Known for the sunny weather, stunning beaches, and a big array of activities, Albufeira is one of the most popular vacation resorts in the Algarve region in southern Portugal.
However, the town is quite spread out, has over a dozen beaches, and hundreds of accommodation options… So it can be quite overwhelming to figure out where to stay in Albufeira.
If you stumbled upon this article when looking for the best areas to stay in or the best hotels in Albufeira, you came to the right place. In this guide, you can find a brief overview of some of the main areas of Albufeira town, with tips and info, as well as some hotel recommendations in each part of town.
We also created a map showing all these areas so that you have a good overview of where everything is located.
This should give you a good idea of what to expect and help you choose the best location and accommodation for your vacation in Albufeira. Find out!
TIP: If you don’t have the desire to read the entire article, here are some of our favorite hotels in Albufeira (the first five options are seafront hotels/resorts):
- Great location for everything: Auramar Beach Resort.
- In the old town: Hotel Sol e Mar Albufeira (adults only).
- Most luxurious/scenic/romantic: NAU Sao Rafael Atlantico or Pine Cliffs.
- For families (amazing location by the beach): Alfagar Village.
- All-in for families (in town): Jupiter Albufeira.
- Close to the strip and the beach: Areias Village Beach Suite Hotel.
- Town center: Brisa Sol.
- On a lower budget in the center: Aparthotel Paladim & Alagoamar.
Where to Stay in Albufeira – OVERVIEW
Things to consider before you book a hotel in Albufeira
Before you start looking into the best hotels in Albufeira, there are quite a few things that you may want to know about the layout of the city, accessibility, parking possibilities, etc.
Here are some things to consider when looking for a nice place to stay on your vacation in Albufeira:
Location & distances
Albufeira is a rather big town, so you may want to first do some research before deciding on the best area to stay. Do you want to be close to the beach? Do you want to dine out at a different restaurant every night? Are you looking for nightlife or maybe quite the opposite – rather stay in a very quiet neighborhood? And do you mind having to take a taxi for all this?
There are so many different areas (more info further below), and many of them are too far to quickly walk from one place to another.
Plus, there are lots of very different beaches in Albufeira. Some beaches are wide and long with all kinds of facilities and some are surrounded by rocks, much smaller, and with hardly any facilities at all. So if you are looking for a specific type of beach and it’s important for you to be able to walk to it, keep this in mind when looking for accommodation.
And finally, some areas in Albufeira have tons of restaurants and several grocery stores within a short walking distance. In the meantime, in other areas, you will have to rely on hotel restaurants, even more so if you are traveling in the lower season.
Good to know: Some resorts in Albufeira offer (seasonal) shuttles to the old town or other popular areas.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: Best Restaurants in Albufeira
You should know that the entire Albufeira area is quite hilly. Sometimes, two places look really close to each other on a map, but you don’t realize that there is a steep hill in between them. So a seemingly easy walk can become quite long and tiring, especially in the summer…
Also, many of the best seafront hotels in Albufeira are built on the cliffs and there are lots of stairs between the hotel/pool area and the beach. Some hotels also have lots of stairs between the main building and the pool.
You will encounter quite some stairs at pretty much all of the nicest seafront resorts in Albufeira. But their elevated location often offers fantastic views and it’s totally worth it! However, if your mobility is somewhat limited or if you have young kids, you may want to pay attention to this when looking for a place to stay in Albufeira.
To avoid unpleasant surprises, be sure that you double-check if your hotel actually offers all the facilities that you want to have.
We go to Albufeira quite often so we are in a few local Facebook groups in order to stay up to date on local news. I can’t even remember how many times I saw people complain that they booked a hotel in Albufeira not realizing that it has no pool… Luckily, there are a couple of places where you can use the pool, such as e.g. the Fat Cats bar in the center.
Talking about pools, you may want to check if there are indoor and/or outdoor pools, whether they are heated (if traveling in the low season), and if all pools allow children (if traveling with kids).
Also double-check if there is air-conditioning and/or heating, especially if you are renting self-catering accommodations. It gets really warm in Albufeira in the summer, but it can also get quite cold in the winter, especially at night.
Your budget is another thing to consider when looking for a place to stay in Albufeira.
The closer to the sea you stay, the higher the price. This counts for hotels but also for privately-rented apartments. But staying close to the beach in Albufeira has lots of advantages too, not even to mention the amazing sea views that will make any vacation so much more special.
TIP: Book your accommodation in Albufeira well in advance, especially if traveling in the summer months. The earlier you book, the more choice you have, and thus better deals. If you are visiting in the lower season and book well upfront, you can often find some really good prices for more luxurious hotels too.
Another thing to pay attention to when booking accommodation in Albufeira is the security deposit.
There are quite a lot of hotels in Albufeira that require security deposits in cash. In some cases, these deposits can be a few hundred euros per person… So if you are traveling with a big family or a group of friends and they ask you to leave a 250-350 euro cash deposit per person, you may need a couple of thousand euros just for that… (Ouch!)
So be sure to read the small letters and check customer reviews, so that you know what to expect. The cheaper the hotel, the bigger the risk that you’ll need to deal with this.
Good to know: Many hotels in Albufeira (and the Algarve in general) also ask for security deposits for anything that you borrow from them. This is a common practice, even at the more luxury hotels. So, for example, if you want to use beach towels, you may have to leave a 15-20 euros deposit in cash plus a small fee, per towel. It’s often cheaper to buy one at a nearby store (or simply bring a quick-drying travel towel with you)…
If you are planning to rent a car for your vacation in Albufeira, make sure that your hotel has plenty of car parking spaces available. Parking can be quite difficult in many areas even in the low season, not even to mention the peak summer holidays.
This is not just the case in the town center, but pretty much everywhere in Albufeira. We have experienced this at almost all the big resorts outside of the town center as well. Even when visiting Albufeira in November or in February, if we got back to our hotel after 5-6 pm, we usually had to look for parking outside of the resort grounds. In the summer, everything is packed, so finding parking can be really challenging.
TIP: If you are traveling to Albufeira in the high season and you don’t absolutely need a car, don’t rent it. First, prices of rental cars soar in the summer, whereas taxi/Uber/Bolt is quite cheap in the Algarve.
For longer distances, for example between Faro airport and Albufeira, you can also book very affordable airport transfers, etc. For sightseeing, you will find lots of tours and excursions. Albufeira is one of the best places in the Algarve for all kinds of activities, so you can see and do a lot without renting a car.
TIP: If you decide to rent a car, we recommend this website (which we always use for our own trips!). Also, be sure to take full insurance because many local companies will charge you for any tiny scratch they can find!
And finally, the season in which you are traveling is also an important factor when deciding where to stay in Albufeira.
The peak tourism season in the Algarve is between May and September. Albufeira remains lively the whole year, but there are quite a few businesses that close between November and March.
For example, a beautiful resort located in a more secluded area outside the center can be very lively in the summer, with plenty of nice local restaurants within walking distance, etc. But if you stay at the same place in the winter, you’ll realize that everything in the vicinity is closed.
If you are staying on the outskirts of Albufeira in the low season and want to have dinner or lunch outside of your accommodation, you’ll need to take a car or a taxi to the center. It’s not a big deal as taxis are not expensive, but it’s something to keep in mind if you rather have everything within walking distance.
Good to know: Many Albufeira hotels have a minimum stay requirement of at least 3-4 nights in the peak summer season.
Best areas to stay in Albufeira + Map
Now that you know what to consider when looking for accommodation for your holidays, let’s take a look at the best areas to stay in Albufeira. For each area, we also include a few hotel recommendations.
Below, you can see the map indicating different parts of Albufeira which we describe further below. The numbers on the map correspond with the numbers on our list of the best areas to stay in Albufeira.
Good to know: The price indications that you’ll see when comparing different hotels below, are only meant for your reference. It’s basically just to give you an idea of how different hotels in the same area compare to each other. The actual prices depend so much on the season when you travel, how long in advance you book, the hotel room that you choose, whether it includes any meals and if there are any special deals available, etc.
These are the best areas to stay in Albufeira:
1. Praia Inatel – Praia dos Alemães
CLOSE TO EVERYTHING – QUIETER LOCATION – BEACHES – SEA VIEWS.
The area around Praia Inatel and Praia dos Alemães is the very best place to stay in Albufeira for those who want to be within easy walking distance of pretty much everything in town. The old town is just 10-20 minutes walk from here, and so is the Strip. Plus, you are right at the beach.
Despite different names, these beaches are part of the same long Albufeira Beach that stretches past the old town as well. It’s the perfect place for long walks with your feet in the water, and you can also easily reach the old town via the beach (so without having to walk over hilly streets).
Parking can be an issue here, although many hotels have some parking spaces available. Even though the height difference between the beach and the best hotels here is not as high here as in many other areas in Albufeira, depending on where you stay and where you want to go, prepare to do some stairs and quite some uphill walking, especially if walking towards the new town (the Strip).
This neighborhood is great because you are close to everything, but it’s not nearly as busy or as noisy as in the old town or closer to the Strip. In our experience, the area around the Intel and Alemaes beaches is the perfect central place to stay in Albufeira, and that’s the reason why we mention it at the very top of this list!
Here are some of the best hotels in this area for different budgets:
- €€€€€ Auramar Beach Resort – amazing location!
- €€€€ Alisios – great location and big parking.
- €€€+ Monica Isabel Beach Club.
- €€€ Areias Village Beach – excellent value!
- €€ Luna Clube Oceano.
- €+ INATEL – great value right on the beach!
2. Albufeira Old Town & Fishermen’s District
IN THE CENTER OF ALL THE ACTION – BEACHES – RESTAURANTS.
The Old Town is the heart of Albufeira. There is a long sandy beach here with all the facilities. Plus, the old town has tons of restaurants, bars, and cafes.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to stay here, however.
First, the layout. The old town has several parts that are sitting higher on the cliffs, and others that are right by the beach. The good thing is that the main areas of the old town are rather flat and it’s quite easy to get from one part to the other using stairs, elevators, escalators, and a pedestrian tunnel. But it’s certainly something to keep in mind if your mobility is somewhat limited or you are traveling with kids, etc. But this is something that could be said about every area in Albufeira…
Second, this is a very lively area. So – depending on where you stay – noise can be an issue. For that, the old fishermen’s district, just a little bit outside of the busiest areas, can be a better choice.
Third, the streets here are narrow, traffic is restricted, and parking is limited. This is really not the best area to stay in Albufeira if you are planning to rent a car. On the other hand, the old town is perfect if you decide not to rent a car as everything is within easy reach.
And finally, many hotels in the old town are adults-only.
Here are some of the best-rated hotels in Albufeira old town for different budgets:
- €€€€ Hotel Sol e Mar Albufeira (Adults Only) – right on the beach.
- €€€ Vila Origens (Adults Only) – a beautiful boutique hotel.
- €€+ Hotel California Urban Beach (Adults Only) – amazing rooftop views and great value!
- € Albufeira Beach Hotel by Kavia – simple accommodation for those on a lower budget.
3. Praia da Oura
NIGHTLIFE – RESTAURANTS – BEACHES.
Praia da Oura is another popular area to stay in Albufeira, just a short walk from the Strip which is known for its lively nightlife. Just a short walk east, you’ll find Estrada de Santa Eulalia, aka ‘the restaurant street’. This area also remains quite lively in the low season.
It’s a great place to stay if you want to be close to beaches, restaurants, and nightlife.
Also here, a lot depends on the actual hotel that you choose. Of course, it will be much noisier and livelier closer to the strip than by the coast. Also, if you stay close to the sea, be prepared for some serious uphill walking toward the Strip and all the restaurants.
Praia da Oura itself is one of the most popular beaches in Albufeira. Much smaller than the main beaches close to the old town, this ‘golden’ beach is surrounded by some beautiful rocks typical of the Algarve region. In the high season, you’ll find all kinds of water sports here as well.
There are actually two beaches close to each other here – Praia da Oura and Praia da Oura (Leste).
Good to know: The old town is quite far from this part of town and all these beaches are not inter-connected. So you’ll have to take a taxi or be prepared to walk for about 45 minutes if you are going to the old town. On the other hand, if you are just looking for restaurants and cafes, there are plenty of them here too.
Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this area for different budgets:
- €€€€€ Grand Muthu Oura View Beach Club – amazing views and great pool areas, but not the best value for your money.
- €€€€ Aqua Pedra Dos Bicos Design Beach Hotel (Adults Only).
- €€€ Villa Maria (Adults Only) – stunning views, very good value.
- €€ Apartamentos Borda d’Aqua – great value but limited availability.
- € Club Ouratlantico.
4. Praia de Santa Eulália – Praia da Balaia
BEACHES – QUIET LOCATION – GREAT VALUE FOR FAMILIES.
Located on the eastern side of town, the area around the beaches of Praia de Santa Eulália – Praia da Balaia has a couple of big seaside resorts and hotels. This is a good place to stay in Albufeira if you want to be a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the town center, yet close enough to go there when you feel like it.
You can walk to the restaurants of Estrada de Santa Eulalia in about 15 minutes and to the Strip in about 25 minutes, but keep in mind that the area is quite hilly. You’ll definitely need a taxi if you want to go to the old town.
The good thing is that there some of the nicest beaches of Albufeira are located here, and they are not as busy as the ones closer to the city center. You’ll also find an adventure park that is great for families with kids/teens and young people looking for fun activities near their accommodations.
Most hotels/resorts in the Santa Eulalia area have a bit more space here compared to the ones in the town center, so it’s somewhat easier to find parking. Still, there are always many more hotel rooms than parking spaces, so it won’t be straightforward in the peak season. But if you are renting a car, this area is a much better place to stay than Albufeira town center (however, again, a lot depends on the specific hotel).
Here are some of the best-rated hotels in this area for different budgets:
- €€€€€ Alfagar Aparthotel – great resort, amazing location, but lots of stairs to the beach.
- €€€€ Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort & Hotel Spa – beautiful location!
- €€€ Alfagar Village – same place and facilities as the hotel mentioned above, but these are spacious apartments. Great value and perfect for families!
- €€ Alfagar Alto da Calina – a bit further from the sea; excellent value.
- €+ Santa Eulalia Hotel & Spa – excellent value; usually at least 4 nights stay required in the high season.
5. Town Center – Between Old Town & The Strip
CENTRAL LOCATION – GOOD VALUE.
If you are looking for good price/quality centrally located hotels in Albufeira and don’t mind having to walk a bit more in order to get to the beach, then consider staying in the area between the old town and the strip.
This part of town doesn’t have its own name and is a bit undefined. Many locals refer to it as the area between the Watches Roundabout (Rotunda dos Relógios) and the Worms Roundabout (Rotunda das Minhoas).
So let’s just call it the ‘center’ because, well, it’s really central. There are quite a few excellent mid-budget hotels here, many restaurants, supermarkets, etc.
Staying in the town center of Albufeira has many benefits. You can easily walk to most places and the main beaches in 10-20 minutes, and there are good public transport connections. You will also find many affordable restaurants and bars, but also food stores if you opt for self-catering. Plus, accommodation prices here are generally quite a lot lower than in the areas which are located closer to the sea.
A few things to keep in mind if you decide to stay in the center. First, depending on the hotel that you choose, it can be quite a walk from the beaches, especially on the way back when you are going uphill. Second, it can be noisy, especially if your hotel is located on a bigger street. Luckily, in most cases, the noise can be avoided by booking a pool-view room so that you are not facing the street.
Here are some of the best hotels in Albufeira town center:
- €€€+ Brisa Sol
- €€€ Villa Gale Cero Algoa
- €€+ KR Hotels – Albufeira Lounge
- €€ Aparthotel Paladim & Alagoamar
All these hotels have a pool. If you are looking at other options, be sure to double-check that, especially if visiting in the summer!
6. Praia da São Rafael
SCENERY – BEACHES – QUIET LOCATION.
The neighborhood around Praia da São Rafael is the most scenic area to stay in Albufeira, albeit quite a bit outside the town center. There are some very nice hotels and accommodations here and you have easy access to some of the most beautiful beaches of the Algarve – Praia da São Rafael and Praia dos Arrifes.
This is one of the nicest places to stay in Albufeira for those who are looking for amazing coastal scenery, stunning beaches, and a quieter vacation outside of the busiest tourist areas. If you are looking for more adventurous things to do, you can go kayaking or standup paddleboarding here too. In fact, Sao Rafael Beach is one of the best places for kayaking in Algarve.
In the high season, you’ll also find quite a few good restaurants within walking distance. However, in the low season everything outside the hotels is closed (and even most hotels here get closed between November and March).
You will need a car/taxi if you want to get to Albufeira old town, the Strip, or the Marina area. Also, most accommodations here have parking available, which is usually sufficient in the low season. However, in the peak summer months, parking can be hard to find here too.
Here are some of the best hotels in this area for different budgets:
- €€€€€ NAU Sao Rafael Atlantico. One of the most luxurious hotels in Albufeira; the location is amazing.
- €€€€ NAU Sao Rafael Suites (All Inclusive).
- €€€ Baia Grande.
- €€ Hotel Maritur (Adults Only).
7. Olhos de Agua
SMALLER TOWN FEEL – BEACHES – GOOD VALUE.
This part of Albufeira is located to the east, more or less between the St. Eulalia area and Falésia Beach. There are lots of hotels and facilities here, and the area around the Praia Olhos de Agua feels like its own small town center. It also has a more authentic feel of a smaller fishermen’s town.
Olhos de Agua is a good place to stay if you want to have relatively easy access to the beach and/or all kinds of facilities (depending on the exact location of your accommodation), but don’t really need to be in Albufeira town center too often. The strip is 10 minutes drive by car from here and the old town is even further. Walking to the center of Albufeira from here is really too far, but you can easily take a bus or a taxi.
The main advantage of staying in Olhos de Agua is that it’s not as busy as Albufeira center and accommodation prices can be somewhat lower. On the other hand, this really depends on the hotel that you choose, and the main beach here gets absolutely crowded in the summer. Also, many hotels here only offer all-inclusive stays.
Good to know: Some hotels in/near Olhos de Agua have access to the famous Falésia Beach. But if you are mostly interested in this beach, check the ‘Praia da Falésia’ hotel recommendations further below.
Here are some of the best-rated hotels in Olhos de Agua:
- €€€€ TUI BLUE Falesia (Adults Only) or PortoBay Falésia (also for families). Stunning views and a great location for both – the beach as well as the town.
- €€€ 3HB Guarana (All-Inclusive).
- €€ 3HB Clube Humbria (All-Inclusive).
- €+ Aquamar Albufeira Moon Dream.
8. Praia da Falésia
SCENERY – BEACH – QUIETER LOCATION.
Falésia Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, and a must-see when visiting the Algarve region. This is a long beach stretching for about 6 km between Olhos de Agua and Vilamoura.
As already mentioned, some hotels in Olhos de Agua give you relatively easy access to this beach. But if you want to stay closer to the most scenic area, you should look at accommodations a bit further east, about halfway between Albufeira and Vilamoura.
This is one of the most scenic locations to stay in Albufeira.
Just keep in mind that there are not many restaurants or other facilities here, so you will be more reliant on restaurants at your hotel. On the other hand, there are some AMAZING fine-dining options at the restaurants of some of the resorts here.
Also, parking is easier than in town, so it’s a good place to stay if you are renting a car. And otherwise, a taxi/Uber to Olhos de Agua or Albufeira isn’t expensive, may you decide to go out for dinner or do some sightseeing.
Here are some of the best hotels closest to the most scenic part of Falésia Beach:
- €€€€€ Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort. One of the nicest luxury hotels in Albufeira. This is where Cristiano Ronaldo stayed for a few weeks recently, together with his Saudi football team.
- €€€€ EPIC SANA – a beautiful 5* hotel with several excellent fine-dining restaurants.
- €€€ AP Victoria Sports & Beach.
- €€ Falésia Hotel.
- €+ The Patio Suite Hotel.
9. Albufeira Marina
GOOD VALUE – LIVELY AREA – BOAT TOURS.
Unlike many other towns where the marina is usually located in the center, Albufeira Marina is a rather recently developed (and still developing) area on the outskirts of Albufeira town. It’s instantly recognizable for its colorful buildings that some call the LEGO city…
It’s here that you will find companies running boat tours, such as the popular coastal excursions to the famous Benagil Cave, but also parasailing, etc. There are also quite a few restaurants, bars, a small supermarket, and activities like bowling, karting, game arcades, etc.
There are no big hotels directly on the Marina, but you can find lots of apartments and self-catering accommodations, as well as a few nice houseboats. This is also one of the most affordable areas to stay in Albufeira.
Good to know: You will have to walk 20-30 minutes to get to the old town and there is no easy beach access here. The beaches of Sao Rafael and Arriffes may look close by on the map, but there is a steep hill to cross. So you will need a car/taxi for most things except boat tours, bars, and restaurants.
TIP: One of the best places to stay in Albufeira Marina is Orada Apartamentos Turísticos, a highly-rated complex of 2 -3 bedroom apartments.
If you are looking for a somewhat unique place to stay in Albufeira, check out the cute little houseboats of the Homeboat Company Albufeira. They have cabins for 2-5 people.
If you are traveling in the summer, book your hotel in Albufeira at least 2-3 months in advance. The best price/quality/location accommodations for July-August often get booked up in the winter already. If you are visiting in the lower season (November-March), you can often find good deals a few weeks before your trip as well. That being said, the prices usually only go up, so we recommend booking your Albufeira accommodation as soon as you know your travel dates.
Albufeira is a big town with many different neighborhoods. Each area has some advantages and disadvantages, and a lot depends on your interests. That being said, if you are looking for a place that has it all, then stay in a seafront hotel in the area between the old town and the strip (e.g. Alisios or Auramar). It’s close to everything, is relatively quiet, and you have easy access to the main beaches of Albufeira.
The Albufeira Strip is famous for its nightlife, but you will also find lots of bars and restaurants in the old town and also on the Estrada Santa Eulalia.
Albufeira has countless restaurants scattered all over the town. But the biggest number of restaurants is located in the old town. The ‘New Strip’ (Estrada Santa Eulalia) is also known as the restaurant street, with lots of different cuisines represented.
One of our personal favorite Albufeira hotels for families is Alfagar Village. It’s an apartment complex at a big resort with all the facilities you may need, lots of different pools, amazing views, and access to the beach. The main disadvantage is that you’ll have to do lots of steep stairs in order to reach the beach. For that, Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort might be better; they also have big apartments for families.
Albufeira has so many amazing restaurants that we highly suggest that you dine outside your hotel. It would be a pity to miss that experience and have buffet dinners every night… That being said, many hotels offer good-value half-board or all-in packages, and in some places, it’s not even an option that you can opt out of, unless you choose a different hotel altogether. So decide based on your personal preferences.
The most scenic place to stay in Albufeira is probably the area around the beaches of Sao Rafael and Arriffes. It’s here that you can find stunning coastal cliffs that the Algarve region is famous for. The nicest hotel here is NAU Sao Rafael Atlantico. On the other side of town, Falésia beach also offers stunning coastal scenery and there are a couple of hotels that offer amazing views (e.g. Pine Cliffs Resort).
So, this is our guide to the best areas and hotels in Albufeira.
I hope that it gives you a better idea of what to expect and helps you choose the perfect place to stay for your vacation. Have a great time in Albufeira!
TIP: Albufeira has a lot more to offer than just its beaches and restaurants! Via the link below, you can find our guide to some of the most beautiful places and things to do in Albufeira that will make your vacation so much more special. Check it out!
READ ALSO: Best Things to Do in Albufeira
More travel inspiration for the Algarve region:
- Algarve Must-See Places & Best Things to Do
- Best Towns to See in Algarve
- Most Beautiful Beaches in Albufeira
- Best Restaurants in Albufeira
- Most Beautiful Beaches in Algarve
- Seven Hanging Valleys Trail
- Best Things to Do in Lagos
- How to Visit Benagil Cave
- Best Kayak Tours in Algarve
- Slide & Splash Water Park Algarve
If you found this post helpful, don’t forget to bookmark it and share it with your friends. Are you on Pinterest? Pin this image!
More travel inspiration for Portugal:
- Best Towns to See in Portugal
- Portugal 10-day Itinerary (Lisbon to Porto)
- Portugal with Kids
- Portuguese islands:
- For more destinations, please see our Portugal travel guide.