Albufeira in the Algarve is an excellent choice for a getaway if you want to do more than just soak up the sun. I love being active when I’m on holiday, which is why I’m considering having a break in this part of Portugal.
As well as a stunning coastline, there are many beautiful inland areas around Albufeira, which are ideal for hiking, as well as some fantastic golf courses for anyone who enjoys teeing off.
If this has piqued your interest in the destination, check out my guide to some of the top activities on offer in Albufeira. Before I go any further, it’s worth pointing out that some hotels in Albufeira offer various activities, so see if you can find accommodation that gives you the chance to try new pursuits.
Diving is a great activity to do if you’re travelling as a couple or with a group of friends, because it’s a fantastic shared experience. I love getting out from a dive and chatting about what I’ve seen with my friends and you’ll probably have a lot to discuss if you jump in along this part of Portugal’s coast.
What appeals to me is the diversity of the dive sites around Albufeira, with wrecks, artificial reefs, caves and natural reefs among the places you can explore. There’s a wide variety of marine life here, too, with nudibranchs, conger eels, scorpionfish, octopuses and lobsters among the creatures you can spot.
There are several dive centres in Albufeira, with courses available for those who are new to diving as well as the option of guided dives for those with experience.
Exhilarating water sports
I appreciate that this might sound a bit vague, but I’d be here all day if I tried to list all the water sports you can try in Albufeira. For me, it’s the fun and fast water sports that appeal, with banana boat rides, water scooters and jet skis among the most exhilarating options.
I’ve always quite like the idea of parasailing, too, which is where you’re towed behind a speed boat while attached to a parachute. There’s also a relatively new ride that I’ve stumbled across – the Crazy UFO. Now, this is a bit like a banana boat, but it’s a circular inflatable that you and your friends sit in and get towed at terrific speeds. You can ‘fly’ at times when you hit waves in the sea.
Moving away from the water, I’m going to look at cycling now, because it would be a shame not to see some of the Algarve’s beautiful scenery that is tucked away from the main resorts. One of the things that I love about cycling when I’m on holiday is the fact that you can use it as a means to visit nearby attractions while staying active.
For instance, from Albufeira it’s a 10 km ride inland to the town of Silves, which boasts a red sandstone Moorish castle and an impressive cathedral that dates from the 12th century, although the current building was constructed in the early 18th century. It’s a wonderful way to sightsee, especially if you’re on holiday with your partner and want a bit of time alone.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway to Albufeira, there are few better things to do with your partner than enjoy a leisurely horse ride along the beach. There are horse riding stables in Albufeira, so it should be reasonably easy to arrange.
You don’t have to canter along the beach with the wind in your hair if you don’t want to, though, as there are plenty of stunning trails in the countryside that you can follow instead, which I think would be lovely as they’ll take you away from the crowds.