We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First Time Sun Holiday

J S
Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
15 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
First Time Sun Holiday

Myself and my partner have decided we would like to go to Albufeira for our first holiday abroad. We have flown before between UK and Ireland so flights are no problem to us.

We're just looking for some info on where to stay, places to see, things to do.. etc..! We're both early 20's, not into partying all night type of holiday, but we do enjoy going out to bars and restaurants etc. We're also into site seeing & outdoor activities!

I've looked on here at hotels but there just seems to be too much choice! I'd ideally like one next to the beach/on the beach basically, I did see the Sol E Mar but it didn't seem to have an outdoor pool. #firstworldproblems ;)

Is there somewhere that's quiet but close travelling distance to water-parks, places of interest, theme parks??

Is the Old Town good? I like the sound of there, and the beach seems like a decent one with golden sand and not just a shingle type beach!

Also transfers from the Airport? We'll be flying from London to Faro I presume? Any advice?

Our budget for Flights & 7 nights Accommodation is around £1000, but obviously cheaper is better!! :)

Any ideas on spending money for the 2 of us for a week there? We plan on eating out, a few nights out in the bars, a couple of trips to water-parks and other activities as well as a lazy beach day or two! :)

Any advice would be much appreciated as I have no idea what to expect!

Thanks in advance :)

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
Level Contributor
50,246 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

"I did see the Sol E Mar but it didn't seem to have an outdoor pool. "

That's right because the sea is 50 yards away. It was built before sitting around pools became a preferred activity! The modern hotels with pools are up on the hills around town, 10- 15 minutes walk.

"Is there somewhere that's quiet but close travelling distance to water-parks, places of interest, theme parks?? "

Depends when you are coming. Nowhere here is quiet in July and August. All the parks run their own buses from and back to the major tourist areas so you don't really need a car. Some areas outside the main part of town have very little in the way of buses and you could find yourselves spending a lot on taxis.

There are organised excursions to places of interest, many of which can also be reached using local buses and trains. Local 'ticket shops' have all the details and can sell you tickets.

The beaches here are all sand. There are a few shells on the main beach in Albufeira, which was made wider a couple of years ago using sand dredged up from the sea bottom. That work paid for itself last week when a tidal surge only just made it over our new wide beach. Had it not been there, there would have been a great deal of flooding.

The Old Town is probably better for families, those who don't like too much clubbing and older people although there is still plenty going on, including several bars run by British residents. The other end, the strip or new town, is pretty much in your face bars and clubbing. Your choice.

For airport transfer advice, look across to the right under 'Top Questions' and click the item 'Airport Transfer - best way.' Faro is the Algarve's airport and is about 35 - 40 minutes by road from Albufeira.

As for spending money, most nights out here will be cheaper than in Southampton (which I shall see for myself in September as I will have a week in that city!) but you can pay a lot more for drinks in clubs etc, same as anywhere. Average price for a local lager is about the same as £2,50 a pint (cheap to southerners, expensive for some others) while a vodka and coke etc is 4 or 5 Euros but you will get at least double, often treble, the titchy UK measure.

I hope that helps as a start.

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Albufeira
Level Contributor
7,921 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Have you looked at the Rocamar, in the old town on the cliffs above the beach, also Vila Sao Vicente which is near to Rocamar.Both hotels available through various agencies.

rocamarhotels.com/rocamar-exclusive-hotel.ht…

hotelsaovicentealbufeira.com/Homepage.aspx…

T/A reviews: tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g189112-d2533…

tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g189112-d1537…

Kilmarnock, United...
Level Contributor
5,923 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Hotels listed by av price and area at www.albufeiraguide.yolasite .com/

Agree with Cubsur ... From what you say Joanna, I`d recommend you take one of the cheaper hotels in the `middle` near the main road ... or near Pedra dos Bicos. This puts you in easy walking distance to lots of busy areas and beaches, as well as the main supermarkets, where prices are considerably cheaper for self-catering ... and you`ll eat out for just 25 euro per couple. There are FAR more hotel beds in these areas than in the West End and Old Town .... Albufeira also has reasonable bus service and taxis everywhere.

J S
Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
15 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Hey guys,

Thanks for all your replies, on looking further into this, i have realized that the hotels nearer the main road are not too far away at all from Fisherman's Beach. The map is hard to judge by but on reading some hotel reviews, i've found hotels only 10-15 mins walk down to the beach which isn't too bad at all considering once we're there at the beach we aren't going to be back and forth to the hotel! Ive seen what looks to be a nice hotel called the Cerro Mar Atlantico & Cerro Mar Gardens. Does anyone know if you can book a certain room or do you not get choice of which complex you're put in? also on Travel supermarket I cant seem to find that hotel in my options when I choose a holiday package. Does anyone know if they deal with that hotel or is there any other websites I can book a holiday package to with that hotel and its seems to be working out a bit too expensive buying flights separate, and then transfers, baggage etc on top!

Any help would be much appreciated! :)

Thanks

Manchester, United...
Destination Expert
for Albufeira
Level Contributor
7,921 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Look at Booking.com, lowcostholidays, Travelrepublic,

Kilmarnock, United...
Level Contributor
5,923 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Joanna, It would help if we knew WHEN you are going and for how long ... could easily do a couple of searches for you. The Cerro Mar hotels are on top of the highest hill in the middle of Albufeira ...Cerro Malpique.

Edited: 8:51 am, February 12, 2014
J S
Southampton, United...
Level Contributor
15 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Hi pyrman, were looking at going end of Aug maybe 1st week in sept.

Kilmarnock, United...
Level Contributor
5,923 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Hi Joanna .... I`m finding flights from Southampton (Flybe) are pretty expensive (£350 return) .... by comparison to Easyjet at Bristol (£170) 10k hand luggage only ... and you can get fairly decent accomodation around Town for £250-300 .... that was Aug 30 - Sep 6. I do self-catering at around £5 per day ... so if you mix that with eating out (£25 per couple) .. you would be well within budget. No idea how you get to and from Bristol ... shared transfers in Algarve are around £12 return Faro - Albufeira per person.

Blyth, United...
Level Contributor
28 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

Try jet 2 find them cheaper than booking seperate.also you can pay in instalments on line which makes it not to painful when you have to pay balance .

10. Re: First Time Sun Holiday

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:18 am, February 15, 2015
Get answers to your questions about Albufeira