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Albufeira 1 Week Holiday -
A Suggested Itinerary and Tour

Albufeira is the Algarve’s most popular tourist destination and a holiday here provides fantastic beaches, great restaurants and lively nightlife. Most visitors come to the region to relax on the beaches or to socialise during the evenings, but for the more intrepid visitor, the entire central Algarve can be explored. This guide suggests a 1-week itinerary for a holiday to Albufeira and provides ideas for day trips and excursions.

Suggested itinerary for 1 week Albufeira

• Day 1 – Day trip to Silves

• Day 2 – Albufeira beaches or boat tour

• Day 3 - Day trip to Faro

• Day 4 – Zoomarine or Slide and Splash

• Day 5 – Day trip to Lagos

• Day 6 - Day trip to Loulé (best visited on a Saturday)

• Day 7 – Portimão and Praia da Rocha

Albufeira has excellent public transport and all of the day trips listed above can be reached by bus. The only inconvenience is that the bus station is 1.5km to the north of the town and the walk is all uphill.

Albufeira early in the evening

Albufeira beach

Day 1 – 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 portugal

The pretty town of Silves and the imposing castle

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:

http://eva-bus.com/pdf/17.pdf

Se Cathedral Silves

The Se Cathedral in Silves

Day 2 - Albufeira beach and Boat Tour

The Algarve is famed for its beautiful coastline and no holiday would be complete without a visit to the beach. There are two main stretches of glorious sand within Albufeira; the vast beach that extends from the Old Town and the Praia da Oura situated at the base of the Strip. The sands are golden, the seas are crystal clear but, during the summer you will find yourself sharing the beach with many others…

Albufeira beach

The stunning beach of Albufeira

If the beaches are too busy then consider a boat tour, which departs from the marina. These boat trips often combine dolphin watching with a tour along the fascinating coastline to the west of Albufeira. This coastline comprises of beautiful beaches and sandstone cliffs that have been carved into arches, grottos and sea caves, which includes the stunning Benagil Cave. Tour prices vary depending on the length of the boat trip and the novelty of the boat, but prices typical are €30-40 for a 2-3 hour tour.

Albufeira cat

The Albufeira cat luxuriating above the beach

For the remainder of the day, it is suggested to explore the Old Town, with its winding streets and steep hills, from which there are amazing sea views. In the evening visit one of the many great restaurants and try a delicious fresh fish dish.

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.

Zoomaire

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 (€27/€19 adult/child) are not cheap, but children and teenagers will leave the Algarve with life long memories. There are shuttle buses to both theme parks from Albufeira but expect both attractions to be busy during the summer months. Links to the websites are here:

http://www.zoomarine.pt/en/

http://www.slidesplash.com/en/

Day 5 – 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.

city walls of Lagos

The city walls of Lagos

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.

historic centre of Lagos

Lagos is a great day trip for 1 week in Albufeira

Ponte de Piede

The stunning Ponte de Piede coastline

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 6 - 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.

market building in Loule

The North African inspired market building in Loule

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.

castle walls of Loule

The castle walls of Loule

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.

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.

beach of Praia de Rocha

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.

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