Looking for some amazing destination to visit during this summer vacation? Some prefer to go to Asia and explore such exotic cities as New Delhi, Seoul or Pattaya, while others give preference to the most popular European cities, such as Rome, Barcelona and Lisbon. Portugal is one of such well-known and popular summer getaways.
Maria, an experienced local travel agent from Albufeira is bringing to you interesting information about this amazing travel destination in Portugal. Albufeira is a popular picturesque fishing village with old history and vibrant present. Being located on the coast the city boasts with lively bars and restaurants with amazing view, open-air clubs and discotheques, and a multitude of shops to cater to tastes of any travelers.
Where Albufeira is located
Albufeira is a city and municipality in the middle of southern coast of Algarve, Portugal. Its population is about 40 thousand citizens which can reach approximately 300,000 residents during summer and New Year celebrations.
Quick history of Albufeira
First to settle here were Romans who created a town named Baltum. Romans erected aqueducts, roads and bridges which parts still remain today. In 711 all Algarve was conquered by Arabs. The name originated from the Arab Al-buhera, which means castle on the sea, owing to its location along the coast, or alternately al-Buħayra, for the lagoon, in reference to the lagoon that was formed in the lowlands.
The Arabs constructed strong defensive structures, making the area almost impregnable, allowing it to remain in the hands of their forces longer than other possessions in Portugal. The Moors used plow and fertilizers, as well as winches to lift water from wells, introducing the irrigation of fields, constructing dams and transforming uncultivated areas into gardens and orchards.
Albufeira was one of the towns in Algarve most affected by an earthquake in 1755: the sea invaded the town with 10 metres waves, destroying almost all the buildings along the coast.
In the first decades of the 20th century, export of fish and nuts contributed largely to the local Albufeira economy of the municipality. The town itself had five factories employing 700-800 people, mostly wives of fishermen. Albufeira started to become a hub for tourism in the 1960s, and has grown to accommodate thousands of the 5 million tourists who visit the Algarve region each year.
Best local tourist attractions in Albufeira
The tourist areas are divided into two main areas, Areias de São João, known colloquially as The Strip, and the Old Town. The Strip’s main street is Avenida Francisco Sá Carneiro which is full of bars, vibrant pubs and high end restaurants.
It is a very nightlife-oriented area in the city which is very popular among young people, especially for stag- and hen-parties. The Strip is particularly famous with party goers and those who came to Albufeira for fun.
The Old Town
The Old Town is situated right at the seafront and is predominantly a pedestrian area. Street-artists entertain crowds of tourist, and there is a large choice of restaurants, bars and shops. Measured in number of bars and restaurants the Old Town is about four times the size of The Strip. The many restaurants are all designed for tourists and cover all styles of cuisine and dining, including Portuguese, English, Indian, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.
The Old Town has many architectural relics from the historic past which are very nice to visit. There is also a small museum where travelers can find remnants of the Roman villa and relics from those old days.
Beaches in Albufeira
There are two spotlessly clean beaches at Albufeira’s old town which are great to visit: Praia do Tunel (it is sometimes called Praia do Peneco) to the west and Praia dos Pescadores to the east. To get to Praia do Tunel you should take a man-made tunnel through the cliffs or just get there by an elevator.
Those who love to swim in warm water should opt for something else, though, because Albufeira faces the Atlantic and not the Mediterranean Sea. However, the waves are proper and nice for those in favour of diving under waves and windsurfing.
Being an increasingly popular summer getaway, Albufeira is very famous among travelers worldwide, so make sure you book accommodation and tours well in advance. In any case, you can always turn to Maria for help ;)
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