On the Road to… Portugal

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I don’t know about you, but I could do with a holiday…

OUFC Pre-season Tour July 2017

Oxford United will be playing two pre-season friendlies at the Estádio da Nora, Ferreiras, home to Futebol Club Ferreiras. The stadium is about 4km north of Albufeira and about 18km from Vilamoura and in this article we’ll hope to give you some invaluable information about the area and how to get to and from the stadium.

So where to stay?

Vilamoura

According to www.algarve-tourist.com, Vilamoura is “one of southern Portugal’s finest resort towns – offering so much more than just stunning beaches and a glorious climate. Vilamoura was envisaged in the 1980s as an exclusive beach resort and elite golfing center, and today the town has matured into a stylish and modern holiday destination that boasts celebrated golf courses and outstanding tourist facilities. 

Vilamoura is suited for visitors who are looking for a refined and stylish holiday destination, with a preference to quality over cost. Vilamoura is great as a family holiday destination as there are many excellent family hotels, while in the town children will be welcomed in all restaurants, shops and cafes.

Vilamoura does not (or want to) attract large groups who are on stag/hen do’s or simply looking for a cheap drink holiday, for this sort of holiday head to Albufeira. Certain visitors may find Vilamoura devoid of Portuguese charm and character, this is a purpose built resort town that focuses on outstanding tourist facilities and services. For a more traditional Portuguese holiday location consider the historic city of Lagos or the charming town of Tavira”

Albufeira

According to www.algarve-tourist.com, Albufeira is “the largest, liveliest and most energetic of all of the resort towns that line southern Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coastline. Albufeira provides stunning beaches, a glorious climate, a vast selection of restaurants and a buzzing nightlife; there is so much to love about Albufeira and this has transformed the once peaceful fishing village into the Algarve’s most popular holiday destinations.

Being the largest resort town of the Algarve, Albufeira has an extensive range of activities, attractions and hotels, making the town an ideal holiday destination for families, couples or groups looking to party. This guide will provide an introduction Albufeira for tourists who are planning to visit this fantastic region of Portugal.

Albufeira is an outstanding holiday destination, as it offers so much more than just gorgeous beaches and great weather. Within the charming and historic streets of the “Old Town” there are over one hundred different restaurants and bars, while the nightlife scene is vibrant and social, and continues late into the night. For those groups of visitors wanting a more of a hedonistic holiday should head to “The Strip”, a street crammed with bars and clubs that actively encourages excessive drinking and partying.

Albufeira is able to cater for the two extremes of tourists (families and stag/hen do’s) as there are two separate and very different areas of the town; the Old Town and The Strip. The Old Town is a series of traditional Portuguese streets and plazas that are based around the historic centre of Albufeira. The pretty cobbled streets of the Old Town are lined with every possible type of restaurant and the entire district is family focused. The Strip, 2km east of the Old Town, is designed for all day drinking, late night partying and recovering on the beach – this is the area of Albufeira suitable for groups, stag and hen do’s. This separation of the two areas allows for families and party focused groups to enjoy Albufeira at the same time and not antagonise each other.”

So, essentially, if you’re looking for classy and sophisticated, stay in Vilaoura. If you’re after lively and buzzing, then head to Albufeira (where you’ll find me!). The TipAdvisor forums for Albuferia and Vilamoura are both a good source of local knowledge.

Who are we playing and when?

The first game of the pre-seaosn tour will be on Wednesday 12th July at 6:30pm. The opposition has not been announced yet, but are an English Championship side. On Saturday 15th July United will play Hull City also kicking off at 6:30pm.

Both matches will take place at the 2,000 capacity Estádio da Nora, Ferreiras, the home of Futebol Club Ferreiras. They participate in Serie ‘H’ of the Campeonato Nacional de Seniores (Seniors National Championship) which is the third league of football in Portugal.

The stadium is about 4km north of Albufeira and about 18km from Vilamoura. There is a circular GIRO bus route that runs from the bus station in Albufeira to the train station at Ferrieras and back again, and there is a stop about 100yards from the Estadio da Nora. The buses run until around 10:40pm. The last bus from Albufeira to Vilamoura leaves the bus station in Albufeira at 7:30pm, so you’ll not be able to get back to Vilamoura by bus after the game.

Here are bus timetables from Albufeira to Ferreiras, Vilamoura to Albufeira and Albufeira to Vilamoura. This information is taken from algarvebus.info which is an unofficial but pretty comprehensive website detailing the bus routes around the Algarve.

As an alternative to the bus, there are plenty of taxis around which may be an easier option.

Where is everything?

Click here to download a map of Albufeira and Vilamoura with some information on bars, tourist trains, nightclubs, bus stops and the Estádio da Nora.

See you in Portugal.

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