16 May 2018
It’s not difficult to see why the Algarve is one of Europe’s most popular destinations. As the southernmost region of continental Portugal, it is famed for its quaint, whitewashed fishing villages, rugged coastline with dramatic red-and-pink-hued cliffs, long stretches of golden, sandy beaches cast against the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean and a culinary scene headlined by six superb Michelin-starred restaurants.
There’s so much to explore in this incredible destination – keep reading for our top 10 reasons why the Algarve is perfect for a family holiday.
From fresh fish to tasty custard tart-like desserts, the Algarve is no stranger to great food. Six Michelin-star restaurants stand above the rest, but there are plenty of fantastic restaurants dotted all over the region from the welcoming Jompra Restaurant to Arte Náutica Beach Restaurant with its wonderful coastal views.
It’s hard to go to the Algarve and avoid its selection of fantastic water parks. Always a favourite with kids is Aquashot Park Hotel, popular for its 50-foot-high snake waterslide, while the Kamikaze at Aqualand in Alcantarillha will have you going from 0-120 feet in just four seconds. There’s also Slide & Splash in Estombar which is spread over 17 acres and has the adrenaline-inducing Tornado and Turbulent River.
Not a world away from the Irish seaside holiday, rockpooling is also a staple of Algarvian resorts such as Praia do Amoreira. Here you’ll find those pools harbouring varied marine life including starfish and sea urchins.
Portugal remains one of the most affordable destinations on the continent, offering visitors the elegance and enchantment of Western Europe at prices you’d find in the east. You’ll be able to find the best savings on an Algarve family holiday in the shoulder seasons of the May and October half terms.
From the endless, golden, blue-flag stretches of sand at Praia do Ancao with its calm, swimmable seas, protected dunes and sunbeds aplenty to the blend of white sands and black rocks at the wilder Praia de Albandeira, the Algarve is renowned for its coastal excellence.
At the height for summer, visitors to the Algarve can expect temperatures to be around 28°C with 11 hours of daily sunshine, with only a single day of rain per month. Even if you go during October half-term you’ll find the Algarve to be a pleasant 22°C, while in May the mercury rises to 25°C.
The Algarve is home to some of Europe’s finest family hotels and resorts from the opulent Pine Cliffs, with extensive on-site sports and clubs for children, to cosier hotels like the Anantara Vilamoura, where every member of the family will be made to feel welcome.
Praia da Marinha, in central Algarve, has translucent seas and is the best location in the district for snorkelling, while in the west there are perfect surfing conditions with schools for varying levels of ability. You can try your hand at water skiing, which can be done in the calmer waters off Quinta do Lago, where you can also saddle up for a banana boat ride or jet ski session.
To see sea life in its natural habitat, head to Sagres’ Mar Ilmitado, which specialises in marine wildlife-watching. Accompanied by marine biologists, guests will be taken out to sea where they are likely to spot sea turtles, porpoises, shearwaters and gannets.
Just under three hours away from the Ireland and with daily flights connecting a number of regional airports to the Algarve’s hub in Faro, flying to the south Portugal sun is as stress-free as it gets.
Spend your next family holiday in the Algarve – contact your local Travel Counsellor for more information.