Albufeira is a city in the centre of the Algarve coastline that has been a beach holiday and family favourite since the 80’s and keeps improving year after year with more things to do for families appearing all the time.
Offering a broad spectrum of child-friendly activities, glorious sandy beaches and family-focused amenities, all set in a safe and welcoming environment making it perfect for younger children.
Albufeira central location also means its within easy reach of many other towns and resorts in the Algarve so you really are spoilt for choice.
Here’s our top choices to ensure your little ones have as much fun as you!
Zoomarine is the Algarve’s premier family attraction, with shows featuring magnificent marine mammals, informative exhibits and water park attractions all in one location. Dolphins, sea lions and birds all interact naturally with their trainers, and it’s one of only a few places in Europe where you can swim with dolphins!
As well as seeing the shows, young kids always enjoy the big wheel, pirate zone, beach and pool areas, however there is also plenty to do for older kids and adults alike meaning Zoomarine is always a popular choice for families.
Located in Guia its within easy reach of Albufeira with a taxi taking about 10-15 mins from most parts of the town. There are also shuttle buses available which are cheap, but take longer due to number of stops needed.
Who doesn’t love a water park? Kids and big kids alike head in scores to the local water parks for a fun, family day out in the sun. There are few to choose from, and they all offer different features.
Just a few kilometres away in Quarteira, this is a bit of a theme park as well as a water park with some pretty hairy rides to complement the many slides and pools. There are also a few shows including birds of prey, reptiles and parrots which are a nice way to relax a little in the shade.
There are two separate kids areas, a large dedicated kids splash zone and a smaller one that’s near some of the more adult-friendly rides making it a nice pit stop.
It’s also worth mentioning the thrill seeking rides such as the White Fall, Free Fall and the always popular water rollercoaster which make Aquashow a good choice for teenagers and adults as well as young kids.
Located between Albufeira and Lagoa, Aqualand offers a variety of slides and features to keep you busy the entire day. You’ll find a very shallow kids areas with lots of things to keep them amused for hours, and you can take the chance to relax and bob about on the more gentle rides like the Lazy River designed to appeal to anyone wanting to cool down in the water on a sunny day.
Slide & Splash
Slide & Splash is the furthest water park from Albufeira but as its only about 30 minutes we thought it still deserved a mention.
Here you can find a spot on the grass to lay your towel (take an umbrella with you) and then spend the rest of the day exploring the water park, which is home to slides for all ages and to a large and entertaining children’s area perfect for younger children who may not be so confident in the water. The kids will also love the reptiles and birds of prey shows.
There’s plenty to keep the adults entertained too as it’s also home to the Black Hole slide, the Kamikaze and the Big Wave.
There are a few stables in the area that offer excellent facilities for younger kids (and adults and experienced riders). In Salgados, at the western edge of Albufeira, you can even take a horse and cart tour allowing all ages to join in the fun together.
Or for kids who really love horses there is also a kids club where parents can leave their children under safe supervision for a full morning to ride the ponies, and try their hand at grooming and caring for them, and of course there’s lots of fun throughout..
Remember your first trip to the beach? It’s something that we forget the magic of, as we get a little older. Kids love messing around in the sand and jumping in and out of the sea. Pack an umbrella, bucket and spade, grab your towels and sunscreen and a couple of bottles of water and find your spot. Have a look at our Best beaches in Albufeira guide to discover the perfect beach for your family.
Day or night, the Fiesa sand sculpture park has to be seen to be believed.
The talented sculptors use some 40,000 tonnes of unique, local sand, to build larger than life sculptures that you can wander around and take photographs.
A different theme every year makes it worth a return visit and the entire park is illuminated in the evening, which creates an entirely different perspective and a great place to go in the early evening.
Kids will love the sculptures of characters from Ice Age and Alice in Wonderland, while adults can spot the stars such as Elton John or Bono. Of course there’s also a sand pit area so that kids can create their own works of art.
PICNICS & BBQS
Jump in your hire car and head off for an adventure. There are some great spots near Albufeira where you can have a lovely picnic or BBQ. Visit Alte with your picnic and enjoy a day by the waterfall or head further afield east to Pego de Inferno, near Tavira which is also famous for its waterfall and natural pools.
Heading west, the Fontes de Estombar (near to Slide&Splash), is a lovely nature reserve around natural springs that have a free assault course through the marked out walking tracks and a BBQ area where you bring your own charcoal and food and enjoy the facilities
KRAZY WORLD ZOO
Krazy World Zoo is a family attraction including a petting zoo, reptiles, crazy golf, tree climbing activities and much more.
There’s an ample swimming pool area where you can cool down, and the younger kids have some slides where they can have a splash around, as well as a bouncy castle making it a great day out for families in Albufeira.
The marina is a great place to hang out with young kids with plenty to do including pedal karts, an amusement arcade, and in peak season bouncy castles and trampolines. Or kids can just make use of large spaces to run around and play while Mum and Dad enjoy a cocktail watching the boats go by.
Hot Shot Bowling at the Marina is a great spot that’s really family friendly and has indoor and outdoor seating areas where you can get some refreshments after a game or two.
THE ROAD TRAIN
The very popular tourist train runs around Albufeira and is a great way to get your bearings while keeping the little ones happy!
You can buy a single ride or a full day pass. It can be a handy way of getting around and takes to stress out of trying to find a parking space too.
PIRATE BOAT TRIP
Step aboard the pirate ship for a sightseeing tour of the coast with a twist. The lovely old vessel has been well maintained and has a fun feel to it that makes it a great excursion option for pirate lovers.
Go for a walk along the boardwalk at Salgados or further afield to Carvoeiro or Alvor. Children love the boardwalks, and it’s an excellent place for them to run along and get some fresh air.
A great way to burn up some of that endless energy near Santa Eulalia Beach is a massive assault course where the kids can climb through the trees to compete through the structured maze of rope trails.
The lowest and easiest level is suitable for kids from 4 years old and 1m in height, and with 3 levels its great for older kids and adults too.
There’s also a 2500m2 paintballing course with loads of fun obstacles to make it more challenging and kids from the age of 10 can take part.
Going out for dinner can be such a bore for children and stressful for the adults trying to keep them entertained. Fear not, Albufeira is no newcomer to family visitors, and plenty of places have gone the extra mile.
Children are welcome in most restaurants, at any time, and the staff are generally very accommodating as its common for Portuguese children to stay up late and go out with all of the family. So you needn’t worry if your little ones need to let of a little steam!
If you’re dining in the old town, there’s usually entertainment or music in the square and plenty of space for kids to run around.
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