Photo Essay: Albufeira, a holiday town in Algarve

Albufeira is a little holiday town that is centrally located in the Algarve region of Portugal.  Its easy to see why the town is flooded with tourists. Interesting shops, narrow cobbled streets, charm of an old town, lovely beaches and sandstone cliffs. Who wouldn’t want to go there!  

We stopped over in Albufeira initially to take a short break, but ended up staying a little more than 4 hours.  The modernized side of Albufeira has plenty of restaurants, pubs, bars, gardens and car parking facilities, while the old town has charismatic white washed houses, mosaic pavements striking a perfect balance of a holiday resort town. 

The name Albufeira is derived from the arab word “Al-Buhera” which means “Castle of the Sea”.   Albufeira has been a fortified town for many years, and then as a fishing village until it became a thriving centre of tourism.


Praia du Tunel and Praia dos Pescadores – the 2 beaches that are the heart beat of Albufeira.  These beaches are sure pretty packed in Summer, but we were glad to enjoy the solitude during the mild winter. 

Albufeira houses
The houses around the Old Town were all white washed, and had beautifully adorn flowers and gardens

Albufeira beach

Albufeira street
Street signs in Albufeira quite fascinated us for their lovely decorative tile work

Albufeira 3
The tunnel that leads to the beach in Albufeira

Streets in Albufeira
Quaint streets in Old Town that connects beach and new town. 

Narrow streets Albufeira
Old town centre with plenty of souvenir shops.  Note the mosaic work on the street pavements.  Most of these roads are car-free zone. 

Door knobs Albufeira
Gorgeous door handles that we couldn’t stop from framing.

Bouganvillae Flower Albufeira
Bougainvillea flowers in full bloom were quite accentuating against the white washed walls. 

Street shows Albufeira
Get entertained by the street artists 

Pasta Penne
There are plenty of restaurants that suit the diverse taste buds both in old and new town, and most of the restaurants served vegetarian options. 

Love the tiles

Whitewashed buildings of Albufeira

Practical Information:

* Albufeira is 32kms from Faro Airport. There are frequent shuttle bus that works cost effective. 
* Train station is 6 kms away from the city, so choose your transport option wisely.
* It’s nearly impossible to find car parking space in Old Town. Look for car parks within New Town and walk your way to old town.
* Although Albufeira is a holiday resort and it’s safe, the nightlife in new town can get crazy at times.
* There are amazing coastal walking trails around Albufeira region that are worth checking out.  

20 Responses

  1. The beach looks cool 🙂 What's that structure in the middle of the sand (first photo)?

    Destination Infinity

  2. Love the photo of the Bougainvillea flowers.

  3. So pretty! I love love love all those flowers on the window boxes. And your pasta looked amazeballs! I would love to visit Albufeira!

  4. Nice post. Always good to read about new places…

  5. I just LOVE this collection of photos! They really tell a story about this charming Portugal town!

  6. I love Portugal, although I tend to skip the more famous "resorts". Albufeira doesn't seem too bad 🙂 Love the azulejos and the white-washed houses!

  7. Really happy that you enjoyed Albufeira ! I'm from Portugal and Albufeira is one of my favourite spots in the summer 🙂 You should check Vilamoura if you go to Algarve in the summer!

  8. I went here when I was a child and I remember the beach is beautiful in the summer. I love the people and culture. Its friendly and such a charming place. Great post

  9. The Algarve has been on my radar for quite some time though I am a bit surprised to see an Andean pan flutist.

  10. Wow! Such a lovely town.

  11. Awesome, makes me want to stop there and have some pasta! Beautifully written!

  12. Beautiful place guys. I love the pic of the tunnel leading to the beach, and how you managed to make it sound like a great place even though the weather was not amazing… well done!

  13. I did my first trip to the Algarve last year and was really impressed by it, such a beautiful country and those beaches are stunning – your lovely photos bring back lots of good memories.

  14. Lovely pictures!

  15. I have never been in Agrave region of Portugal. I found it magnificent in your shared pictures. I like all the images especially the tunnel, beauty adores flowers and garden and the narrow streets. They are looking like very ancient and attractive. Next week I am going for day trip from orlando to Miami. Later on I must make a plan to visit this wonderful place.

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