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Favourite Cities and Hotels in Portugal

Portugal's answer to Spain's Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, the region known as the Algarve in the extreme south of the country has become synonymous with posh Mediterranean escapism and hyper resort development. Especially popular with visitors from the United Kingdom in the summer season, when the population of lynchpin tourist city Albufeira swells to well over ten times the native population, the area is a dizzy kaleidoscope of beachside hotels, condos, nightclubs, pubs and golf courses.

While the Mediterranean climate is perfectly suitable to tranquil beach time in Albufeira, visitors would do well to get out of the tourist trap zones and explore neaby towns. The old quarter of Lagos for one, in addition to beautiful Silves and the small capital city of the Algarve, Faro. These towns represent the best bets for culture, architecture and authentic, if not affordable, gastronomy. Party people should stick to Albufeira's notorious Strip.

Attractions

  • Sagres
  • Faro
  • Lagos
  • Monchique
  • Silves
  • Activities

  • Algarve International Film Festival
  • Faro International Music Festival
  • Al'Buhera Festival
  • Feira da Santa Iria
  • Albufeira Jazz Festival
  • Restaurants

  • Adego Nova
  • Centenario
  • Taska
  • Reis
  • Meu Limão
  • Nightlife

  • Carnaval Bar
  • Mustang
  • Cafe del Mar
  • Kiss
  • Bahia Beach Bar
  • The warm, pleasant Mediterranean climate of the Algarve, with Albufeira in particular, makes it particularly irresistible as a vacation destination.

    • Winter (December to February) 9-16°C
    • Spring (March to May) 11-22°C
    • Summer (June to September) 18-28°C
    • Fall (October to November) 13-22°C

    Algarve - Albufeira Hotels

    HotelClub

    Assorted Albufeira

    To say the Portuguese city of Albufeira has something of a split personality would be an understatement. The geography of the former fishing village firmly divides the Old Town and the tourist strip in two, and its underbelly is a buzzing but somehow workable collision of busy beach resorts like Sao Rafael and Praia da Gale and rustic Algarve charm. ... Read more »

    On the topic of business: there may well be more people in dancing hot spot Fastnet Bar at 3.30 a.m. than there are actually sleeping in the resorts! If you’re not one of them and actually manage to get up before midday, you can watch the pros teeing off at the Pine Cliffs Golf Club. Better yet, get a taste of Albufeira’s charming, hidden culture by venturing deep down the narrow streets of former fishing village Armacao de Pera. A little further – ahh, there you are…

    Albufeira’s Top 10

    10. San Vicente de Albufeira Statue Commemorating an entrepreneur, a fisherman, a poet and a legend of the city.

    5. Balaia Golf Village A meticulously manicured course that melds seamlessly into the landscape.

    9. Misericordia Chapel The elaborate artwork on and behind the altar is worth a nosey.

    4. Montechoro Strip One of the most divisive parts of the city. Either you’ll love this Irish bar-lined tourist strip or hate it.

    8. Castle Wall The remains of the city’s old fortifications are a reminder of the rich history lying beyond the tourist strip.

    3. Praia Gale Known for its rocky outcrops, this is one of the most comfortable beaches in the world.

    7. Xorino Cave Although you’d best avoid the place at high tide, these caves are off the ocean and great for exploring.

    2. Spa Villas d’Agua For a slice of heaven, let the world-famous masseuses work their magic on your tired muscles.

    6. Falesia Beach Surrounded on all sides by stark cliffs, this quiet beach is one you can enjoy all on your lonesome.

    1. Old Town The ‘real’ part of the city, this humble fishing village is everything the tourist strip isn’t.

    Algarve-Albufeira History

    • Castelo de Almoáda – A 12th-century Moorish castle.
    • Ingreja of Sant’Ana (Church of St Anne) – This 18th-century church is a core Albufeira monument certainly worth exploring.
    • Igreja Matriz (Matriz Church) – This 18th-century church contains a collection of intriguing statues. Tourists should be sure to check out the church’s bell tower.
    • Torre da Medronheira (Old Watch Tower) – This 1550s tower was built to protect Albufeira from possible threats.
    • Hermitage de Nossa Senhora da Guia – A fine baroque building surrounded by Salgados Lake in Albufeira.

    Algarve-Albufeira Art & Culture

    • Museu Municipal de Arqueologia (Archaeology Museum) – Located in the town hall, this museum houses exhibits that provide an insight into local history.
    • Galeria Municipal de Arte (Municipal Art Gallery) – A small art gallery found near the Camara Municipal in Albufeira.
    • Museu de Arte Oriental (Museum of Oriental Art) – A small museum unlike any other in Albufeira.
    • Galeria de Arte Pintor Samora Barros/Museu de Samora Barros (Samora Barros Museum) – A gallery dedicated to Albufeira’s favourite artist, Jose Ricardo Júdice of Samora Barros.
    • Museu de Arte Sacra (Museum of Sacred Art) – Situated within the Igreja de Sao Sebastiao (Church of St Sebastian), this museum contains a range of impressive ecclesiastical artworks.

    Algarve-Albufeira Shopping

    • Rua do 5 de Outubro – One of the main shopping haunts in Albufeira.
    • Praca Duarte de Pacheco – An extensive spread of merchant kiosks and shopping boutiques selling everything tourists can think of, from swimming suits to wood carvings.
    • Modelo Shopping Centre – Albufeira’s only shopping centre. The Modelo centre lies north of central Albufeira and is home to small, independently owned boutiques.
    • Gypsy Market – One of Albufeira’s examples of local commerce. The market convenes twice monthly and can be found in the centre of Albufeira.
    • Infante Dom Henrique House – A pottery shop and a great place in which to purchase souvenirs.

    Gay & Lesbian Algarve-Albufeira

    • Kadoc Disco – A gay-friendly mixed club in Algarve that attracts locals and tourists alike.
    • Best of Bar – A gay bar featuring drag shows.
    • El Panchito – A gay-friendly restaurant serving delicious Mexican cuisine.
    • Kiss – A mixed disco bar perfect for dancing.
    • Por do Sol – A mixed snack-bar serving up tasty treats in Albufeira.

    Algarve-Albufeira Outdoor

    • Fisherman’s’ Beach – Located in the Old Town of Algarve, this beach is one of Albufeira’s most famous attractions. The beach is lined with numerous restaurants and bars.
    • St Vicente de Albufeira – An imposing statue commemorating the martyrdom of St Vicente.
    • Praia dos Pescadores – A popular beach that gets relatively crowded during the summertime.
    • Olhos d’Aqua – A peaceful beach just east of the city centre.
    • Praia da Gale – Located about 6km to the west of Albufeira, this beach attracts water skiers and jet skiers.

    Algarve-Albufeira Sport

    • Watch the SC Farense, one of Algarve’s most successful football clubs.
    • Catch the Clube de Ciclismo de Tavira, a notable Portuguese cycling team, in training in the region.
    • Take a trip to the Estádio Algarve where the Louletano F.C. play their home games.
    • Watch the annual Algarve Cup invitational women’s football tournament, which tends to be held in March.
    • Visit the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve race circuit located in Portimão.

    Albufeira Events

    Transporting tourists and locals back to the height of the city’s importance, January’s Paderne Medieval Festival celebrates the 14th century with music and feasting abound.

    Marking Portugal’s liberation from a hated dictatorship, Liberation Day’s April celebrations include a street parade and dancing well into the night.

    The skies fill with colourful hot-air balloons as Portugal’s top balloonists go up, up and away for Balloons Meeting in June.

    August’s Sardine Festival is exactly what it says – three days of salty, tinned, skin-inclusive seafood.

    October’s Feira da Guia celebrates Portuguese folk art and music from one of the city’s most postcard-perfect beaches.

    When To Visit

    July and August are especially hot, with the sheltered bays receiving no respite from passing ocean winds.

    November and December are pleasant but busy as Portugal fills with vacationing northern Europeans escaping the cold.

    February to April is the best time to visit, as you get the best of the Easter and Carnaval festivities.

    Getting Around

    Most of the city can be reached on foot, including some off-the-beaten-track discoveries.

    Renting a car is a good option if you want to explore the untouched countryside surrounding Albufeira.

    You can reach the city by bus or train from Lisbon, or vice versa if you need to make a quick escape.


    HotelClub Blog

    Portugal’s Pleasant Paradise: 10 Spectacular Holiday Delights in Algarve’s Abode

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    Sheraton Algarve Hotel At Pine Cliffs Resort
    Reviewer score
    4.1
    out of 52 Reviews
    Praia Da Falesia 644 Albufeira Algarve PT-8200-909

    Standing proudly on a spectacular cliff-top setting and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Sheraton Algarve Hotel aff... More hotel details

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    Belver Boa Vista Hotel & Spa Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    4.3
    out of 52 Reviews
    Rua Samora Barros N 20 Albufeira PT-8200-178

    Overlooking the beach, the Belver Boa Vista Hotel and Spa Albufeira is not to be missed if you want to enjoy some unma... More hotel details

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    CS Sao Rafael Suite Hotel Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    3.9
    out of 52 Reviews
    Sesmarias Albufeira Algarve PT-8200-613

    Welcome to CS Sao Rafael Suite Hotel, where a good taste always has a place. Consisting of spacious suites and with pl... More hotel details

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    Luna Varandas De Albufeira Hotel
    Reviewer score
    0
    out of 50 Reviews
    Rua Do Indico Lote 14-15 Albufeira Algarve PT-8200-139

    The friendly staff at the Luna Varandas De Albufeira Hotel would be delighted to welcome you by offering excellent acc... More hotel details

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    Solar De Sao Joao Aparthotel Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    3.9
    out of 52 Reviews
    Rua do Solar Apartment 774 Areias De Sao Joao Albufeira Algarve PT-8200-911

    The Solar De Sao Joao Aparthotel, with its exceptional range of facilities and fabulous location, is an ideal base for... More hotel details

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    Luna Alpinus Falesia Suites Hotel Apartamento Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    3.4
    out of 52 Reviews
    Pinhal Do Concelho Acoteias Albufeira PT-8200-593

    Combining elegance with luxury and offering an exceptional view over the Pine Cliffs, Luna Alpinus Falesia Suites Hote... More hotel details

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    Soldoiro Apartments Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    3.8
    out of 53 Reviews
    Rua Ramalho Ortigao Praia da Oura Algarve, Da Oura Beach PT-8200-604

    Featuring excellent apartments and high standards of comforts, the Soldoiro Apartments is the perfect choice for an ex... More hotel details

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    Hotel Almar Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    0
    out of 50 Reviews
    Rua Bartolomeu Dias Cerro Da Alagoa Algarve Albufeira 8200-077

    Hotel Almar Albufeira with its quality accomodation and friendly service is an ideal place for business as well as cas... More hotel details

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    Luna Clube Oceano Aparthotel Albufeira Hotel
    Reviewer score
    0
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    Rua Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro Apartado Albufeira PT-8200-911

    Renowned for unequalled amenities and warm hospitality, the Luna Clube Oceano Aparthotel Albufeira Hotel is an ideal r... More hotel details

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    Cheerfulway California Hotel Albufeira
    Reviewer score
    4.9
    out of 53 Reviews
    12 Rua Candido Dos Reis Albufeira PT-8200-103

    With its privileged location, the hotel offers friendly service to make your stay a comfortable and pleasant one... More hotel details

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