The Algarve is an amazing stretch of coastline that spans the whole of the bottom of Portugal. The Algarve attracts tourists in record numbers every year who flock to the surf, sand and fun that the Algarve is known for. Albufeira is one of the Algarve’s premier resort towns. I have often been asked What is Albufeira like, and what can you do in Albufeira?
Albufeira is on the Algarve in Portugal.
We discovered many things to do in Albufeira with family, especially with kids in the age group of 5 to 14. In this post, we will tell you about some activities in Albufeira for families (couples and singles). Here is how you can enjoy Albufeira with kids. Read ahead for a super fun Algarve family holiday!
Albufeira is home to some amazing beaches, a scenic old town and a pulsating summer atmosphere. Albufeira is often regarded as purely a tourist town and to be honest it is full of tourist a lot of the time. We encountered lots of British tourists on our stay in Albufeira Portugal. Don’t let this fool you there is much to do in Albufeira and the surrounding areas.
TOP ALBUFEIRA TRAVEL TIPS BEFORE YOU GO
Where to stay in Albufeira
You’ll never be short of accommodation options in Albufeira with a range of luxury hotels, guest houses, hostels, and Airbnb options. You’re sure to be able to find something to fit your budget. But if you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using Trip Advisor to compare prices, and Expedia to book with a guaranteed best price.
- Luxury: Just outside the hustle and bustle of the Old City, grab yourself a slice of Luxury for at the Grand Muthu Oura View Beach Club for between $200-$300 a night with on-site spa facilities.
- Mid-Range: Stay in the heart of the old city at the Aparthotel Paladim for between $150-$200 a night.
- Budget: Budget hotels don’t get much better than Luna Solaqua Hotel-style apartments with a kitchenette and dining table, bar and pool on-site. For between $50-$100 a night, it’s a great place to base yourself.
- Backpacker: With a good location close to the beach and shop, the Hostel Wish and Stay is cheap and tidy with dorm beds as little as $20 a night.
Albufeira airbnb alternative
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation in Bali then Air BnB is the best choice for you. There are so many options for singles, families and budget-friendly options as well. Check out the map below to find the perfect Bali Airbnb
How to get to Albufeira
- Faro International Airport is the closest entry point to Albufeira by air. The Faro Airport to Albufeira is 35 kilometres away. You can book your flights into Faro with EasyJet, Vueling, Ryanair, British Airway and more. For all other airlines, you can check Momondo
- You can catch a train to and from Albufeira from Lisbon and Porto. If you want to visit another destination such as Evora you will need to go to Faro train station. You can search trains with Omio
- Buses are available from cities within Portugal and Spain. The most popular routes are Lisbon to Albufeira and Seville to Albufeira, The bus from Seville takes 4 hours and cost around $30. The bus from Lisbon takes 7 hours and costs around $55
HOW TO GET AROUND ALBUFEIRA
- Most hotels will be in walking distance to the beach or the shops. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi or the Giro which is the local bus service in town. We recommend you hire a car so you can see more places on the Algarve
The best time to visit Albufeira
- The busiest time of year to visit is in the European Summer months from April through September when holidaymakers from all over Europe flock to the Algrave for warm weather and sunshine
- The winter months deliver mild temperatures with intermittent rain and lower prices for accommodation
- The shoulder months of October- November and March – April will see plenty of sunny days with mild to warm temperatures and fewer visitors making it ideal
Best Beaches in Albufeira
The Algarve is famous for its sandy beaches crystal clear waters which are clean and safe for o swim in. The beach at Albufeira is one of the largest and best beaches in the Algarve. The amazing sand beach extends for 2km from the Old Town all the way to the rocky headland in the east.
Praia Dos Arrifes beach is located 2.4 miles (3.9 km) by road to the west of Albufeira Old Town centre and is 29.6 miles (47.6 km) west of the region’s capital of Faro. It is one of the best beaches in Albufeira.
To reach the sandy beach part you must descend down a set of wooden steps from the parking area. People with disabilities or mobility issues will certainly find this difficult as the descent is very steep and narrow. When we were there in the winter there was a bar and restaurant that would be a fantastic place to stop in the summer for a drink and the view.
It was so close to the water we don’t know how it has not been washed into it. You would definitely feel the sea spray enjoying a drink on the deck! The beach is one of the first things to do in Albufeira
Bike Hire Albufeira
All the sunshine in Albufeira makes it an ideal destination for bike riding. Via Algarviana, “a pedestrian long-distance path (300km long), perfect for hiking and biking, that runs from Alcoutim, in the Eastern Algarve, all the way across the region to the western tip at Cape St. Vincent, near Sagres.
Weather you just want bike for few hours or a few days bike hire in Albufeira is available for all people. You can book bikes online or your hotel will be able to help you with bookings.
Going to the Cinema in Albufeira
Located at the Algrave Shopping Centre is the Cineplace. The Algarve Shopping Mall, about 4 miles from town just outside Guia. There are nine screens. films at the Albufeira cinema are shown in English with Portuguese subtitles. Kids films and cartoons are mostly only shown in Portuguese.
Listings and times can be found here https://cineplace.pt/cinemas/algarveshopping/
Shopping in Albufeira
Even though most people go to the Algrave for the sun and the beach, retail thearphy is popular where ever you go on holiday. Shopping in Albufiera can take a few hours or even a whole day depending on you dedication. The Albufeire shopping scene comes in all shapes and sizes from a shopping mall to town stores and a market. I am sure you will find something for everyone in Albufeira.
Visit the Albufeira Old Town
Albufeira Old Town like many you find in Europe these days is a hub for street cafés, restaurants and places to enjoy a drink. The streets surrounding the main square will appeal to the shopper in all of us. You will find clothes shops, leather goods, the usual array of gift shops peddling every type of Albufeira souvenir possible.
Not forgetting shops that sell necessities like supermarkets and chemists. Importantly you will find that English is widely spoken in shops and restaurants. Most places to eat will have an English menu with a tourist board of specials. The Albufeira Old Town is a place you visit night after night on your time in town for great food. We found an amazing Indian restaurant.
Best things to see in Albufeira – The Albufeira Marina
The Albufeira Marina is a part entertainment venue part marina. This purpose-built tourist complex includes hotels, restaurants, bars, shops so something for everyone really. The marina has room for 475 boats to be moored in the complex. The Marina is the departure point for many fun tours such as the rocket speedboat, Dolphin tours, jet ski rentals, fishing tours and parasailing.
A boat trip is a great way to see the coast. Many charters leave the Albufeira Marina. We visited the Albufeira Marina on a wet day with the kids. The Marina is home to some fun kids activities such as 10 pin bowling, Go-Carts and amusement machines. There are many restaurants and bars to enjoy a family meal or just get a snack. Sports bars with big screens broadcasting sports worldwide. We found the Marina to be great for activities in Albufeira on rainy days.
Albufeira Attractions – Zoo Marine
Located in Guia, just a few kilometres from Albufeira. At the Zoo Marine Park, you will see shows featuring presentations with dolphins, seals and sea lions, tropical birds and birds of prey.
The animals of Zoomarine are well looked after and cared for in modern world-class facilities. The park actively rehabilitates rescued animals from the Algarve area. Zoomarine has many amazing features such as aquarium with numerous sea creatures and sharks.
The amusements at the park include a carousel, Ferris Wheel and a swinging Pirate Ship. The 4D cinema is amazing it moves shakes and even stimulates the senses. Zoomarine Beach is amazing fun for the whole family.
Zoo Marine attractions include the wave beach, swimming pool, the rapid river and the fun water slides. You can easily spend the whole day using the facilities of Zoomarine.
What to eat in Albufeira
Being a tourist town Albufeira has lots of restaurants serving all types of food. You will find Portuguese, international and European street food. There is a large number of British visitors so you will find lots of Indian restaurants,
If you want to eat Indian we can recommend
- The Spice Lounge at R. Alves Correia 67, 8200-090 Albufeira, Portugal
If your looking for a snack then some of the best street food in Albufeira includes
- Bifana – is a traditional Portuguese sandwich containing a very thin marinated pork cutlets,
- Farturas – Much like Churrios but with a nice lemon taste
- Dried Octopus – If you game you try this strong smelling seafood snack.
If your looking for something more traditional the following restaurants are highly rated for there Portugese cuisine.
- Marinheiro – Mediterranean influenced food featuring a full menu of Portuguese of meat and seafood options
- Restaurante Palacete – The menu is translated into five languages for all visitors, with a kids menu also available
Close by Albufeira on the central Algarve coast is three excellent water parks. Slide and Splash, Aqualand and Aquashow are all very popular with kids and families visiting the region. These theme parks of the Algarve contain some of the most exciting water rides anywhere, near-vertical slides twists and turns await those visiting the Algarve water parks.
Wave pools provide excellent fun for the little one who may not be ready for the thrill of the slides just yet and provide excitement for children of all ages. The water parks can be a drain on the wallet. Fun seems to always come at an expense with entrance fees for kids starting at around $30 Australian. The water parks provide transfers from Albufeira.
Silves Castle – Day trips from Albufeira
The journey from Albufeira to Silves Castle is only 30km. Silves Castle was built on fortifications by the Romans or Visigoths. For 400 years between the 8th and 12th century, the castle was occupied by the Moors. Today the castle is one of the best-preserved of the Moorish fortifications in Portugal. Silves Castle was honoured with being a National Monument in 1910. We visited Silves castle and found it to be a great experience.
Today Castelo De Silves is a well-preserved castle. The walls of this structure are still intact. You are able to walk the walls and get amazing views of the town of Sives. All the buildings that were present on the inside are gone now. You can still see the remains of the internal buildings. There is a small museum on site that contains artefacts that have been found on the site.
Sagres day trip
Sagres is 100 kilometres away from Albufeira. The drive to Sagres encompasses the whole length of the Algarve coastline. Here at Wyld Family Travel, we spent a great day driving along the coast. Sagres is actually the end of Europe.
Sagres is the most southwestern point of Europe. The Lighthouse of Cabo de São Vicente is a lighthouse located a few kilometres out of the town of Sagres. The Algarve coastline along here is some of the most striking you will find anywhere.
Massive sandstone cliffs, outcrops and huge swells all combine in this area of Portugal. Sagres Fortress, The Fortaleza Sagres, Sagres Castle or Fort Sagres sits atop the Ponta de Sagres. The fortress was built in the 15th century by Prince Henry (right before the Portuguese Age of Discoveries).
At the Fort Henry, the Navigator spent his time studying new techniques and planning voyages. Henry’s lived his life Cabo de São Vicente at the location of the present day lighthouse.
The major cities on the Algarve are Faro and Lagos. This presents 2 more things to do near the town.. Things to do in Lagos Portugal include visiting the harbour and the castle on the waterfront. Quite possibly the most amazing beach on the Algarve coast is Praia do Camilo and it is accessed down 224 stairs. Praia Do Camilo is actually two beaches. You enter the first beach off the steps and you can access the second beach through a small tunnel carved into the rock
Faro was a 30 minute trip from Albufeira. What to do in Faro Portugal you might ask? We went on an amazing Tuk Tuk tour run by a company called Far Echo Tuk Tuk. This tour took us through the streets of Faro from the historical part of the city all the way to Faro Beach.
One popular site in Faro is the church Capela de Ossos Bone Chapel. Yes, a bone chapel is built on the sight of the church it is an amazing sight and one not to be missed.
Like all towns, Albufeira has all the normal facilities such as shopping malls and cinemas. We recommend that you hire a car when in the Algarve region. Things to do in Albufeira Algarve is made all that much easier with a car. We recommend travelling outside of Albufeira for an authentic feel of Portugal.
We learnt by speaking to people that Albufeira is not well liked by the Portuguese people because of its lack of Portuguese culture and its pandering to tourism in general but the people were so nice to us. Albufeira we found it to be a great place to stay and base ourselves for further exploring the Algarve region. Albufeira is more than theme parks and a destination for tourists, it is a fantastic place to go for a holiday with your family.
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support .
Waterpark Albufeira Picture is courtesy of www.onetinyleap.com
The cover image is courtesy of Albufeira 365 Facebook Page