Winter Sun in the Algarve
Disclaimer: Please make sure you are up to date with the government’s latest foreign travel advice by checking out our blog post on travelling to Portugal during the coronavirus before booking a holiday. It is also worth noting that, due to COVID-19, some attractions listed in this blog post may not be currently operating.
September has got us all thinking of ways to extend our days in the sun this year. As far as year-round sun, short flight times and destinations that won't break the bank go, your choices are limited to the Canaries, southern Spain, Morocco, Egypt and the Algarve. So if you’re looking for some winter sun and have already been to the Canaries then we suggest Portugal and her Algarve as an excellent choice for some winter rays.
Portugal’s southern coast has been a magnet for British tourists since travel began and is now brimming with expats who never wanted to leave. The area is jam packed with things to do that appeal to English tastes from amazing golf courses for the active through to sports bars for the less so and a thousand things in between.
The Algarve is home to some crystal clear and sometimes bracing Atlantic waters, long stretches of golden sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs carved from years of those Atlantic waves crashing against them. The Algarve is a perfect place for those looking to travel on a budget or even those looking for some low cost luxury, with so many cheap carriers flying there daily - and Teletext has some of the best package deals on the market.
If the price, year-round sun and plenty to do were not reason enough to visit, we present you with three more fabulous reasons to make the Algarve your next slice of winter sun.
1) Algarve Beaches
The Algarve has some of the longest and most desirable beaches on offer on the peninsula and all of different sand, cliff and rock varieties. Some of the region’s beaches are lined with amazing rock formations that are a hallmark of the Algarve. However, the most famous example of this is Marinha Beach in Lagoa. This picture postcard view of the Algarve is known the world over as one of the most iconic and beautiful beaches anywhere. Marinha Beach is very desirable and has excellent waters for family seaside fun.
If you’d like to stay close to this famous beach and be in the heart of the Algarve at a reasonable price then we recommend the Pestana Palm Gardens from £149 per person per week.
“The Pestana Palm Gardens Hotel (part of the renowned Pestana hotel chain) rests on an elevated position near the town of Carvoeiro with panoramic views of the ocean and is just 200m from the access to the beach in the holiday paradise of the Algarve. Perfect for a relaxing holiday experience, the four-star Pestana Palm Gardens Hotel offers 78 one- and two-bedroom townhouses accommodating three or five people with full kitchen facilities, an outdoor pool, fitness and spa facilities and excellent service combined with warm hospitality.”
2) The Portuguese Food
There’s more to Portuguese food than port and pastel de nata, but even if there wasn’t, that’s reason enough to go! The UK fell in love with port hundreds of years ago but only in the last decade do we find the delicious egg tarts known as pastel de nata in every supermarket and local bakery across the country. And let us tell you, the shop-bought versions can't match the real thing, fresh from an Algarve bakery.
The Algarve is, of course, famous for fresh fish dishes and seafood platters. This is the Atlantic coast after all and fishermen toil daily to bring tourists the freshest catch of the day. It’s not all fish though. With the sun shining for 300 days a year, the sun-ripened fruit and vegetables are amazing in fresh salads and the local meat speciality - Leitao - is a herb-encased, 24-hour roasted pig... delicious for those who eat meat!
Like the Spanish, the Portuguese are also notoriously generous and kind hosts, so expect an extra drink with your meal or a free cake with your coffee that you’d never get in a British restaurant.
3) The Culture and History of the Algarve
If you can’t choose between a winter sun holiday in the Canaries or the Algarve then the rich culture and history of the Algarve may certainly swing you in Portugal’s direction.
This area has been inhabited for millennia by Portuguese, Spanish and Moors, all of whom have left their influences on the Algarve (as the English expats are doing today). This history is due to its position on the southwestern tip of Europe as a maritime capital and an important centre for the exploration of the Americas.
This history is due to its position on the SW tip of Europe, a maritime capital and an important centre for the exploration of the Americas.
It’s not necessary to go to a museum to see the Algarve’s past as her living history is all around us. You’ll be enthralled exploring the cobbled streets of the towns and villages whose buildings can be traced back to the region’s Moorish era, like the Castle of Silves. The castle is located on a hilltop and provides stunning panoramic views across the landscape beneath.
If you’re interested in spending a week or two in the Algarve then we recommend giving us a call and letting us find the best deal for you and your party at an unbeatable price.