If you’re considering a holiday in the Algarve, you can be sure of a great choice of accommodation, stunning landscapes and picture-perfect beaches. Once you include the prospect of loads of fun activities and cheap holiday deals, it adds up to a package holiday with everything you could want.
Out and about in the Algarve
The Algarve has won many awards for its beaches; its bars, cafés and restaurants are renowned for their delicious food and relaxing atmosphere. There’s something to suit everybody, from adventurous lone travellers to families making the most of all inclusive packages. Golf is big business, as there are more than 30 courses, including some of championship quality. Prices vary, so golfers should look for good deals before booking.
The most popular man-made attraction is the Zoo Marine conservation centre, which features live shows with dolphins, seals and sea lions. Dolphins can also be seen in the wild, along with porpoises, sea turtles and many seabirds. While charter boats take visitors out to see the playful sea creatures, they also carry passengers who are going fishing or diving and stop at beaches that are inaccessible on foot. When they’re not splashing about in the beautiful, clear water that laps the beaches, many tourists opt to visit the Algarve’s fabulous water parks. Slide and Splash in Vale de Deus and Aqualand in Alcantarilha are two of the largest and have a wide variety of rides, so there’s something for all ages.
There’s a lively calendar of events, including festivals, which are well-celebrated, with parades, music and colourful costumes; the area also hosts many events that celebrate such diverse topics as jazz, birdwatching and sand sculpture. Portuguese markets offer a range of cheap souvenirs and local produce, with Gypsy markets in Olhäo, São Brás de Alportel, Albufeira and many other places. There are markets local to every resort.
Everything you need is here
Of course, every visitor will spend some time on the beach and there are plenty to choose from; many are wheelchair accessible and have a good range of cafés nearby. The most popular resort, Albufeira, has a sprawl of big hotels along its coastline, with smaller apartments and villas further inland, making it as good a location for a family holiday as for a short getaway. Its luxury hotel, The Falesia, is ideal for couples as it doesn’t accept children under sixteen, so parents should look for something more family-friendly, like the Hotel Riu Palace. There are bargains to be found further inland, including several basic hostels.
The second-largest tourist centre, Quarteira, is an excellent family resort with varied accommodation, large beaches and a palm-spotted promenade, lined with shops and cafés. Ferry-trips to Ilha de Farol are popular, allowing passengers to view the diverse sea life. Visitors can stay in the sprawling hotel complexes or the cheaper high-rise apartments, but no matter where they are they can access great water parks easily or make the trip into the Algarve’s capital, Faro, to enjoy shopping and sightseeing. Another well-placed resort for Faro is the golfer’s favourite, Vilamoura. With several championship courses and others for the less ambitious golfer, Vilamoura attracts some seriously competitive holiday makers, although anyone hoping to play the best courses must have proof of their handicap.
With a reputation for being family-friendly, Praia da Rocha has every type of accommodation, from small hostels to large complexes, close to the curve of rocky outcrops that fence the golden beaches. It features a renowned restaurant, Titanic, with a menu dominated by the catch of the day so the food is totally fresh. While Praia da Rocha is quite developed, Armacäo de Pera retains a lot of its origins in its cobbled streets, although it has many modern buildings amongst the old, including a four-star hotel, The Holiday Inn. Many resorts still retain their fishing-village roots, including Alvor, with its picturesque harbour and dune-edged beaches. The Alvormar apartment block offers competitively priced accommodation which is within easy reach of the facilities, including quaint outdoor cafés. Eight miles along the coast, Carvoeiro offers visitors an unexpectedly large choice of restaurants considering its size, with food that is both delicious and not too costly. The beautiful. cliff-top town relies on the sea to attract tourists, with local fishermen ferrying divers and anybody who simply wants a boat-trip.
A great holiday climate
With average summer temperatures of just below 30 degrees, it’s not surprising that the Algarve is one of Europe’s top holiday destinations and, while temperatures can become uncomfortably high during June and July, the ocean breeze brings a certain amount of relief. Milder, but still warm, weather prevails from March to May and during August through to November. From December to February, the winter temperatures are mild, at an average of 16 degrees, with little rainfall, making it a popular destination for a last minute holiday.
Start holiday hunting now
At A1 Travel, we have a range of offers that will bring your ideal holiday within reach. If you book now for 2017, you can snap up one of our Early Bird Discounts! These are available for many of the most popular areas, including the Algarve. With more than three decades of experience and a great working relationship with many airlines and hotels, we can arrange an unforgettable holiday at unbelievable prices.
Article By Nick Lima