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Destination of the Week: The Algarve

Posted by Nicole West on 29/04/2015
Destination of the Week: The Algarve

Portugal’s premier holiday hotspot offers more than just sun, surf and sea. Castle towns, historic villages, bars, entertainment, natural wonders and activity-filled resorts beckon the fun-loving traveller.

Known for its sunny Mediterranean climate, visitors to The Algarve can experience resort towns such as Vilamoura and Albufeira, quaint fishing villages and water sports in year-round, balmy weather.

What to do

You’ll never be lost for something to do in The Algarve, with an endless list of activities on offer like boat trips along the coast, jeep safari tours, dolphin watching trips, top day spas and theme parks for the kids.

Visit Castelo to see the impressive castle-shaped cliff formations along the beach, head to Parque Natural da Ria Furoga for wetland bird watching and discover the interior of The Algarve on a walking tour through valleys, mountains, cliff tops and quaint country lanes.

Golf enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with more than 35 courses available, serious surfers can check out Praia da Arrifana and Praia Bordeira for perfect waves and night owls will love Vilamoura for bars, discos and live entertainment.

Where to stay

Accommodation in The Algarve is first rate, from contemporary, family-friendly resorts in Vilamoura, to eco hotels in the countryside, historic hotels in Lagos and charming beach villas along the sparkling coast.

Tivoli Marina Vilamoura (£££)

The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura is a 5 star hotel overlooking the Marina and the ocean, with private gardens, an extensive spa and an outdoor swimming pool with a magnificent sundeck. The luxurious rooms have everything you need for a pampering holiday by the beach.

Rocamar Beach Hotel (££)

Located in Albufeira, the Rocamar Beach Hotel is a trendy, modern hotel close to the Old Town Square and Fisherman’s Beach. The hotel offers a full service spa, an outdoor pool with a pool bar, a restaurant and a lounge bar for afternoon cocktails.

Casa d’Alagoa (£)

A hostel in a renovated mansion is always a plus, but Casa d’Alagoa also offers spacious dorms, a funky lounge and an upstairs terrace to relax on. The hostel is well known for hosting lively ‘Sangria Barbeque Nights’.

Where to eat

Eating out in The Algarve means savouring traditional Portuguese food and enjoying meals at international restaurants at value for money prices. Do what the locals do at lunch and order a ‘dish of the day’ with Portuguese wine or beer.

Restaurante O Barradas (£££)

Located in a converted country farmhouse in Silves, Restaurante O Barrada boasts a beautiful garden terrace, an indoor fireplace and traditional Portuguese dishes. Try Atlantic Kebabs with prawns and squid or oven baked fish, ‘Algarvio’.

O Luar de Fóia (££)

With a lively vibe, this Fóia restaurant serves up traditional Portuguese fare like wild boar, suckling pig and fresh seafood in a rustic setting with fantastic views. Try the chicken piri-piri as the house specialty.

A Forja (£)

A Forja restaurant is located in the vibrant town of Lagos. It’s a simple, family friendly restaurant with a menu mixed with both international favourites and local specialties at great prices. You can get a hamburger and fries, or try a local dish like Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato – clams in white wine.

Image source: (c) istock/thinkstock