Albufeira is a charming
city and a municipality at the southern coast of Portugal in the
marvellous region of the Algarve. Once a peaceful fishing village,
it is today one of the leading tourist resorts of the region, just
a 40 minute drive away from the Faro airport. The name "Albufeira"
is of Arabic origin and means in Arabic "lagoon". The architecture
of the town ranges from typical narrow streets with white houses
to very modern tourist developments. Very special is the traditional
decoration of the older houses with colourful ceramic tiles and
elaborate lattices from wrought iron at windows and balconies. Often
even street signs are made from tiles, which have a long tradition,
going back to the Moorish past.
Located on a hill, embedded in lush subtropical vegetation and
richly decorated with an abundance of colourful flowers, Albufeira
is a lovely place to stay. At the steep coast there are beautiful
hotels and romantic restaurants overlooking the sea with its broad,
golden beaches. Once the sun sets, the centre of Albufeira comes
alive with street markets, shops, bars and restaurants, which offer
food for everyone's taste. Local culinary specialities are cataplana
(steamed shellfish) and caldeira (fish stew) just as grilled sardines.