As many of you followed me on social media, I was recently on the south of Portugal, called the Algarve, most specifically in the town of Carvoeiro.
me and my family always went there for holidays as is a simple town, great for families and very calm, but with everything that you need, from supermarkets with british food (just like be at home) as well as great and cheap restaurants with excellent portuguese food and beach and pools.
Everything is near and you can walk everywhere and safe.
Safety: Did you know?
That Portugal is considered the 3rd country in the World with the highest level of safety? Safe, fun and cheap?
if you want to rent a car (like me) things get even better as you can plan to go to a beach every day or plan visit caves or see the dolphins or even go and have a whole day in an aquatic park. Things to see are plenty, so make sure you plan in advance where and what do you want to do.
How to get there
Faro is the capital of the Algarve region, and most of the British airports have low cost flights toward there. The other way is going to the country’s capital, Lisbon, and get the train for the Algarve… or just like me: go to Lisbon and then pick up a car and drive 2 hours towards the Algarve.
Normally to get cheaper bookings for fun parks or visits, check the pamphlets that are in the hotel or supermarkets. they usually have discounts.
Need cash? One traveling tip: don’t buy money outside the UK. Portugal has one of the lowest conversion for ATM machines, so make sure when you go to the ATM machine to select the amount you want and when they ask to whom they should charge the conversion (your bank or the portuguese conversion) select Portuguese conversion. And another thing: they never charge for cash withdrawals!
Carvoeiro, or more commonly Praia de Carvoeiro, is a town and a former civil parish in the municipality (concelho) of Lagoa, Algarve, Portugal. (see here).
Where to stay
This was the 3rd year that we’ve stayed in the Quinta Polaris II in Carvoeiro. A family resort with pool and 7 minutes walking to the centre of Carvoeiro town. This resort is calm and great for the kids and near everything. A/C included in all bedrooms (you WILL need them), self-catering and cleaning included, be sure to book early because they are always fully booked (hence them being great). You have everything that you need, towels included, washing machine and dishwasher.
For example, my apartment had 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, but could fit 6 people (the sofa is a sofa bed).
The view is amazing but, and of course, depends on the room. You have 2 and 3 bedroom flats for a maximum of 8 people inside. if you don’t have a car, Uber it or ask in the reception for a free ring-and-ride to the town centre.
And before anything: a HUGE thank you to Carla and Basilio from Reception and the cleaning ladies from the resort for being so nice and helpful with us, plus Claudia from Garvetur.
Here are the pics from the Quinta Polaris II:
Where to Eat
I know the town very well, but sometimes new places show up, others close, others change direction.
My favourite Fine dining restaurant is one called A Paleta, you might need a car to go there, but is worth every penny. Homemade food and nice staff. look at our plates.
Cocktails are sooooo cheap! Make sure you have your Mojito and Caipirinhas near the beach while listening to the live bands playing, here we were in a cafe/bar called Smilers in the heart of the town. They also have food and snacks.
And you cannot be in vacation without having Ice creams or Frozen Yogurts. There is an Ice cream Parlor called Gelados & Companhia, near Smilers cafe, with very cool flavours and are homemade.
Phones and Internet
Since the 14th of June of 2017, there is NO ROAMING! So everything that you have in the UK is also available in Portugal/EU. Roaming doesn’t exist anymore, so data and mobile calls are the same of your mobile package. Awesome!
Since RJ is very little, 2 year old tot, we go to the beach in the morning (till noon) then return by 5pm to the beach or pool. Between those hours I won’t recommend unless you have protection for the children and for yourself. The sun and the sand are burning hot… But the water is excellent.
Some of the beaches I normally like to go, and are excellent for families: Carvoeiro, Marinha, Alvor, Ferragudo. There are a bunch of beaches, so make sure you go to all of them and find your favourite.
Have you been there? let me know where you went and what do you recommend.