Albufeira is easily one of the most Instagrammable places in the Algarve, partly thanks to it being home to some of the region’s most beautiful beaches. Your Instagram feed won’t be complete without a selfie or landscape shot of Praia da Falesia or Praia da Marinha. Then there are the many stunning bird’s-eye views you can snap from the miradors (scenic viewpoints) around the town overlooking the beaches – there are even escalators and lifts that take you on the short but scenic rides.

    Read on for a collection of the most Instagrammable spots in Albufeira. We hope it can point you in the right direction on where you can then switch on your front-facing camera for photos of Albufeira you can brag to your friends about.

    1

    Beaches in Albufeira

    Among the Algarve’s main draws

    • Families
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    To many, Albufeira is all about its beaches and no holiday shot or selfies would be complete with them in the background. First, hit Praia da Falésia, or simply Falésia Beach. One of the longest in Portugal’s collection of gorgeous beaches, it has a picturesque cliff that's often featured on Instagram. 

    The rugged beauty of Arrifes Beach, with its jagged cliffs, is also a big hit with social media influencers visiting Albufeira. Just as popular are the magnificent rock arches of Praia da Marinha, spanning over blue waters, or Praia Maria Luisa with its wide stretch of golden sand where everyone, including the kids, can be in the frame.

    2

    Albufeira Old Town Square

    The heart of Albufeira’s historical centre

    • History
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    Jardim Público de Albufeira (Albufeira Old Town Square) is a leafy plaza that’s a great place to start your day and take memorable, atmospheric photos of the town. Surrounded by a collection of cosy bars and boutiques, the square is often buzzing with activity. 

    Many of the shopfronts are charmingly decorated and serve as cool backdrops themselves. Even having a cup of coffee against a wide shot of the square, colourful souvenirs in the shops, the cobblestone streets, or the art exhibitions on display at Galeria de Arte Pintor Samora Barros may suffice as memorable Instastories of this ancient fishing village.

    Location: Largo Eng. Duarte Pacheco 9, 8200-210 Albufeira, Portugal

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    3

    Pau da Bandeira Viewpoint

    A convenient spot for taking in Albufeira’s dramatic seascape

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    Pau da Bandeira Viewpoint is a great hilltop spot in Albufeira where many visitors take in the dramatic seascape of Praia Alemaes and Praia de Peneco. It’s one of the spots where the tourist train stops and some escalators take you up to the viewpoint.

    By day, the sweeping view of the Atlantic Sea meeting the golden shoreline is fantastic. You can also catch the outline of the Old Town as well as the other viewpoint, Miradouro Rossio, and the Elevador do Peneco lift on the opposite end of the bay. Evenings offer Insta-worthy shots too, with the twinkling lights of Old Town as your backdrop.

    Location: R. Sacadura Cabral 23, 8200-176 Albufeira, Portugal

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    4

    Miradouro Rossio

    Magnificent panoramas up from Praia do Peneco

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    The Miradouro Rossio is a vantage point that offers one of Albufeira’s most stunning views You'll need to take an elevator from Praia do Peneco and take a 3-minute stroll south to reach the viewpoint. You’ll have the beach and the blue Atlantic Ocean as part of the wide view.

    Getting there is well worth the stroll – you can simply make it an easy-going outing while in Albufeira’s Old Town, stopping at a craft beer bar or restaurant for refreshments. Some of these venues have balconies as an added perk. 

    Location: Largo do Rossio 67, 8200-091 Albufeira, Portugal

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    5

    Castle of Paderne

    A beautiful historical landmark up in the hills

    • History
    • Photo

    The Castle of Paderne is a 12th-century sandstone fortress that makes up one of the yellow castles on the Portuguese flag. That historical status and the old-world quality of the ruins against the hilly backdrop gives you some unique bragging rights for your Instagram photos.

    The ancient fortress is a 25-minute drive inland from the more popular coastline of Albufeira. Getting there is part of the adventure, as you'll cross gravelly roads, a narrow bridge and pass through olive groves. The site itself is surrounded by leafy fields of olive trees and thyme. Be sure to check the Castle of Paderne's opening times as they vary in each season. Many off-road tours in Albufeira feature the castle on their itineraries.

    Location: Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Vary by season

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    6

    Marina de Albufeira

    For pleasant chillouts and scenic walks

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    Marina de Albufeira is both a great place to take a pleasant stroll in Albufeira and shoot memorable pics of docked yachts and nearby squares. There are small bars with shady terraces where you can stop for a drink and take in the view.

    The marina is around a 20-minute walk from the Old Town area, and you can combine your stop here with either a scenic lookout at Miradouro Rossio or an Algarve boat trip. The marina makes a great addition to your scenic walks on one of the most picturesque routes in Albufeira.

    Location: R. da Orada, 8201-918 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +351 289 514 282

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    7

    Elevador do Peneco

    Ride the huge lift and take in the views

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    Take the Elevador do Peneco lift from Praia do Peneco for a unique ride with stunning views of the beach. Managed by the Municipality of Albufeira, the lift goes up to around 28 metres high and can take 13 people at once.

    Elevador do Peneco is also where you can have Peneco’s impressive rock formations, with the towering Peneco Rock in the foreground of your stunning Instagram shots.

    Location: Esplanada Dr. Frutuoso da Silva 5, 8200-123 Albufeira, Portugal

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 9 pm

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    photo by João Pimentel Ferreira (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    8

    Fishing Port Lookout Point

    Quaint views over the fishing boats

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    • Budget

    Miradouro Porto de Pesca (Fishing Port Lookout Point) is a viewpoint that offers sweeping seascapes, with Albufeira’s fishing port in view. On the western horizon, you'll find Baleeira Beach and Ponta da Baleira, another quiet viewpoint that overlooks the rocky coast.

    The viewpoint is far from rugged – benches are set up around the modern platform. These are put to good use, especially at dusk and what photographers call ‘blue hour’ – it’s simply one of the best vantage points for taking in the magical sunset moments of Albufeira.

    Location: Albufeira, Portugal

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    9

    Torre do Relógio clock tower

    A towering backdrop for your shots

    • History
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Torre do Relógio is an 18th-century clock tower in Albufeira’s Old Town, which stands near the coast of Peneco Beach. By day, the tower is a great addition to your Instagram highlights or your beach shots. After sunset, it’s equally evocative as it gets lit up at night.

    For bar-hoppers, the tower serves as an iconic Albufeira backdrop to your cheerful shots with a cold pint in hand. Several nearby bars have a small terrace upfront for taking in the wonderful views as you sip your beers and people-watch.

    Location: Praça da República 5, 8200-106 Albufeira, Portugal

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    10

    Mercado Municipal dos Calicos

    For colourful shots of local fresh produce

    • Shoppers
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    • Budget

    Mercado Municipal dos Calicos is just a short stroll north from Albufeira’s Old Town, where you can observe a huge range of fresh goods and seafood. Even if you’re not planning to shop, you can take a small tour and settle for a cup of coffee at cafés inside the market while watching the bustling local trade in action.

    There tends to be more happening over the weekends, as farmers bring in more of their harvests, which often spill out onto the square outside. You’ll have lots of colourful fruits and vegetables to add to your vibrant Instagram uploads at Mercado Municipal dos Calicos.

    Location: 126, Largo do Mercado 4, Portugal

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 2 pm

    Phone: +351 289 599 500

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    photo by Kolforn (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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