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What's the Algarve like for a 2 year old?

(20 Posts)
adifferentwoman Tue 08-Sep-09 11:12:48

Trying to get a last minute villa in the Algarve for our first trip abroad with ur 2 year old dd. Hubbie not keen on flying, so Portugal's flight time seems ideal as not too long. Have never been there before, but get the sense it can be rather commercialised or golf focused. Not keen on tacky resorts or golf, but also conscious that we need to find somewhere with entertainment for our dd. Comments appreciated!

nevergoogledragonbutter Wed 09-Sep-09 01:25:30

Lagos is nice. Also Luz.

frazzled74 Wed 09-Sep-09 11:55:22

we went to luz last year as our first hol abroad with 2 yr old. It was lovely and relaxing. nice family friendly retaurants, decent supermarket, good bus links if you want to explore. beach was nice and child friendly ,wooden walkways meant we could take buggy on sands.swings etc on beach, lots of children played there in evenings.

BerylCole Wed 09-Sep-09 11:59:26

We went to Lagos earlier this year, but hired a car and drove out to other areas almost every day) If you hire a car the Algarve is absolutely fab, as there lots of places to explore. Gorgeous beaches in abundance. Family friendly pretty much everywhere. You have to hunt for really good, local restaurants anywhere where tourists congregate, though.

mosschops30 Wed 09-Sep-09 12:05:39

We went this year and I have two words:

*NEVER AGAIN*

we holiday every year, usually balearic islands or canary islands and love it, spending quality time with the dc's in a relaxed quiet atmosphere.
We hated the Algarve, we had a car for the 2 weeks, but that only extended our horror!
I would say the only half decent place was Lagos, but even then you couldnt sit through a meal or walk through the streets without being accosted by beggars or peeople putting cards on tables whilst youre eating asking for money because they had 'disabilities'!

Every resort we visited was the same, Vilamoura (again beggars galore and overpriced restaurants), Albufera (a bit like Blackpool only worse with tacky bars and lap dancing clubs, dh also got offered drugs here shock).

IMHO Menorca is a much better option with little ones, far more family friendly. If I wanted my children to see beggars and lap dancers Id take them to a major city for a holiday not a sunshine resort.

princessmel Wed 09-Sep-09 12:07:58

Never been but am nosy as to why you'd need 'entertainment' for your 2 yr old dd?

nigelslaterfan Wed 09-Sep-09 13:31:47

We go to the Algarve every year as relatives have a flat near Lagos and we love it there. I'm afraid I disagree with mosschops! If you eat very centrally in the busiest restaurants then maybe that happens, but I've been going for years and it's never happened to me. We stay West of Lagos. But for a two year old Luz would be ideal, lovely safe beach and a playground too. Lots of friendly restaurants. But Lagos is good too and is full of a real European mix. If you can get a place with a pool then that's ideal, the beach is harder work with a little one. We went this year for two weeks and I only took the baby to the beach once, sand, sand, everywhere, the pool is a little easier!

OrmIrian Wed 09-Sep-09 13:33:30

Very nice IME. People love little ones there.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mosschops30 Wed 09-Sep-09 13:37:03

nigel we did find some lovely restaurants, but my overall opinion of the Algarve was not good at all.

princessmel we always like some entertainment for the dc's, an evening mini disco or similar, love sitting with dh and a nice glass of wine watching ds bop away to the hokey cokey, it makes my holiday grin

mosschops30 Wed 09-Sep-09 13:38:05

agree with mmj we are going back to majorca this year, its not all lager louts and karaoke bars

nigelslaterfan Wed 09-Sep-09 13:44:17

fair enough mosschops, I just feel I have to stand up for it because we love it there so much.

But we used to go to Ibiza a lot, and that had some brilliant beaches and family friendly places despite its image.

BerylCole Wed 09-Sep-09 16:56:16

Different strokes, I guess. Not a Majorca fan. I found Palma poncey and hideously expensive, and Alcudia possibly the most horrific place I have ever holidayed. Had no problems with lager louts or beggars whatsoever in Portugal (although we went in June, so slightly off season, and didnt go to Albufeira at night).

I do like Ibiza a lot, though. There is another side to it away from the much publiciised night life, and some really lovely beaches.

adifferentwoman Wed 09-Sep-09 21:02:27

Thanks everyone. By entertainment, I just mean't things like zoos or farms. Interested in the comments about Majorca and Menorca as I thought that the weather might be a bit patchy there in October. What resorts are good for kids on those islands? I only know Palma from my hen weekend, so a slightly different experience required now!!!

princessmel Thu 10-Sep-09 09:59:59

Oh yes, I love a bit of a kids disco too

Not sure I'd bother with a farm or zoo on a beach holiday though.

mosschops30 Thu 10-Sep-09 11:27:46

I agree with princessmel, dont tend to do zooz and farms when on holiday, as its a holiday for everyone and dragging ourselves round stinky farm in hot weather is not our idea of fun.
Zoomarine in Portugal was ok, but overpriced I felt, was £75 for us to go as a family to see not very much.

We went to Cala Dor in Majorca and loved it, nice town and marina and great choice of restaurants. We are doing Sa Coma next year.

Can highly recommend Cala n Bosch in Menorca, I'd go there every year if dh would let us. Weve been twice and dd went again this year with my mother and they both loved it too.
Also agree with others about Ibiza, havent been for years but Santa Eulalia and Es Cana used to be lovely

princessmel Thu 10-Sep-09 16:03:01

Yep, beach and pool is all we want on this sort of holiday

Cala d'or is fab. Have taken the dc's 3 times and loved it.

Sidge Thu 10-Sep-09 16:10:07

We've been to the Algarve twice and loved it. But we had a private villa with a pool so very quiet and we didn't eat out in the main towns. We found a few local restaurants in Guia which was lovely, quiet and very family friendly.

We avoided Albufeira and all towns really and just did our own thing so probably not what you are planning if you want more to do.

Zoomarine is fun as is the waterpark (Aqualand?) and we found some little coves to splash in. Agree the water is chilly and not great for swimming but as DD was only 3 we paddled and rockpooled.

alypaly Sun 20-Sep-09 18:27:41

mosschops30 totally agree with you...NEVER AGAIN EITHER...like a third world estination,antiquated qater filtration systems...beggars galore...restaurants that were barely cafes. yuk...what a wast of money.
Albuferia was charcterless...and i was expecting soooo much after all the photos on tv..

hink i will stick to Halkidiki ...kassandra peninsula in greece...asolutely beautiful

alypaly Sun 20-Sep-09 18:29:15

sea not safe for a 2 year old....to many undercurrents and its frrrreeeezing.

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