First Time Holidays in the Algarve – Questions and Answers
You’ve made the decision. You’re next holiday destination is the Algarve, Portugal. You looked around, you did some research and the fabulous beaches, luxurious villas, superb apartments and resorts on offer in the Algarve won you over. Not to mention all that sunshine…..Now it’s time to decide exactly what type of holiday you want.
Here are some frequently asked questions and our expert answers:
1. Should I book a villa or an apartment?
When making this decision you should bear in mind how many people will be in your group. Typically an apartment is more suitable for couples or families up to 4 people and there is an excellent selection of one and two bedroom apartments available in Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, several with private pools or whirlpool bath too! For larger group holidays, villas are ideal, ranging from 3 bedroom to 6 bedrooms or more. Villas offer great privacy and plenty of space to spread out and enjoy the sun.
2. How do I choose a villa?
Decide what’s important to you. As all SandyBlue villas come with free extras like wi-fi, private pool and BBQs, ask yourself do you want a private pool that can be fenced and heated too, making it super family friendly? Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants? To the beach? Do you want privacy above all? Do you want super luxury and sleek modernity? How about a sun terrace with sea views?
3. How do I choose an apartment?
Settle on what is absolutely necessary for you to have a great holiday. Do you want a private pool? Would you prefer to stay in a resort with lots of amenities, activities and central reception? Or in a private condominium where you can be intrepidly independent?
4. Should I stay in a resort?
When you stay in a resort in the Algarve such as Dunas Douradas Beach Club, Monte da Quinta or Pine Cliffs you have a range of accommodation to choose from and you can also take advantage of the many facilities on offer. Resorts typically offer large communal pools, onsite restaurants and bars, mini-markets, entertainment for children and sports activities. Some have spas and gymnasiums. SandyBlue includes return Faro airport transfers when you stay at selected resorts.
5. What are the top things I should do when in the Algarve?
- Enjoy the sunset on the beach. Don’t rush off, stay late, enjoy the warm sea and a cold drink.
- Take a boat trip – explore the magical caves that dot the coastline and look for dolphins in the wild.
- Visit Zoomarine, a super marine fun park where you can enjoy dolphin and sea lion shows, visit the aquarium and feed rays, enjoy the pools, slides and ride.
- Or enjoy a fun day slipping and sliding around the slides and rides of Aquashow Water park.
- Eat. Sample the amazing array of fresh fish and seafood on offer, treat yourself to delicious Pastel de Nata (now world famous Portuguese custard tartlets) and indulge in a glass (or two) of underrated but very good and inexpensive Portuguese wine.
6. What do the locals do in their free time ?
- Off peak beach hours. The locals go to the beach either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, until sundown, with a long, leisurely lunch, and maybe a nap in between.
- Visit the local market. Pick up some amazing fresh fish, fruit and vegetables at a morning produce market.
- Explore the islands and sandbanks of the Ria Formosa park, home to generations of fishing families, free of traffic, and a world apart from the mainland.