Albufeira is a small town located in the south of Portugal, specifically in the area of Algarve. It is the typical fishing village converted, nowadays, into a tourist attraction. In this post, we will discuss what you should see in Albufeira and how to get to Albufeira from Lisbon.
The main attractions of Albufeira are its beaches, among which we will highlight the Praia dos Pescadores, the closest to the center, or the beaches of Peneco or Oura. On the other hand, another thing that makes Albufeira unique is its dolphin watching points. Albufeira is Algarve’s most popular beach resort, boasting beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and an extensive selection of bars and restaurants. The main airport of Algarve is Faro Airport, which is 35km to the east of Albufeira and is served by very limited public transport.
How to get to Albufeira from Lisbon
How to get to Albufeira from Lisbon by train
To go to Albufeira from Lisbon, you have the option of taking the typical train with enough stops, which takes around three and a half hours to arrive. Or you can catch a fast train, which takes around two and a half hours. In any case, from the Lisbon train station you must take the train to Faro/Lagos and stop at the Albufeira-Ferreiras stop. Prices for one way are around €20.How to get to Albufeira from Lisbon by busTo go to Albufeira from Lisbon by bus will take you 3-4 hours depending on the traffic especially leaving Lisbon. Bus rides can cost €15-20 and they stop many times so the journeys are long. During summer, Faro airport can be a chaotic traffic jam. There are two types of bus service between Faro and Albufeira, an express bus or the much slower regional service.
How to get to Albufeira from Faro airport
The first stage of the journey is 6km from Faro International Airport to Faro train or bus station. There is a direct bus service (number 16 bus) from the airport with irregular departure times, but there is at least one bus per hour between 6am-11pm. The journey takes under twenty minutes. The fare costs €2.25 and tickets are purchased from the driver.
The published timetable is displayed at the bus stop. There are departures every 30-50 minutes. Faro train station and bus station are very close together and are only 200 meters apart. A taxi from the airport to the train station costs €10-12 and only takes 10 minutes.
The express bus takes 55 minutes whereas the Interurban bus takes 90 minutes. The express bus ticket costs €5.50 and it departs from intercity bus station. The regional bus costs €3.85 and it leaves from Proximo station. When departing from Faro bus station, all tickets must be purchased from the ticket office and not the driver.
The train between Faro to Albufeira (Ferreiras) is a slow but inexpensive region service. The advantage of the train is that it is relaxing and there are always seats available, but the nearest station to Albufeira is 7km away in the small town of Ferreiras. From Ferreiras it is 10-minute taxi ride (€10-15) to Albufeira or a local bus to Albufeira bus station (which is still a 1.5km walk to the historic center).
Ferreiras/Albufeira train station is 6km north of the main resort town, and this makes the train a poor choice of transport to reach Albufeira. The only reason to take the train is if the buses are all sold out. The train is operated by Combios de Portugal (CP) and a single ticket costs €3.30, while the journey takes 35 minutes.
A taxi ride from Faro airport can cost around €50 due to the long distance from Faro to Albufeira (35 kilometers).
A private transfer is the easiest and fastest method of travel from Faro airport to Albufeira and it can cost €30 for a single trip.
Best time to visit Albufeira
Albufeira has hot summers, warm springs and autumn. If you are going on a trip around Albufeira, the best time for you to visit is during the months of April to June, because the weather is nice for spending on the road since most of your itinerary consists of outdoor activities like sightseeing, walking and biking along the coast of beautiful beaches offered by Albufeira.
July and August can be a nightmare for tourists because of the temperature and since its summer, it is a peak season due to the school holidays. But if you are staying or based on a country farmhouse complete with all the necessities, you will be fine.
Where to stay in Albufeira
We chose to stay in Albufeira, Central Algarve when we visited Algarve because it´s halfway between Faros and Lagos. Our choice was Olhos de Agua, a small town with two beaches really close to our apartment. Praia de Falesia and Olhos de Agua are just 10-15 minutes walking distance. The location is great for going out for dinner since there are a few restaurants that are just also waking distance away. If you want to go by car, Albufeira town is only a 5 minutes drive. Click here to know more about rent in Albufeira and check their Instagram.
Check the pictures of the beautiful apartment in Albufeira:
Beaches to visit in Albufeira
Praia da Falesia
One of the many long beaches in Algarve is Praia da Falesia, with shores stretching from Olhos de Água in the east and the beautiful Vilamoura in the west. It is another stunning beach with a truly great vibe, with its wooden steps leading to and from various places in the area. Praia da Falesia can also be reached from the Pine Cliffs resort through a glass lift that takes you to the boardwalk.
It’s one of our favorite beaches for relaxing and is not as accessible as other beaches so there’s always enough space for you to read, swim, sunbathe, surf and just chill.
Praia dos Pescadores
Fisherman’s Beach is a blue flag beach on the Atlantic south coast of Algarve. It’s is a must-visit beach in Albufeira especially when you are staying in Albufeira’s old town. You can go on for a short walk and you’ll be able to see it’s beautiful golden sand and the cool ocean water. On your stay, you’ll feel at home, locals are friendly and there are plenty of beach restaurants and water sports activities available.
Olhos de Agua
A small fisherman’s village located in the municipality of Albufeira, Portugal. It is one of the beaches that is great for families because of its direct access from the village and offers variety of services. It is a beautiful beach, and in the low tide, you can watch its famous natural springs coming out of the sand known by the locals as “Olhos de Agua” (water eyes).
Travel tip: Olhos de Agua beach is magical to visit at sunset time.
Praia do Barranco das Belharucas
It begins in the Falesia Beach that extends for 7 km to Vilamoura. It is an unspoiled beach far away from the village beaches. It is a perfect beach for those travelers who want to get away from the crowd and a perfect get away for couples fancying romantic walk. It has road access from Olhos de Agua and there is an available beach restaurant for lunch or snack for visitors.
Where to eat in Albufeira
Restaurante Dom Carlos
It is a charming little restaurant that offers a quiet and relaxing atmosphere and fresh delicious food. The restaurant is a Portuguese fine dining and it’s offering a popular five-course evening meal at €49 alongside with a broad selection of wines. Operated by a husband and wife, it’s often to see crowded, so better if you book in advance.
Restaurante Tres Palmeiras
It is a perfect place to try Portuguese favorite like Algarve cataplan-cooked seafood stews. The restaurant caters to families offering a wide variety of menu and is also offering some vegetarian alternatives. It is a little way off from the tourist restaurants of the central area. It is a great chance to experience Michelin-listed Portuguese cuisine at a reasonable price.
It is a charmingly rustic style restaurant with some hints of Algarve’s nautical past. It has a casual vibe and is located a short way out of the city center. This restaurant is Mediterranean inspired and has a full range Portuguese dishes consist of meat and seafood options. The menu is full of delicious selection and is all freshly caught- fish and other delicious fruits of the sea. You can order a meal like Grilled Octopus and many more. There are also array of deserts available.
This one is a local favorite, serving up hearty Portuguese meals in a traditional and family-friendly manner. The Palacete prides itself particularly on its range of hearty steaks and fresh seafood and is great for an intimate dinner or you can also enjoy a night out with your friends. A total of €70 is a price for 2.
It is one of Albuferia’s restaurants that caters exclusively for vegetarian and vegan diners. The restaurant is Asian and international influenced, and it is making space for some reliable Portuguese dishes. It offers a value buffet system. You can eat all the healthy meals in the restaurant for as low as €7.50.
So, once you manage to get to Albufeira from Faro airport and Lisbon, make sure you read all the things to do in Lisbon. Also read our full travel guide to visit Algarve. More cool places to visit in Europe, check our travel guide to Nice and Paris!