a beach in the municipality of Albufeira, between Olhos de Água and Açoteias. It begins the Falesia Beach that extends for 7 km to Vilamoura.
  • Praia da Coelha (Rabbit Beach) is a beach close to the village resort of Sesmarias which is within the Municipality of Albufeira, in the Algarve, Portugal. This beach is located 6.3 km by road to the west of Albufeira old town center.
  • Praia Santa Eulália is a beach within the Municipality of Albufeira, in the Algarve, Portugal. The beach is 4.3 km east of the town of Albufeira.
  • Praia do Castelo is a beach close to the village resort of Sesmarias which is within the Municipality of Albufeira, in the Algarve, Portugal. This beach is located 6.4 km by road to the west of Albufeira old town center.
  • Praia do Evaristo is a beach within the Municipality of Albufeira, in the Algarve, Portugal. The beach is 6.1 km west of the town of Albufeira.
  • Falésia Beach (Praia da Falésia, meaning Cliff Beach) is a beach in Albufeira. It has a cliff that begins in the Barranco das Belharucas Beach and extends to Vilamoura.
  • Praia do Inatel is a Blue flag beach located in the resort town of Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal. The beach lies to the east of Albufeira old town in the district of Bairro dos Pescadores (Neighborhood of the Fisherman) and is dominated by the Albufeira Inatel Hotel which sit to the rear of the beach and from which the beach takes its name.
  • The Olheiros de Água Doce is a beach in the Faro District of the Algarve Region on the southernmost coast of Portugal, in Olhos de Água. There are many freshwater springs on the beach, visible during low tide when they bubble through the sand on the beach.
  • Praia da Oura is a blue flag beach within the Municipality of Albufeira, in the Algarve, Portugal. The beach is in the eastern district of Albufeira in the neighborhood called Areias de São João (Saint John’s Sands). Its flanked by Praia dos Aveiros to the west and Praia de Santa Eulália to the eastern side. The beach is approximately 900 meters in length and is 450 meters wide at low tide.
  • Praia dos Pescadores or the Fishermans Beach is a blue flag beach on the Atlantic south coast of the Algarve, in the district of Bairro dos Pescadores (Neighborhood of the Fisherman), Albufeira which is within the Municipality of Albufeira, Portugal. The beach is one of the two beaches which front the town of Albufeira with Praia do Túnel at the western end and Praia dos Pescadores lying to the eastern end of the town’s seafront.
  • Praia de São Rafael is a beach on the Atlantic south coast of the Algarve, close to the village resort of Sesmarias which is within the Municipality of Albufeira, Portugal. This beach is located 4.0 km by road to the west of Albufeira old town center. This beach is one of sixty-nine blue flag beaches (2012) in the Algarve and is accredited with good facilities for the disabled.
  • Praia da Rocha Baixinha is the beach at the eastern end of Falesia Beach (Praia da Falésia) and is close to the marina and resort of Vilamoura. The beach is split into two areas, Rocha Baixinha Oeste (East) and Rocha Baixinha-Leste (West). Both beaches have been awarded blue flags. Rocha Baixinha Oeste is next to the mouth of the Quarteira River and the resort of Vilamoura is on the other side. The beach is wide with fine golden sand and stretches away westwards towards Praia da Falésia.
  • Praia do Túnel is a beach on the Atlantic south coast of the Algarve, in the town of Albufeira which is within the Municipality of Albufeira, Portugal. The beach is also known as Praia do Peneco and is one of the two beaches which front the town of Albufeira with Praia do Túnel at the western end and Praia dos Pescadores lying to the eastern end of the town’s seafront.