The progress has turned Albufeira into a city of Algarve, Portugal with tourism and leisure as its vocation but the streets in the hold Cerro da Vila (mediaeval area) still preserve the picturesque appeal of whitewashed houses and steeply narrow streets. In Travessa da Igreja Velha, an old moorish arch indicates the place where stood a primitive mosque, later transformed in the town's first church.
On the beach, the bright colours of the fishing boats contrast with the blue of the sea. Indifferent to the tourists sunbathing nearby, the fishermen carry on the task of mending and preparing the nets, as they have done for hundreds of years.
A walk by the sea will offer you a magnificent view over the city, the beaches and the cliffs which are part of the charm of Albufeira. The sidewalk leads to the pretty cave at Xorino, where according to the local tradition the Moors took refuge when the town was reconquered by the Christians in the 13th century.
Owing its name to the nearby tourist resort, São Rafael Beach is flanked by cliffs with its sands dotted with a few isolated rocks with more jutting out of the sea to create a very picturesque effect.
With its backdrop made up of a long cliff coloured in hues of red, copper and gold, and of particular beauty as the afternoon draws to a close, this far-reaching extent of sand covers the kilometres between Olhos de Água and Vilamoura incorporating a number of different beaches.