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Long Weekend in the Algarve

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Old Aug 4, 17, 4:43 am
#1
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Long Weekend in the Algarve

The time has come to brave taking the small person on a plane. Sorry, Flyertalkers, there is soon to be yet one more screaming child in the air. But we will stop short of letting him kick the seat back - I will do that much for you...

...so we're flying to Faro. I haven't been down that way since in 30 years, and that was a very bucket-and-spade experience over in Albufeira. Am probably going to Airbnb it, as that suits us (weaning and bottle feeding really lend themselves to being in an apartment) so have plenty flexibility, but access to a pool and proximity to the sea (as that's something I miss living inland) are good things.

Our weekend/holiday pattern right now tends to be two excursions a day (one local, one less so), with a couple of hours rest in the middle. We're not 'relaxers' by any means - beaches are lovely and we'd look for them, but then half an hour later, we'd need something else to do. Good seafood (and fish markets!) and pastéis de nata are obligatory. We'll have a car. Would prefer a town with some 'substance' to it, rather than just a resort, whatever that means, but prefer not to stray too far from Faro, given the relatively short break.

Can you help with any particular tips or recommendations?
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Old Aug 4, 17, 5:58 am
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I would head to Sagres, in particular the Martinhal resort there. Yes its a bit further from Faro (~75 mins by car), you have the benefit of fantastic kids facilities, amazing scenery and beaches (both Med calm and Atlantic surf), and the benefits of a 'real' town, not the overpriced fakery you get along the Algarve.
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Old Aug 4, 17, 7:04 am
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I would stay in Lagos or Carvoeiro. Both great and nothing at all like Albufeira.
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Old Aug 4, 17, 7:52 am
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Lagos and Sagres were definitely on the radar - are they worth that extra journey even in that short a trip, though?

How would they compare with somewhere around Tavira? I realise that the actual coast is less accessible (i.e. via ferry) around here, but I remember liking the town on a previous visit.
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Old Aug 4, 17, 8:08 am
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Depending on your price point, you might want to check Pine Cliffs, specifically the (SPG) LC "suites" hotel in the resort complex (and attached to the regular LC hotel that once was a Sheraton) as those units appear to be oriented toward families. There are multiple overpriced restaurants in the complex, including a very good seafood place outdoors and a buffet restaurant that IIRC features seafood on Fridays. There's a small commercial area across the street from the main entrance that has a few restaurants and IIRC a grocery store (in addition to the one inside the resort, in the "residences" area. It's between the Faro airport and Albufiera
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:32 am
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Well... Ignored all of your advice (sorry!) and headed to Tavira. Wonderful area, and I thoroughly recommend it, although it's heavily weighted towards the self-catering side (which is what we wanted with the young'un). The beaches are slightly less accessible (you have to travel a couple of minutes by boat, or by narrow gauge railway in one case) but the fact that they are national park absolutely make up for it - unspoilt and beautiful.

Some excellent food around (Sta Luzia is an octopus fishing port, and the market at Olhao is highly recommended) and an overall very relaxed, laid back, quiet feel. Majority of non-Portuguese voices I heard were Spanish, then English, then the usual other Northern European suspects.

The city of Tavira itself is great to have on your doorstep, too. There's been a lot of money spent on this region, with good effect.

Definitely happy with my choice. Look forward to returning to visit some of the bits I didn't get to this time.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by stut View Post
... or by narrow gauge railway in one case
Pedras d'el Rei, more exactly Barril beach. great spot.

I missed the original question, but I would have suggested around Manta Rota, not far from Tavira.

In Cacela-a-velha (5min drive) there is some of the best seafood anywhere in Algarve.
And a great view
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