Hotels in Algarve
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The Algarve: Portugal’s Crown Jewel
Beautiful beaches, picturesque scenery and friendly locals make the Algarve a standout destination when it comes to tourism in Portugal. Millions of visitors make their way to this part of the world each year, many looking to enjoy a slice of the easy life. Whether it’s lazing on a sandy beach, surveying the rugged coastline, exploring historic sites or taking on the challenge of 18 holes of championship golf, unwinding in the Algarve is not a problem. Not a problem at all.
The City of Faro
The city of Faro generally serves as a gateway for travellers making their way to the Algarve. Most arrive via the international airport and either book into a hotel in the city or hire a car and head out to an alternative destination. Visitors staying in Faro are treated to sandy beaches, good restaurants and a friendly atmosphere. The city also offers a number of interesting attractions. The Old Town area of the city is recommended for those travellers that like to glimpse back into the past. Its narrow, winding streets lead to the Governor’s Palace and the Cathedral of Faro, two of the most photo-friendly sites in the city. The esplanade and marina are ideal for those looking to enjoy the typical trappings of a coastal vacation, offering bars, restaurants, cafés and more. Both are close to most of the cities hotels, including the resort hotels found along the beachfront. Travellers staying in Faro will find the city well-positioned for further exploration around the Algarve, with many destinations in day-trip territory.
Few could argue that the beaches found in the Algarve are amongst the best in Portugal, if not the whole of Europe. With more than 80 Blue Flag-approved beaches, there’s no shortage of choice. Many travellers opt to stick to the resort-style beaches close to their hotel, which is just fine. However, those that dare to be adventurous are often rewarded with some scenic, tranquil choices. Recommended beaches off the beaten path include Praia de Albandeira and Prai da Marinha, both in the central part of the Algarve, as well as Praia do Odeceixe towards the west of the region. As well as beaches with soft, white sands, you’ll also find postcard-ready beaches featuring rocky features and colourful shells. Some beaches are suitable for swimming and surfing, whilst other aren’t quite safe, so be sure to check before you enter the water.
Savvy golfers know that the Algarve is a veritable treasure trove when it comes to top-quality golf courses. There are said to be as many as 35 different golf clubs in the region, offering either nine, 18 or 36 holes of world-class golf. Popular choices with visiting golfers include the Oceanico courses at Vilamoura (designed by Arnold Palmer) and the Monta Rei courses at Vila Nova de Cacela (designed by Jack Nicklaus). Vale do Lobo’s Royal Course, popular with PGA golfers and amateurs alike, is said to feature one of the most scenic holes you’re likely to see this side of the 19th hole at Legend Resort in South Africa. Here, the 16th stretches out adjacent to the Atlantic waters and features rocky cliffs between the tee box and the green. In general, many of the golf clubs in the Algarve allow non-members to tee off. However, some courses, including the San Lorenzo Golf Club, have exclusive deals with hotels, meaning that if you don’t stay in the right hotel you won’t be able to book a slot.
Families visiting the Algarve will find a number of water-based attractions to enjoy during their trip. The region is known for its many water parks, where you can enjoy large pool, water slides, and various water-based rides. The three main water parks in the region are Aqualand in Alcantarilha, Aquashow Park in Quarteira, and Slide & Splash in Estombar. The Aquashow Park also features its own hotel, which can make life easier for those families expecting to spend a lot of time splashing around. Another water park, but one with a difference, Zoomarine is also popular with tourists and locals. In addition to its pools and slides, the park also features sea lion, seal and dolphin shows, and offers visitors the chance to swim with dolphins. The park champions conservation, providing lectures and learning experiences, as well as rehabilitation programmes for injured marine life.
The Algarve at Large
Past visitors, particularly those that make a habit of returning to the region, all have their own favourite little corner of the Algarve. In the west of the region, popular destinations include Sagres and Portimão. The former is a quiet and picturesque port town, where you’ll find fishing boats and lighthouses. The latter is a livelier resort town, complete with expansive hotels, quality restaurants and white sandy beaches. A visit to the castle comes heartily recommended too. To the east of the Algarve, the town of Loulé has become a regular site of pilgrimage for those of the Catholic faith, who visit the Church of Our Lady of Piety. It’s also home to a 13th century castle and the Festival of White Light. A border town at the Portuguese-Spanish frontier, Vila Real de Santo António has a real charm about it. It features an historic fortress and a pleasant town square.
Price rangefrom NZ$17to NZ$8,356
Hotel Balaia Atlântico Albufeira
Blue Bay Balaia Atlântico is located in Albufeira and is set on a natural oasis. This four-star hotel never fails to astound guests the moment they see it. It is surrounded by majestic beaches and stunning seas. The hotel has 138 rooms and each room features a minimalist design, accentuated with vibrant colours. A furnished private balcony offers views that will take your breath away! An outdoor pool is located on-site. Guests can have fun in the games room and the fitness centre features state-of-the-art equipment. The hotel’s spa aims to offer the best natural treatments. A minigolf course and a tennis court are also available for use. Panorámico Restaurant offers various dishes that awaken the taste buds. The hotel has two bars, namely Aquarium Snack Bar and Al-Buhera Bar. Blue Bay Balaia Atlântico is a 15-minute drive from the city centre. more
Hotel Hotel Aldeia da Falésia Albufeira
Located next to Epic Sana, Hotel Aldeia da Falésia is a family-friendly accommodation in Albufeira. Guestrooms are equipped with modern conveniences such as a television, coffee/tea maker, and a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, and cookware. Other perks include a private balcony, as well as a private bathroom with a jetted bathtub and bidet. There are two outdoor pools on the property – a children's pool is included. Bicycle rentals are available on site, and there is a games room and billiards within the hotel. There is an in-house snack bar, the perfect place for grabbing a bite to eat. The cosy bar/lounge is a great spot to mingle with other guests. Hotel Aldeia da Falésia is less than two miles away from Belharucas Beach. Numerous other beaches, including Rocha Baixinha and Agua Doce, are just over two miles away. more
Hotel Cheerfulway Mansão Bertolina Albufeira
Set in the lively heart of Albufeira, Cheerfulway Mansão Bertolina lives up to its name by definitely bringing happiness to its guests. This establishment is situated right next to Balaia Golf Village, Parque Aventura - Albufeira and Olhos de Agua Beach. All rooms are tastefully decorated with the classic yet elegant interiors. Each room has a satellite TV and private bathroom. Moreover, some rooms have terraces that offer unobstructed and spectacular views. A souvenir shop, sun terrace and an outdoor swimming pool are found on-site. The front desk which is open for 24 hours each day, offers car rentals. Parking is also offered. The hotel has its own snack-bar. Other dining options outside include Restaurante Taberna Do Pescador, and O Manjar. From Cheerfulway Mansão Bertolina, Peneco is just a five-minute drive away. The Fisherman’s Beach is just 650 metres away. Faro International Airport can be reached through a 30-minute drive. more
Hotel Hotel Albufeira Jardim Albufeira
Hotel Albufeira Jardim is an aparthotel located at the heart of the gorgeous city of Albufeira. The establishment takes pride in its beautiful environment and genuine hospitality. Each apartment is equipped with a furnished balcony, a kitchen (fridge and microwave), a television with satellite channels, an air conditioner, and a private bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Ironing facilities can be used upon request. The hotel offers free parking and free Wi-Fi in its public areas. There are two swimming pools for adults and one pool for kids. A game room and three tennis courts are also available for use. Guests can enjoy international and Portuguese cuisines at Panorama Restaurant. There is also a pool bar where more casual meals and drinks are served. The city centre is just 900 metres away from Hotel Albufeira Jardim. Faro airport is about 38km away from the property. more
Hotel Acqua Maris Balaia Albufeira
Acqua Maris Balaia is an aparthotel that is nestled within walking distance of Maria Luisa Beach. There are over 100 well-furnished apartments in the hotel, each of which features floor-to-ceiling windows that open to a large balcony. There is a separate seating area with a satellite television, and guests can enjoy the kitchen area with a microwave, refrigerator, and cookware. Housekeeping is provided daily. The hotel has an indoor pool – a children's pool is included – and a seasonal outdoor pool. Guests can stay fit in the on-venue health club, or they can play tennis on site. Luggage storage and a 24-hour front desk are available. There are a number of dining opportunities located on the premises: the restaurant serves both Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisine, and the poolside bar is a fantastic place to enjoy refreshments. Breakfast is available on site, either. Acqua Maris Balaia is a five-minute walk away from Santa Eulalia Beach. Medronheira Tower is just over one mile down the road. more
Hotel Eirasol Albufeira
Situated in Areias de Sao Joao, Eirasol offers city central, casual apartments with kitchenettes and balconies or patios. Free parking is available nearby, and complimentary Wi-Fi access is available in the public areas. All apartments are air conditioned, and feature a flat screen TV, personal safe, and a telephone, while a hairdryer and ironing facilities are available upon request. The kitchenettes consist of a stovetop, microwave, refrigerator, and a coffee/tea maker, as well as cookware, dishes, and utensils. Guests can unwind by the outdoor pool or in the garden area. For convenience, the limited-hours front desk offers tour and ticket assistance, and luggage storage. There are two café-bars onsite: one in the lobby, the other by the pool. Eirasol is located near The Strip and the Albufeira Shopping Centre. The Albufeira Bullring and Albufeira Stadium are a nine-minute walk away. Oura Beach is 12 minutes by foot, and Aveiros Beach is 17 minutes on foot. more
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