About Sasha H
Lives in Healey, United Kingdom
Since Jan 2015
I’ve swum with wild dolphins in the Maldives, fed baby kangaroos in Australia, spent hours in the shopping malls of Dubai and crash-landed a hot-air balloon in Poland – having spent the last decade travelling and freelancing, I am a joyful, nosy traveller, always meeting new experiences head on. I enjoy digging into the culture, listening to what’s happening around me and taking thousands of photos on the way. Thanks to two decades of travelling extensively through Europe, the Middle and Far East and the Caribbean, I know the cities and countries I write about inside out. And even though I live in the Yorkshire Dales – surely the most beautiful place on earth – I never lose my enthusiasm for skiing in Zermatt, visiting my favourite cities in Italy and Poland or discovering new places to shop in Dubai.
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Zipline & Aerial Adventure Parks
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Zoomarine is the Algarve’s answer to SeaWorld, and families with kids of any age will find nowhere better to spend the day. There are wave pools and waterslides at Zoomarine Beach, gentle carousel rides for toddlers, and big wheels for adrenaline junkies. The park also offers daily falconry displays, comical seal shows, and aquariums full of awesome sharks and velvety manta rays. However, the biggest draws of all are the spectacular dolphins shows and their trainers.
Another of Albufeira’s enjoyable and reasonably priced family attractions is located 20 minutes inland in Alcantarilha. At Aqualand, there is plenty to occupy families all day, with water rides to suit everybody from timid toddlers to daredevil teenagers. Aqualand Algarve also has an artificial surfing beach, family swimming pools, lazy river rides, and several beach-style cafés.
Despite the annual onslaught of beach-seeking tourists, Albufeira has retained some remnants of its ancient heart. Today, the steep and cobbled streets of the pretty Old Town, which was built by the Moors, are lined with whitewashed bars, stylish boutiques, and cute cafés. However, you'll also find a few other fragments of fortified walls, the clock tower of an ancient castle, and a handful of historic buildings. The 14th-century Capela da Misericórdia (Chapel of Mercy) remained standing after the 1755 earthquake, while the Igreja Matriz (the 'Mother Church') - which was built after the earthquake devastated Albufeira's old parish church - is a stunning neoclassical structure well worth exploring.
Located 10 km east of Albufeira, Praia de Falésia is one of the Algarve’s most outstanding beaches. Less packed than the town beach at Praia do Peneco, it is 8 km (five miles) long and sheltered by fiery red cliffs. The soft sandy strip has facilities for watersports, several beach bars, and azure waters, with lifeguards on duty throughout the summer.
Museu Municipal de Arqueologia is a must-see for anyone with an interest in understanding Albufeira’s long and often turbulent history. Opened in 2009, the museum displays archaeological finds from digs around the Algarve region, with artifacts dating from prehistoric times to the 17th century. Highlights include a 5,000-year-old Neolithic vase, Roman coins, fragments of Moorish columns, canons, and floor mosaics.
Opened in 2010, Parque Aventura is a fun, family-friendly attraction down by Santa Eulalia Beach. Here, you can get the adrenaline racing with paintballing sessions or high-rope assault courses through the treetops. There are varying degrees of challenge to suit all ages and all levels of fitness.
A chilled-out restaurant with a novel of a name, the Clube Pesca is located in a smart blue-and-white clubhouse down by the marina. It is the HQ for local fishermen, and by far the best place in Albufeira to sample the sea's abundance. Fresh sardines, clams, whiting, octopus, and more are all skillfully but simply cooked, and accompanied by vast tomato salads and fries.
Brash and loud, Albufeira’s notorious strip is lined with tourist restaurants (from fast food to top-end cuisine), bike-hire shops, ice cream parlors, bars, and nightclubs. It's relatively calm by day, and then explodes into life after dark, with neon signs and live-music bars. Lying east of the Old Town and connecting the district of Montechoro southwards to Areias de So Joao, the Strip is steadily advancing seawards toward Praia da Oura.