We wanted to stay longer in the lagoon of Alvor, but the time passes on the summer cruise so quickly and so it was time to keep going.
Sailboats can enter the lagoon of Alvor only during the high water, otherwise there wouldn’t be enough water under the keel at the shallowest point of the fairway. Because of the ungodly early high tide in the morning, we passed the narrows of the river Alvor and reanchored at the river entrance during the evening’s high tide. This way we can depart in the morning as we like and start sailing towards Albufeira.
Just after weighing our anchor and turning Suwena’s bow towards the sea, the Portuguese warship informed on VHF about the national sailing competition that was about to start in front of Lagos and ordered everyone to give wide berth to competitors. I must say that the VHF radio got our full attention when it suddenly and loudly declared “This is Portuguese warship!”. The coordinates provided were pointing a few miles to the west from us and we were sailing east from Alvor. Thus, our paths did not cross with competitors at all.
We had a pleasant 17 nautical mile sailing from Alvor to Albufeira. The sunny day was lovely, and sails were pulling us peacefully along the coastline of rugged and high cliffs of Algarve. The closer we got to Albufeira, the more we spotted various tourists vessels exploring the caves in the cliffs. There were even more water toys buzzing around the bay just in front of Albufeira, having parachute gliders, kayak paddlers, touristic fishing trips and various amount of party boats and of course both the sail and motorboats, and they all were crisscrossing around the bay of Albufeira.
The look of a marina was really fun because all of the buildings around the marina were painted in different shades of pastel colors. There were also several restaurants, small grocery store, holiday apartments and even carting track there.
Tourist boats were departing in continuous queue and people were busy trying to find their departure location. At first, we were surprised about the boarding calls for various cruises. Later we understood that there was crazy amount of boats going out to sea, and the calls just kept going on. It felt like being at the airport when the pontoon numbers were called out.
We had a plan to stop in Albufeira only for restocking water and groceries before continuing to the anchorage of Culatra. Thus, we were really astonished when we walked half an hour from the marina to the center of Albufeira and we found a town in full party mode. Somehow, we had thought though that Albufeira is a quiet fishing village, however it turned out to be quite the opposite, more like Ibiza of Algarve. There were tens of restaurants in a row, fully packed with partying people. After dinner every restaurant had a live music playing covers and people were joyfully singing along.
To spice things up even more, there are two party areas. One in the old town is closer to the marina and on the other side of the town there is the second area called The Strip. Both have a myriad of restaurants, pubs and night clubs for your enjoyment.
Mostly the visitors in Albufeira were from the UK, Germany, or the Netherland. They can easily take a direct flight to nearby city of Faro and take a short bus ride to their vacation home in Albufeira.
After quiet days in anchorage, we also blended with the flow and our quick stop was stretched by a few days. We just relaxed and enjoyed the summer and life. What happens in Albufeira, stays in Albufeira! Such a place it was 😊