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Albufeira Holidays | Cheap Albufeira Hotels

Albufeira

Cheap Holidays to Albufeira for families and couples

A busy trading port in ancient times, Albufeira declined into a poor fishing town in the 18th century, having been swamped by tidal waves and burnt out by civil war. But since the 1960s the tide has turned again and this central Algarve enclave is once more awash with prosperity, thanks to a tourist boom.

Albufeira, Portugal's most popular holiday resort, has been described as a stretch of 'holiday-land suburbia', spreading from the old town both east and west along the coast, its sandy coves and golden beaches drawing an assorted crowd from retired couples to wild teens, and plenty of families with young children. Satellite resort developments provide every imaginable type and grade of accommodation.

Everyone finds something to enjoy in this sprawling, low-rise holiday destination, which retains its old world charm in narrow alleyways behind the new hip and happening "Strip". The Strip, to the east of town, runs from the Montechoro Hotel down to the Praia da Oura, lined with dozens of cafés, restaurants and bars that keep pumping from breakfast time to the small hours. On the long stretch of beach below Albufeira's central square, accessed through a tunnel, craggy fishermen mend their nets, unperturbed by the languishing topless sunbathers around them.

While the chief holiday attraction of Albufeira is its 23 or so enchanting beaches, most protected by ochre-tinted cliffs, there are some interesting sightseeing possibilities too, like the new Virtual Archaeological Museum, the Municipal Art Gallery and a small museum showcasing Ming ceramics. Those who venture inland will find a tranquil green countryside to explore, redolent with almond, fig, orange and pine trees, where little villages stand timelessly in the sun.

From seafront kiosks full of fun-in-the-sun odds and ends to a full on shopping mall experience, Albufeira can keep most shoppers reaching for their wallets with a tantalising array of merchandise. The town's main shopping plaza is the Modelo Centre in Rua de Municipio, north of downtown. Not far away is the lively Algarve Shopping Complex in Guia, where brand name shoes and clothes are on offer in a high street mall type complex, along with restaurants, an English-language cinema and bowling alley. Those seeking genuine local souvenirs should look out for mats made from rush or cornhusks in the villages of Almeijoafras and Monte Novo, woven baskets, woodcarvings and some glazed terracotta ceramics. These are to be found in numerous independent shops in the town centre as well as local markets.

Like everywhere in Portugal, seafood is the speciality of the house in most of the dozens of restaurants in and around Albufeira. The catch of the day is guaranteed to be fresh in this traditional fishing town, particularly in the eateries clustered at Fisherman's Beach, below the main town square. Specialities to seek out are sardines, flounder and bass, lobster and prawns. A true local dish is Caldeirada, a stew made up of several types of fish, cooked up with potatoes, peppers and parsley. Steamed clams, cuttlefish cooked in their ink and octopus salad are other indigenous culinary adventures. The local wine is a worthy accompaniment.

After a day in the sun most holidaymakers enjoy sipping a drink at one of Albufeira's many outdoor cafés, watching the world go by, before adjourning to one of the lively bars that surround the town square or line The Strip. Bars keep hopping until three or four in the morning, but those who want to dance the night away can keep going until sunrise at one of the nightclubs or discotheques that are ten a penny in the town.

While on holiday in Albufeira, relaxing on the golden beaches and in the warm, clear water is enough to content most vacationers, with about 23 beaches (some with Blue Flag status) in the area along a 19-mile (30km) stretch of coastline. Watersports of all sorts are on offer at the main beaches, from sailing and windsurfing to jet skiing. Golfers can try out the neat nine-hole Pine Cliffs course about three miles (5km) east of Albufeira at the Sheraton Algarve.

Those with children will spend fun times at Zoo Marine in Guia, just a few miles away, with water slides, swimming pools, dolphin shows and an aquarium. Just wandering around the intriguing old town centre is a pleasant way to pass a day. Look out for interesting local landmarks like the Clock Tower at Rua Bernardino de Sousa, and the 18th century Parish Church on the Rua da Igreja Nova, built on the site of an earlier one that collapsed in the earthquake of 1755.

One of the few buildings that survived that quake is the Old Inn on Rua Henrique Calado. Also fascinating is the Xorino Cave, which served as shelter for fugitive Moors during the Christian conquest of the town in ancient times. There is also an archaeological museum in Albufeira and several art galleries worth visiting while on holiday.

Sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean can be enjoyed from the poolside sundeck of Boa Vista. Panoramic balconies with wooden chairs are featured in its individually decorated rooms. Set on Cerro da Piedade Hill, Boa Vista Hotel and Spa is within easy walking..
This hotel enjoys an ideal setting in the heart of Albufeira's tourist area just 10 minutes from the beach. Guests will find themselves surrounded by shops, boutiques, bars and restaurants, tempting travellers with colourful local wares and alluring aromas...
Located in the famous resort of Albufeira- the 4* Hotel Boa Vista & Spa is well situated to be close to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the historic city centre and the new marina whilst still being far enough away from the centre to enjoy some peace..
The Brisa Sol Aparthotel is located on the fabulous Algarve Coast of Portugal, situated near the charming old town and lively strip of Albufeira. The 4-star Brisa Sol Aparthotel features 94 studios, 6 twin rooms (no balcony) and 71 one bedroom apartments..
Located in central Algarve, within easy reach of all of the regions outstanding golfcourses and conveniently placed for exploring the unrivalled coastline and enchanting countryside of the Algarve. The Brisa Sol is a luxurious family aparthotel, perfectly..
Quality self catering accommodation in a hotel style building. The Brisa Sol boasts a prime location between the new and old town of Albufeira- perfect for a meal out or for sampling the local nightlife. The Brisa Sol offers spacious studios and one bedroom..
Beautiful, comfortable villa "Casa Praia do Lourenço", 2 storeys. In a quiet position residential area (villas), area with little traffic, 550 m from the beach. Private: property 610 m2 (fenced) with lawn, swimming pool angular (8 x 4 m,..
The complex amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, bar, 24-hour front desk and tennis court. The apartments feature kitchen equipped with cooker, dish washer, fridge, air conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, safety box (extra charge)..
The pleasant Cerro Mar Aparthotel is approximately 500 metres from the beach and 400 metres from the town square. Although the resort centre is within walking distance, the aparthotel also offers a complimentary bus shuttle service to Albufeira centre..
Centrally located in the popular holiday resort of Albufeira, this apart hotel overlooks the historic old town and the Atlantic Ocean. The fantastic sandy beach surrounded by impressive cliffs and a large variety of restaurants, bars, pubs and shops are..
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