Everything you ever wanted to know about great family holidays in the Algarve
Family holidays are when memories are made, that you'll share and laugh over for years to come. Below we answer some of your questions about your SandyBlue family holiday.
1. What’s the best time of year to visit the Algarve with young children?
If your children are very young and not yet in school, then May and September can be fabulous months to visit the Algarve. The weather is usually lovely but not as hot as the summer months, making it ideal for time at the beach with baby. If you are limited by the school calendar, don’t worry. The weather in the Algarve is normally not too hot – average temperture in July and August is 30ºc – and there is generally a refreshing sea breeze. While summer is everyone’s favourite time to visit, don’t ignore the chance to visit off peak season. Among the advantages are great value flights, quiet beaches and no queues at the waterparks! and for a break with tradition, why not spend Christmas and New Year in the Algarve?
2. Are the beaches safe for children?
Yes, they are. During the summer months most beaches along the Algarve coastline are manned by life guards. However, adults accompanying children to the beach must always be vigilant when the children decide to go for a swim. The beaches themselves are generally very clean and there are great support facilities at many beaches with super beach restaurants and cafés, toilets and showers and even first aid posts. You can hire out sunbeds and shades to keep out of the sun, or do as the locals do – lie right by the waters edge where it is cooler and set up your own sunshade.
3. There is a pool at the villa – can a pool fence be fitted?
Pool fences can be fitted at an extra charge around many of the pools at SandyBlue properties. Having a pool fence ensures much greater security for young children. Simply send us a request to install a fence before you are due to arrive.
4. What are the best family days out in the Algarve?
The top family days out definitely include trips to Zoomarine and Aquashow. Zoomarine is a marine theme park where you can see dolphins frolic and play, see amazing presentations with sealions and birds of prey, visit the aquarium and even feed the small rays. Aquashow is perfect for a fun day of sliding into pools. There is a great range of slides with both adrenaline busting and soothing rides on offer.
5. Are there any fun free things to do?
Yes, there are. During the summer months, there is free live entertainment with music, face painting and bouncy castles at the Vale do Lobo Praça. This is the central plaza in Vale do Lobo resort, right by the beach and surrounded by a great choice or restaurants and bars. It’s the perfect spot for family evenings – Mum and Dad can enjoy a meal or a drink, while the children have fun dancing to the music. Quinta do Lago also offers some great free entertainment –special mention for Friday evenings Picnic at the Park. Grab a blanket, grab some food and grab the kids, then head to the Driving Range where there is live music, entertainment for the children and lots of space for them to run around in.
6. Are there days out to suit both young children and teenagers?
Yes. It’s not always easy to find entertainment that suits a range of ages. In the Algarve you have several options. The waterparks are loved by everyone. Aquahow has a fabulous mix of slides – high and scary rides for the teens, fun wave pools for all and a large kiddies area with shallow pools and small rides specially made for junior visitors. Zoomarine is a hit with all, regardless of age. Segways tours are a fun way to get around and are suitable for all from about 7 years of age and the mini golf course is fun for adults, teens and younger children.
7. Do the restaurants welcome children?
Children are welcome pretty much everywhere you go in the Algarve and restaurants are generally no exception. Beachside restaurants are perfect for children as they have a readymade playground right there in the sand. Some restaurants not only have playgrounds but have child minders too, such as Parrilla Natural. Many restaurants have childrens’ menu’s too. As there is such a great range of cuisines available, even the pickiest eaters can find something to tempt them.
8. Do the supermarkets carry products I’ll be familiar with?
There are several supermarkets in the Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago areas. A favourite with visitors is the Apolonia supermarket in Almancil which carries a range of imported items that you will know well, including baby food and baby care items. If you do like to be a bit more adventurous, then the local Portuguese chain Pingo Doce has everything you could need, as well as many familiar brands. And of course, there are branches of Lidl and Aldi in the area too.