Favorite thing: The main beach in Albufeira is the Fishermen's Beach, soft golden sands, and safe for swimming too. There are areas of the beach reserved for sunloungers and beach umbrellas for hire, but plenty of other nice spots for just laying on the warm sand and enjoying yourself.
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: Loulé is the centre of old (hand) craft: iron, copper, reed.
It has the best carnival of the country, they speak of a small copy of the carnival in Rio!
They where busy with the preparations while we visit Loulé, the carnival would be the next week.
The indoor market is build at an imitation of the Moor architecture.
Postcards and Stamps
Favorite thing: Do shop around for your post cards. The cost varies from 15 Cents to 50 Cents, and they are all of good quality. Some stalls will sell Postage Stamps, but we bought ours from the main post office, in Rua 5 De Outubro, in the main shopping area.
Go into the Post Office, and take a ticket, like at the Delli in the Supermarket, and wait for your number to appear. The staff speak very good English, but they don't hurry themselves. (not a criticizm but a general point of view).
You can purchase nice post cards from the Post Office complete with postage stamps, for 70 Cents (Oct 2004), which is cheaper than buying a separate card and stamp
The Post Office closes for lunch between 1230 and 2 pm..
Favorite thing: Albufeira is in the Algarve region at the southern most end of Portugal. All year round sunshine and beautiful beaches are the reason people come here from all over Europe. The airport is in Faro and the resort of Albufeira is a short taxi ride away.
Some photos of the Town
Favorite thing: It's quite fun to walk around the Old Town, with its mix of old and new buildings. Many of the original buildings were destroyed in the earthquake of 1755 (?), which also destroyed much of the ancient city walls and gates.
This picture is of Moi in the central Gardens, a little paradise in the centre of town, surrounded by attractinve shops and restaurants. It's shaded by the tall trees, and just a nice place to sit and 'people watch'.
Internet Cafes - 1
Favorite thing: There are several Internet Cafes in the Old Town and The Strip, and some in various Hotels. We used two of them to contact folks at home, and to check our VT pages, LOL.
The one closest to our apartments was Our@Net, just off The Strip, Rua Alexandre Herculand. They are generally open between 9 am and midnight.
Costs are Euro 1.25 for 15 minutes, and then 7 Cents per minute for the next 15 minutes.
This is purely an Internet Office, and no drinks, food, etc.
Internet Cafes - 2
Favorite thing: Another Internet Cafe and Bar is Augustos Sports Bar, in the Old Town, Avenue Liberdade. Here you can have a drink at the bar, or sit outside and have a meal too. Nice atmosphere.
Prices: 1.50 Euros for the first half hour, 2.50 Euros for up to an hour.
Favorite thing: Throughout the day and evening, you will find various street entertainers in the Garden. Here is a saxophonist, whose name escapes me, but I believe he is very well known. Do make sure that you visit the Old Town during the evening, as it is a completely different atmosphere to the daytime.
Favorite thing: We decided to get lost on the countryside, we did not know very well, where we were heading as we did not had still a proper road map, but it really deserved.
I love the countryside maybe as part of my family had been farmers and always loved to go in summer to help them (of course that was while I was a child, after I preferred to go to the parties instead of helping them hehehe, now only for grape harvest lol)
Favorite thing: This city has a large variation of architecture details.
The river de Gilao goes through the centre, the houses standing at the river banks have baroque bay windows with balustrades.
The wealth of the Portuguese colonies was spend at the many churches of the city
- Sailing and Boating
Favorite thing: Always fun to watch, and to watch the unwary public, are these Living Statues. There were two of them in the Garden area most days during our stay. This, the taller one, seemed to be able to stand the pace of keeping still more so than the other smaller lady (not in the picture). It's always fun to watch the children run screaming back to their mothers when the 'statue' moves its arms, LOL!
Wines of the Algarve
Favorite thing: The Algarve is the only demarcated district in Portugal that does not produce a variety of white wines along with its red wine. The red wines tend to be full-bodied, a fruity rich flavour, low acidity, and containing a high alcohol level.
This region covers the municipalities of both Albufeira and Lagoa. The soft sandy soil and warm climate provides a rich distinct flavour. The red wines are ruby-coloured which develop with age and are easy to drink. The white wine is soft and full-bodied. Both have high alcohol content.
This region covers the municipalities of Aljezur, Lagos and Sagres. The red wine is smooth and fruity with low acidity level. The white wine is lemon-straw in colour and tends to be full-bodied.
The red wine is light, smooth with low acidity and high alcohol content. The white wine is straw-coloured with a soft and rich aromatic flavour.
This region covers the municipalities of Castro Marim, Faro, Olho, So Bros de Alportel, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo Antnio. The red wine is soft, pale-coloured and with a fruity aroma. The white wine is straw-coloured, smooth and full-bodied.
- Wine Tasting
albufeira in a nutshell
Favorite thing: Albuferia is an important tourist destination in the Algarve: it has beautiful ochre-coloured beaches, clear green-blue waters, amazing caves and rock formations, a charming white-washed old town, many charming little white churches - and hundreds of really ugly modern white hotels and resorts all around. I visited it in February - during the low-season - so it was quiet and pleasant enough: not too many people and not too much chaos. If you can ignore the newer part, the landscape is truly amazing. You can walk along the beach for hours, or follow the coastal footpaths that climb up and down along the sea-shore.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory is surely the stretch of coastal walk we did - going from beach to beach - over rocky promontories - and seeing the amazing rock formations: pinnacles on the beaches and in the sea - and then again caves and natural arches - and more and more beaches. Spectacular.
Praia da Rocha
Favorite thing: Praia da Rocha is one of the most photographed places at the Algarve, and no wonder the beach of Praia da Rocha is beautiful with it's cliffs.
It is a pity they made a small Manhattan from the village, with the huge hotels and apartments.
Praia da Rocha is about a five minutes drive from Portimao.
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