Albufeira: The Highs and Lows of the Algarve

IMG_4403How can a place so pretty be so trashy at the same time? Our two voracious vagabonds asked themselves the same question during their week in Albufeira, a summertime tourist mecca along the southern Portugal Algarve coast.IMG_4404IMG_4406IMG_4409IMG_4402IMG_4405

Albufeira has one of the prettiest coastline and beach areas in the Algarve, no question. Unfortunately, thousands of party-goers descend on the area in mid-summer to take advantage of relatively cheap booze and super-low airfares, primarily from Great Britain. Hotel rates skyrocket during this season and otherwise pristine beaches are crammed with bodies.

The darker side of all this, according to one Uber driver, is that fights between rival groups of drunken tourists break out almost nightly. Sound like fun? Time and again our duo was advised by local hotel staff, restaurant workers and taxi drivers to not visit in July and August. Fortunately, T and J were visiting in winter, when both the action and hotel rates are low and quiet strolls along the beach were possible. Evenings were chilly and the wind can pick up, but overall the sunny days and pretty surroundings can make this a reasonable place to visit in January.

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