Favorite thing: To know Portugal you need to understand the meaning of the word "Saudade", which has no exact translation in any language. To help you understand that meaning, I may say that "saudade" is what is felt by all of those that knew Albufeira 30 or 40 years ago, when it was a pure fishing village with good touristy resources, and compare to the actual craziness of massive construction and frenetic saturation.
"Que saudades"... from the times when the fishermen lunching in the sidewalks, invited us to sit and eat their fresh fish, only reciprocating offering a bottle of wine.
"Que saudades"... from the times when, coming out of the discotheques in the early morning Marinho invited us to enter his drifter and join his crew in one more day fishing in the open sea.
"Que saudades"... from the times when going to Oura was a calm promenade in the Mediterranean landscape, amidst almond trees and locust podshrubs.
"Que saudades"... from the times when Albufeira was... the old Albufeira!
Hotel check-in / check-out times
Favorite thing: In our case, and an several others we spoke-to, we discovered that the hotels and apartments often had late check-out and check-in times.
We thought our early morning flight would enable us to get settled-in and enjoy a fairly full first day but were told upon arrival that our room would not be ready until later that day.
We had to dump our luggage, get changed in the rest-room and then go from 10.30 am until 3pm before we could get to our room.
As our flight home was equally early in the morning, we could not take advantage of th elater than usual check-out time of 12 noon.
This is not unusual, apparently, so it is worth noting and checking yourselves before you travel so that you might be prepared for a long hot wait in your travelling-out clothes!
Fondest memory: Our best memories will be of the people who were friendly and helpful - often delighted to engage in conversations with us tourists.
The beaches were magnificent and had far more character than we were used-to in Spanish resorts.
watch out for the toll ,after 48 hours not before
Favorite thing: hi. i just got back today, the weather was lovely, bikini weather all day, our pool was heated so could swim in it, easy to walk into. I was talking to some people last night who were stay at the Eden, they said the room were realy very plush, best they had ever stayed in and big.food was only ok, drinks were good.Be careful what the car hire man says, he told us you must go to a post office within 48 hours and pay the toll price, just show them your car reg. any way , we went and paid and it came to 6.20 euros, and we thought nothing of it.then we went to my cousins in Prai da luz, and we told her, she said no, you pay after 48 hours, we went to her local post office and what we had done is paid for the person who had the car befor us, not ours. which should only of been 2 euros,from the airport to Albafeura.so we paid that again, to cover us. then my cousin said just dont bother paying anymore, because how are you supposed to pay 48 hours after you get home, they say go on the old road home, to avoid the tolls, but it takes too long. anyway we havent paid, so will let you know if we hear anything, i dont think we will, they say you will get a letter and fine,of 30 euro. whoever gets our car today or tomorrow, will prob end up paying ours.and so on. so be carefull, there is a post office in albafeura in the main strip, look for a red sign on side of footpath high up on pole with i think two white horses on it,HTT i think it says, just on a little side road, take a ticket inside the post office from machine, when number shows go to desk, just show car reg. and they do the rest, and you get a receipt.check what date they show you for driving the car.its easy really.
shorts,t-shirts, hoodies for night,go to old town,at night,better than new town.
- Road Trip
hire a car before you go.
Favorite thing: Hi, we are going on sunday 25th march, we went last year and the year before, and you have to hire a car, it is so easy, and cheaper that a taxi . we are using ARGUS car hire, and it is only about £40 for our fiv e days,.you have to pay a deposit online 14 pounds, then pay the rest when you get there, you just take it back full of petrol. There are some lovely beaches to drive too, cant you borrow a sat nav,then you can set it up at home, so no messing when you get there.also you are going to need car seats which will probabley bump the price up a bit. but still worth it. because it will probably be too cold for the kids to go into the pool in april, and at night time they will need fleeces,so go for a little drive in the mornings, then come back to hotel in the afternoon when it will be warmer for the kids to play about. It takes about half an hour in the car to get there. And if you get a taxi it would have to be a big one to fit you all in, so that will be dear, with seats ect. what hotel are you going to, the roads are ok to drive , just get the wife to keep eye on sat nav,dont book at the airport when you get there. you need to take driving licence, two utility bills with your name and address on, and credit card.i think the children could wear shorts and t-shirt in the day, but take a hoody with them just in case. there is a dolphin park not far, that is supposed to be good, and a water park, but prob too cold or not open yet.PRAIA DA LUZ is about 45 minuites away, the kids will like the beach even if its not hot, making sand castles, then there is the old town which is nice, big square of restaurants and shops, the new town, is more for the young, but good to have a walk around.
i will let you know how the weather is next week. get the car booked.
Street signs made from Azuleijos.
Favorite thing: Many of the street signs in Albufeira are made from the traditional portugese teils called "azuleijos".
I really like them and think that it gives the place a bit of a vibe and show you that this is actually in Portugal, which can sometimes be hard to see in a resort town like Albufeira.
Thank you to the city council for putting them up and let´s have some more of that please.
- Arts and Culture
Things you don't know but might come in handy:
Favorite thing: - there are no mosquitos in Albufeira; no need to bring sprays or lotions or anything
- Albufeira is expensive. That is, compared to let's say, Greece, where I spent more holidays. Doint groceries and going home with a little bag containing almost nothing costed me over 20 euro. Also the prices in the restaurants are too high for their quality.
- It's still very warm in September, although early in the morning, just before sunrise it has suddenly cooled down. I needed a blanket to sleep under during the night. Imagine!
- The fruit is tasteless. If you're not into fruit but you want your vitamines, go with the "vitamine C in a pil". I never understand why our imported fruit from southern European countries taste good here, but not in there home country!
- Didn't do it myself, but I heard that taking a taxi from Faro airport to Montechoro will cost you 50 euro. The taxi drivers try to have more than two couples in their taxis though.
I travelled by transfer buss - my stop was the first stop fortunately and it took about 35 minutes during night time.
Fondest memory: The beach - the ocean. Loved it.
Favorite thing: Great news for people of a certain age and those of us with dodgy knees, those damn steps at the East end of Fishermans beach are being replaced by an outdoors escalator, Soon you will be able to get off the at the "Tourist train".....(photo 1).... stop for Albufeira old town and not have to navigate those steps anymore........(photo 2) (did look a few weeks off completion when we were there last week 3/08)
- Hiking and Walking
Blue skies & Beaches
Favorite thing: I was out in portugual for the world cup and few years back - def a holiday to remember ....
I went to the game with my ex and a few friends ... fantastic atmosphere out there
I found the strip quite boring - same old thing just different names and prices.
Lots of karoke bars and cocktail bars in the old town which were great !!
Girls - plenty of free drinks - every bar me and my friend went into - free drinks and shots then on to the next bar !!
x x x
- Water Sports
Favorite thing: Albufeira has a nice beach, but at the weekends it is packed as local people relax and soak up the sun also.
But there are some lovely beaches, tiny coves all along this coast.
On the way north out of Albufeira we had only gone about a quarter of a mile and we turned left torwards the sea and found some lovely quiet beaches.
Explore and you will be surprised. One tiny beach even had a small restaurant with a verandah where you could sit outside, have a meal and a drink and watch the sun go down. It is was lovely.
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: You'll find an amazing number of different restaurants all over the town. Obviously in just a few days it's impossible to sample them all, but the ones we did visit, we were more than satisfied with. We had read comments about some restaurants that had tempted us to visit them, but one or two, like, for instance 'The Rover's Return', we decided against, mainly due to the available menu. But in the end I suppose it depends on what you like to eat!
Saint Vincente De Albufeira
Favorite thing: Saint Vincente was born in Albufeira in 1590. A very talented musician, instrument player and artist, swordsman, and speaker of classical languages. Following the death of his parents, he joined the priesthood and eventually settled in Mexico. His dream was to preach the Christian Faith in Japan. However, he was imprisoned for 2 years during which time he suffered torture to force him to give up his Christian beliefs. On September 3rd, 1632 he was burned at the stake, as he was dying he was heard to call out "Long live the Faith of Jesus Christ"
His monument is to be found in the Largo Jacinto d'Ay square.
Favorite thing: S. Sebastiao Church is to be found in the Miguel Bombarda Square, and was built in the mid 18th Century, and contains images of Saints, all in wood, by an unknown artist. It is also the Museu De Arte Sacra (Museum of the Sacred Art)
The Bell Tower
Favorite thing: Part of the Parish Church, the Bell Tower was constructed in 1869, some 87 years after the church. Access to the top of the tower is by means of a 28 meter stairway, which is topped with an eight bell carillon.
The Parish Church
Favorite thing: The parish (or Main) Church is located on the rua de Igreja Nova, and dates to 1782. It was Blessed on 15ht July 1800 by Don Francisco Gomes de Avelar, Bishop of the Algarve, and replacees the former Parish Church destroyed in 1755.
Built in the Neo-classical style, with only one nave, it has 4 lateral chapels, the baptismal chapel, the choir, two pulpits and two lateral rooms.
Favorite thing: Tucked away in a little corner near the Castle Walls in Rua Alfonso III, this typical Portuguese House took my fancy. Nothing in particular to look at perhaps, but I just wondered what its history was. when was it built? Who had live there and so on.
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