- Albufeira All inclusive holidays
Sunshine, pristine beaches and a relaxed, easy-going attitude to life makes Albufeira one of the top beach destinations in Portugal. While there are plenty of clubs and bars for the younger crowd, this fabulous coastal region has lots to offer families and adventure travellers too. The traditional fishing village is still there, but is modernised with marinas and resorts, topped off with some glorious countryside.
This stretch of coastline has been strategically important throughout history, so there are plenty of forts and castles to explore. The Fortress of Armacao de Pera is popular with visitors all year round. Head along the beach and you will come to this 15th-century defensive fort. Right up to the 18th century it was being used to fend off pirates, and today it’s a great viewing point for the beach and the rolling surf of the Atlantic.
Most visitors come to Albufeira for the fabulous beaches, so the region has decided to celebrate their greatest asset with an international sand sculpture festival every year. Held in nearby Pera, it’s an incredible display of art using nothing but sand and water. These are not your average sandcastles! The sculptures are fleeting, but the art is quite a spectacle: find sand renditions of Salvador Dali, howling wolfs and even the Taj Mahal.
The Algarve is famous for its golf courses, and the best one close to Albufeira is the Victoria Golf Course, an 18-hole par 72 championship course designed by Arnold Palmer. With ocean views and challenges for even the most seasoned golfer, it’s a magnificent course in a fabulous setting.
One of the main landmarks in Albufueira is Castle Faro. Built in the 12th century by the Moors, it even has a lighthouse to warn ships of the perilous rocks below. Albufeira is packed with landmarks, all of which chart the history and culture of this complex location. Top of the list has to be the Clock Tower, or the Torre do Relógio. It can be seen from almost anywhere in the town, and its elaborate iron crown houses bells that chime on the hour. It’s a great spot for panoramic views across the city, if you don’t mind climbing a few stairs.
The parish church of Igreja Matriz is a splendid example of revivalist 18th-century Neo-Classical architecture, and is home to the statue of Our Lady of Conception: the patron saint of the town. The main access point of the castle was originally St Ann’s Gate, which dates back to the Medieval Period. Much of it was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1755 (don’t worry, there aren’t any more tremors due any time soon!), however, the remains still stand. Get up close and you will see a rather splendid coat of arms for the Azevedo family, former occupants of the castle.
If you want a glimpse of something a little older, look out for the remains of the old castle wall in Rua Joaquim Pedro Samora. There is still some debate as to whether this was originally the North Gate or the Beach Gate of the castle.
If you want to see a fragment of the Arab influence that’s still visible in the town then head to Old Church Street, where you will see a distinctive arch that was once part of an Arab mosque. Again, the earthquake of 1755 destroyed everything except the arch, but it is still an important landmark in the town today.
Albufeira is known as a party town, especially during the summer months. Packed full of bars, clubs and restaurants, it’s the perfect destination for a young and energetic crowd. Things calm down out of peak season, but there is still plenty to keep you entertained, even in the quiet periods.
New Year’s Eve is special in Albufeira, with a huge party on the beach complete with fireworks at midnight and dancing until dawn. The town also attracts its fair share of celebrity performers. During the summer, the Old Town is packed with festivals, events, and special entertainment, much of it focused on retaining Portuguese traditions. Here you will able to see music, dancing and folklore performances that give you a real flavour of the authentic Algarve. And the best bit is that many of these events are free!
When the sun goes down, head to the ‘Street of Bars’ in the Old Town or the Strip in Oura, on the east of the city. 2-4-1 drinks offers, discounted entry prices and a crowd that’s intent on having a great time bring the area to life, with clubs open through until dawn.
Why choose an all-inclusive holiday to Albuferia
Albufeira all inclusive holidays cater for all ages, and there are plenty of resorts offering great package deals for families. Most large hotels have kid’s clubs and offer children’s menus. Beaches in the centre of town are ideal for children, with safe, shallow water and lifeguards on duty throughout the season. Larger hotels often provide crèche facilities and babysitting as part of their services.