All Inclusive Options
So, I bet you thought that All Inclusive was reserved for the Spanish Costas and the Canary Islands? Well not any more, some of the best hotels accross the Algarve have set up enticing all inclusive programmes for 2012…these include the Adriana Beach Club, Real Bellavista Hotel, Solaqua and the Clube Humbria.
Booking an all inclusive break not only allows you to budget effectively, it also allows you to make great friends at your hotel and sample plenty of the traditional foods from Portugal.
There’s already a great blog about what to expect when you book All Inclusive here!
Enticing food and drink to try…
The Algarve is deservedly famous for it’s seafood, fresh fish, wonderful steaks, chicken piri-piri and oranges so sweet they taste like honey. There’s also the wonderful ‘Pastel de nata’, beautiful light pastries filled with a sweet egg custard.
Exciting drink choices include ‘Green Wine,’ a delicate sparkling wine local to Portugal which is enjoyed ice, ice cold and can be white, red or rosé. My favourite drink for a sunny afternoon is the champagne sangria ‘sangria espumante’ and of course the Port. Portugal is also host to some fabulous wines from all over the country, so be sure to sample a few. For beer lovers you will find Super Bock stocked everywhere and it’s a great refreshing lager.
What if all inclusive isn’t your thing?
Several hotels are now offering half board with drinks (take a look at the Paraiso Albufeira and the Real Bellavista). Meaning you have the freedom of eating breakfast and your evening meal at the hotel, but with alcoholic and soft drinks included with your evening meal. Perfect for those wanting to explore the area during the day and make the most of the hotel in the evening! A great choice for getting the best of both worlds.
I wouldn’t be doing the Algarve any justice if I didn’t recommend a couple of restaurants and cafés too. These are all based on my opinion and include my lovely camera phone photos, but I’m sure you will enjoy!
Riviera Pastelaria This cafe/cake shop is situated underneath the Brisa Sol Aparthotel close to the Old Town in Albufeira. They serve the most delicious cakes and pastries, marzipans, quiches, bread as well as meal options. I could not believe the prices, only €1 or €2 for the freshest pastries. It’s definitely worth a visit no matter how long you are in Albufeira!
A Case do Chefe Situated very close to the Brisa Sol too, this welcoming restaurant is run by a husband and wife operation. I’ve eaten here twice and had the fillet steak both times. It’s always been cooked with such wonderful quality and flavour. The restaurant may not be right on the sea front, but what it lacks in views it certainly makes up for in tasty food and friendly service.
Evaristo This fish restaurant is on it’s own sandy beach in a secluded bay at Praia Evaristo, Albufeira. It really is a place where you could easily spend the whole day sunbathing, swimming, eating and enjoying a glass or two of sangria! There is no menu so you pick fresh fish of the day and sit back and enjoy the stunning views. It’s a bit more pricey than the average restaurant but for the secluded location and wow factor it is worth a visit.
Vila Joya For those looking to splash out on holiday, the Vila Joya is Portugal’s only 2 Michelin starred restaurant. For a very special occasion it certainly is worth looking into. The views are out of this world and service is top notch. The food is extremely good, as you would expect from such an establishment carrying prestigious Michelin stars. The Vila Joya is situated in Praia Gale, just outside of Albufeira and accross the road from the peaceful Vila Gale Praia hotel.
Portimao and Praia da Rocha
Restaurante Dona Barca This restaurant is located under the bridge in the city of Portimao. It is easily accessible by cab from Praia da Rocha too. This is real, honest seafood and fresh fish served with potatoes and salad. If you are looking for a taste of the real Portugal where the locals eat then this is the place for you!
NoSoloAgua I love this place! It’s directly on the beach at the end of Portimao Harbour (close to the Tivoli Portimao hotel) and only a short stroll from Praia da Rocha. It’s got a hint of the Balearic chillout vibe with luxurious white sun beds and gentle beats playing during the day. The food is great, the drinks are wonderful and service is friendly and efficient. With it being right on the beach you can wander in to the sea, then come back in to enjoy a sit down meal with breathtaking sunset views. When the night draws in you can party on the sand! Perfect for young couples, groups or even families during the day. If you’re lucky you may catch a cruise ship passing through to Portimao Harbour!
By Jo H