ALTERNATIVE ALBUFEIRA – WEST SIDE STORY

Many people who plan to visit the Algarve are put off Albufeira by the bad press certain parts of the town receives. There is another side to Albufeira (the west side actually). As frequent visitors to Portugal the area to the west of the town is probably our favourite coastal resort in the Algarve.

We also love the old town, it is true that in summer it is extremely busy with tourists but it does retain an old world charm and there are still some lovely authentic restaurants, such as Ruina overlooking the sea.

Above the old town is Cerro Grande, many guests choose this area as it is walking distance of beaches, shops and numerous restaurants, although it’s hillside position can make the walk home a bit arduous – local taxis are easy to find and inexpensive however. We love Casa Juno which has great sea views down across Cerro Grande.

Beyond the Cerro Grande is the colourful Albufeira Marina, it has an assortment of restaurants, bars and shops and there are boat trips along the coast available from here. Our friends at Indigo Divers use the marina as a starting point for many of their dives.

Going west is Vale de Parra, where there are some of the best beaches. All with golden, sandy beaches, most with beach bars serving delicious, locally caught fish. We have spent many a long, warm, summer afternoon sitting in a beach bar drinking lovely white sangria.

Gale stretches from Vale de Parra to Armacao de Pera. Gale is classed as an accessible beach, making it great for anyone with mobility difficulties. Gale is home to one of the top restaurants in the Algarve, Vila Joya; it is not inexpensive but lovely for a special occasion.

There are lots of smaller coves including Sao Lourenco, Sao Rafael and Evaristo, which has a slightly more formal (and more expensive) beach restaurant.

Some of our favourite villas are in this area, for example beautiful Terras Altas which sleeps 8 people.

So, if you are thinking of a holiday in the Algarve but had discounted Albufeira, please think again, or speak to us – we will do our best to change your mind!