10 Best Things To Do in Albufeira

Traveling to Albufeira? Discover the best things to see and do in the city, from parasailing to a stroll through the old town.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

10 Best Things To Do in Albufeira

Albufeira | ©Simon Hermans

Albufeira is one of the most famous cities of the Algarve. It attracts numerous tourists throughout the year, generally in the summer months. If you are planning a getaway to this area of Portugal, I recommend that you dedicate a few days to get to know it in depth.

There are many plans that you can make, whatever your tastes: from going to the municipal market to learn about the lifestyle of the area to take a jeep tour of the most beautiful villages and countryside of the province.

1. Tour the old town

Getting to know Albufeira| ©Patrick Nouhailler
Getting to know Albufeira| ©Patrick Nouhailler

The old town, with its traditional architecture and cobblestone streets, is a charming place. Walking through it you will find many bars and restaurants with typical Portuguese cuisine where you can taste the gastronomy of this part of the country. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best tours you can do in Albuferia.

Beyond its white plastered houses and balconies full of flower pots, the center of Albufeira has several tourist sites to see.

  • Praça da República: this is the main square, and it is very common to have artists playing live music in this place.
  • The church of San Sebastian which is very close to the square.
  • The viewpoint of the Pescador: from where you can observe the Atlantic Ocean and take some magnificent photos to remember. In short, wonderful views.
  • Some of the best beaches in Albufeira, you will be pleased to know that the old town has access to several of them.

2. Explore the Benagil Caves

Benagil Caves| ©Jose Palao Chinchilla
Benagil Caves| ©Jose Palao Chinchilla

About 30 kilometers from Albufeira are these wonderful natural caves. Formed by the erosion of the sea, they are one of the greatest natural treasures of the Algarve. One of the biggest attractions is the natural skylight on the roof, which creates a light show worth seeing.

Although it is possible to access the caves on foot when the tide is low, I recommend booking a speedboat ride through the caves of Benagil in Albufeira. During the ride it is not surprising that you might spot dolphins. This is a very fun experience and you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

However, keep in mind that the Benagil caves attract hundreds of tourists, especially in high season. Therefore, I think this is one of the best things to do in Albufeira in April, a month when the weather is already good, but when the town is still quiet.

Book a boat trip through the caves of Benagil

3. Discover its beaches

Falésia Beach| ©Vectron X4E
Falésia Beach| ©Vectron X4E

Even if you go to Albufeira in November, you should take advantage of the trip to visit its beaches and coves.

It is true that in summer you can take advantage of them to a greater extent, having the opportunity to dive into the sea and do some water sports. However, if you go in the winter months you can also stroll along the shore or sit and contemplate the views.

  • Praia de Falésia: is the best of all and is characterized by its golden sand and cliffs.
  • Praia dos Pescadores: it is also very touristic and is located in the center of the city. Here you will find different beach bars where you can taste fresh fish.
  • Praia do Castelo: I recommend it if you want to escape from the tourists and are looking for a more intimate and quiet experience. It is located between cliffs and is small, but very quiet.
  • Praia da Coelha: another one that also offers a serene atmosphere.

4. Explore the municipal market

Municipal Market| ©jeffrpics
Municipal Market| ©jeffrpics

Not everything in Albufeira is related to the beach, as you may go to the city in other months of the year than summer. That's why you should keep in mind a visit that may very well become one of the best things to do in Albufeira in December, March or any other time.

Albufeira's municipal market is located in the center of the city, on Avenida dos Descobrimentos. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the culture of the city, starting with the traditional tiled architecture of the building.

Inside you can find all kinds of fresh local products and different restaurants that prepare their dishes with the products of the stalls, making it the ideal place to taste the local gastronomy. Also, if you are lucky, your visit may coincide with a thematic festival or art exhibition.

5. Feel like a pirate on the boat Leaozinho

Leaozinho Boat| ©Dream Wave Algarve
Leaozinho Boat| ©Dream Wave Algarve

One of the most peculiar activities in Albufeira is touring its best beaches and coves on a pirate ship. This, considered one of the best boat tours in Albufeira, will offer you the opportunity to swim during the tour and enjoy the crystal clear waters.

Among the places that are usually passed is the praia Sao Rafael, which stands out for its cliffs. You will also be able to see the capela da Nossa Senhora da Rocha, a chapel that stands on top of a cliff and looks like something out of a fairy tale.

As if that were not enough, when booking a boat trip on the Leaozinho it is also common to stop at one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world according to the Michelin guide: praia da Marinha.

6. Practice water sports

Parasailing in Albufeira| ©lilly´87
Parasailing in Albufeira| ©lilly´87

Portugal is a paradise for water sports. Many water sports enthusiasts flock to the Portuguese coast every year. And, in particular, the Algarve is the ideal destination for you if you want to practice any water sport.

The wide range of sports offered by the conditions of Albufeira means that you can find one that suits your tastes and needs. For example, you can go snorkeling to discover the underwater world or add some adrenaline to the experience and book a parasailing experience in Albufeira.

Parasailing experience in Albufeira

If you like extreme sports, I recommend a parasailing flight in Albufeira. For a few minutes you will soar through the sky while observing the city's seascape from the heights. Before that, in the boat, a professional guide will give you the necessary indications so that everything goes smoothly.

The experience usually lasts about an hour and a half. In addition, one of the great advantages is that it is done in small groups of about 3 people, which allows it to be very personalized. It is also common to be able to choose between different departure times.

The best time to parasail in Albufeira is in spring or autumn, as temperatures here are pleasant, but not excessively high. Therefore, this is one of the best plans to do in October in Albufeira.

Kayaking or paddle surfing through the caves and hidden beaches of Albufeira

If you are one of those who prefer to do fun activities during your trips, you can book a kayak or paddle surf tour in Albufeira in the different beaches and coves of the area.

This type of experience usually includes the accompaniment of a professional guide who will help you, so you don't need to have previous experience. It is a very quiet and pleasant adventure with which you can meet impressive caves and cliffs from the serenity of your kayak or your board.

Specifically, the tour that I propose is two hours long and includes a stop at a white sand beach to recharge your batteries while you rest and enjoy some delicious snacks.

Diving experience

If you are a curious person and you are not afraid to dive into the depths of the sea, I recommend you to book a diving experience for beginners in Albufeira. Thanks to its crystal clear and clean waters, you will be able to observe a great amount of fish from the Atlantic Ocean.

Your guide will give you a theoretical and practical lesson, as well as provide you with the equipment. There are excursions with a duration of about 3 hours or so. Some of them include a first dive in a pool as a simulation. In addition, there is usually one guide for every two people, so you don't have to worry about anything happening to you.

Regarding the dive, it usually lasts an hour and a half and you will reach a depth of 12 meters. At the end, you will receive an official SSI certification.

Book a diving experience in Albufeira

7. Have fun in Zoomarine Algarve

Zoomarine Algarve| ©Timo Newton-Syms
Zoomarine Algarve| ©Timo Newton-Syms

One of the best activities in Albufeira is Zoomarine Algarve. It is the most famous water park in Portugal and has all kinds of water attractions for everyone. It is also a zoo where you can see sea lions, birds of prey, seals or dolphins.

You will have a great time jumping down its endless slides, rafting or surfing in the wave pool of the park. In addition, among the facilities there is also a white sand beach where you can stop to rest and sunbathe.

Zoomarine Algarve also hosts shows and exhibits, some of which are interactive. If you are hungry, you will have no problem finding a place to have something to eat, as the park has several restaurants and establishments.

8. Tour the Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ria Formosa Natural Park| ©Luis Aguilar
Ria Formosa Natural Park| ©Luis Aguilar

From the city of Faro to Cacela Velha extend 60 kilometers of lagoons, marshes, beaches and islands under the name of Ria Formosa. This Natural Park is one of the great treasures of Portugal for its ecological importance.

You can see from flamingos to herons, visit its islands and white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters or visit some of the fishing villages that are part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, such as San Luzia or Fuseta.

The park has several visitor centers located at strategic points. Here you can learn more about the fauna and flora of the place. In addition, there are educational activities in which both children and adults can learn in a more fun way.

Activities in the Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ría de la Formosa is a place where you can do all kinds of outdoor activities. On the one hand, bird watching is very common in the park and excursions are offered for this purpose.

In addition, there are also boat trips that go around the islands, lagoons and marshes of the place. If you are more of a land person than a water person, I recommend a walk along the marked trails in the park. You also have the opportunity to make a cycling route.

If you like photography, do not forget your camera, as you can take spectacular landscape photographs. In addition to all of the above, it is also common to go kayaking or paddleboarding. Of course, you can just enjoy the beaches.

9. Take a jeep tour

Jeep| ©firehouse.ie
Jeep| ©firehouse.ie

One of the best ways to get to know the area is to book a jeep tour of Albufeira. You will be able to get to know the historical villages of the region and visit the characteristic orange groves of Albufeira.

You will usually be accompanied by a local guide, who will tell you everything you need to know about the landscapes and villages you will visit, as well as the different ancient castles you will see during the tour.

In addition, some jeep tours include extra activities, such as a swim in a beautiful waterfall or a tasting of Medronho brandy, an aromatic drink very typical of this area. The activity usually lasts about 4 hours and you can usually choose between two schedules: in the morning or in the afternoon.

Book a jeep tour in Albufeira

10. Enjoy the nightlife

Albufeira by night| ©Jan Jacobs
Albufeira by night| ©Jan Jacobs

Albufeira is known for its lively nightlife, being one of the most fun cities in Portugal. The area par excellence for partying is The Strip, name by which is known the Sá Carneiro Avenue. This street is full of nightclubs and pubs where all kinds of music are played.

Of course, the historic center of the city also has several bars and pubs, but here you will find a more local and less touristy atmosphere. In addition to these two areas, boat parties are very common, especially in summer.

As you can see, there are many things to do in Albufeira, no matter what your tastes and preferences are. Also, in case you fly to the city, I recommend you to take a look at the Albufeira airport transfers to enjoy a more comfortable experience.