A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Albufeira vs. Crete for Food, Nightlife, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Albufeira or Crete?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Albufeira or Crete? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Albufeira

Albufeira is a vibrant, touristy, and popular resort town. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. Other popular activities here include scuba diving and snorkeling, beaches, and hiking.

Crete

Crete is a world-renowned, scenic, and stunning island. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Albufeira and Crete: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less family-friendly
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Albufeira or Crete?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Albufeira. Although Albufeira and Crete are both popular with visitors, Albufeira has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Albufeira is more popular for its nightlife and big city activities, while Crete is known for its museums, food, hiking, and shopping. Albufeira is popular for its golden beaches and limestone cliffs. It is also home to Praia da Falesia. Crete is popular for its breathtaking beaches, wild nightlife, and impressive archeological ruins.

How is Albufeira different from Crete?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Crete and Albufeira. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Albufeira or Crete?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.

Crete offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The island is filled with archeological sites including the famous Palace of Knossos. While most people come to Crete for the natural beauty, in the cities you'll find some great museums and landmarks.

Albufeira does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Albufeira or Crete? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a world-class destination for its restaurant scene. Also, Albufeira is still popular, but not quite as popular for its local flavors and cuisine.

For foodies, Crete is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. Local cuisine is influenced by the island's fertile environment and excellent agriculture. You'll find olive oil in most dishes and seafood is a major staple. You'll also find a lot of stews and recipes that incorporate local ingredients.

Albufeira has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, the city also has the widest selection of restaurants. There are traditional options that serve up classic dishes like grilled sardines, as well as international restaurants with traveler favorites. As expected, you'll find a lot of seafood, but you'll also find inland influences from local farms in the area.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Nightlife?

Albufeira
Crete

Albufeira is an amazing resort town to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Crete is still popular, but not quite as popular for nightlife.

Albufeira has a colorful and one-of-a-kind nightlife scene. It's probably the most infamous party destination in the Algarve and it won't disappoint. During the peak summer months you'll find the streets around the popular "Strip" filled with tourists and party-goers. There are hen and stag parties, backpackers, and drunken travelers out for a good time. The Strip has become so popular that there are now bars and clubs on the adjacent streets as well. If you're not staying in the area, you'll likely want to take a taxi, as it's a couple kilometers outside of the town center.

Many people head to Crete for the nightlife scene. The island has excellent nightlife with clubs and bars found in Chania, Malia and Stalis to Elounda. The area is popular with British tourists and you'll find many bars open until 2 or 3 in the morning.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Resorts?

Albufeira
Crete

Albufeira and Crete offer a relatively similar set of first-rate luxury resort options.

For the ultimate resort vacation, Albufeira is a great choice. As the largest resort town in the Algarve, you'll find a wide selection of hotels to choose from. Party-goers will want to stay near the Strip while families will prefer the old town or resorts in Olhos de Agua.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Crete is a perfect choice. The island has world class resorts that include pools and buffet meals. There are many beachfront resorts that range in style from romantic to family-friendly.


Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Albufeira
Crete

There's high quality scuba diving or snorkeling available in both Albufeira and Crete.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Albufeira. There are countless vendors who will take you by boat to explore the underwater world, either by snorkeling or scuba diving. The marine life is impressive and the water is generally clear.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Crete. The island is surrounded by clear waters that make for great snorkeling and diving. There's a number of beautiful fish and other sea life that you can see. Be on the lookout for crabs, sea stars, sponges, and even octopi.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Beaches?

Albufeira
Crete

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Albufeira and Crete are first-rate choices.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Albufeira. With their golden sands and blue waters, the beaches are world class. The area also has a diversity of beaches that are perfect for all types of vacationers. For water sports, head to Praia dos Alemaes but for relaxation and catching some rays check out Praia da Falesia. You'll find some interesting rock formations at Praia dos Olhos de Agua. One of the most convenient beaches to town is Praia dos Pescadores. For nightlife you'll want to head to Praia da Oura.

With world-famous beaches, Crete is a very popular vacation destination. There are some of the best beaches in the world on Crete. The areas around Chania have some of the island's best beaches, with one of the most beautiful being Balos. On the northern side of the island, be on the lookout for strong winds, particularly in August, which can make for larger waves. The island is large, so you'll find everything from secluded and quiet beaches to more active and lively places.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Hiking?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a great destination for its hiking experiences. Also, Albufeira is still popular, but not quite as popular for hiking.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Crete. The island is filled with beautiful hikes that run along the shoreline or head inland through the island's beautiful landscapes. There are hikes for every ability level that offer spectacular views and an incredible experience.

Many people include a hike when visiting Albufeira. There are countless coastal walks that are perfect for all skill levels. Many offers stunning views along the rocky coast and pass through natural settings. Popular trails in the area include Praia Grande Interpretation Trail and Paderne Castle Trail.


Is the Shopping Better in Albufeira or Crete?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a popular place for its shopping opportunities. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for its shopping areas.

Crete offers some nice shopping areas. The island has many markets that sell local foods and handicrafts. There are also shops and boutiques where you can buy anything from souvenirs to homemade artwork.

Albufeira has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. You'll find most of the shops are geared toward souvenirs or beach items, particularly near the beach and marina. If you look hard you might find some nice ceramics or items made of cork.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Families?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a world-class destination for its family-friendly activities. Also, Albufeira is still popular, but not quite as popular for its kid-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Crete is a very family-friendly destination. The island is large and filled with countless family-friendly activities. You can spend several days at the beach, explore Lake Kournas, visit a water park, or even take a pirate themed boat cruise. There's also the amusement park, ​​Labyrinth Park, aquariums and more.

Albufeira offers lots of family activities. Despite it's reputation as a party-hard city, there are actually a lot of family-friendly activities in the area. Because it's the largest resort town in the Algarve, it also has the most activities to choose from, including theme parks, water parks, dolphin watching, ropes courses, go karting, and more. The best area's for families are in the old town or the most of the family-friendly resorts outside of town. Families should avoid staying near "the Strip."

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Couples?

Albufeira
Crete

With fun activities for couples, both Albufeira and Crete make for a first-rate place to visit.

Albufeira makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. For an active honeymoon or couple's retreat, this resort town has it all. Beautiful beaches, adventure-filled activities, a wild nightlife scene, and excellent resorts and restaurants all make for a memorable couple's getaway.

For those traveling as a couple, Crete has plenty to offer. It's stunning beaches, beautiful landscapes, world renowned restaurants, and amazing resorts make this a top honeymoon spot for international travelers and romance seekers.


Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Albufeira
Crete

Albufeira is an amazing resort town to visit for backpackers. Also, Crete is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Albufeira is a very popular resort town to visit for backpackers. If you're looking for a party, then you found it. The area is a top pick for European holidays, so you'll find plenty of energy and activities around town. There are also golden beaches and a decent selection of hostels to choose from.

Crete is very popular with the backpacker crowd. It's a large island with a great social scene and no shortage of hostels for backpackers to choose from.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Students?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a great destination for students. However, Albufeira is not popular with students.

Crete is a very popular island for students and younger travelers. It's affordability and great coastal activities is a big draw for students in the area.

Albufeira is not popular with students.

Is Albufeira or Crete Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Albufeira
Crete

Crete is a popular place for its public transit. However, Albufeira is a resort town with minimal options for times when you don't have a car.

You'll find some public transit in Crete, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a decent bus system that travels around the island and offers access to many areas.

Public transit is mostly limited in Albufeira. There are regional buses and even trains, but do take note that many of the train and bus stations are a good distance outside of town.


Is Albufeira or Crete a more walkable city?

Albufeira
Crete

Albufeira and Crete both are decent when exploring on foot.

Albufeira is generally not very walkable. Most people prefer to hire a car, but if your hotel is near the beach and you're ok with walking to restaurants, then you may be able to get away without one. If you hope to travel into the countryside at all then a car is necessary.

Crete is generally not a very walkable resort town. The island is large and requires a vehicle to get around, but there are short strolls that let you enjoy the stunning landscapes.

For even more information, also check out Is Albufeira Worth Visiting? and Is Crete Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Crete or Albufeira?

How long in Albufeira or Crete?

Both Albufeira and Crete have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Crete has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Crete than Albufeira. In general, 3-7 days is a good amount of time for Albufeira, and 5-7 days is enough time in Crete.

Families should spend more time in Crete than Albufeira. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Crete, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Crete than Albufeira. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Crete that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Crete than Albufeira if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Crete.


  • How many days in Albufeira or Crete? Ideal Length of Stay
    Albufeira 3-7 
    Crete 5-7

One day in Albufeira or Crete?

In Albufeira, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this high energy destination offers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. This resort town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find nightlife and food around the island of Crete. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Albufeira or Crete?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Albufeira. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the stunning destination of Crete. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.


Five days in Albufeira or Crete?

Albufeira is a fun place to experience. In Albufeira, many people enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife that this destination offers. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This would be the perfect place to spend five days, as it has just the right amount of activities.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the breathtaking island of Crete. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.

A week in Albufeira or Crete?

In Albufeira, many people enjoy the nightlife and food that this touristy destination offers. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is often enough time to do most activities.

Crete is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Crete, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


Which place is cheaper, Crete or Albufeira?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Albufeira is €148, while the average daily cost in Crete is €0.00. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Albufeira and Crete in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Albufeira 74
    Crete -
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Albufeira 148
    Crete 0.00
Compare Hotels in Albufeira and Crete

Looking for a hotel in Albufeira or Crete? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Albufeira


Hotels in Crete


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Albufeira Hotel Prices and Crete Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Albufeira 34
    Crete -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Albufeira

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Albufeira:

  • Albufeira - Faro Airport Transfers 4pax: $50
  • Departure Transfer Albufeira or Açoteias to Faro Airport FAO by Private Vehicle: $34
  • Departure Transfer Vilamoura or Qta do Lago to Faro Airport FAO Private Vehicle: $28
  • Faro Airport (Algarve) Departure Transfer (Vilamoura Hotels to Faro Airport): $89
  • Faro Airport Private Transfer - Albufeira (Departure): $27
  • From One Way Private Transfer to Seville by Van: $76
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $94
  • Private Airport Transfer To Albufeira Area: $83
  • Private Faro Airport Transfer from Albufeira (up to 4 passangers): $53
  • Private Faro Airport Transfer from Albufeira (up to 8 passangers): $77
  • Private Transfer From Albufeira To Faro Airport By Minibus: $76
  • Private Transfer from Albufeira to Faro (FAO) Airport: $48

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Crete

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Crete:

  • Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer: $32
  • Acqua Plus Water Park Admission with Optional Transfer: $31
  • Airports/ports Transfers from /to Rethymno (one way): $154
  • Arrival Transfer Chania Airport to Chania, Rethimno or Heraklion: $25
  • Crete Private Taxi Transfer from Heraklion Airport to Bali: $96
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer Georgioupoli to Heraklion Airport: $162
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Adelianos Kampos: $110
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Bali: $140
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Georgioupoli: $88
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Panormo: $126
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Chania to Plakias: $162
  • Crete Private Taxi and Transfer from Heraklion Airport to Malia: $82

Is it cheaper to fly into Albufeira or Crete?

Prices for flights to both Crete and Albufeira change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Albufeira 48
    Crete -

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Albufeira

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Albufeira.

  • A Portuguese Dinner and Cocktail Experience: $50
  • Dinner at the Vineyards in Lagoa: $61
  • Algarve Bike and Food Tour with Sea Food and Wine Tasting: $62
  • Sunset Safari with Traditional Dinner : $66
  • 6-Hour Sunset Dinner Catamaran Cruise from Albufeira: $75
  • Sunset Tour - Champagne and Traditional Dinner: $76
  • Half-Day-Orange Picking &Jam Cooking/Lunch with the Orange Farmer: $99

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Crete

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Crete.

  • Troy Dinner-Show: $33
  • Spectacular Dinner-Show: $44
  • Cretan Night with Dinner & Live Show: $50
  • Olive Oil Factory Tour, Dinner & Traditional Dancing: $60
  • Olive Oil Festival in Cretan Farm with Traditional Dinner: $61
  • Chania: Cretan Folklore Dance Show with Dinner and Pickup: $65
  • Half Day Sunset Tour in Rethymno with Dinner and Wine: $83
  • Cook with Locals | Cretan cooking Class at Archanes (transfer - lunch included): $87
  • The Delicious Chania PRIVATE Street Food Tour : $88
  • Sightseeing Day Trip with Cooking Lesson and Lunch: $96
  • Full-Day Jeep Safari Tour with Cooking Lesson: $98
  • Chania Cooking Class in Crete with rustic, delicious and homely Cretan food!: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Albufeira 39
    Crete -

Tours and Activities in Albufeira

Here are a few actual costs in Albufeira for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Inflatable Waterpark Entry Ticket: $7.72
  • Castro Verde Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $8.13
  • Silves Scavenger Hunt and Sights Private Self-Guided Tour: $8.13
  • Algarve Wines Tasting Shared Experience at Mercado Municipal de Silves: $17
  • Albufeira 1 hour Off-Road Tour Quad Adventure Tour: $19
  • Albufeira Old Town: In-App Adventure Hunt: $22
  • Albufeira The Strip: In-App Adventure Hunt: $22
  • 70 Minutes Guided Secrets of Albufeira Walking Tour: $22
  • 70 Minutes Guided Old Ruins Walking Tour in Albufeira: $22
  • Leãozinho Pirate Ship Cruise from Albufeira: $26
  • 3 Hour Cruise Experience from Vilamoura: $30
  • Tour to Benagil Caves and Coastline in Albufeira: $30

Tours and Activities in Crete

Here are a few actual costs in Crete for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Chania: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Tour: $7.03
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum Ticket & Audio Guide: $8.66
  • CRETAquarium Entrance Ticket in Crete: $8.82
  • The Terra Creta Olive Oil Experience Tour: $11
  • Palace of Knossos Entry Ticket & Optional Audio Guide: $11
  • Chania: Archaeological Museum Skip-The-Line Ticket and audio tour on your phone: $11
  • Knossos: Archaeological Site Admission Ticket: $13
  • Entry E-Ticket to Heraklion Archaeological Museum with Audio: $15
  • Heraklion: Hop-on Hop-off Open Top Bus Sightseeing Tour: $16
  • Chania: Semi-Submarine Boat Underwater Experience: $16
  • Heraklion: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour: $16
  • Heraklion: Virtual Reality Experience at VR Lab: $16

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Albufeira 26
    Crete -

Sample the Local Flavors in Albufeira

Also in Albufeira, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Sunset Wine Tasting With BBQ in Porches: $50
  • Exclusive Wine Tasting Experience in Porches (Algarve): $50
  • Porches Algarve Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting Experience: $54
  • Wine Tasting Tour in Algarve Winery : $58
  • Half Day Safari Tour with Wine Tasting: $58
  • Winery Tour with Wine Tasting and Tapas: $64
  • Small group Wine Tasting Tour from Albufeira: $66
  • Wine Tour and Tasting - Semi-Private from Albufeira: $72
  • Albufeira Coast Tour w/ Wine tasting & Chicken lunch: $75
  • Albufeira Tour: Wine Tasting and Chicken PiriPiri lunch: $76
  • full day Wine Tour from Albufeira: $94
  • Lagos and Ponta Da Piedade Private Tour & Algarvian Wine Tasting: $108

Sample the Local Flavors in Crete

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Crete:

  • Wine Tasting: Meet the Cretan Vineyard at West Chania: $55
  • Chania: Off-Road Tour at Sunset with Wine Tasting: $92
  • Jeep Safari Wine Tour and South sea swimming: $98
  • Ecobike Wine Tasting Tour in Heraklion: $104
  • Luxury Private Wine Tasting Experience in Haralabakis Winery: $120
  • Wine Tasting-Olive Oil Factory-Traditional Villages- Small Group : $132
  • Full Day - Ecobike - Discover old villages & Wine tasting: $159
  • The Gourmet Wine Tour of Heraklion area: $165
  • Private Wine Tour Olive Oil Tasting and Pottery from Heraklion: $190
  • Full Day Private Crete Wine Tour Experience from Heraklion : $192
  • Knossos, Olive Mill, Winery - Distillery with Tastings & Lunch : $198
  • Private Wine tasting and Knossos Palace Tour from Heraklion : $220


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Albufeira and Crete, we can see that Albufeira is more expensive. And not only is Crete much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Crete would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Crete and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Albufeira would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Albufeira than you might in Crete.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Albufeira Expensive? and Is Crete Expensive?.


Which has a larger population, Albufeira or Crete?

Crete has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Albufeira. When comparing the sizes of Albufeira and Crete, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.