Albufeira is a town that offers all the comforts you can find at home with restaurants offering a variety of dishes and shops that sell common products and brands. If you are concerned about communication problems, worry not. Language should also not be an issue since everyone speaks English and most staff that deal with the tourist industry even speak various European languages. Algarve in its entirety has an incredibly slow, relaxed pace of life and is a very safe region of Europe as long as you take some common-sense precautions. You can walk around all Algarve towns safely late at night.
Is Albufeira an expensive family holiday destination?
Albufeira and Portugal at large offer excellent value for money particularly when it comes to food, drink, and transportation. A filling lunch will set you back less than €6 while a 3-course meal with drinks costs anywhere between €15 and €20, on average. You might be tempted to go half or full board when you choose a hotel, but it is worth noting that this will probably just limit your options considerably and may end up costing more. Albufeira has over 100 different restaurants and the food is excellent value, particularly when compared to other cities and holiday destinations in Europe.
The holiday’s main cost will be the flights and accommodation, especially if you visit during the school holidays. The best advice would be to book as early as you can since it is possible to book hotels up to 1 year in advance while flights can be booked 6 to 9 months earlier depending on the airline. Most hotel bookings can be fully refunded, so secure the best price without delay, before you know it you will be soaking in the sun and scenery on an Albufeira boat trip.
What about the beaches for children?
Albufeira is located on a lovely coastline and it has excellent quality beaches with clean sea waters and soft golden sands. At the beach, there are no powerful waves or dangerous currents and all the main beaches are supervised by lifeguards during the summer. Adults won’t want to spend too much time in the sea waters because they are surprisingly cold since they only reach 22°C because the waters are fed by the Atlantic Ocean and not part of the Mediterranean Sea, which is warmer.
What about the flights?
Flights to Algarve are considerably shorter than those to the Canary Islands or Greece, with journey times being 2.5 hours from Paris and London and 3 hours from Glasgow. Multiple airlines serve Faro airport, which includes all the low-cost airlines. It means that there are departures from many of the medium-sized regional European airports, which helps to further reduce the overall journey time.
Isn’t Albufeira known for Hen and Stag dos?
Albufeira has a (semi) reputation for drink-fuelled wild party nights. However, those events and venues are in a very separate area of the town. Hen, stag, and large groups are usually based 2 km east from the Old Town in an area known as the Strip. It is a section of the town with its separate beach and group focused hotels. If traveling as a family, it is not advisable to be based close to the Strip, but rather close to the Old Town or some of the many other resorts outside Albufeira.
Tips and Advice for a Child-Friendly Holiday in Albufeira
The summer sun can be incredibly intense in Albufeira and the heat can sometimes be a bit too much especially for young children. Autumn and spring tend to be less crowded and the weather is better suited for younger children. The Albufeira streets are hilly and cobbled, which can make it hard to use small wheeled prams on.
Named products, branded items, and medicines are incredibly expensive in Portugal, which is why it is always advisable to bring them from your own country since they probably cost considerably more in Portugal. Suntan lotions, sunblock, and after sun treatments are quite expensive in Portugal, so don’t forget to bring your own.
Pharmacists should ideally be the first point of contact for minor ailments or illnesses since they offer a wide selection of services and are capable of dispensing most medications or can at least guide you to the proper services. Always have enough travel insurance coverage and avoid skimping on this since unexpected emergencies can and do happen.
Albufeira is just 35 km from Faro airport but taxi transfers can be incredibly expensive while public transport is usually too difficult especially when traveling with an exhausted family. It can be a good idea to pre-book and airport-hotel transfer before you head to Portugal.
Popular Child-Friendly Activities in Albufeira
Zoomarine is a combination of sea life zoo and water park and it has a properly cared for Dolphin Pod. There are daily displays, which include seals, dolphins, sea lions, and a selection of birds of prey. In the water park, you will find water slides, rapids, and a wave beach. Children will particularly love the day trip but parents will probably balk at the price of the tickets.