Almost a 24-hour a day town
There are many shops in the town of Albufeira and many places to eat. The locals shop here as well and you will find them walking the streets all day and all night. The town is almost a 24-hour a day town as there are many night clubs and discos for you evening entertainment.
It is just a short walk to the old town center and you are welcome into the shops as you are.
travel around by car
The best way to explore the south of Portugal is to rent a car for a few days.
This way you can see a lot within a few days.
Our trip last a week and during that time we want to see whatever was possible in that week.
I am sorry I don't have too much information for you, but it has been about 18 years ago we visit Portugal for the last time!!
I think it is about time we are going back again :-)
Albufeira is the most touristy town in touristy Algarve.
It lies the the middle of the south coast of the Algarve, not far from the beginning of the A2 Lisbon-Argarve motorway. It is the closest seaside town to reach in the Algarve if you drive from Lisbon.
As usual in touristy towns, it evolved from a small fishing village to a large town living off package holiday makers and the expenses of retired Europeans.
Albufeira is a clean town with clean beaches. It has also the most lively night life of the Algarve, touristy though, but with plenty of bars and live music.
Many people do not like Albufeira because it's the place in the Algarve that more relies on foreign tourists. They consider it spoiled.
But compare Albufeira with other simmilar places in Europe: Albufeira is not that spoiled.
Although it can be crowded in the summer, it's not at the extent of other places at the Mediterranean/Adriatic/Black Sea, where the tiny stretches of sand or rocks become covered with a "carpet" of beds and tanning bodies.
In Albufeira you can always find areas with less people, and even in the most central beaches, there's always room to lay a towel.
Unlike the Mediterranean coast of Spain, you do not see skyscrapers. The architecture of the town sticks by law to the traditional type of Portuguese houses. There are plenty of new buildings, mostly hotels and resorts around, but they must keep the facades with the traditional color of this region: white.
The beaches are quite clean as usual in the Algarve.
The sea water can be cold if it is windy, as usual in Portugal. If there's no wind the water is warmer.
Take a look at the famous cliffs of the Algarve, made up of sandstone.