I guess as a European, we take for granted some of the beautiful places on our back door. It’s been two and a half years since I’ve been at home and it’s usually for a wedding. This time we had the beautiful Albuferia as the location.
We were home in Ireland for one night before heading off to Albuferia. We had our flights booked quite some time ago with Aer Lingus which were cheaper at the time and a better airline than Ryanair. We paid about $210AUD for a return flight each and added one bag between us which was $80AUD, quite an expensive addition. Checking in at the airport was quick and easy as self check in was available and we bought some snacks for the short flight..short after getting off a 24hr flight from Melbourne.
On arrival, Faro airport was quite the eye sore. It is under construction at the time so it was as humid indoor as it was outside. We hopped in a taxi which didn’t pay attention to the speed limit and got us to our hotel in about 20mins, not 35mins as per google maps.
*TIP: Some hotels offer a taxi service which is €30 rather than a €58 taxi from the rank. We took this offer to bring us to the airport when we left and it was just us in the taxi.
On arrival, the description of the hotel was great in regards to location. The hotel could not have been more central and we would not be needing a taxi to explore. The hotel was located on the pedestrian street and a small manned reception was the first thing I saw. We were upgraded to a room with a balcony, even though that was what I booked anyway. The room was clean but very minimal in regards to furnishings and toileteries. The balcony was a great size and I couldn’t wait to get out and get some sun!
We headed off to the beach for a few hours that evening, the sun felt so good!
What they don’t mention is the fact that the bars are literally next door to the hotel and the thumping music runs into the early hours of the morning.
Eating out was not great in Albuferia. We have become quite accusomed to the spoils of Melbourne cafes and restaurants.
There is no such thing as an Eggs Benedict on a menu or anything that resembles an Acaci Bowl. Unfortunately I had a lot of over cooked eggs and some bad coffee. There were a few nice restaurants but we found the easiest thing was to stroll through the streets and see what we liked the look of. As most restaurants had tables outside, it was easy to figure out where we wanted to go.
Old Town and New Town in Albuferia are miles apart in similarities. Old Town has a beautiful Market Square surrounded by bars and restaurants and the narrow cobbled streets are delightful. If you are after a party, you will certainly find one here that runs into the wee hours. There are many bars and restaurants that entertain children until a little later than usual and the souvenir shops are open until late too.
New Town is more popular with young groups on their summer holidays and is certainly a little more modern. There is a large shopping centre and no shortage of late bars and nightlife.
As we were in Portugal during the heat of the summer, I had nothing but a few bikini’s and a selection of dresses… perfect for a lazy but dressy outfit!
The local markets made for some great little shopping bargains and some souvenirs to take home.