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Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Albufeira

Little more than a fishing village at the beginning of the 1960s, Albufeira is now the busiest vacation resort along the Algarve, which runs in a necklace of sandy beaches and pretty towns along the south coast of Portugal. It’s a cultured city with roots that stretch back to Roman times, but thanks to a devastating earthquake in 1755, much of the old town has disappeared.

Historic buildings that do remain in the once-Moorish old town include the 14th-century Capela da Misericórdia (Chapel of Mercy), which was formerly a mosque, but most of the whitewashed, Baroque-style churches have been replaced since the earthquake. A few fragments of the castle walls are still standing along with the castle’s landmark clock tower, but it is the squat, stone Torre da Medronheira, which was built in the 1500s as a watchtower for pirates, that has best stood the test of time.

A 30-km (18.5-mile) string of sandy beaches graces the Albufeira waterfront, with a stretch to suit everyone from deserted sweeps of sand at Praia dos Salgados or pretty cliff-backed coves such as Praia da Coelha. The most popular and crowded is family-orientated Praia de Pescadores (Fisherman’s Beach) in the heart of the city, where traditional fishing boats still bob incongruously in the water among the swimmers. To the west of Praia de Pescadores, Albufeira’s smart new marina is backed by brightly painted, smart apartment blocks and surrounded by the city’s best seafood restaurants. It is also the base for a range of water sports and tours from speed boating and scuba diving to paragliding and dolphin spotting.

Albufeira’s late-night clubbing scene lies east of the old town and is centered on the southern end of the notorious Strip, which is rowdy around Areias de So Joao but becomes progressively more staid as it heads north into Montechoro, where there are a sprinkling of designer shops and high-end restaurants tucked away in cobbled backstreets. 
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Praia Gale
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17 Tours and Activities

A favorite among locals due to its golden sands and calm, swimming-friendly waters, Praia Gale should be at the top of any beach-lover’s Albufeira itinerary. Steps away from the resort town of Gale, Praia Gale offers more than just sunbathing opportunities: you can spot marine life in natural pools between the rocks or explore the sandstone caves on either side of the sand.

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Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera)
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3 Tours and Activities

With its golden sands and sandstone-carved coves, Armacao de Pera Beach (Praia Armacao de Pera) epitomizes the coastal beauty of Portugal’s Algarve. Backed by a fishing village of the same name, the beach is an ideal choice for both families and sun-worshippers: umbrella-shaded sunbeds offer respite from the midday sun while the rocky coves on either side of the beach make for a fun day of exploration.

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Praia dos Salgados
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3 Tours and Activities

Backed by ochre cliffs, the seemingly endless shoreline of Praia dos Salgados exemplifies the picture-perfect beauty of The Algarve’s coastline. Steps away from the sand, you’ll find a golf course and reserve that cater to nature lovers and families alike. Meanwhile, the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean provide a safe place for kids to swim.

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