Why did I decide to go to Albufeira? Well, I arrived in Faro where I had met an English guy 8 months before when I visited Faro. He asked if I had any plans, I said no. So he offered we could go to Albufeira for a week. The distance between Albufeira and Faro is about 50km and takes around an hour on the bus. Once I had been there for a week, I decided to stay 3 weeks more, didn't really feel like visiting the nearby locations myself. But they are worth checking out. Here are some places you could think about visiting:
Small nice town with 10 607 inhabitants. Allegedly it's "one of the most architecturally attractive towns in the Algarve and its origin dates back to around 2.000 BC".
The main town in the region because of the Airport. Most people come to all nearby locations via Faro.
Vilamoura could be considered a large Marina town with capacity for 1000 vessels. According to some information, it's also "the biggest private tourism resort in Europe and is one of the most prestigious in Portugal".
Yet again a beautiful tourist town with 20k inhabitants. Definitely worth the check out, as I have heard.
In addition to having beautiful beaches, Quarteira is the location for the biggest (gypsy) market in Algarve. Locals say this is the best place to buy cotton goods, footwear and pottery.
My apologies for so short and not very informative introduction to those places, BUT I believe that considering I have not been to those places myself, I shouldn't pretend I have either. But I thought it might at least make sense to let you know these places exist and according to what I have heard, are definitely worth visiting.