*Competition Win and I was under no obligation to write this post
You might remember that over a year ago, Gareth and I won a trip through On the Beach to visit Portugal and to stay at the Aqua Pedra dos Bicos hotel. I was over the moon when we were finally able to go last month and we honestly had the best time ever. I wanted to write a blog post on our experience, just in case you were also visiting the Algarve at any point in the future.
Whilst working on cruise ships, Gareth and I used to visit Lisbon quite regularly as it used to be one of our regular ports. I loved this city so much but we never visited anywhere else in Portugal, so as you can imagine, when I won the trip I was really excited. We landed at Faro airport and this was an experience in itself. Just be prepared to wait a long time before you get through passport control. We were so happy to see that our transfer was still there and it took over an hour’s drive to reach our hotel, which was based in Albufeira – a coastal city in the Southern Algarve region.
As we approached the hotel, I started to get very excited as it really did look very luxurious. When we got to our room, the curtains were drawn and as I opened them, my stomach started to do somersaults. We had a poolside view and you could see the ocean in the distance with all the beautiful trees, it really did take my breath away. Overall, I couldn’t fault our hotel room, it was definitely a home away from home and I just wish I could have brought the king size bed home as it was one of the best sleeps ever.
If you know Gareth and I by now, you will know that we headed to the pool bar for a refreshing cocktail (hehe). I spotted Strawberry Daiquiris and I knew it had my name all over it. I hadn’t had one of them in ages and it was just incredible. We were also told that there was a private entrance/exit to the beach, so that is exactly what we did. I know that Portugal is quite well known for their beautiful beaches and I can see why.
The walk down to the beach was just exquisite (you can walk for miles) and you come across small private beaches along the way, which is totally my vibe – (I’m a water baby at heart)
Here are my top 4 things to do whilst you are in the Algarve:
Visiting the beaches and the cave
There are many tours to do whilst you are in the Algarve and we did plan on visiting Bengail but unfortunately there was a miscommunication and the timings were wrong, so the boat left without us. Sorry I couldn’t tell you more about this trip however, my advice would be to head down to the marina and look at all the tours on offer and book directly through them. If you just want to relax and explore the beaches, then I can highly recommend this area. There are other stunning places in the Algarve to visit but we were only there for 3 days so we didn’t have that much time to explore.
We found such a beautiful restaurant down by the beach called Vivaldo’s, perfect for seafood and cocktails. The service was incredible and the staff really gave us some great tips on what to do with our time there.
I actually really liked visiting the Algarve at this time of the year as the temperature was around 26 degrees and it was low season, so even though it was a little busy, it wasn’t as busy as it would be in high season.
This place might not be for everyone and to be honest, it wasn’t my cup of tea but I would highly recommend visiting it just once. Full of bars, music and dancing, Gareth and I really did have a lovely evening.
All in all, the Algarve was so stunning and I can’t wait to head back to visit more of the area. Have you visited the Algarve before? Let me know in the comments.