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Albufeira Area

Algarve Villa Rental, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal,



Albufeira Area
The Albufeira resort area, which includes Sesmarias, Sao Rafael, Castelo and Vale de Parra to the west. Guia to the north, and Branqueira to the east is a lovely area of countryside and beaches. in an uncommercialised area, dotted with villas of all descriptions, and lots of superb restaurants. This is where the countryside runs down to the sea and where you can park your car right next to the beach. The Albufeira, Algarve area is considered to be part of the real Algarve, and one of the less commercialised areas in the Algarve for beautiful villas. Many show business and sporting stars own villas in this area, including Sir Cliff Richard, so don't be surprised if you bump into Cliff in one of the many Albufeira restaurants around here. Some of our favourite Albufeira restaurants such as Evaristo, Atlantico Guia, Castelo do Bispho, O'Marinheiro, Sao Domingos, Dom Carlos and A Sardinha are found here, and the area has numerous sandy coves where you can get away from it all. The beautiful beaches of Sao Rafael, Evaristo, Castelo, Coelho and Gale are all nearby in the west of Albufeira, and Praia da Oura, Santa Eulalia and Falesia to the east. of Albufeira, and all are quite close to our villas in this area. Guia, just a few kilometres to the north of the coast is famous for its selection of restaurants, and especially the famous chicken piri-piri dish. This is where Sir Cliff Richard has his villa and vinyard. If you are looking for a laid back villa or apartment holiday in the Algarve, in beautiful surroundings, then come to Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal.

Albufeira - History
In history Albufeira was a thriving seaport and had its own castle, that was later destroyed in the earthquake of 1755. Happily, most of the older parts of the town that survived and have been carefully maintained. In Roman times it was know as Baltum and later changed by the Moors to Al-Buhera. During the Moors 8th Century occupation the town became an important trading port. In 1532 and in 1755 the town was badly hit by earthquakes, and in the latter 227 unlucky people perished when the roof of the parish church collapsed. During the "War of the Miguels" the town was besieged and set ablaze. The destroyed town consequently suffered a very long period of poverty and really only recovered with the boom of tourism.

As a result of the tide of tourism, this "once upon a time" fishing village has expanded since the 1960s into a major holiday resort and now has over 12,000 permanent residents. As the sun sets the centre of the town changes its character. A plentiful collection of bars, restaurants and clubs start to fill-up with people, until they spill over into the narrow streets. A fine selection of good beaches extend east and west from the town. Praia de Balaia, Praia de Castelo, Praia de Falésia, Praia de Galé, de Olhos d’Agua, Praia de Maria Luisa, and Praia de São Rafael, being the main ones. There is a small museum of 15th and 17th century Ming ceramics and a Municipal art gallery that holds regular exhibitions during the season. A further addition to the town is a new Virtual Archaeological Museum. A new Marina has been completed on the west side of the town and offers a different and attractive aspect.

Other places of interest near to Albufeira are, Armação de Pera, Boliqueime, Guia, Silves and Paderne with its ruined castle perched on an isolated hill some distance from the village. At Ponte Grande there are impressive caverns with large arches and the underwater caverns of Grutas do Xorino.

Gastronomy
Albufeira is an International Center noted for its rich and diverse cuisine. The great variety of restaurants offer everything from regional dishes to the more refined specialties of French, Italian or German cooking.
This region is closely tied to the ocean and the many fish and seafood dishes constitute a strong gastronomic presence. Sardines, flounder and bass are always fresh and delicious. Lobster and prawns are a must. "Caldeirada" is a typical stew with several varieties of fish, potatoes, green peppers and parsley, being one of the dishes primarily appreciated and prepared by fishermen. "Ameijoas na Cataplana" steamed clams, "Arroz de Marisco" seafood with rice, "Choquinhos com Tinta" cuttlefish in their ink and "Salada de Polvo" octopus salad are specialties worth trying.
Fresh tuna was abundant along this coast until the beginning of the 1970s and is commonly prepared in the Algarve in many different ways. Also to be noted is "Xerém" corn meal, broad beans and Algarve-style peas accompanied by a good wine from this region.
Desserts include sweets made with almonds, pumpkin and figs. Try too the carob cakes and famous D. Rodrigos(egg and sugar cakes).


GUIDE TO THE HISTORICAL MONUMENTS
The Clock Tower
The symbol of the city may be found at Rua Bernardino de Sousa. During the 19th century this tower was adorned with an iron crown which holds the bell that rings out the hours and is illuminated on festivals.

The Parish-Church
This church is located on the Rua da Igreja Nova and dates back to the 18th century (1782). Blessed on July 15th 1800 by the Bishop of the Algarve, Dom Francisco Gomes de Avelar, this edifice substituted the former Parish-Church which collapsed during the earthquake of 1755.
The church is Neo-classical in style, built with only one nave. It has 4 lateral chapels, the baptismal chapel, the choir, two pulpits and two lateral rooms. These rooms are dedicated to the Holy Souls of the Bishop S.Luís, Our Lady of Fátima and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
A magnificent painting is to be noted by the artist Samora Barros of Albufeira which decorates the church’s high altar and serves as a background for the image of Our Lady of the Conception, patron saint of Albufeira.

The Bell Tower
Constructed in 1869, this tower is part of the parish- Church. The access to the top of the tower is by a 28 meter stairway which is topped with an eight-bell carillon.

Former Town Hall
The construction date of this building is unknown but it is believed to have originated during Medieval times. The building was severely damaged by the 1755 earthquake and by the fire which broke out during the liberal wars and the guerrilla invasion by Remexido.
Over the main doorway one may see the Azevedo coat-of-arms representing the cross of the Order of Aviz and an owl in flight, the head of the family being the Governor of Albufeira Castle.

Misericórdia Chapel
This chapel, a former Arab mosque, is located at the Rua Henrique Calado, and was the Governors’ chapel. In 1499 it was restored and named the "Capela da Misericórdia". This chapel was also affected by the 1755 earthquake, the reconstruction restoring the original body and main doorway to its Gothic style. The interior shows a carved wooden altar piece supporting an image of Our Lady of the Visitation and of the Dead Father and also the tomb of Rui Dias who was assumed to be the Governor of the Castle.

The Old Inn building
This building may be found at Rua Henrique Calado, being one of the few constructions which survived the 1755 earthquake. Many travelers and beggars would shelter and stay here.

S. Sebastião Church
This church was built during the mid-18th century and is located in the Miguel Bombarda square. Its architectural style is of popular inspiration.
From the outside one may see the dome and two doorways, the sides of which are adorned with stone masonry in Manueline style, the main ornamentation being an excellent example of Baroque style. The interior is composed of only one nave and one may also behold an 18th-century wood altar piece, 6 images of saints all in wood by an unknown artist, and also an image carved in stone perhaps from the 16th century which belonged to the early chapel of Nª Srª da Piedade.

Castle Walls
There are only the remains of one of the Towers of the Castle Wall located at the Rua Joaquim Pedro Samora where the North Gateway or the Beach Gateway would be situated.

The Albufeira Arsenal
Built, most probably in the 16th century, in an area where the cliff rises to a height of 41 meters high. The erosion of the cliff exposed this underground compartment which served as a munitions supply room and which may still be seen today from the wall of the Rua da Bateria.

Arch of the Travessa da Igreja Velha
This arch is a beautiful example of Arab architecture. The earthenware pots and the cobblestone street with a drainage channel running down the middle are worth noting. This road was named after an Arab mosque which was later transformed into a Christian church and which also fell during the 1755 earthquake.

Sant’Ana Church
This temple was built in the 18th century and is located in the Largo Jacinto d’Ayet square. The main Chapel shows a wooden altar piece which is believed to have been made by the masters Francisco Xavier Guedelha and João Baptista. An altar piece holding Our Lady of Pain is also to be noted and an image of the Crucifixion of Christ sculpted in wood.

Xorino Cave
This geological formation under the cliff served as a shelter for the fugitive Moors during the Christian Reconquest of Albufeira.

Nª Srª da Orada Chapel
The primary chapel dated back to the 16th century, while the current chapel was constructed during the 2nd half of the 18th century. A wooden altar piece may be seen inside, and attention is drawn to the exterior tombs of Francisco da Silva Cabrita, friar of the Order of Avis, and of Francisco Correia d’Ataide Cabrita who fought in the battles against the Remexido guerrillas in 1833.

Sant’Ana Doorway
This doorway is one of the three castle doorways and was given its name due to the fact that it provides access to the chapel of Sant’Ana which also disappeared in the 1755 earthquake. At the end of the 18th century worship to Sant’Ana continued to be performed in the current chapel.

S. Vicente de Albufeira
This monument, in honour of the Friar Vicente de Stº António, is located in the Largo Jacinto d’Ayet square. Saint Vicente was born in 1590 in the Town of Albufeira and his mother offered him to Our Lady of Orada upon his baptism. During his studies he proved to be a hard worker of acute intelligence which allowed him to leave Albufeira and continue his studies in Lisbon. He also turned out to be a talented singer, musician, instrument player and artist, he could speak the classical languages, he was a medical student and also a swordsman.
The death of his parents led him into the priesthood after which he left for Mexico where he was accepted into the Order of Santo Agostinho. After many difficulties he finally managed to fulfill his dream - to preach the Christian faith in Japan. He was imprisoned for two years during which he was tortured to force him to give up his Christian beliefs. Since he did not recant his Christianity he was placed in a cell and then burned at the stake. On September 3rd 1632, he died while lifting a crucifix and calling out "Long live the Faith of Jesus Christ".

SHOPS/HANDICRAFTS
If you are looking for a characteristic piece of craftwork or a sophisticated boutique you will be sure to find it in Albufeira which offers a large range of products, both at the local markets or modern stores. One can find all types of craftwork here including designed mats made from rush or corn husks produced in the villages of Almeijoafras, Monte Novo and Cerca Velha (Paderne)

NIGHTLIFE
To end a wonderful day at the beach or sightseeing, there is nothing more pleasant than ordering your favourite drink while sitting at one of the many outdoor cafés which are scattered around Albufeira, allowing one to watch the world go by.

To ensure a relaxed and fun evening you also have numerous bars, clubs and discotheques which will entice you with an inviting atmosphere

BEACHES AND ACTIVITIES
Albufeira has everything for a marvellous stay in order for you to enjoy its golden beaches and clear, warm waters, or else just relax or rest or look for adventure.

Albufeira has 23 beaches for you to choose from covering 30 km.of coast. Look for the blue flags posted on the beaches which signify pure ocean water.

If you are looking for more restful activities you may enjoy one of the many boat rides which are available and witness the spectacular wonders of the Albufeira coast seen from the ocean.

On the other hand, if you want to take advantage of your holiday to keep in shape, nothing better than to go to the beach and enjoy some thrilling moments while fishing on the high sea, practicing windsurfing, diving, sailing or jet-skiing.

The European Blue Flag Campaign was launched in 1987 (European Year of the Environment) in all European Community countries.
The award is given each year to the beaches and leisure ports which apply for it and which meet a set of environmental criteria. It is a symbol of quality which distinguishes the efforts made by a variety of bodies to improve the maritime and coastal environment.

Every two weeks, the Algarve Regional Health authority analyses the water at all the council area’s beaches. The results are presented here.
These analyses take into account a variety of aspects, such as:
* Colour
* Mineral oils
* Persistent foam
* Phenol smells
* Floating solids
* Total chloroforms
* Faecal chloroforms
* Salmonella
* Ph level

A good opportunity for fun and relaxation will be found at ZOOMARINE where you may examine various species of marine mammals, fish and aquatic birds on display. The aquariums are excellent replicas of the beautiful and modern aquariums found in all World Tourism Centres. On exhibition you may find dolphins, seals, marine lions, sharks, crocodiles, turtles, ducks, flamingos, parrots and cockatoos which are meticulously cared for and displayed in very natural surroundings.

This oceanographic centre has concentrated on providing visitors with moments and activities of relaxation, education and scientific investigation, being an Albufeira and Algarve symbol, it is definitely worth a visit.


Properties in Albufeira Area: Gale Mar ApartmentsGale Garden - Penthouse ApartmentCantinho Das Oliveiras - SesmariasCasa Antonio - SesmariasO Monte ApartmentsCasa Das Heras - Vale de ParraCasa Barrancos - GuiaVilla Clara - Vale de ParraCasa Rebela - Vale de ParraCasa da Parra - GuiaVilla LuisVilla JorgeVilla Bitoque - GaleHotel Vila Gale Atlantico GolfHotel Vila Gale Praia GolfVilla Buganvilia - GuiaVilla ClareVilla Toad Hall - Vale de ParraCasa do MarCasa do PateoVilla Julieta - GaleVilla Amendoeira - Vale de ParraVilla AzulVilla HarmoniaVilla BeatrizVilla Barros - Vale da ParraCasa Duarte - SesmariasVilla Impasse - GuiaVilla Atlantico - GuiaJardins Vale de Parra 1 BedroomJardins Vale de Parra 2 BedroomJardins Vale de Parra StudioHotel Vila Gale PraiaHotel Vila Gale Atlantico
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