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Algarve tips

(19 Posts)
kag2007 Tue 05-Feb-13 22:18:08

We are planning our first holiday abroad since having my DD who is now 4yrs! Looking into the algarve but we don't want to do a package deal and I'm a bit overwhelmed by where to go. We have 2 DC, 6yrs and 4yrs, I want a lovely beach, pool, nice clean hotel with entertainment but not interested in a kids club. We will fly into Faro. Any tips, recommendation would really help smile

Mewsical Tue 12-Feb-13 20:53:51

I could have written your post myself. I went years ago and stayed in Vilamoura and was thinking of going back. We stayed in November and it was cool so travelled alot. I remember Albufeira as having lovely beaches but lots of full English bars etc...Lagos was a nice place to visit but I wouldn't stay there. Sagres and Cap St Vincent and around the area was breath-taking with stunning but dangerous beaches for experienced surfers. Just starting to look at places now :-)

Goldenhandshake Tue 19-Feb-13 17:13:59

I can throroughly recommend Praia da Rocha, it's a lovely friendly resort with a gorgeous beach, have been twice with small children and it was fab.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Tue 19-Feb-13 17:17:23

I can throroughly recommend Praia da Rocha

That is good to know, we're going there in May for a week.

FlouncingMintyy Tue 19-Feb-13 17:38:18

Another vote for Praia da Rocha and while you are there, you really must make the effort to go inland slightly and visit Monchique which is a fruit/wine growing area and absolutely stunningly beautiful (think lush verdant terraced hillsides and small white houses with terracotta tiled rooves).

Grannylipstick Tue 19-Feb-13 21:37:06

We have stayed at real grande in Santa aulilia. It's a 5 euro taxi ride into albufeira. Fab hotel. Lovely beach. Has a kids club, although we didn't use it. Thoroughly recommend it. Been about 5 times.

DottyandSpottyWot Wed 20-Feb-13 13:45:07

We are staying here in June! Never been to the area before and can't wait to go!

Goldenhandshake Wed 20-Feb-13 14:35:51

hellhasnofury I am jealous! That is the only place I have been to and had such a strong urge to return again, having been twice we decided to wait a few years before going back smile

nevermindthecrocodiles Wed 20-Feb-13 14:42:06

I used to live in Praia da Luz - although it's not very nice there anymore, plus not very many children after Madeline disappearing sad Sagres is lovely, as is Praia da Rocha. Outside Lagos or Portimao is good - lovely beaches & lots for kids to do, but nice & quiet.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 20-Feb-13 14:54:59

We're off to Lagos for 10 days at the end of July - good to hear that, nevermind, sounds just what I wanted. smile

OBface Wed 20-Feb-13 22:29:41

I can second the recommendation for Lagos - hands down my favourite place in the Algarve. Have a lovely holiday Grumpy!

BamBamAndPebbles Wed 20-Feb-13 22:35:32

Be prepared for the sea-it's freezing.

Be prepared to be mithered to death by blind/disabled/deaf people when you're out and about. They beg for money. Literally come to your table, hand a note saying they're blind or whatever and ask for money.

Keep your valuables safe if you go to any markets.

We went to vilamoura and albufeira a couple of years ago. It was a nice place but just be aware that there are opportunists there(arguably like any other holiday destination)

Goldenhandshake Thu 21-Feb-13 12:53:12

Oh yes I had forgottent he freezing sea, it can also be quite choppy, a woman in our party gor her bikini top knocked off by a giant wave haha!

Luckily we didn't experience any of the opportunists that bambam mentions

Bellini12 Thu 21-Feb-13 14:00:41

I can recommend the area west of Albufeira - Sao rafael - we've been there 3 times now. It's not tacky and the beaches are lovely little coves with just a restaurant & toilet facilities on. Some are hidden away and only full of locals. The beauty is the sea is often protected so you don't get the crashing waves and there may be some little pools for the kids to paddle in. Don't go to Albufeira unless it's to go shopping! We've never had a decent meal there despite trying for years!

Mewsical Thu 21-Feb-13 22:11:50

Oh granny!!! I should've checked in sooner. I was stuck between the Grande Real and somewhere else but chickened out as I knew of no one who had been....maybe next year. Thought it might be difficult to go self-catering so far from the town.Beach looks amazing though.Booked my holiday yesterday. I will miss my sardine paste this year.The Burghau beach bar is nice to sit and drink on top of the waves (IIRC,it's on stilt type things)

Murtette Wed 27-Feb-13 22:19:57

Sao Rafael is gorgeous. Not only are the bays really protected from the crashing waves & the beaches small, but there are life guards. We also like Lagos. Found Praia da Luz to be a bit small.

secretscwirrels Fri 01-Mar-13 13:34:22

Alvor is fabulous.
Why on earth wouldn't you do a package deal? It invariably works out cheaper unless you are flying in the middle of the night with a budget airline from Gatwick.

Ruthiebabes Fri 01-Mar-13 17:13:51

We are off to Alvor for 1st time this year.. been to Lagos four times.

We have booked an apt at Alto Club.. booked independently and flights separately... although flights now v expensive for Aug!! (I booked flights the day they were released)

Cant wait.. have heard great things about Alvor.

secretscwirrels Fri 01-Mar-13 18:31:20

Alvor is one of the best resorts I've been to. Went a couple of times when DSs were about 10/12ish.
The beach is just stunning, true the sea is BRRR but the waves are fun.
The resort has cobbled streets, a harbour and superb reasonably priced restaurants. I find that where AI has taken hold the resorts restaurants suffer.This hadn't affected Alvor when we were there although the recession had.

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