Where to stay in the Algarve
The Algarve is a holidaymaker’s dream; it’s the most popular destination in Portugal and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With long sweeps of golden sand and hidden coves tucked away into the Algarve’s gorgeous coastline, this destination is guaranteed to keep beach-lovers happy. The majority of beaches are also child-friendly and easily accessible with gently sloping shores and calm, clean water; this is one of the reasons the Algarve is so popular with families. The weather is glorious with warm winters and beautifully sunny, hot summers. Factor in hotels to suit all budgets, welcoming hospitality, picturesque towns, world-class golf courses and the perfect mix of tradition and tourist-appeal and you’ve got a sure-fire holiday hotspot.
Albufeira beautifully blends the Portuguese old-world with a vibrant new town, making it a fantastic, all-round destination for holidaymakers who prefer their break with a touch of variety. With around 25 beaches to explore, many of which are Blue Flag and have lifeguards on standby, Albufeira promises to keep you beach-happy as you relax on the golden sand or take a dip in the sparkling sea.
For shopping and the best nightlife, head to the Albufeira strip in the new town. The south end is bursting with restaurants, bars, clubs, shops and neon lights, creating a lively atmosphere and plenty to see. The north end of the strip is a little calmer with designer boutiques and lots more greenery and gardens.
Albufeira old town is relaxed and pretty with a picturesque central square lined with trees, cafes and restaurants. Venture off into the maze of surrounding streets and discover little shops filled with gifts, leather goods and clothes. The bars in the old town stay open into the early hours, creating a lively buzz in this beautiful and charming setting.
Modern Vilamoura is a popular and upbeat holiday destination; you’ll find the heart of holiday activity centring around the stylish marina. Think designer shops, restaurants, stylish bars, cocktail lounges and some amazing yachts for you to admire. If you want to rub shoulders with the travel-elite then this is the destination for you, attracting the rich and sometimes famous from all round the globe.
Vilamoura has two beautiful beaches, one either side of the marina. With lovely sand sloping gently into the turquoise sea, these beaches are family-friendly and they’re long enough to accommodate sun-worshipping, beach bars and water sports.
If yacht-envy gets the better of you then there are plenty boat trips available; spend the day relaxing at sea, dolphin-spotting or exploring the Algarve’s spectacular coast. Vilamoura is a golfer’s paradise; it boasts several championship courses and there are some hotels that offer special golf packages for their guests. If you fancy a change to your evening routine then pay a visit to Casino Vilamoura.
If a pretty seaside town with a huge beach is your idea of holiday heaven then Praia de Rocha is the perfect destination for you. Explore the nearby area and you’ll find several more gorgeous beaches such as Praia dos Três Castelos, Praia do Amado and Praia do Barranco das Canas. Praia da Rocha beach is lined with restaurants, beach bars and cafes that run alongside a wooden walkway – great for families or wheelchair users.
One of the reasons Praia da Rocha is such a popular resort is that it caters for all types of holiday makers, from night owls through to families and couples. The main avenue is packed with places to eat, drink and shop with bars and clubs that come alive in the evening.
Praia da Rocha is next to the Portimão marina which is another beautiful spot to appreciate luxury yachts; it’s got trendy bars, lots of restaurants and plenty of sports and leisure activities. Take a day trip to Porto, a city bursting with character and culture, or journey 30 minutes in the car and enjoy splash thrills at Aqualand waterpark. The Zoomarine animal park is also within driving distance and is a great day out for the family to enjoy.
5* Crowne Plaza Vilamoura
From £42pppn Bed and Breakfast*
From £15pppn Bed and Breakfast*
5* Tivoli Marina Vilamoura*
From £46pppn Bed and Breakfast*
5* Tivoli Victoria
From £41pppn Bed and Breakfast*
4* Vila Gale Ampalis Hotel
From £28pppn Bed and Breakfast*
4* Paraiso Albufeira Hotel
From £10pppn Self Catering*
From £9pppn Self Catering
*Prices based on 2 adults sharing from the 18-25th April 2015. Prices correct when checked 15th January 2015