Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Albufeira - The hidden gem

If there was a beauty pageant for destinations, Algarve in southern Portugal would have surely taken the crown. The region is blessed with a picturesque coastline and many stunning beach towns, but I fell in love with one charming historic town. My exotic little Gem – Albufeira

The name Albufeira originated from the Arab word Al-buhera which means “The Castle of the sea”.
 It is well-connected from cities of Portugal and Spain and the nearest airport is in Faro, which is the capital of the Algarve region.


                       Take a stroll through the Old area 

Get the feel of the Old town. Spend some time admiring the unique Portuguese architecture.  Wander in the beautiful, quaint, cobblestoned narrow alleys. Be awed by the beautiful whitewashed houses and get a sneak peek into the lives of the locals here.

Lounge at the Beach

I can promise that the first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean will be breathtaking. The stunning turquoise seascape is awe inspiring. Spend some time lazing on the beach, enjoying the relaxing sound of the waves. Take a swim, soak in some vitamin D, or just collect some shells from the sea shore. The symmetry and shapes of the shells are very fascinating. It’s a pleasure to watch them wash away and to see new ones come with each wave.

Revisit those childhood days. Try your hand at building some sand sculptures. 

Take a boat cruise to the Caves

To truly experience the beauty of the Algarve, a boat trip to the caves is a must do. Head to the Marina. There are many boat companies offering different types of cruises, at different timings and costs, so choose wisely.

Get ready for a glimpse of heaven. The coastline is dramatic with hidden beaches and stunning limestone caves and grottoes.  Each cave is more alluring than the other. The most famous and spectacular ones are the Captain’s cave and the Cathedral cave.

Enjoy the nightlife

Entertainment options are abundant in Albufeira. For a fun night out, head to the center. The atmosphere is exuberant and frolicsome. It is vibrant enough to put anyone in a party mood. “The Strip” as it is famously called, is the hangout for all night birds. There are many restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes. Many of them offer live music and performances. Indulge in some retail therapy at the tiny shops and boutiques selling souvenirs, beachwear, clothes, trinkets and other small treasures. 

Indulge in some gastronomic Delights

It is hard not to sample the local cuisine when it is based around fresh seafood. With the long coastline, it’s not surprising that seafood is a major part of the diet here. Salted and dried cod or Bacalhau is a traditional Portuguese dish, and is worth a try. Spicy but delicious, the popular Piri Piri chicken is a definite superstar. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the local egg tart – Pastel de Nata.

I went, I saw and I left a piece of my heart in Albufeira. Obrigado! Albufeira,  for such a wonderful time. 

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