Welcome to my place ... Albufeira

Take a boat trip to the caves with the dolphins as your guide, and enjoy the sun

Frankie Shanley (DJ Frankie Beats) and his partner Sana  Vera in Albufeira, Portugal

Frankie Shanley (DJ Frankie Beats) and his partner Sana Vera in Albufeira, Portugal

 

DJ Frankie Beats (Frankie Shanley) is originally from Boyle in Co Roscommon and has been living in the Algarve for almost two years, where he presents the afternoon show on KISSFM Portugal five days a week from noon until 4pm.

What do you like about living in Albufeira?

I love working in the Algarve for so many reasons, but the main one is the different cultures living here. I have friends in Albufeira from as far away as Nepal, South Africa and my partner is from Brazil. When you wake up in the morning it’s to the sunshine, and the feel-good factor suddenly hits you together with the realisation (even after two years of living here) of where you are. The people are so friendly and helpful and treat everyone as one of their own.

Where is the first place you bring people to when they visit Albufeira?

Well you have to go to Zoo Marine, it’s a must and having done some outside broadcasts from there for my KISSFM Portugal show, I never tire of the place. Then, of course, there are the beaches. West of Albufeira there are the most amazing beaches with caves going into them (the famous postcard shots), the boat trip into the caves is a must and you have the dolphins as your companions for the whole journey.

The top three things to do in Albufeira that don’t cost money, are …

That’s the thing about the Algarve, it is not expensive so money rarely comes into it, I’ve often gone home to Ireland for a gig and returned for less than €50 with Ryanair. Top three things? Let’s be honest it’s Sun Sun and Sun. You can spend all day on the beach with your picnic and not spend a penny. You can also just sit down in a cafe facing the ocean and spend €1 on a coffee and try to figure out “How do I move here permanently?”

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Albufeira?

I’d always recommend the small restaurants that are hidden and provide the local food, however my absolute favourite place to eat is Granfinus which is next to the GNR Police station in Old Town at the taxi rank. The Piri Piri chicken is just to die for and the prices are not too expensive either.

Where is the best place to get a sense of Albufeira’s role in history?

In the last few weeks murals have been popping up everywhere depicting Albufeira’s history. For example, did you know that it was almost wiped out by a tsunami in 1755 by the strongest earthquake to ever hit earth that was felt in Ireland and even in Africa? And that almost 30,000 people were killed? Well the murals around the Algarve are a reminder to everyone of this and other events. A walk down the streets in Albufeira close to the Hotel California (yes it’s there) will bring you to the local museum.

What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Albufeira?

When coming to the Algarve you have to bring home souvenirs and reminders of your amazing time in such a wonderful place. There are the usual bits and pieces, but don’t forget cork (not the Irish county). There are plenty of cork shops selling cork hats, shoes and more.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live overseas, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We would love to hear from you.

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