I don't have any experiences on other hotels in this city. Therefore, I cannot really compare this hotels to any other. I just mention here my experiences with this hotel. Pros: Good location in the city centre. Reception open 24 hours a day. Reception very friendly. Clean rooms with balkon.
Cons: Breakfast rather slim, our room had a safe but no key in it and the air condition was broken but they got it fixed. Our room ran out of toilet paper all the time. It seemed that they were lacking of it.
Albufeira is certainly the Tourist capital of the Algarve with it's many shops and vibrant night life but Albufeira has a firm place in history, In Roman times it was know as Baltum and later changed by the Moors to Al-Buhera which translates as 'Castle on the Sea'. For 5 full centuries Al-Buhera, alongside Faro, was a hotspot for trade under the Arabs, particularly with North Africa. Wander around the old town in Albufeira, and make the link between the narrow streets here and Moorish influence.
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Once a small fishing village, Albufeira has become a major tourist destination on Portugal's Algarve coast. Tourists are attracted by the town's three beaches, Peneco, Pescadores, and Inatel. These beaches are characterized by soft white sand, and are sheltered by steep rocky cliffs. Crowds of tourists sunbathe on the beaches during the day and frequent the restaurants, bars, and discotheques at night. In my opinion, the crowds and bland hotel buildings have spoiled what would otherwise be a picturesque and quaint village.
Albufeira was originally settled by the Romans, who called their town Baltum. The Roman occupation is evident in remains of roads, bridges, and aqueducts that can still be seen. The area was eventually conquered by the Moors, who called the town Al-Buhera, which means "Castle of the Sea", and referred to a fortress they built on an outcrop overlooking the bay. In 1249, the Moors were expelled during the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Albufeira then became part of the Kingdom of Portugal.
In the nineteenth century, the town became a center for the fishing industry that arose along the Algarve coast. Albufeira was discovered by the tourism industry in the 1960s, and since then there have been massive development projects beyond the old part of town, and the Praia dos Barcos (where fishermen still take to the sea in their small boats), in which dozens of huge hotels, restaurants, bars, discotheques, and other facilities that cater to the tourist trade were built.
albufeira tourist center of algarve
"albufeira tourist center of algarve"
The place we know today as Albufeira is not just a “Tourist Capital” in Portugal. It is also an area full of history, with vestiges of human occupation since the remote Neolithic and Bronze ages.
Contacts with Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians taught the inhabitants the alphabet, use of monetary currency, and how to conserve foodstuffs with use of salt. Initially occupied by the Romans, its original name was Baltum. The Romans were famous for their administrative skills and initiated intense agricultural, mining and commercial activities. There still remain vestiges of aqueducts, roads and bridges built by them.
Commerce with the North African coast led to a gradual influx of the Moors throughout the Algarve. The name of Albufeira comes from the Arab “Al-Buhera” which means “Castle of the Sea” – this name could derive from the existence of a fortification built on the rocky outcrop that dominated the lagoon on the lower part of the town. The Arabs made great strides in the development of agriculture, introducing new cultivations, tools and techniques, such as ploughs, water wheels to raise water from underground wells and also were the first to use fertilizers.
The Christian conquest of the region began at the end of the 12th Century. After decades of conflict, a tight siege of the town by the Knights of the Order of Santiago, finally drove out the Moors in 1249, in the reign of King D. Afonso III. The town was awarded to the Military Order of Aviz and became part of the kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. King D. Manuel I awarded Charter to the Town of Albufeira on the 20th of August 1504 (date of the municipal holiday) and from that day the town was governed according to the legislation in force for the rest of the country.
Of all the southern towns, Albufeira has been one of the most victimised by natural disasters. The earthquake of 1755 was the worst and most damaging, terminating in a tidal flood that destroyed most of the buildings, leaving few houses standing intact. Rebuilding was slow and it took decades for Albufeira to begin to recuperate from this enormous tragedy.
In the middle of the 19th Century, the fishing industry did much to revive the economy of the town. The export of fish and dried fruit were the principal means of income for the region.
Tourism began to flourish from the 1960’s and gave a breath of fresh air to the local economy. As Albufeira grew, so it became a “city” in 1986 and continues to evolve and expand even into the present day. Thanks to an ever-growing tourist industry, it has become one of the most desired holiday destinations in Europe.
In order to cope with the growing needs of the Tourist industry, Albufeira was obliged to overflow its historical urban boundaries into the surrounding countryside in order to build the necessary quality accommodation and install the accompanying luxury services they require. Montechoro, Areias de São João and the famous Oura now became new centres of attraction for visitors. The recent completion of the Albufeira Marina has extended the town’s urban development from its eastern side over to Galé and Salgados in the west.
Albufeira’s origins are unknown, but all evidence leads one to believe that the region was already inhabited during prehistoric times and the location where the city stands today was at one time, a few centuries prior to our day, an important settlement with its own harbour.
The primitive settlement was occupied by the Romans who named it Baltum. A central administrative organization was introduced and intense agricultural and commercial activities were developed. Aqueducts were built, as were roads and bridges which have left behind ruins that still stand to this day.
The name Albufeira is derived from the Arab name "Al-buhera" meaning "the Sea Castle" most probably due to the proximity of the sea and/or the lagoon which would form at the lower area of the settlement. The Arabs built solid defense fortifications, rendering the settlement almost impregnable - one of the reasons why the Arabs managed to keep Albufeira in their power for a longer time. The development of agriculture was notable as new techniques and plant species were introduced. The Arabs introduced the plough as well as watermills to bring water up from wells. They also introduced new irrigation methods namely the construction of dams and dikes, thus transforming barren zones into cultivated areas and orchards.
When D. Afonso III took the throne, part of the Algarve had already fallen into the hands of the Christians. The "knights Templar" and the "Knights Hospitallers", military orders which helped retake the area, would frequently raid the land which was still under Arab domain, but they would always be thrown back at the fortified walls of Albufeira. Only following the conquest of Faro did the situation at Albufeira become unbearable.
Surrounded by enemies on all sides, it was finally overrun by D. Afonso III who immediately donated it to the Order of Aviz.
The Moors were persecuted in such a manner that only those that fled and hid in a cave escaped the fury of the victors. The cave, which is called Cova do Xorino, may be found below the rocks which form the city´s outer limit on the south side.
During the reign of D. Manuel I, the town had already regained its former importance as this monarch granted the town its charter on August 20th 1504.
Albufeira was one of the cities in the Algarve severely hit by natural disasters. Earthquakes were responsible for most of the damage. The sea overwhelmed the town with 10 meter waves, destroying almost all buildings. Only 27 houses remained standing and even these were left in very bad condition.
The Parish-Church, formerly an Arab mosque which was adapted to Christian culture, fell in on the people sheltering inside, causing 227 deaths. All of the Algarve continued to be jolted by severe earthquakes until August 20th of the following year, although this did not stop the immediate reconstruction work ordered by the Bishop D. Francisco Gomes de Avelar following the first earthquake.
In 1833, during the civil war between absolutists and liberals, Albufeira was surrounded and attacked by soldiers under the orders of Remexido - a popular absolutist leader - who heavily damaged the town and executed a large number of the inhabitants.
An increase in economic growth was felt by the mid- 19th century as a result of growing fishing activities.
During the early decades of the 20th century, a sudden rise in the exportation of fish and dried fruits was noted . The town then had five factories which employed 700 to 800 workers, mainly the wives of fishermen.
The period from 1930 to 1960 was a time of decay during which fishing equipment fell into disrepair, factories closed, fishing boats fell into disuse and many homes were abandoned. The population was cut by half and fishing again became a subsistence activity.
In the beginning of the 1960s a phenomenon emerged in local tourism - the Algarve became popular among Portuguese tourists - but it was mainly due to British tourists that this industry thrived.
The 1980s saw sudden growth in urban construction. The city now started growing towards the east, where the major administrative services were transferred including the Town Hall.
Albufeira has everything for a marvellous stay in order for you to enjoy its golden beaches and clear, warm waters, or else just relax or rest or look for adventure.
Albufeira has 23 beaches for you to choose from covering 30 km.of coast. Look for the blue flags posted on the beaches which signify pure ocean water.
holtels & apartments
Posted: Mon March 3, 2008 07:51 PM GMT
My family & i(2 kids age 7 & 10 ) are flighing to faro on the 12th of aug i have booked the flight but no accomadation.I don't want to hire a car so a resort not to far away from faro would be good also looking for a resort close to the beach.
I live in Albufeira and will second the previous comment - at that time in August we are full and everywhere is right at the top of the expensive meter.
Anyway. there are several apartment hotels in Albufeira within 10 minutes walk of the beaches. Transfer time from the airport is around 35 - 40 minutes.
If you don't mind staying in the actual old town centre of Albufeira you can take a look around these places:
Hotel Baltum - right in the old town, small rooms but very handy.
Sol e Mar Hotel - right on the beach; a few steps.
Rocamar Beach Hotel - above the beach (100 steps but a lift is being built)
Turial Park apartments - 100 yards from the beach. Flat access.
Estalagem do Cerro (Hotel) - about 5 - 10 minutes walk from the beach, bars etc in a slightly quieter part of town. Parking available
Hotel California - 50 m from the beach , in the bar street, might be noisy.
Residencial Mansao Bertolina - 100 m from the beach
Hotel Boa Vista - close to Estalagem do Cerro (above).
Hotel Vila Sao Vicente - a quarter mile from the old town centre and beaches. Small hill to climb. Underground car park for guests.
Hotel Colina do Mar - about six or seven minutes walk into the old town centre. Fairly stiff clmb back up the hill afterwards though.
Belver Boa Vista - about 10 minutes walk from old town centre and beaches; recently refurbished.
Note that the old town of Albufeira is now a pedestrian zone and the only parking is a multi-storey car park for €1 per hour and this is usually full early during holiday season.
There are car parks on the edge of town but some are 10 minutes walk.
You should be able to find comments/reviews on these by searching through previous items in this forum or Google.
Closer to Faro is the upmarket resort of Vilamoura (20 - 25 minutes) but other than those you are looking at transfer times of an hour or more.
Hope that helps you get under way.
Many thanks for your very helpful email. We have been looking at Vilamoura and could you let us know if you recommend any hotels or self catering apartments in that area. We have been looking at Pinhal da Marina Apartments & Parque Mourabel / Pe Do Lago / Oasis Village Hotel have you heard of this ?