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Albufeira

One of the more popular resort areas of the Algarve on the south coast of Portugal, Albufeira has a rich history that predates Roman times. The Albufeira coastline is made up of around 20 different beaches, some busy, some nearly deserted. Postcard-perfect beaches abound along the Algarve and its main beach – Fisherman's Beach – is particularly picturesque, a wide stretch of sand framed by white-washed stone villas and rolling hills. Most visitors choose an Albufeira hotel either right on or very close to the waterfront, though Albufeira Centro is also a convenient place to stay.

Activities around Albufeira are mostly geared towards water sports, with plenty of wind surfing, sailing and diving centers all offering training and equipment, plus regular excursions to the best dive sites. Most visitors to Albufeira come to laze on the beach and simply enjoy the warm climate and cool water for which the Algarve is famed, but those who prefer a more active vacation can rent a car and explore the coastline. Car rental is inexpensive in Albufeira and having the freedom to drive around opens up the potential to discover the area's more remote sandy coves.

Although only small, Albufeira has a thriving entertainment scene, with an impressive choice of bars, clubs and restaurants along the neon-punctuated 'Strip'. Most places here stay open until the early hours of the morning and it's a popular haunt for younger travelers. Food in Albufeira reflects the town's geographical position – fresh seafood (a dish called cataplana) and locally-produced port are top of the list, to be accompanied by the usual Portugese meats and breads.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Albufeira, click on the interactive Albufeira map on the left-hand side of the page.