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Albufeira 1 Week Holiday -
A Suggested Itinerary and Tour
Albufeira is Algarve’s most popular tourist destination, and a holiday here provides beautiful beaches, outstanding restaurants and lively nightlife. Most tourists to Albufeira come to relax on the beaches and socialise in the evenings, but if you are an intrepid or restless visitor, there is a varied selection of activities and excursions to entertain you.
As Albufeira attracts such a diverse selection of tourists, we have constructed two very different week long itineraries. The first suggested itinerary seeks to discover the very best of the central Algarve, while the second is entertainment, activity and excitement packed – ideal for your holiday away with your friends.
Suggested itineraries for 1-week Albufeira holiday
One week Itinerary, to discover the region
• Day 1 – Explore the historic centre of Albufeira and an afternoon relaxing on the beach
• Day 2 – Day trip to Silves (Impressive castle and traditional Portuguese town)
• Day 3 – Day trip to Faro (Ancient walled town and entrance to the Ria Formosa Natural Park)
• Day 4 – Zoomarine (Outstanding marine based theme park)
• Day 5 – Boat tours (dolphin watching, coastline tour and Benagil cave)
• Day 6 – Day trip to Loulé (market town, ideally visited on a Saturday)
• Day 7 – Day trip to Vilamoura and Quarteira (the two extremes of the Algarve; exclusivity and authenticity)
Entertainment and activity focused week itinerary
• Day 1 – Boat tour and party night on The Strip
• Day 2 – Beach morning and kayak coastline tour
• Day 3 – Day trip to exclusive and stylish Vilamoura or jeep safari
• Day 4 – Waterpark (Slide & Splash or Aquashow Park)
• Day 5 – Day trip to Silves (Charm and traditional town) or Zoomarine
• Day 6 – Albufeira marina; Go karting, jet boat ride and bungy jumping
• Day 7 – Parque Aventura (high rope adventure pack) and clubbing night at Kadoc
Ideas for a family holiday to Albufeira can be found in this article.
The remainder of this webpage will detail key days from the suggested itineraries and provide links to further in-depth information.
Day 1 - Historic Albufeira and an afternoon on the beach
Today, Albufeira may be a hectic beach resort, but it was once an important Moorish trading town and later a busy fishing port. Remnants of this varied past can be seen while exploring the town, from the ruins of the castle, the baroque São Sebastião church, and the fishing statue on fisherman’s beach. A half day can be easily spent wandering the historic centre, the cliff side paths or heading to the marina.
The Algarve is famed for its beautiful golden beaches and Albufeira is no exception, with beaches of golden sands and crystal-clear waters. The beaches are surrounded by steep sandstone cliffs, and these protect tourists from the strong sea breezes, while the rocky headlands, which once guarded the fishing fleet, make the waters safe for children to bath in.
There are two separate beaches within Albufeira; the beach close to the New Town (and The Strip) known as the Praia da Oura, and the vast beach that extends from the Old Town. The Old Town beach is a single stretch of sand, but is divided into four separate beaches; the Praia do Peneco, the Praia dos Pescadores, the Praia do Inatel and the Praia dos Alemães.
For the evening visit one of the many great restaurants, which overlook the sea, and have a delicious meal based around fresh fish.
Day 1 - Boat Tours
Albufeira has the widest selection of boat trips, boat excursions and extreme water rides of any town in the Algarve, and they all depart from the marina complex, to the west of Albufeira. Popular choices include; dolphin watching, jet boats, coastline tours, party boats or romantic sunset tours.
In the summer, the dolphin watching tours are very successful at locating the dolphins, who travel along the coastline between different feeding grounds. Coastline tours follow the highly weathered cliffs of the central Algarve and navigate between the sea pillars, arches and grottos, and often include the stunning Benagil Cave.
A selection of the better tours include:
Day 2 – Day trip to Silves
During the Moors’ 11th century rule of the Algarve, Silves was the capital of the region and both a major port and trading town. Today, Silves is a peaceful and unhurried town, but remnants of this illustrious past can be seen throughout the town. Dominating the skyline is the imposing red brick castle and sections of the ancient city walls surround the historic centre
Silves is situated on the banks of the slow-flowing Arade River, and the cobbled streets that led up to the castle are lined with open-air cafes and traditional restaurants. Silves has a relaxed ambience and is as much an opposite of bustling Albufeira as possible.Silves can be fully explored within half a day and is ideal for an excursion from Albufeira. If during your holiday you are only able to take one day trip then Silves should be the destination to visit.
Silves is connected to Albufeira by a direct bus service, which takes 40 minutes and a single ticket costs €4.30, for a link to the latest timetable, please see the Eva bus website:
Day 4 – Zoomarine or Slide and Splash
The suggestion for the fourth day is to experience one of the Algarve’s excellent theme or water parks. Slide and Splash is considered as the best water park in the Algarve and contains a wide selection of adrenalin-inducing fumes, near vertical slides and wave pools. It may not be for all ages but for those who enjoy waterparks will have a fantastic time.
Zoomarine is a combined wildlife park and water park that specialises in marine animals. The wildlife section is excellent, with well cared for animals and numerous excellent shows throughout the day, including the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
Zoomarine (€29/ € 29 adult/child) and Slide & Splash (€29/€21adult/child) are not cheap, but children and teenagers will leave the Algarve with lifelong memories. There are shuttle buses to both theme parks from Albufeira but expect both attractions to be busy during the summer months.
Day 5 - Day trip to Loulé
Loulé is a busy Portuguese market town that is to the northeast of Albufeira. The market (closed Sundays) is housed in a distinctive Moorish-styled building and sells fresh local produce, freshly caught fish and other traditional delicacies. Away from the market, Loulé has a pretty town centre of historic buildings and cobbled back-streets, that are a joy to explore.
On Saturday Loulé holds a large gypsy market, which is a chaotic mixture of sounds, smells and colours, and is a great place to experience the Portuguese way of life. The market is an early morning experience and most of the stalls are closed by lunch time.
Loulé is best visited on a Saturday to coincide with the gypsy market and should be avoided on Sundays when the covered market is shut. The direct bus from Albufeira to Loulé takes 30 minutes and a single ticket costs €4.30. For a guide to Loule please click here.
Day 6 – Day trip to Lagos
Lagos is the historic seafaring city that is situated on the western edge of the Algarve. From the harbours that now make up the marina, ships sailed to the furthest edges of the globe and brought back such riches as to transform Portugal into one of Europe’s most influential countries.
Lagos has responsibly developed into a popular tourist destination but still retains its charming historic centre and traditional heritage. South of Lagos is the Algarve’s best natural feature, the Ponte de Piedade headland, a series of sandstone cliffs that have been eroded into unique formations. The best way to explore the headland is by joining a boat tour which departs from Lagos marina. For a guide to Lagos please click here.
Lagos is a great day trip for 1 week in Albufeira
Lagos is the final stop of the Algarve railway, but as Albufeira train station is not close to the main town it is better to travel to Lagos by bus. The bus journey from Albufeira to Lagos takes 1h15 and a single ticket costs €5.50.
Day 7 – Portimão and Praia da Rocha (1 week in Albufeira)
There are two sides to Portimão; the pleasant and traditional centre or the busy beach resort of Praia da Rocha, just to the south of the city. Portimão is very laid back for such a major residential town and has large open plazas, pleasant pedestrian shopping streets and a marina. Portimão has some of the best shopping of the central Algarve and is the place to pick up those last-minute gifts. Apart from the pedestrian streets of the city centre there is a large 3 floored shopping centre called Aqua shopping.
The beach of Praia da Rocha
Praia da Rocha is busy beach resort that has a beautiful coastline and a large number of massive hotel complexes that line the tops of the cliffs. Praia da Rocha has many similarities to Albufeira and offers a great, social nightlife. There is a pleasant walk which connects Portimao to Praia da Rocha that follows the estuary around to the beach. The bus from Albufeira to Portimão takes 45 minutes and a single ticket costs €4.60.