Albufeira has become Europe's number one stag and hen destination for UK and Irish groups looking to celebrate in the sunshine, and heres why.
Pound for pound (or rather Euro for Euro) the Algarve, especially Albufeira, is cheaper than all the popular Spanish destinations (like Benidorm, Marbella, Fuengirola), hotels are cheaper, food and drinks are cheaper, activities are cheaper and even flights are cheaper. But most importantly the standard is higher, the bars are better, the beaches cleaner and the locals friendlier.
Portugal was always known as a bit of a specialist destination, mainly catering for golfers and families, but over the past 10 years the stag and hen industry now rivals that of the golfers, families have dropped right down (only in Albufeira) and can really only now be found during the school holidays, mainly around July and August when the stags, hens and groups aren't there.
Other than the hotels and flights, that at some times of year can be as little as €100.00 for return flights and 3 nights accommodation, Some of the biggest savings are made when your booking activities. The Albufeira Boat Party is an all afternoon/evening event including 3 free drinks, coaches to and from the boat, 3 hours at sea, swimming, shots and an afterparty back in Albufeira for only €35.00, thats about £30.00, you couldnt buy a pizza and drinks for that in the UK or Ireland, plus the same thing on the Costa del Sol is €70.00, about £60.00, double the price!
The main airport that services the Algarve is called Faro, flights come here all year round, prices with Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2 can be as little as €10.00 each way, on some occasions the flights are free you just pay the taxes. Its also only a 2 hour flight from the UK compared to 4 hours to Tenerife or 3 hours to Spain and Greece. Once you arrive its only 30 miniutes by motorway straight into Albufeira. The town itself is split into 2 parts, the Old Town and the New Town, both are lively holiday resorts in their own right, the Old Town is for the more relaxing Stag or Hen weekend, with good restaurants and smart bars making up the majority of the nightlife available. The New Town is where you will find the clubs that stay open till 7.00am, Strip bars and clubs, huge disco pubs and the famous Albufeira strip.