This summer I headed to Algarve in Southern Portugal with two of my friends to relax, refresh and recoup. We had a week full of sun, sand (oh so much sand but we’ll talk about that later) and sea.
So what did we do all day?
Sleep. No seriously. I am notorious for being able to fall asleep anytime and anywhere and I’m sure that if I wasn’t in the company of early risers I’d sleep all day. It’s a good thing too, there was so much to see!
The Old Town
As the name suggests, the Old Town is the hub of the Albufeira’s culture and history and it is so beautiful too – white homes set against the backdrop of a sandy beach. It’s a great place to grab a cocktail, watch live street entertainment and visit historic monuments all at the same time!
Praia Da Oura
We were very lucky in that our hotel was a very short walk from the Praia Da Oura beach. The beach is relatively quiet with a few bars on the waterfront – definitely a place of relaxation. I really enjoy swimming and the very choppy waters made battling the waves exciting… until they were 10 metres high… and there were no life guards… and I nearly died. Please exercise caution! I would say I’m a relatively strong swimmer and still ended up half drowning with a mouth, ears and a *ahem* crack full of sand.
Full English Breakfast on Tour
We spent a significant amount of time eating. Everything from Caldo Verde (Apotato, kale and spicy sausage traditional Portuguese dish) to a Chinese takeaway but my favourite has to be the all day Full English Breakfast. At €4.00 it was the biggest and best bargain I found in Portugal. You can take the girl out of South London but you cannot take South London out of the girl!
Slide and Splash!
One of the first thing we noticed when looking for day activities was the sheer number of water parks. After much deliberation, we chose Slide and Splash. It’s the oldest water park in the region and we definitely got to see why it was still running after 30 years. Like its name suggests, it’s largely made up of water slides and has something for everyone.
I made the mistake of listening to Leanne and going on the mother of all slides – the Big Wave. My legs started trembling before we’d made it half way up the concrete stairs. Seeing a couple almost fly off the ride had me ready to march back down the stairs too. But nope, Leanne is a sadist and wouldn’t let me. After saying a few Hail Mary’s, I grabbed onto the inflatable, held my breath and we were off. In all fairness, the ride wasn’t that awful… until I slammed my neck into the back of the ride and hobbled off in excruciating pain. The first aiders at Slide and Splash were incredibly helpful and took good care of me at no charge. I almost have full rotation in my neck now… almost. Despite almost being decapitated I would definitely recommend!
And in the night…
The Albufeira Strip
We were very lucky that our hotel was only a five minute walk from the Strip. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that there were very few people being loud and lairy in the street and families frequented the restaurants well into the night. If you’re looking for a ladies’ or lads’ holiday full of drugs, drunkenness and debauchery, Albufeira might not be for you. That being said, there were great happy hour offers and there was a range of club nights. They ranged from 80s and cheese to pop to dancehall and reggaeton, there really was something for everyone. With a plethora of fast food outlets and pancake and churros stands to end your night.
All in all, my trip to Portugal with the portugyaldem was good fun. We managed to get in some culture while topping up our vitamin D levels and sampling the party scene. I would definitely recommend the trip!
P.P.S. The images in this post were taken by me and I reserve all rights to them. If you would like to use these images please contact me using the details in the contact page. Thank you.