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- Amazing variety of scenery, from the green, rolling hills of the North to the sun-baked red clay cliffs of the south.
- Relatively short flight time - 2.45 hrs from UK
- The Algarve is certainly not undeveloped, but development is generally tasteful, if you avoid the bigger tourist centres, such as Albufeira, Portimao, Quarteira. East of Faro is less "developed, with the delightful town of Tavira a great option".
- The Algarve, for the most part, offers a great holiday experience - clean, golden sand beaches (wide and coves), attractive towns with plenty of restaurants, shops and medical facilities. On the whole, towns have a less tourist-influenced feel than Spain
- There’s a lot to explore in the Algarve: medieval towns such as Silves, the mountain spa town of Monchique, inland towns such as San Bras, the fantastic faded Rococo palace at Estoi, the wild windswept coat of Cape St Vincent and Sagres are all within easy reach by car and, apart from the odd coach excursion, you can easily find yourself one of very few tourists
- Properties and hotels tend to be high quality and spacious
- Car hire is relatively cheap, although defensive driving
- Plenty of activities, from water parks to the famous golf courses.
- Children are adored and well catered for
- Northern Portugal is equally well equipped for the tourist and serious traveller, with a wide range of activities, towns, cultural pursuits and good quality accommodation.
- Food is good, with plenty of simple chicken and fish dishes ideal for the under fives.
- Summer weather is hot, dry and sunny,with low humidity and cooling breezes.
- The weather is generally good from mid-May to mid-October, and often surprisingly good in January and February, and so can be a good choice for a winter break.
Things to think about:
- The sea tends to be relatively cold and rough, although some beaches are calmer. It’s worth bearing this in
mind if you are travelling with very small toddlers who like the sea.
- If you like big towns with lots of cultural/historical interest, then there are better choices, unless you’re near Lisbon.
- Food can be patchy - if you find a restaurant you like, stick with it.
- Driving can be stressful - be defensive.
Best times to visit: May-early July, September-October
Flight times from GB: 2hrs 45mins
Time difference: GMT+1hr
Euro, Travellers cheques and/or credit cards widely accepted, cash for more remote areas.
Capital: Lisbon (capital of Algarve: Faro)
Web site: http://www.portugalinsite.pt