The golden shores of Portugal have long been a favourite with sun-loving holidaymakers. But there is also much more to love beyond its glorious sands.

The city of Albufeira rests on Portugal’s south coast, a former fishing village which has been transformed with a modern marina and waterfront promenade, popular with locals and tourists alike. Divided into two main areas, The Strip and the Old Town, when the sun goes down both districts buzz with activity in the vibrant bars, restaurants and shops.

Whether you want to fly and flop, or prefer something more active, here are some unmissable highlights for food, drink and entertainment.

Sun-drenched shores and delicious cuisine make Portugal one of the top holiday destinations for couples and families.

Sun-drenched shores and delicious cuisine make Portugal one of the top holiday destinations for couples.

Havens for relaxation

There’s nothing quite like hypnotic sea views and an indulgent massage, and at Spa Villas D’Agua you can combine both. Revel in a clifftop spa treatment with spectacular sea views and gentle breezes which will soon have you drifting off into a state of total relaxation.

Just a fifteen minute drive from the centre of Albufeira, it makes the perfect start or finish to your get away from it all break.

Is there anything more relaxing than a trip to the spa? Well how about a clifftop spa treatment with spectacular sea views? Combine this with a couple of glasses of wine in the evening and you have a perfect day!

Is there anything more relaxing than a trip to the spa? Well how about a clifftop spa treatment with spectacular sea views? Combine this with a couple of glasses of wine in the evening and you have a perfect day.

Of course, we know we said there is more to Portugal than just its beaches, but it would be sacrilege not to mention our favourite stretch of silky smooth sands.

With a spectacular cliff backdrop in beautiful hues of red, copper and gold — visit Albufeira’s Falesia Beach in the late afternoon for the best show of colour. With calm seas, this section of coast is perfect for paddling and watching the windsurfers take to the water — great entertainment while soaking up the rays.

A feast for the senses

Traditional Portuguese food is some of the most underrated, but there is so much to discover when you dine in local restaurants. Seafood fans are well-catered for here, with cod being a staple ingredient in many dishes.

Bacalhau à brás consists of sautéed and shredded cod fish, mixed with onion, fried potato and a dash of parsley and olives. Order a generous portion to fuel you up for sightseeing.

Cheese lovers should definitely order some Serra da Estrela cheese which is relatively unknown outside of Portugal. Whether you want it served soft like butter, or in hard form for an intense kick, enjoy it with a side of fresh bread for a simple foodie’s delight.

Seafood will no doubt be on every menu in Portugal, and with good reason. Make sure you order a big portion of your favourite dish to keep you going in between all the sightseeing.

Seafood will no doubt be on every menu in Portugal, and with good reason. Make sure you order a big portion of your favourite dish to keep you going in between all the sightseeing.

Dining out? For a charming restaurant and delicious dishes in equal measure, Restaurante Dom Carlos is your best option. The popular eatery offers two menus which change daily, simply mix and match to select five courses and you won’t be disappointed.

Entertainment central

If you are visiting between March and October, Johnny Hooper's Saxophone Bistro draws crowds for a jazz evening of entertainment from saxophone maestro Johnny, every Tuesday and Friday.

Meanwhile on Sundays, enjoy a more relaxed and leisurely afternoon with serenades from the bistro’s chill out brunch sessions, from 12 until 4pm.

Music fans can't visit Portugal and not go to Johnny Hoopers’ Saxophone Bistro. Visitors come from all over the country to hear Johnny play, so make sure you stop by and enjoy the smooth jazz sounds.

Music fans can't visit Portugal and not go to Johnny Hooper's Saxophone Bistro. Visitors come from all over the country to hear Johnny play, so make sure you stop by and enjoy the smooth jazz sounds.

Sal Rosa is a little off the beaten track from the Old Town, but is made for enjoying some sundowners while watching the sun drop into the sea. Take in the relaxed ambience over a cocktail, or the finest vino on the terrace.

Naturally it’s a very popular place so arrive in good time to soak up the best views.

So, if you're looking to experience all Portugal has to offer, visit the RCI Resort Directory below and plan your next holiday away in the sun.

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