Three days in Albufeira lets you do it all. You’ll have time to lounge on some of The Algarve’s best beaches, see wild dolphins on a boat trip on the Atlantic Ocean, escape to the country in an all-terrain vehicle, and spend a day exploring further afield on a trip to Lagos or Sagres. Here’s how.
Devote day one to the natural attractions of Albufeira, both on land and at sea. Boat tours are a great way to escape the city’s crowds and increase your chances of spotting wild bottlenose dolphins. Tours typically pass secluded beaches such as Praia da Marinha—voted the best beach in The Algarve—and the Bengali Caves, one of Portugal’s most famous sea caves. Alternatively, you can get off the beaten path on a Jeep safari tour, many of which visit a historic castle, fruit plantations, and elevated lookout points—and include tastings of Portuguese delicacies such as medronho, a local spirit, and honey. Get back on a boat for a sunset cruise with live music and open bar, or stay on land to enjoy classic Portuguese dishes at a restaurant in Albufeira Marina.
Spend your second day exploring further afield. Albufeira boasts a prime location in the center of the region, making it easy to explore either the western or easter part of The Algarve on a day trip. Head west to see the medieval hilltop castle of Silves, the sea cliffs and crashing waves of Sagres—one of Europe’s surfing capitals—and the glitzy marina of Lagos, or go east to discover the traditional village of Tavira and the historic Old Town of Faro. Tour options from Albufeira are plentiful and allow you to skip the stress of renting a car. Most tours include a traditional Portuguese lunch and round-trip transfers from your hotel.
Kick off your final day with adrenaline-fuelled activities, such as parasailing or jet-skiing. If you’re after something a little less extreme, opt for a stand-up paddleboard tour of the coastline, or spend a few hours soaking up the sun on some of the region’s best beaches, which include Praia Gale, Praia dos Salgados, and Armacao de Pera beach—all of these are a short drive from the center of Albufeira. If you’re travelling with kids in tow, spend the day either at Zoomarine, a water theme park with aquarium, or Splash & Slide water park.