This past couple of days have been devoted to once again, trying to deal with the idiocy and bureaucracy of SEF….The Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras – SEF is a police service integrated into the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they deal with Visas, Residency Cards etc..  I can safely say that we have reached our saturation point with all of this and have basically decided that this is probably going to be our last six month stay in Portugal.   It makes us both a bit sad but as a wise friend says, It Is What It Is!!

All that to say we have spent the last two days going back and forth to Albufeira and today, once we finished with SEF, we decided to go and explore the old town, something Marc had not yet had the opportunity to do.

Albufeira is considered the ultimate family holiday destination as well as the best place in the Algarve to party (if that’s what you want). The town is divided into the old town and the “Strip”.  The old town is a beautiful white city with cobbled streets, where you can find many family-focused restaurants. The Strip is renowned for its nightlife full of clubs, pubs, and bars that stay open till early morning.  It’s not anything that we would want in a vacation but for an afternoon visit, a walk along the beach, people watching, it’s grand!

Following our leisurely stroll on the beach, from one end to the other.  We climbed a steep staircase which landed us in the old town.  We meandered through many side streets taking in the sights all the while enjoying the clean crisp sea air.

We decided to stop for a cafe and this was our perspective while sipping.


As we headed back to the car we noticed an obvious municipal building and discovered it housed a display of Christmas art created by local students.  As it seems to be each of the last few years, recycling figures largely into this sort of art.  Here are six of my favourites.  You can enlarge each photo and see if you can figure out what they are made from.   Very creative.

As it was still before an acceptable lunch time we decided to drive up through the mountains into Loulé and enjoy a lunch at one of our favourite haunts in that town, Bocage.

We first stopped in the market building and enjoyed a lengthy conversation with a vendor there with whom we’ve chatted over the years.  It was fun to catch up and hear all the gossip of the market.

Bocage turned out to be a perfect decision as they had three prato do dias….specials of the day.   Marc had the Bochechas de porco…pork cheeks roasted in the oven while I devoured my Galo do Campo……..rooster stew……neither of us could finish all that was on the plate.    Satisfied and content we headed towards home with a brief stop in Sao Bras to pick up a couple of things at the grocery.  A fabulous day.

And in closing, a couple of my favourite photos from a stroll around Estoi yesterday.



14 thoughts on “Albufeira

  1. Magnifique village. Merci d’avoir partagé !


    1. The old town is quite pretty but the “strip” is just like a “strip” in any tourist town. We stopped for a bica each…,and most places around here it’s usually .80 of a euro there is was 1,50 euro EACH!!! Still we saw the best parts of it today and certainly enjoyed our walk.


  2. Wow quite an adventure today. Truly frustrating though to deal with their bureaucracy. One would think they would welcome tourists for an extended stay because tourists contribute to their economy.


    1. Sadly Ken they treat us all the same. It is frustrating but, we had made our minds up to simply follow through today and then give it up to the Universe. The response from today’s venture will determine our future but it will be what the universe wants it to be. We did enjoy our strolling and exploring and we basically had it to ourselves…….I can’t imagine it when the streets are packed and the sun is blazing.


  3. What a lovely stroll you guys enjoyed! A grand tour it was. Thanks for sharing. I have no idea about the wheels of the Portuguese government. Seems to be focused in making life most difficult…a “barrier”cratic system.


    1. I think if you choose the right day a trip to the old town of Albufeira could be very enjoyable. It is however quite the tourist trap and prices of things are not what we are used to in this area.


  4. Nice to see you discovered some parts of Albufeira to enjoy!
    Beautiful pictures!


    1. Yes we totally enjoyed our wandering s today.


  5. I love the look of the Old Town. It looks quaint and very Greek. How wonderful that they take such good care of the cats. The Western world could learn a thing or two.
    Great view of the church Randy. Sorry you are having such challenges with your residency papers.


    1. Yes it did look quite Greek in the blue and white colouring. The beach too was lovely. Go and see Marc’s video he posted to FB


  6. Great photos of Albufeira & love the poinsettia tree! Sorry to hear of your residency issues as I thought a renewal would be easier – I guess not.


    1. I too love the poinsettia trees. I remember the first time I ever saw one and was bowled over by the size. They still impress me.


  7. What a lovely day…and some wonderful photos! I loved the Christmas art and the commitment to recycling, cultivating that value in their youth. I stole some ideas for next Christmas crafts. I mean ‘borrowed’!!!
    My goodness, that poinsettia looks like it’s on steroids!! The old town certainly offered some unique and creative features…you captured some good ones! Enjoyed this blog very much! xoxo


    1. I don’t think anyone would mind you borrowing their ideas….just as long as people are recycling. Some of them were so incredibly unique. Marc posted several close-ups on FB, you can have a better idea of what they have used. One, in particular, using nutshells and the individual pieces from pine cones was pretty impressive.


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