History & Culture

Originally dating back from pre-historical times, Albufeira was occupied by the Romans that named it “Baltum” and “Al-Buhera” by the Arabs.

The actual Albufeira's name provides from the Arab name “Al-Buhera” that means “Sea Castle”, probably due to the proximity of the village to the sea or lagoon that was formed in the lower part of the area.

During many years Arab constructions were made with solid fortifications that protected Albufeira and made it impenetrable.

It is not by coincidence that Albufeira was one of the areas the Arabs had in their power for a longer period.

Albufeira was definitely conquered from the Moors to the Knights of Santiago in the middle of the 18th century.

Over 500 years have passed since August 20th 1504 when it was granted the “Foral” by D. Manuel I, and 20 years afterwards Albufeira became a city.

With regards to its history there are still heritages to be found. Albufeira was one of the Algarvian cities more affected by natural catastrophes and was partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1755.

During centuries, this was a fishermen's land and in fact continues presently with the local habits and traditions. In the 60’s the city woken to the tourism. It was then that famous people travelled many kilometres to find this hidden village in the South of Portugal.

Cliff Richard will always be the first famous person who fell in love with Albufeira, which contributed to many people visiting it since then. Even today, the singer cultivates his vineyard and has a cellar, where he spends a good part of the year producing wine. His cellar is called “Adega do Cantor” (the singer’s cellar) and can be actually visited by tourists.

Tom Jones and Bonnie Tyler are also connected to Albufeira. It is said, that it was, looking at the intensity of the blue sea that at Praia do Peneco (Peneco’s Beach) Paul MacCartney wrote “Yesterday” one of the most beautiful songs of the Beatles. Moments like this made the trendy yet isolated village known. Ever since, Albufeira has started a process of growth and modernization and is now considered one of the tourist centre's better known in the south of Europe.