We, portuguese, are knowned for our mad driving..well, it's a bit true, so be carefull if you rent a car! Drive very carefully and watch out for the drunk drivers...If you drink a bit more but still think you can drive be very careful..the police might stop you just outside the dance club!
A tip to the girls, i would advise you not to take any mobile phones or expensive things in your handbags out with you, because there are a few pick-pocketers around the strip.
I learnt this when i visited back in feb. Believe me they are clever, it only takes a few seconds. This is what some of them do to live on!!! be careful.
As I mentioned Slide and Splash water park in my 'Must see activities' I would like to point out that some of the splash pools that you may drop into from a water shute are not all shallow.
This particular plunge pool was very deep in fact, either 12 or 16 feet. Therefore make sure you know the depth before allowing children to use them.
When we were put in this villa, which was absolutely wonderful, we didnt really expect to hire a car. Although on our first trip out into the centre of Albufeira we soon found out that we were not on the door step. The villa was on a cliffe, and you could either walk along an unmade road and then down a very steep cobbled lane until you came to the duel carriageway, which went into Albufeira. The problem was that there was no pavement and quite frightening with cars whizzing past you.
The alternative route was at the back of the villa which was one of a few dozen and then you were in open countryside, down winding lanes until you came to a road which went into Albufeira. The trouble came when returning at night in the dark, there was no street lights whatsoever. It was virtually impossible to see your hand in front of your face, and we were not even sure if we were in the right direction. This was very unnerving as there are also quite a lot of wild dogs running freely around this area.
Consequently after making our way along this dual carriageway and returning along the country lane, it was decided a car was essential.
Consequently we had not budgeted for hiring a car, but thankfully we had a credit card. On balance though we had a pretty good deal and with having a car we were able to see much more than we would have done relying on public transport.
Watch out for scorpions under the rocks in the summer.
Portugese "Fire Water" The portugese equivalent of Absynth! You can run your car on the stuff! Great for a party though with its hallucigenic qualities. Dont by the stuff from the main towns though as its only 40% proof it has to be weakened because of high taxation, best to get it in the mountains off the peasants.
2 friends badly beaten 1st night we there. After the 4 assailants had taken all money & Valuables, one gave my mate a kick on the head for good measure...
Same 4 suspected of several attacks.
Police 'reaction' was completely shameful and non-existent...
Here is an article posted today about a decorated solider who served in Afghanistan...
Every one we met out there is cool - even the locals in bars when the world cup was on !!
We stayed in a villa pretty much in the midle of no were which was surrounded with bushes .... a couple that were staying just up from us had a few problems with a couple of local men ... so if you are staying out a bit further a field alway make sure your not walking alond the country like paths alone ... they can be a bit scary when you have had a few drinks !! Also the sound of the crickets and the snakes in the long grass can be a bit creepy !!
I'm one of the privileged guys that knew Algarve more than 40 years ago, when Nature was respected, and the sea side was a paradise.
The density of construction by the sea is criminal, and the "wild" coast between Albufeira and Oura is the best example.
I spent almost 20 years skipping Algarve, refusing what has been done there. I'm not resigning now, but the weather and sea are still there, despite the men's follies...
Wearing heals in Albufeira is useless. Unless you want spent your time looking down on where you put your feet, that is.
The pavements of Albufeira (although I must say that Albufeira town is a bit better than Montechoro) consist of little stones, that are very slippery and have huge cracks between them.
If your thinking about driving anywhere in Portugal then forget it,they don't seem to have any rules or regulations,the Portuguese people just walk out into the road at any given moment(they simply have no road sense),they are extremely impatient and rude.
I went to Portugal recently for two wks and although I thought the country was nice,the people and there driving let it down badly.
In my opinion your much better off to avoid Portugal all together and go somewhere where the locals are much more friendly towards tourists bringing money into there countries.
I have been living very close to The Strip for six months now and find it extremely safe. We have heard from separate people that you should not walk further up around the Montechorro Hotel after 2am in the morning or you could be mugged. I think this warning could apply anywhere in the world. There has been one incident where a tourist was mugged comming out of a nightclub at 3am, so one must be as wise here as at home. I honestly think Albufeira is virtually crime free. I come from South Africa so that is no wonder.I am a woman and walk with my camera and bag all the time and have always felt completely safe. It is more dangerous to walk along the cliff tops too close to the edge and risk falling, or to be caught in a little cove when the tide comes in, I think. On our second day here we recieved a 100 euro fine for not wearing a seatbelt. Prices for things vary completely from one place to the next, so its worth shopping around. This applies to the price of things like a coffee out as well, each shop had its own idea of price. In summer its vital to carry sunglasses, a hat, wear sunscreen, to drink plenty of water and keep in the shade from 3pm to 6pm. I hope this helps.
We encountered a snake one evening when walking from the Strip area towards Albufeira old town. This was on the hill leading down to the large old building currently being refurbished. There was a wall between the path and what appeared to be a deep drop onto rough tree-strewn land.
The snake was about 1 meter long, and was "running-away" from us before climbing a tree.
I have posted a video which is clearer than the photo I managed to take.
Apparently these are fairly harmless, not poisonous but may bite if you were to approach too closely when it could not escape.
We never experienced any trouble after dark but you should always be alert around the bars and esp[ecailly the beach are at night time.
Be careful of food sellers along the beach. I bought some fruit from a guy and suffered with stomach pains which wiped out the last few days of my holiday !
Most of the accomodation in Albufeira is situated high above the town itself and so a trip to the beach , shops or bars and back can be hard work in 90 deg temperatures !