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Albufeira

Country
Portugal
State
Algarve
City
Albufeira
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

There is no airport at Albufeira itself, so flights here come via Faro Airport, 25 miles away. Faro connects with many European destinations, with flights to the UK, Holland, Italy and Germany. There are over 14 flights a day from the UK to Faro in the high season, so there is plenty of choice. Faro is a popular destination with budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair operating services here. The UK is by far the most popular place for flights to Faro and as a result, it is possible to fly here from around 20 different airports across the country.

If you have already booked your hotel accommodation, either independently or on a package tour, then almost all the hotels in Albufeira and certainly all the tour companies will organise transport for you from the airport.

Otherwise, there are plenty of taxis to take you to the town. There is also a bus service, but the bus is slow and infrequent, so taking a taxi is recommended.

By Bus

To get to Albufeira from Lisbon, Eva Bus is the most efficient of the bus services and the journey takes just under 3 hours. Buses from Lisbon leave six times a day at: 08:15, 10:30, 12:30, 15:15, 18:30 and 20:30, from Arco Cego Station and in the other direction from the Eva office in Albufeira at 09:45, 12:00, 14:30, 16:45, 19:45 and 22:30.

There are buses from Faro to Albufeira, but there tend to be many stops and the journey usually takes over an hour, and is only worth taking if you are travelling on a tight budget. The journey is short enough and reasonably priced if you choose to travel by taxi.

There is a local bus service in Albufeira, but it is not the most reliable, and often it can be better to walk or take a taxi. The blue tourist train is much more efficient, doing a 40-minute loop from the strip to the Old Town and back, with trains running about every 20 minutes. It is possible to buy return tickets, which are better value.

By Rail

There are four trains a day from Lisbon to Albufeira and the journey takes around 3 hours. Trains run at 08:29, 13:29, 17:29 and 19:29. The 17:29 is a fast service and takes about 2 hours, 30 minutes.

From Faro, there are 15 trains a day between 07:18 and 23:30, leaving roughly every hour, with the journey taking between 20 and 35 minutes, depending on the type of service. There are also three trains a day from Oporto at 09:10, 12:10 and 15:10, and the journey to Albufeira takes about 7 hours.

Key places to visit
SantAna Church, Beaches, Castro Marim, Church of So Sebastio, Misericordia Chapel


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Places to Visit

SantAna Church

This small but beautiful church was built in the 18th century and is one of the most popular attractions in Albufeira. There is a wooden altarpiece representing Our Lady of Pain as well as a wooden sculpture depicting the crucifixion, which is believed to have been made by Francisco Xavier Guedelha and Joo Baptista. The main architectural feature of the church is a cupola surrounded by pinnacles, which was a popular design in Portugal in the 18th century. The ceiling design is very intricate and adds to the feel of the church. The church is located in Largo Jacinto dAvet Square.

Beaches

One of the biggest attractions for visitors to Albufeira and the Algarve are the wonderful beaches. There are 23 beaches along a 19-mile stretch of coastline, with seven beaches situated right in the heart of Albufeira, an area stretching a little over three miles. The sea here is typically clean and beautifully clear, with wonderful golden sandy beaches. In the high season, the beaches tend to get busy.

Fishermans Beach (Praia dos Pescadores) is one of the most popular beaches here, and has facilities for volleyball and water sports. The beach gets crowded, but is large enough to ensure that you should be able to find a relatively quiet spot. On the other side of town is West Beach, well located for the towns facilities and not quite as busy as Fishermans Beach. The other beaches in the heart of Albufeira are Praia do Inatel, Praia dos Alames, Praia das Areias de So Joo, Praia dos Aveiros and Praia da Oura.

Castro Marim

Castro Marim, which overlooks the Guadiana plain about 4km/2.5mi northwest of Vila Real de Santo António, gets its name from the closeness of its castle to the sea. It was the seat of the Order of the Knights of Christ, founded in 1319, until this was transferred to Tomar in 1356.

The castle ruins, which tower over the village to the north, date from this brief and glorious period in its history. The castle was probably originally late 13th century and then extended by the Knights of Christ in 1319. From its towers and ramparts there is a lovely view of the village and Castelo Novo, a 17th century fortification. The Igreja da Misericórdia inside the castle walls has an attractive Renaissance door.

Another building in the castle complex houses the information office of the Sapal Nature Park (Reserva Natural do Sapal de Castro Marimi). The park stretches from south of Castro Marim to Vila Real de Santo António. Many species of birds breed here; guided tours are available at times.

Church of So Sebastio

Another interesting 18th century church is the Church of So Sebastio, situated in Miguel Bombarda square. The main doorway is a mixture of Baroque and Manueline styles and the interior contains some wooden and stone carvings. One of the most famous statues here is the damaged 16th century statue of Nossa Senora da Piedade (Our Lady of Piety). The interior has one nave and the high altar is decorated with coloured wooden carvings. The church has a very tranquil and cooling feel to it and is well worth a visit.

Misericordia Chapel

This small chapel is easy to miss, tucked away among the white painted houses, but it is well worth a short visit. During the Moorish invasion, it was actually a mosque, and it later became a chapel in 1499. The original building was destroyed in the large earthquake of 1755, and when it was rebuilt, some of it was built in the Gothic style.
The interior has some interesting wooden carvings, the altarpiece has an image of Our Lady of the Visitation, and the chapel also contains the tomb of Rui Dias, the first governor of the castle.

Right Time to Visit

March - September

Temperature