Southern Portugal is becoming that long-time friend you only see once in a while, but never lets you down. For the third year in a row, we’ve enjoyed unseasonably warm October weather and relaxation in the Algarve. And maybe a Super Bock or two.
After a brilliant week in sleepy Sagres last year, we chose more developed Vilamoura this year and stayed at the Hilton apartments – As Cascatas. Highly recommend it if you your looking for great staff, spacious well-equipped apartments, and a great pool area to spend your days chilling in the sun. So to speak. An hourly shuttle will take you to both the marina and the Hilton’s own beach club in around five minutes.
45 minutes from the fast growing Faro airport, Vilamoura is a relatively recently developed tourist town; its focal point being the busy marina, rich in a variety of restaurants and Irish style bars, with a huge collection of luxury yachts as a backdrop. It has an ever-increasing number of luxury developments as you move away from the center for those looking to make an investment, but plenty of good quality hotels around town as well. Not over-crowded in October, there was no need to book anywhere which was nice, and a very relaxed atmosphere whilst still being lively at the weekend. You need to stray a few streets back from the marina to find some more traditionally Portuguese restaurants and we even took a walk to nearby Quarteira one night (recommended by our taxi driver) which was well worth it. It felt much more like an authentically Portugese town and we stumbled into a great little eclectic bistro where the Brazilian waiter was learning English. Let’s just say he reminded me of the house-keeper in Robin Williams’ The Birdcage. The food totally hit the spot.
From our boat trip to nearby coastal caves, we could see that the beach in Vilamoura stretched almost all the way to Albufeira, so you wont struggle to find a free spot to pitch your parasol.
We just about beat the hurricane home on our flight and landed in 12 degrees back in an almost-wintery Scotland. Refreshed and re-charged after another great trip. Probably our last of the year (unless we can squeeze in some skiing before the year is out). 2017 took us to Canada, Austria, Costa Rica and Portugal.
Time to plan for 2018 ! Suggestions welcome. So much to see out there.
Enjoy the video by clicking here – Algarve Oct 17