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Albufeira meaning lagoon is a Portuguese city and a municipality in the district of Faro, Algarve region. The city proper has a population of 19,500. The municipality has a population of 35,281 inhabitants and a total area of 140.6 km². The population expands significantly in the summer, as Albufeira is one of the leading tourist resorts of the region. Facilities include a marina, golf courses plus innumerable hotels, apartment blocks, restaurants and bars, for the annual flood of visitors. Tourism and commerce are the main activities in Albufeira. Most tourists arrive via nearby Faro airport, a short 40 minute drive away. Once the sun sets the centre of Albufeira comes alive with bars, restaurants and shops to suit most tastes from authentic Portuguese fare to Irish pubs. Albufeira is a good base to explore the region with many smaller and less well known beaches within a short drive. The architecture of the town ranges from typically Algarvian narrow streets with pale white and sometimes tiled houses to very modern tourist developments. The apartments near the newly built Marina e Bryn are a unique spash of pinks, blues and yellows, dubbed Legoland by the local inhabitants. A local culinary speciality is cataplana (steamed shellfish), a very well known dish from the Algarve region. Caldeirada (fish stew), and the simpler but also popular, grilled sardines, are also very appreciated and are traditional dishes across the entire country, especially in litoral areas.
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