There is no doubt that Albufeira is blessed with beautiful beaches, backed by low sandstone cliffs and probably the main reason the little fishing village has developed into an increasingly large resort town.
There are two beaches at Albufeira's old town, although they are in fact just part of the same long sweep of sand: Praia do Tunel (sometimes called Praia do Peneco) to the west and Praia dos Pescadores to the east. Both are beautifully clean: the beach tractors and workmen arrive in the early morning every day during the main visitor season, collecting the inevitable litter and re-ploughing the soft sand above high-water level.
Praia do Tunel is accessed via a man-made tunnel through the cliffs and also by an elevator (free, I assume). Praia dos Pescadores is at the end of the pedestrianised Avenida de 25 Abril and has escalators leading down from the cliffs (and the starting point for tuktuks, the tourist train and the hop-on bus).
Do be aware that Albufeira faces the Atlantic and not the Mediterranean. There are proper waves and the sea isn't anywhere near as warm. When I visited in late May I saw no-one actually swimming at all, although there were a few people paddling.
There are ranks of sunbeds available for hire and a boarded walkway which runs all the way from the access point to Paria dos Pescadores to he furthest extreme of Praia do Tunel. And, of course, there are pedalos, and plenty of other water-based activities on offer during the season along with beachside bars and eating places.
I walked the beaches in the early morning, when few others were about...the odd local jogger, the workmen cleaning up. At that time of day they were lovely but, as the temperature rose, they became increasingly busy. The easy access means both beaches can be very crowded indeed during the high season.
Directions: Albufeira old town.
Albufeira is a beach town, so of course you need to go to the beach at least once! The beaches are super-close to the downtown area, so it's easy to walk there. They're nice and sandy, and not too crowded either.
Note to travellers from more conservative countries/backgrounds and/or who are easily shocked - topless sunbathing is allowed and though not all women do it, it happens frequently on the beach.
Directions: From the old town, walk through the tunnel - it leads straight to the beach.
Thirty years ago Albufeira was "the capital" of tourism in Algarve and a vacation paradise.
Today, it is the center of all the excesses in massive building and loss of quality, but the beach is still there (spreading along the coast), the fishermen keep on working (not much), and with luck, you may get your own space not far from the city.
Once a "private" beach of Inatel, the national organization for workers free time, this wide beach is now part of the long stripe of sand that compose Albufeira's beaches, with a few hotels and apartments hidden inland.
I didn't swim there, but it looks more rocky than the other beaches of the area.
There are some rough paths along the coast between Albufeira old-town and Villamoura connecting the many small bays, beaches and resort areas.
When the tide is out, much of the distance can be done along the beach or the water's edge but several stretches must be done by climbing the steps or rocks and then following the rough paths.
These vary from dead-easy to quite hairy in places!
Address: Albufeira - Villamoura coastline
Directions: Beach areas
Fifteen minutes walk from the center is the main beach.Quite well hidden from the main rd so look out for signs that point to a path and small road that takes you to the beach.There is a large car park at the end of the small road and plenty of wooden boards to walk on to avoid getting burnt feet on the hot sand.The water can be quite cold with it being the Atlantic so brace yourself when taking a dip.Sunloungers and umbrellas can be hired for a few Euros and just behind the sand dunes is a nice bar/restaurant with plenty of room to sit inside or out.
Cant remember the name of the restaurant but we did eat here once and i remember the food was very nice and the service was good with a varied menu and reasonable prices.
Directions: East of Alburfeira centre follow signs to beach road.
Albufeira was a thriving seaport with its own castle which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. Most of the older parts of the town survived and have been carefully maintained.
The centre of Albufeira is very mixed, with the new part called the 'strip' which has many bars and discoes and where the younger element congregate.
So why did you chose Albufeira? It has lots to offer, but the beaches are really great! Soft golden sand, and usually plenty of room to set down your towel and relax.
There are areas of the most popular beaches, like Fishermans Beach, where there are sunbeds and beach umbrellas laid out, for hire. I think you'll find that you are not permitted to set up your own beach umbrella within a certain distance of the official ones, so be aware!
I think the must see in Albufeira are the beaches.
There are some like Sº Rafael, Albufeira, Falésia, etc.
Always good white sand, and lovely sea.
Beaches and Sun makes Algarve the most tourist spot in Portugal.
Driving between Portimao and Albufeira we stopped at Carvoeiro for a snack and also we visited the beach.
This little beach remind me the calas of Ibiza, with the fisherman little houses but this ones also on the mountain, not only on the beach.
You can see lots of signs at the boats to visit the caves by sea :-) maybe next time :-)
Driving between Portimao and Albufeira you can visit some lovely beaches.
When we stopped in Carvoeiro, at the tourist office (that was open on a Sunday) they suggested us to visit some places as this beach, even if the photos do not show its beauty as it was afternoon and the sun was making photos a little bit difficult lol it was for me the most impressive.
I suggest to go in the morning for photos :-)
I remember 17 years ago, waking up in the morning and going early to the beach for the last swim before driving north to Lisbon.
I had so many good memories of that visit :-)
Anyway the beach is still there hehehe and still looks as nice as before :-)
I couldn't say whether these are here all the time, but certainly keep your eyes peeled on the beach for sand sculptures. This one that we saw, the bloke was just doing the finishing touches. He was very pleased with himself, and everyone was standing around admiring his work. Then this stray mongrel ran into the middle of it. Everyone gasped, the sculpter looked horrified and the dog froze. It was an uncomfortable 5 seconds. Eventually the sculpter could take it no more and started wailing and flapping his arms around and the dog scarpered intact. He didnt do any damage, thank goodness. I wouldnt have wished to see him end up on a spit-roast.
The real sight for people coming to Albufeira - or Algarve in general - is the sea... amazing, clean and crystal-clear... at times blue, at times green! The beaches are amazing, too... ochre in colour - but with the right sunlight they look as if they are made of gold... and endless. I went in Amrch - and they were really empty - beautiful - quiet (and yes, the water was too cold to swim!). I have the feeling - however - that in the high season, when it gets really crowded - much of this natural charm is lost.
Directions: along the coast
If you're in Albufeira, the main reason must be the beach holiday. So, go for the beach! The beach itself is lovely, consisting of two beaches, the city beach in the west (in the picture) and the fishermen's beach on the east. The first one being more populated with the bars in the vicinity.
However, since I'm scandinavian, I had bit of a problems with the sun. I had never had a sunburn before, at least not this severe one, but here I got it. It took couple of days to overcome that. So, check your sun blocker in advance so you won't make the same mistake as I did.