Albufeira & Olhos d'Agua
Portugal's holiday paradise
Albufeira, Portugal's holiday paradise
Albufeira can be seen as the tourist capital of Portugal. Albufeira has 45,000 inhabitants, but in the busy summer months the number of people in Albufeira easily reaches 350,000. The large hotels and tourist apartment buildings are almost all located in the Oura (Areias de São João) and Santa Eulalia districts, where you will also find the beaches of the same name.
The center of Oura is the 2km long street Avenida Sá Carneiro, often known under the names "Albufeira Strip", "Oura Strip" or simply "the Strip". Every evening in the hot summer months, this street is set off for traffic and turns into a huge nightlife center, where mainly British and Dutch youth celebrate until the early morning hours.
Also the street Rua Cândido dos Reis in the old town of Albufeira is known as "bar street". Here it is a bit quieter and one finds here mainly families who want to relax the evening on a terrace with live music.
But Albufeira not only offers sun, sea and nightlife. Especially the old town has a lot of culture and historical attractions to offer. The church Igreja de Sant'Ana is perhaps the best known and most important historical building. The former eponymous chapel was further down on the beach and was completely destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and tsunami. It is therefore decided in time to build the new church on higher ground, giving you a beautiful view of the cliffs of Albufeira to this day. Be sure to go inside to admire the beautiful wooden and blue colored altar.
You can also visit the old town hall of Albufeira. This building was converted into the municipal archaeological museum. Among the archaeological finds exhibited in this museum, you will find old manuscripts, ancient household items and tools that were once used by the first inhabitants of this region.
After all, wander through the pedestrian streets of the historic center of Albufeira and discover many other, smaller historic monuments, all of which have their unique story. The historic center opens up to two well-known and very beautiful beaches, ie. the Fisherman beach and the Praia do Peneco beach.
While you can easily reach the Fisherman beach from the modern city center with an outside escalator, Praia do Peneco can only be reached from the old town via a pedestrian tunnel (underneath the Sol e Mar hotel). The beach is known to the inhabitants as "Tunnel Beach" or Praia do Túnel. However, there is also a lift from the western upper town that takes you along the cliffs to the beach.
Albufeira also has plenty to offer for peace seekers. The western part of Albufeira consists of the beautiful beach of São Rafael, the longer stretched out beach of Galé with its hotels and restaurants, and Salgados, where there are several 5 star resorts, a beautiful beach and a golf course with a view on the beach. the natural park of Lagoa de Salgados, which in turn is a magnet for birdwatchers.
Only a few kilometers further inland, you can visit Guia, a very small, but certainly worth visiting town and at the same time the western end of the municipality of Albufeira. Guia is known throughout Portugal as the home of the dish "chicken with piri-piri", made from chicken laid in a piri-piri marinade. The international food chain Nando has made this dish world famous, which has benefited Guia.
World famous is Cliff Richard, who made Guia his second home and owns a vineyard with its own wine production. This can also be visited and is directly behind the Algarve Shopping Centre, until the recent opening of the Mar Shopping in Loulé, the largest shopping center in the Algarve.
The old village center of Guia is very small, but offers some examples of typical Algarvian houses.
At Guia is also the Zoomarine amusement park, a large amusement park with numerous attractions and swimming pools with slides. Dolphin shows take place here and you can even swim with dolphins!