When Cliff Richard was setting off on a bus for his Summer Holiday. The Rolling Stones were spending their summers in Albufeira. Now the Rolling Stones are gone but Cliff Richard has made his home here.
If any one place could claim to be the home of tourism on the Algarve it is Albufeira. When Faro airport was just a shed beside a runway Albufeira had already become famous for the Rolling Stones who frequented this slightly scruffy fishing village.
Today the musicians and their followers no longer sing and play guitars in the cafes around the square and Albufeira has grown to be both stylish and popular.
Albufeira began as a small fishing village huddled in a narrow valley. To aid access to the sandy beach where fishermen hauled their boats above the waves a passage was cut through the rocks to steps down to the sand. The passage and the village square remain but the village has grown.
The early growth of Albufeira was east along the coast to include the once separate communities of Oura and Olhas de Agua. Today the tourist center of this most popular of resorts has moved out of the old village to The Strip, an Avenida of bars, restaurants and clubs from the apartment complexes of Montechoro down to the beach.
For many of todays visitors the vibrant life that surrounds The Strip throughout the summer months is Albufeira and the Algarve. The golden sands of Olhos de Agua by day and the bars and clubs of The Strip by night provide the essential ingredients for a fantastic holiday.
And there is something for everyone and every age. Families will feel as well catered for here as clubbers not planning to be home before day break.
The Strip stands apart from most major apartment complexes so the nightlife does not generally intrude, but if you don’t like to be disturbed its still a wise precaution to ask the travel agent to check the location of your accommodation before booking.
Olhos da Agua. The eyes of water owes its name to the freshwater springs that emerge on the beach. At high tide the water bubbles up making round eye shaped patterns in the sea.
The village became popular as a holiday resort for rich Portuguese families and behind the beach you can still see the large houses they built as their holiday homes.
Today those houses have shaped the resort of Albufeira as it was not possible to build apartments fronting the beach.
Inland from the old village of Albufeira a different kind of tourism has developed. Along the road to Ferreiras there are camp sites and these are popular with continental and Portuguese holidaymakers who drive down to spend their summer holidays in tents or caravans.
Albufeira is a great location for golfers and there is a choice of courses within a half hours drive. Closest to Albufeira is the course at Salgados which is rightly known for its hospitality . Nearby Vilamoura offers a choice of courses which reflect the enormous investment which has been made in their construction.