Once a scenic fishing village, Albufeira has all but lost the vestiges of its past – fishing boats are now moored at the ultramodern marina southwest of the centre. These days, the place is devoted to mass-market tourism; the old town – with its pretty cobblestone streets and Moorish influences – is concealed by gaudy signs, English menu boards and rowdy bars. It is the destination for cheap package deals, mainly catering to Brits and Germans and focused on cheap food, ale and beach fun for the kids.
But even if this isn't your sort of place, don't give up on Albufeira – it has good transport links to lovely beaches, such as Praia da Galé to the west, there are heaps of activities to enjoy and there's a relaxed holiday atmosphere away from the British pubs. To explore the pretty inland villages and the area’s high-quality restaurants, you will need your own transport.