Things to Do in Albufeira Old Town
Albufeira is called the gateway to Algarve, and many visitors credit it with all the charm the Algarve once had, without the cost of going to the southernmost region of Portugal. It is a charming town with rich history, unique architecture, and a quaint character. The Old Town is of chief interest to visitors, as it is one of the few fishing villages along this coast that hasn’t been replaced with modern buildings. Take time to explore Old Town’s small cobbled streets and be rewarded with great views and interesting history. It’s no surprise this town has become very popular, especially with summer tourists.
The name Albufeira is from the Arabic “Al-buhera“, which means “the Sea Castle.” And there was indeed a castle in Albufeira at one time. Very little of it remains today because much of the town was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and subsequent tidal wave, but if you visit the town museum you will see artifacts dating back to the Roman and Medieval times. The main church was built in 1800 on top of the old church and castle gate. The church is well worth visiting and is easily recognizable by its clock tower, one of the most important sites of Albufeira. The clock tower still rings on the hour, and if you look around you might find a tour to take you to the top, where you’ll discover a fantastic view of this idyllic city and the coast. Explore the neo-classical church and you’ll find paintings by local artists inside.
Then visit the Jardim Square in Old Town. It’s the place to see live music, street performances by living statues, dancers, and even international groups.
To get the best view of the Old Town, take a drive up to the hills above the town. The views of the town and sea from the hills are noteworthy, and it’s a good place to watch the sunset. Looking out to sea, you can understand why the early Portuguese people wanted to explore the world.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Old Town.