Albufeira is a pretty town bursting with character that has developed from a small fishing village to one of the Algarve’s leading tourist destinations in just over three decades.
The town is split into two distinct sections- the busy and lively Praia d’Oura Montechoro ‘strip’, and the vibrant, cosmopolitan and charming Old Town of Albufeira.
The famous square is the focal point of the Old Town and it is here that you can enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere both day and night, with an extensive range of Portuguese and International restaurants, street performers, live bands and late night music bars. There are a selection of superb beaches to choose from in Albufeira, including the lovely fisherman’s beach; Albufeira beach, which is accessed via a tunnel cut into the cliff from the Old Town; the popular Praia d’Oura beach, which has a good choice of water sports; and the stunning picture postcard beach at Santa Eulalia.
To the east of Albufeira, heading in the direction of Vilamoura, you will find the bustling village of Olhos d’Agua, which similarly to Albufeira has developed over the years from a sleepy fishing village to the popular tourist destination it is today.
Olhos d’Agua has some great restaurants, a good selection of family bars and a delightful little beach. Nearby is the peaceful village of Acoteias, set amongst an abundance of pine trees in an extremely scenic part of the Algarve.
The Sheraton Pine Cliffs hotel and its nine hole golf course are located in the heart of this beautiful resort. Close by is the excellent Falesia beach, backed by majestic cliffs, and one of the longest stretches of beach in the Algarve.
Even by Algarve standards Albufeira has a stunning number and range of beaches. Such is the diversity you can visit a different first class beach every day for weeks.
For those looking for wide, well stocked family friendly beaches Praia dos Pescadores, Praia da Galé Leste, Praia dos Alemães and Praia da Oura fit the bill. Well furnished with facilities they all offer cafés, restaurants; access to off shore adventures and a silky soft place to sunbathe.
For those of a more adventurous disposition a trip to the secluded Praia de São Rafael offers a different beach experience. This secluded piece of golden sand is hemmed in by a steep rock face and is only accessible from the sea. The setting is so secluded that you can be forgiven for forgetting that you share the rock formations, sandy dunes and crystal clear lagoons with the rest of the world. Although it is a public beach it is rare to come across other holiday makers on this hidden gem, so remember Praia de São Rafael is not your own personal sandy fiefdom, even if it feels like it.
Central Albufeira has two nine hole and an eighteen hole golf course offering different experiences. It is not unusual for enthusiasts to visit more than one course during a trip to the region.
Salgados Golf Course is an 18-hole track set within a wildfowl habitat between sand dunes and marshland. Exposed to the elements and designed to flow perfectly with the surroundings its open nature has seen it described as a links course. However unlike traditional links courses where golfers are in a constant battle against the wind and rain, Salgados has traded those elements for year round sunshine.
A flat course with forgiving rough Salgados GC is not particularly long but is still a challenge and suits a strategic golfer. There’s plenty of water that attracts exotic birds around the lakes, ponds and streams around the course so wayward hitters should take extra balls and birdwatchers should bring a camera.
The greens are kept in excellent condition year round and welcoming clubhouse awaits after your round.
Balaia Golf Village’s 9 hole par 3 course is ideal for beginners, more accomplished players looking to strengthen your short game or competitive friends playing for bragging rights with some friendly ‘nearest the pin’ wagers. Golfers of all ages are welcome with the course’s length and layout well suited for juniors.
The golf village also has an academy, driving range, practice chipping and putting areas for those wanting to develop their game and improve your chances in the weekly 18-hole ‘Open’ Competition, available to anybody who wants to enter, held every Wednesday.
Built in a pine grove on the coastal cliffs of the Algarve it is not difficult to see how Pine Cliffs Golf and Country Club got its name. Attached to the awards winning Pine Cliffs Resort the complex includes a dedicated short game practice area and renowned Golf Academy run by internationally qualified PGA professionals. Following their expert instruction you can take what you’ve learned onto the picturesque 9-hole course flanked with tree lined fairways leading to the Atlantic Ocean.
Pine Cliffs GC’s raised position on the coast ensures each hole provides stunning views that may influence your risk/reward calculations. Disciplined players can plot their way around for a decent score, however if you’re prone to the odd rush of blood when confronted with such outstanding beauty you might opt to take on some of the long carries in the hope of pulling of some ‘Hollywood’ golf in this picture book setting.
On top of these golf clubs the Algarve is peppered with courses for those willing to travel a little further out of central Albufeira. For example The Old, Victoria, Millennium, Pinhal and Laguna Courses of the Dom Pedro Golf Resort and the Oceânico O'Connor Jnr and Clube Golf Oceânico Faldo Courses of the Amendoeira Golf Resort are all within ten miles of downtown Albufeira.