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All About Portugal | September 26, 2020

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Albufeira – what you need to know about this Algarve’s village

sao rafael beach in Albufeira
Clara Campos

Knowing Albufeira is discovering one of the most popular beach destinations not only from Portugal or the Europe but also from the all world

Albufeira is one of the most popular beach destinations in Europe. Get to know it means discovering a city with a rich history, influenced by the Romans, the Moors and the sea.

Albufeira, a city with history

Some evidences show that the village’s area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Romans established here a town named Baltum and developed the agriculture and the trade. Besides, they built aqueducts, roads and bridges which traces are still visible.
However, there were the Moors who left the most impressive mark in the city: Today’s name Albufeira cames from the Moorish word “Al-buhera” meaning castle of the sea. The Moors developed the agriculture introducing new techniques and new products.

Besides they erected such defensive walls that were able to prevent the attacks from the Portuguese Knights long after the other major cities of the Algarve have already been defeated. Only after the conquest of Faro, Albufeira surrendered to king Afonso III.

During the reign of Manuel I, who granted it a chart in 1504, the village recovered the old prestige and importance. Yet, the 1755 earthquake destroyed almost entirely the village due to the 10m high waves that hit its streets, leaving just 27 buildings standing.

Albufeira was also damaged during the Liberal Wars when in 1833 one absolutist leader attacked the city and executed many of its habitants.

Fishing started developing in the second half of the 19th century and on the early years of the 20th century exports of fish and nuts increased immensely. Yet, these glorious decades ended in 1960 when fishing declined and Albufeira lost half of its population.

During the 60s Albufeira became a tourist destination mainly sought for by nationals and British as it stills happens nowadays.

More on Albufeira, Algarve

Arriving in Albufeira

Faro is the closest airport from Albufeira and welcomes many international charters as well as regular flights. If you are coming by car from Spain, just go along Via do Infante (A22) and follow the road directions to Albufeira. When coming from Lisbon your best choice is the A2 that takes to the A22 and then, once more, follow the road signs.

Where is Albufeira?

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Sao Rafael Beach: 37.075236, -8.281717
Vila Joya: 37.080449, -8.313270

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