10 Best Things to Do in Albufeira

Once a Moorish stronghold, later a fishing settlement, today Albufeira is one of the liveliest, most popular holiday resorts on the Algarve.  Most of the charming Old Town centre, with its pretty, whitewashed buildings, is car-free, although today there are of course extensive modern developments  scattered across the hills around the resort.

Albufeira has some great sandy beaches, backed by ochre cliffs.  There are developed beaches east of the town and some quieter coves to the west, although even these get pretty busy in July and August. 

The resort offers a wide selection of places to eat and drink and a vibrant nightlife.  Whether you’re looking for somewhere to party in the sun or for a family holiday destination, you’ll find that Albufeira has something for everyone.

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  • Albufeira Nightlife

    Albufeira is probably as famous (or infamous!) for its nightlife as it is for its beaches. The Strip, in the Montechoro area of town is the heart of Albufeira's nightlife with a plethora of clubs and bars. In the summer The Strip becomes absolutely heaving with mostly young Northern European tourists and stag/hen parties pushing alcohol consumption to its logical limit! As the sun goes down and the neon lights come on Avenida Sá Carneiro turns into a kilometre of what is possibly Portugal's...


  • Albufeira church - Igreja Matriz
    Albufeira Igreja Matriz
    Kolforn | BY-SA

    The parish church (Igreja Matriz) in Albufeira is one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in the Algarve. Built in the late 18th century it stands on the site of an earlier church which was converted from a pre-existing mosque.

    Inside there is a single nave with four neoclassical side altars which contain notable artworks featuring St. Louis and St. Peter. Also worthy of note is the filigree stucco-work on the barrel vault ceiling.

    However, it is in the chancel, beyond an imposing triumphal arch with its Cross of Aviz, that you will find the main reason for...


  • Museu Municipal de Arqueologia
    Museu Municipal de Arqueologia
    Kolforn | BY-SA

    Located in Albufeira's old town, just behind the beach, is this archeological museum. The Museu Municipal de Arqueologia de Albufeira is housed in, what was until the late 1980s, the town hall. Despite its diminutive appearance the museum is surprisingly spacious inside.

    Much of the collection was excavated from the local area by Father José Manuel Semedo de Azevedo, a keen amateur archeologist. Objects were collected from nearby sites such as the castle in Paderne, Roman villa in Retorta, the necropolis of Morgado da Lameira and the old parish church. These include such highlights...


  • São Sebastião, Albufeira
    São Sebastião, Albufeira
    Luc.T | BY-SA

    The aesthetically pleasing, whitewashed church of São Sebastião (Saint Sebastian) on Praça Miguel Bombarda is thought to date back to the early 18th century, having been re-built on the site of a 16th century church.

    It features a mix of architectural styles, including a dome and a multi-coloured wooden altarpiece. The main doorway is of the Baroque style and there is a Manueline side door. The inside of the church contains a number of interesting statues, including an image of Nossa Senhora da Piedade (Our Lady of Piety), thought to date from the 16th century....


  • Zoomarine Algarve
    Zoomarine Algarve

    Promoting conservation, environmental education and FUN! Zoomarine combines an important message with hands on shows and a huge water park.

    Located just a few kilometers from Albufeira, here you can see presentations with the parks animals. The highlight of all these has to be the dolphin show which is along the lines of those at the famous Florida Seaworld. These feature displays of amazing acrobatics and the dolphins showing off their intelligence. Not only can you watch the performance, you can swim with the dolphins, although this does require booking in advance. 



  • Castelo de Paderne
    Castelo de Paderne

    Not a great deal remains of Parderne's castle, but given its antiquity this is not surprising. Built from sandstone and earth the castle sits on a promontory overlooking the Quarteira River around 10 kilometres inland from Albufeira.

    The site was originally used by the Romans in the 2nd century but the castle we see today was constructed in the 12th century by the Berbers. The fort passed backwards and forwards between its muslim creators and the christian re-conquerors over the following century. 

    In 1248 the castle was finally captured by the Portuguese forces who went on...


  • Vilamoura Marina
    Vilamoura Marina
    Região de Turismo do Algarve

    Vilamoura, with its interesting archaeological ruins, was once an important Roman fishing centre. Today, tourists flock to the area thanks to the sandy beaches and year-round sunny weather. But Vilamoura also pulls in the yachting set and the marina here is the largest in Portugal.

    Vilamoura Marina was inaugurated in 1974 and is capable of berthing more than 1000 boats. Unlike the majority of Portugal's other marinas, Vilamoura is known for its glitz rather than seaside charm. This makes it the popular choice for the super-rich looking for a place to berth their...


    Public Places
  • Aqualand - Algarve
    Aqualand - Algarve

    Aqualand is one of Europe's largest outdoor water parks and features a range of chutes and slides suitable for all ages.

    The park is home to several notable rides suitable for adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. The "Kamikaze" is the biggest slide in Portugal measuring over 100ft (36m) high it takes a mere 4 seconds to plummet to the bottom! Slightly less intimidating is the "Hydra" a more traditional water chute with a long, long corkscrew section.

    A less usual ride is the "Banzai" which sees riders hurtle down a 23m slide sitting on skim board before shooting across the...


  • Cerro da Vila - Bathhouses
    Cerro da Vila - Bathhouses
    Kolforn (Wikimedia)

    The Cerro de Vila museum is located near the Quarteira suburb of Vilamoura, on the Algarve coastline.  Some pretty interesting Roman archaeological excavations are to be found here, with most of the ruins located within the museum complex.

    The site had been occupied by humans since the Bronze Age, but the Romans were the first to establish a large-scale, permanent settlement here in the year 27BC. Two large Roman villas were located at the site; today fragments of the walls can be seen alongside sections of mosaic. The ruins of the bath-...


  • Vilamoura Casino
    Vilamoura Casino
    António Sacchetti

    If you fancy a flutter or a chance to rub shoulders with the footballers who have homes nearby, the Casino in the Quarteira coastal suburb of Vilamoura might be worth a visit. 

    The casino has twelve live table games (5 roulette, 4 blackjack and 3 Portuguese dice) as well as an area with 4 tables of Texan poker.  The minimum bet at the roulette table is for €5. There are over 500 slot machines.

    As well as the gaming on offer here, there are daily dinner cabaret shows, a restaurant, bars and the popular Blackjack Disco.  The food and drink here is quite...



Albufeira travel guide »

Central on the Algarve coast and only 40 minutes away from the Faro airport, Albufeira has been the most popular holiday destination in the south of Portugal since the 1970s. Originally a...