In and around Albufeira
In our opinion.
The Algarve is one of the most diverse regions of Portugal. From the magnificent and rugged coastline to the West to the flatter borderlands with Spain in the East, The Algarve really does have it all.
The Cerro Novo team all live within the Central Algarve, a particularly beautiful piece of sandstone coastline stretching between Armacão de Pêra and Quinta do Lago, with traditional inland towns and villages dotted across miles of open countryside.
Albufeira is the self-styled capital of the Central Algarve and is home to around 40,000 people, a figure which doubles (at least) in August. Whilst this many people does not immediately say 'relaxation' to many, there are major benefits of living in a town designed for a large population, that's why so many people wish to buy their second home in and around the town.
The City and Municipality of Albufeira
The municipality of Albufeira is large and diverse and stretches from Salgados in the west, Carrasqueiro and Paderne to the north and Olhos de Água in the east.
Once a fishing village, Albufeira saw major touristic growth in the 70’s and 80’s, which separated the City into the Old Town and New Town. Further growth improved the local roads, with a main artery being the Avenida dos Descobrimentos, which stretches east – west throughout the municipality. This update has brought the smaller towns of Guia, Sâo Rafael, Pêra and Galé much closer to the main population centre of Albufeira and therefore these quaint towns have become highly desirable places to live and socialise.
One of the main benefits of living in Albufeira is its physical and technological infrastructure. Buyers appreciate having direct access to the A22 / E01 motorway and therefore Faro Airport within thrity minutes drive, the mainline railway station to Lisbon / Faro within 15 minutes from the town centre and superb shopping, healthcare, beaches, restaurants and cafes all within walking distance.
The new town of Albufeira is actually a number of districts that have merged over time, but still retain their own personality. The new town is also home to great supermarkets, the produce market and every public service you’ll ever need, whether holidaying or living here more permanently.
Whilst the new town is less sedate than other parts of the town, it's excesses have been curbed through enhanced planning and gentrification directives; even the infamous 'strip' is being improved, with new family restaurants, shops and cafés being introduced.
Co-existing with these touristic facilities is part of the personality of new town. Forte Sâo Joâo is a delightful mixed use area, with access to a super beach, as are Santa Eulalia and the wonderful Olhos de Agua further east.
Separating old and new is the futuristic Câmara (Town Hall) Building. From here, you can choose to wander directly west along the main road, or south (and downhill) to Old Town, a walk aided by escalators! Before descending to the Praia dos Pescadores take a look from the lighthouse viewpoint or drop down to the Praia Inatel, past beautifully preserved fishermans cottages.
Old Town Albufeira is based around a main square, festooned with restaurants and bars. Whilst busy, this part of town has an easygoing, friendly nature and with exploration, real gems of traditional gastronomy can be found. Walking further west, you can’t help but love the promenade walks along the old city walls, merging with new facilities (such as an elevator to the beach!).
Through the traditional area of Rossio and further upward past the old cemetery is Cerro Grande, an upmarket residential area situated on the slopes of Albufeira’s highest hill which eventually leads up to Patéo: a charming place with some amazing viewpoints.
Albufeira Marina was built around 2007 and became popular as a place to moor boats from owners in Lisbon, Oporto and further afield. It has none of the over-formality that can be seen at other marinas and boasts luxury (battenburg coloured) apartments as well as a selection of cafes, bars and restaurants.
A short walk south from the Marina is Baleeira, home to individually designed villas and stunning Ocean vistas. A walk to the lighthouse on a rock promontory provides the intrepid walker a view back on Cerro Grande and coastal Albufeira that few will see.
Whilst many parts of Albufeira are worth visiting, choosing a home here requires an experienced eye, as neighbourhoods that look sedate and peaceful on a summer afternoon become busy thoroughfares on Saturday night and distinctly quiet areas in November!