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City of Albufeira
Name origin: Castle of the Sea
Country  Portugal
Region Algarve
District Faro District
Timezone Portugal (UTC0)
 - summer (DST) Portugal (UTC-1)

Albufeira is a city in Portugal. It is the seat of Albufeira Municipality, in the Faro District of the Algarve Region, in southernmost Portugal.

It is a main tourist destination, due to its coastal location. The city has a population of 22,000.[1] It is 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Lisbon, and is within close proximity of Paderne Castle. Lagos is located 30 kilometres (19 mi) to the west, and Faro 45 kilometres (28 mi) to the south-east. Facilities include a marina, golf courses plus a great many hotels, apartment blocks, restaurants and bars for the annual flood of visitors.


Early history[edit]

Under the Romans the city was named Baltum, and they initially grew the city, with an aqueduct of which parts still remain. Trade with the North Africans garnered the city its name, which is derived from the Arabic البحيرة (Al-Buhayra, meaning "The Lagoon"). The Arabs also helped grow the city, teaching agricultural methods of sustaining what had, till then been a solely fishing community.

Middle Ages[edit]

The Christian conquest of the region began at the end of the 12th century. The Moors were driven out in 1249, in the reign of King D. Afonso III. The town became part of the kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. King D. Manuel I awarded Charter to the Town of Albufeira on 20 August 1504 and from that day the town was governed according to the legislation in force for the rest of the country.

20th century[edit]

The town started to become a hub for tourism in the 1960s, and has grown to accommodate this since, growing out into the surrounding hills to accommodate thousands of the 5 million tourists who visit the Algarve region each year.[2]


Tourism and commerce are the main activities in Albufeira. Most tourists arrive via Faro Airport. After sunset, the centre of Albufeira comes alive with bars, restaurants, and shops to suit most tastes, from authentic Portuguese-fare to Irish pubs.


Beach in Albufeira

The tourist areas are divided into two main areas, Areias de São João, known colloquially as 'The Strip', a nightlife oriented area, with many clubs and bars, and the more relaxed Old Town, based in the original town, which maintains the traditional Arabic architecture where possible.

The town also has two beaches, Praia dos Pescadores, or the Fisherman's beach, and Praia do Túnel, or the tunnel beach to the West, which is accessed through a tunnel through the cliffs.

There is also a harbour, which offers a variety of boat trips along the Algarve coast.

The Strip[edit]

"The Strip", includes popular bars such as Mickey Boons, Matt's Bar, Patcha, Cuica, Café del Mar, Café Mambo, Savannah Bar, Rick's Place Bar, Zoo, BJ's, Blue Star Cafe, Garage, Reno's, La Bamba, Jazz, Gaggs, Wild & Co. and Sultan Bar. There is also an extremely popular nightclub, Kiss and now a new nightclub, Club Heaven.


  1. ^ UMA POPULAÇÃO QUE SE URBANIZA, Uma avaliação recente - Cidades, 2004 Nuno Pires Soares, Instituto Geográfico Português (Geographic Institute of Portugal)
  2. ^

External links[edit]