With a pick of beaches, a cutesy old town and a party-‘til-dawn strip, Albufeira holidays get a big tick in every box.

Top dog

The Algarve’s in the business of Blue Flag beaches – and Albufeira waves a massive 25 of them. It’s probably how it got its crown as the region’s number one. This place has nailed the historic-meets-modern combo, with a whitewashed old town and a new, bar-packed strip. Plus, it’s got a mammoth beach for a doormat.

All the works

Albufeira’s not your typical Portuguese fishing village. You’ve got a charming, cobblestoned centre, with live music in the squares and warren-like back streets lined with restaurants and bars. But it’s added a new town to its books, as well, with a strip to rival Vegas’. To the edge of town, there’s also a spruced-up marina, where the surrounding buildings look like pastel blocks of LEGO®.

Dripping in beaches

You can get an escalator down to Fisherman’s Beach – the huge one near the old town. A few fishing boats are still parked on the golden sands, but they’re joined by newbies like restaurants, a watersports centre and an inflatable obstacle course. Head along the coast and you can tot up even more sandy stretches. Family-friendly Praia dos Aveiros and Praia da Oura are great for little explorers, who’ll love the caves and rock pools that pop up at low tide.

At a Glance

  • Zoom past caves and leaping dolphins on a boat trip along the coast
  • Hit your ball across a ravine at Pine Cliffs Golf Course
  • Sneak off for some me time on empty Sao Rafael Beach