Albufeira takes its name from the Arabic Al-Buhera, meaning “castle on the sea,” in fact, the cliffs its castle was built upon were so steep it was considered unconquerable until it was finally taken by Dom Afonso III in the 13th century.
As King of Portugal he fell in love with a Moorish slave, eventually marrying and raising a family together in Albufeira. This began a new age for Portugal and, as well as the castle ruins, there are several interesting historical buildings to be found here, with the Moorish architecture of the church, museum, and clock tower reminders of its place in history.
Today Albufeira continues to grow, the recently built marina offers a wide range of excursions from fishing trips and cruises to dolphin spotting adventures. The promenade is the perfect place to relax and unwind afterwards as the sun sets over the shimmering waters.
A short drive travelling inland, Guia is home to Algarve Shopping, a shopping centre with over a hundred shops and boutiques, while the town itself is famous for its chicken piri-piri restaurants, a night out the entire family will enjoy.
For a more adventurous day out, Paderne is a small inland village featuring three hiking trails. Take in the unspoiled scenery as they wind through its hills and guide you around the walls of a 12th century castle thought to be one of the seven marked upon the Portuguese flag itself.
The castle is rumoured to be haunted by the spirits of the Moors who escaped invasion by hiding deep in its catacombs. They are said to remain to this day, leaving their sanctuary only when the clock strikes midnight.
Luckily, this isn’t the only nightlife Albufeira is known for, and although steeped in the past, it will always be somewhere to live in the moment. Every holiday needs at least one big night out, and Albufeira welcomes any party to try and conquer its streets once again!