By Kim Nash
One of my most favourite holiday destinations in the world is The Algarve.
With a flight that is only just over 2 hours, and a lovely warm climate most of the year round, it’s a perfect place for the whole family to visit.The people are really friendly, the scenery is stunning and there are lots of fabulous places to stay.
We’ve visited several times now and have stayed in both private villas and also a couple of hotels. Whilst having a villa and pool to yourself is wonderful, it’s also lovely to be in a hotel and have someone else do the cooking and washing up!
Last year, we stayed at The Balai Atlantico Aparthotel (pictured left), just outside of Albufeira and was the most fabulous all-inclusive holiday that we could ever have wished for. Delicious food, great facilities, a modern one bedroomed apartment, and a terrace where steps led down to the pool area made this a relaxing, lazy holiday that was just what the doctor ordered! You do need a car or to get taxis though if you are staying here as it is slightly outside of the town.
We have also stayed at the Paraiso de Albufeira Hotel Apartments which was a great base for a holiday, where a short walk took you straight into the town.
Albufeira itself, is a lively resort, with a town square which is packed full of bars, restaurants and shops and lots of narrow streets leading to the beach and this is a resort which is only a 30 minute drive from the airport. It’s also not far from one of my most favourite places; Villamoura - a golfing haven but also a place where the rich and famous go shopping! Last year we also discovered Villamoura Old Town which is a huge estate littered with small to enormous villas, apartments and hotels and looks like a lovely place to stay.
Gale is also a lovely little resort, further along the coast where we found a fantastic beach-side restaurant where you can just sit and watch the world go by next to a lovely long beach or a secluded little cove.
Alvor is a fabulous village again with streets that come alive in the evenings and some wonderful places to eat with the most fabulous fish restaurants. There is a gorgeous beach nearby called Tres Irmaos which (if you can find a space to park!) is well worth the visit with caves that you can explore and rocks to climb making this a great beach day out or a lovely resort to base your stay.
All in all, you may have gathered by now – I love The Algarve – but do be warned, in The Algarve, sometimes the sea can be quite cold and a little on the lively side!