Albufeira has become increasingly popular among Irish tourists seeking a break away in the scorching heat. For families seeking a sublime sun holiday jammed with outdoor adventure and amenities, it is the perfect location. Situated in the Southern Algarve region of Portugal, it has an appealing sunny climate all year round.
Travel Get there via Dublin, Cork or Shannon takes approximately two and a half hours.
Where should we stay?
The most family-friendly options are holiday resorts and hotels located in the Old Town. Here are our recommendations.
Epic Sana Algarve Hotel – 5 *****
Surrounded by lush pine forestry and unbeatable scenery, this luxurious resort will have you feeling like royalty. Handily situated beside Praia Falesia beach and in near proximity of Albufeira’s centre, you’re never far from tourist appeal. In addition, the hotel’s family-friendly facilities include kids’ pools, kids’ clubs, playground and children and adult entertainment programmes. www.algarve.epic.sanahotels.com/en
Seven nights stay, including flights and transfers, from €999.00pp via sunways.ie.
Villa Gale Cerro Alagoa – Four ****
With Albufeira’s Old Town and the nearest beach in walking distance, this location couldn’t be more ideal. Facilities include an outdoor pool and separate kids’ pool, children’s play area, evening entertainment and a variety of dining options. www.vilagale.com/en
Seven nights stay, including flights and transfers, from €569pp via sunway.ie.
Paraiso de Albufeira Aparthotel – 3***
For families seeking a comfortable self-catering stay in Albufeira, this location is perfect. Located within 10 minutes of Albufeira’s centre with daily shuttle buses to transport guests to the beach, this complex is ideal for families getting out and about. Facilities include outdoor and children’s pools, kids’ clubs, games rooms and sports www.activites. hotelparaisodealbufeira.info
Seven nights stay, including flights and transfers, from €439.00pp via sunways.ie.
Price subject to change depending on season of travel.
What should we do?
Here your kids will get a chance to have an up-close encounter with some ocean animals. The very popular dolphin presentation is both educational and entertaining and will provide your children with the unforgettable experience of seeing these beloved water creatures in the flesh. The Zoomarine Beach is the latest addition to the park, containing a wave pool, water slides and an aquatic playground.
When purchased online, general entry day passes are €26.10, while children over a meter in height and less than ten years of ages enter for €18.90. Children under a meter go FREE. For more information see zoomarine.pt.
Algarve jeep safari
Break out of touristic constraint to experience all that Albufeira has to offer. With collection available from most hotels in the Albufeira area, your family can easily hop on a guided jeep tour and spend a few hours driving around the picturesque villages, dense forests, gorgeous waterfalls and remarkable scenery. You can visit Arabic castles and admire the regional architecture of Albufeira, as well as sample local cuisine from the Algarve countryside.
There are options of half day or full day jeep safari tours of the Algarve. Half day bookings start from €30.00 per adult and €15.00 per child under 12. Full day bookings from €48.00 for adults and €24.00 for children. See alsafaritours.com for more information.
Slide and Splash
This waterpark is jammed with rides and slides which are an ideal cool down activity for the scorching Albufeira climate. Younger kids won’t be left unoccupied in this park as it includes waterslides such as the Children Foam Slides which are ideal for those who may be a bit too small for the more daring rides. The Tunnel, Corkscrew and Big Slides Tower are tunnel-based slides that guarantee speed, the Blue Hole features luminous special effects and the Disco River is literally a water disco as it plays music and features flashing lights as you slide.
Open from March yearly. General entry fee is €27.00, while children aged five to 10 years is €20.00. Children aged four and under go FREE. For more information see slidesplash.com.
Algarve caves and coastline boat trip
What better way to relax in the scorching heat than a boat trip along the Albufeira coastline? Explore the famous Algarve caves in all their aesthetically pleasing beauty, and glide along the coastline from Albufeira to Benagil. If conditions permit, you could even have a refreshing swim along this famous landscape.
There are many private companies which offer these boat trips. Tickets are approximately €30.00 for adults and €20.00 for children during peak season via algarvefun.com. See algarvefun.com or seabookings.com for various boat trips.
Parque Aventura adventure course
An outdoor-based adventure course that has features suitable for all ages and abilities. The park’s centre attractions are high rope courses ranging in difficulty and skill, featuring all sorts of challenges such as bridges, rope nets and zip lines. The park also features an outdoor paintball match in a field filled with natural and artificial obstacles to keep players on their toes.
There are three different tree top courses ranging in difficulty and price. For more information see parqueaventura.net.
It would be a crime to venture out to the Portuguese coast and not take advantage of all the ocean activities on offer. Parasailing is one of those experiences which one never forgets, and is an unbelievable opportunity to see the Algarve coast from a whole new perspective. With the option of single, double or triple parasailing, you can even share the experience with your family. Water skiing, surfing, sailing and snorkelling are just some of the alternative water sport activities on offer to you here too.
See seabookings.com or watersportsalbufeira.com for full activity listings and prices.