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Holidays

Spain, Portugal, AI? villa?...help!

18 replies

TwigTheWonderKid · 14/05/2022 18:47

I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and want to take our 13 & 16yo DSs on a holiday in June before life gets complicated with operations and treatment.

We haven't been away for a couple of years as I found all the covid testing and regulation too stressful and I am desperate to have a lovely, relaxing week with my husband and boys.

Previously, when we've been abroad we've mainly holidayed in Italy and Norway and had a few October half terms in Lanzarote but I think the boys would like to try Spain (inc islands), or maybe Portugal or possibly Greece.

DH's perfect holiday would be a villa in the middle of nowhere but he can't drive and I don't want to drive on holiday so our ideal place would be somewhere quiet-ish where you don't need a car with some nice little restaurants and shops within walking distance, a nice beach and a little harbour where we could take a boat trip. I think we're open to the idea of a villa with a private pool or hotel although both boys absolutely love swimming so I guess a hotel might have the edge there.

I've been looking at some all-inclusive hotels as I think the boys might like the idea of being able to grab drinks and snacks whenever they like and lots of them have tennis courts and football pitches, which they'd love, but so many of these kinds of hotels look like enormous soulless compounds, which is not really the kind of thing we like.

Oh god I am rambling! I think because of everything going on it feels like so much is riding on this holiday.

Any help or suggestions would be very welcome, please.

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Eddiesferret · 14/05/2022 18:55

Completely understand. Personally I would go for AI in Greece.. if you have a villa the 'self' catering will be YOU ! and you need to relax.

However more importantly above the holiday is why doesn't DH drive !! If he has a medical condition like epilepsy then fair enough .. but even severely disabled wheelchair bound peeps can get an adapted car through motorbility.. (tax insurance incl) So he needs to step up. If you have cheer you do not need to be the one with the driving responsibilities on you !

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Eddiesferret · 14/05/2022 18:56

Cheer ? Couldn't be a worse typo.. Chemo

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hellcatspanglelalala · 14/05/2022 19:00

Have a look at Tavira in Portugal. It is a really nice little resort that isn't too commercialised, it isn't far from Faro for the airport and has a train station so you can visit other places if you wish, and a taxi boat to take you to the beach.

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TwigTheWonderKid · 14/05/2022 19:22

hellcatspanglelalala · 14/05/2022 19:00

Have a look at Tavira in Portugal. It is a really nice little resort that isn't too commercialised, it isn't far from Faro for the airport and has a train station so you can visit other places if you wish, and a taxi boat to take you to the beach.

Thank you, that definitely looks like the kind of place we'd like.

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TwigTheWonderKid · 14/05/2022 19:26

Eddiesferret · 14/05/2022 18:55

Completely understand. Personally I would go for AI in Greece.. if you have a villa the 'self' catering will be YOU ! and you need to relax.

However more importantly above the holiday is why doesn't DH drive !! If he has a medical condition like epilepsy then fair enough .. but even severely disabled wheelchair bound peeps can get an adapted car through motorbility.. (tax insurance incl) So he needs to step up. If you have cheer you do not need to be the one with the driving responsibilities on you !

Wow, a lot of assumptions, and unasked for advice there @Eddiesferret! I am a crap cook so it would be DH doing any cooking, although we'd be much more likely to eat out at local restaurants than actually self cater because, as you point out, it's a holiday!

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Eddiesferret · 14/05/2022 20:46

Ok .. that's good.. but what about the driving ???

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OlafLovesAnna · 14/05/2022 21:09

The Pestana, the Bahia, or one of the hotels in Guia in Cascais. They won't be cheap in school hols though.


Great pools, walkable or Uber into town with lots of restaurants, a few beaches you can walk to.


The train station is also in town and will take you into the centre of Lisbon if you fancy that.

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TwigTheWonderKid · 14/05/2022 21:13

Thank you for your concern but we live in London and don't need to rely on a car. Now, do you have any useful holiday recommendations?

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PineMartenPeanutbutter · 14/05/2022 21:13

Skala in Kefalonia. Lots of restaurants , beach (pebbles), boat trips. Water sports. No need for a car. It’s a lovely little town.

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TwigTheWonderKid · 14/05/2022 21:14

Sorry that was for @Eddiesferret

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Gottoomuchgoingon · 14/05/2022 23:16

We stayed at Salgados Palm village which is outside Albuferia. It's AI so you don't need to find restaurants. A quick taxi takes you to Albufeira which has lots of lovely places to eat. I'd probably go a little further into town if I went again.
TUI blue in the algarve Hotel Felicia is amazing but may be adults only.

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Keladrythesaviour · 14/05/2022 23:30

How about somewhere near Marina Rubicon, Plays Blanca, Lanzarote? We rented a villa (from a friend so can't recommend I'm afraid) which was just a short walk along the promenade from the Marina and it is BEAUTIFUL. Lots of restaurants and cafes in the Marina. A lovely mix of easy going and nicer places. We are real foodies and were impressed with the quality. No idea about nightlife as not our thing but definitely some bars. You've got lots of beaches you can walk or get easy taxis too, especially Parrot beach (which is fab so long as you don't mind a bit of nudity). It's central so you can get day ticket visits to the main sights, volcano trips, boat trips etc. Activities for the kids if they want it.
Lots of accomodation around there though as always comes at a price if you want to be really close. Some of the villas will have private pools if you like a bit of separation, but anywhere in that local area will be easy for taxis.
I much prefer Marina Rubicon to Play Blanca itself - that's much more 'touristy'. I mean it all is, let's be honest, but MR has a bit more elegance about it. We had a really lovely week there, 4 adults (DH, me and my parents) and had so much to see and do. Weather is stunning but with a strong breeze that can help things cool down and once you get over the hardness of the black landscape you realise how beautiful it is there.

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loadypoady · 15/05/2022 08:46

I’d recommend Tavira also.
We were there in March for the first time and I cannot wait to return.

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rookiemere · 15/05/2022 09:13

Have a look at James villas. I'm pretty sure there is an option there to select if car is required or optional. It sounds like a villa on a complex or within walking distance of restaurants etc. would work well for you.
Canaries probably have lots that fit the bill. In Tenerife there are places like Baobaob suites which are two bedroom apartments but with their own space and walking distance to the amenities. Or a villa in La Caleta would also work well.

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TwigTheWonderKid · 15/05/2022 09:45

Keladrythesaviour · 14/05/2022 23:30

How about somewhere near Marina Rubicon, Plays Blanca, Lanzarote? We rented a villa (from a friend so can't recommend I'm afraid) which was just a short walk along the promenade from the Marina and it is BEAUTIFUL. Lots of restaurants and cafes in the Marina. A lovely mix of easy going and nicer places. We are real foodies and were impressed with the quality. No idea about nightlife as not our thing but definitely some bars. You've got lots of beaches you can walk or get easy taxis too, especially Parrot beach (which is fab so long as you don't mind a bit of nudity). It's central so you can get day ticket visits to the main sights, volcano trips, boat trips etc. Activities for the kids if they want it.
Lots of accomodation around there though as always comes at a price if you want to be really close. Some of the villas will have private pools if you like a bit of separation, but anywhere in that local area will be easy for taxis.
I much prefer Marina Rubicon to Play Blanca itself - that's much more 'touristy'. I mean it all is, let's be honest, but MR has a bit more elegance about it. We had a really lovely week there, 4 adults (DH, me and my parents) and had so much to see and do. Weather is stunning but with a strong breeze that can help things cool down and once you get over the hardness of the black landscape you realise how beautiful it is there.

That's exactly where we go when we go to Lanzarote in October half term! We stay at the Hotel Volcan which is fab and suits us perfectly. But for this holiday I definitely want to take them somewhere else.

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LizzieMacQueen · 15/05/2022 09:47

I cannot recommend highly enough the Mark Warner Lemnos resort. If I recall they fly weekly from Gatwick. The whole flight is filled with people going to the same destination. Loads of great water sports and tennis too.

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BarbaraofSeville · 15/05/2022 10:25

Eddiesferret · 14/05/2022 18:55

Completely understand. Personally I would go for AI in Greece.. if you have a villa the 'self' catering will be YOU ! and you need to relax.

However more importantly above the holiday is why doesn't DH drive !! If he has a medical condition like epilepsy then fair enough .. but even severely disabled wheelchair bound peeps can get an adapted car through motorbility.. (tax insurance incl) So he needs to step up. If you have cheer you do not need to be the one with the driving responsibilities on you !

Why will the self catering be the OP?

There's 4 of them quite capable of shopping, sorting food/drinks, wiping up and doing the dishwasher. What else is there to do?

They could get a nice villa in walking distance of shops, restaurants, beach etc, and they can stock up on drinks, snacks, ice creams etc, relax reading by the pool, swim, go to the beach, go out to eat, maybe a trip out or two.

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Sswhinesthebest · 15/05/2022 10:30

OlafLovesAnna · 14/05/2022 21:09

The Pestana, the Bahia, or one of the hotels in Guia in Cascais. They won't be cheap in school hols though.


Great pools, walkable or Uber into town with lots of restaurants, a few beaches you can walk to.


The train station is also in town and will take you into the centre of Lisbon if you fancy that.

Agree this would be good.

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