The stunning beaches and the variety of amazing accommodation options shows that Portugal’s Algarve region is much more than just the home of Peri-Peri chicken.
Hugging the Atlantic Ocean for 155 kilometres at the southern base of the Iberian Peninsular is Portugal’s most popular tourist destination. The area attracts almost 10 million visitors a year and this has spawned a huge amount of tourism based development from 5 star hotels to some of the best golf courses in Europe. The tourists are brought here by the relatively low costs, the safety, the food and Mediterranean climate. Many visitors from Europe fall in love with the place and end up buying property with large English, German, Dutch and Scandinavian expatriates adding to the local flavour.
Most visitors to the area arrive via plane to Faro Airport, where most of the major and charter airlines in Europe offer at least seasonal flights to the area then hire a car a take their pick from some stunning accommodation options. Although the large scale resorts still have bus loads of guests staying in them, the done thing to do in the area is to stay at a smaller guest house run by expats or locals. We have a look at a couple of the best options in the region as well as a one of the resort style options below.
Quinta da Cebola Vermelha
Literally translated as the Red Onion Farmhouse, guests staying at this Dutch family run guest house may well end up crying when it comes to the end of their stay here. It wont be because of the prices either, with rooms starting from just EUR$110 p/night. Guests are welcomed into the ‘hotel’ and treated like family with breakfast and dinner cooked for you.
You can lounge around by the pool or stroll amongst the century old orange, lemon and olive trees sampling local wines. Located 30 kms west of Faro and just 5 kms from the beach the Quinta da Cebola Vermelha is the perfect base from which to explore the Algrave region.
This is a farmhouse style property and as such the rooms are decorated in a rustic country fashion, livened up with original art pieces by the owners and local artists. Rooms are climate controlled and come with free Wi-Fi. You can check out more details on the website here and read about others reviews at the tripadvisor link here.
Quinta Jacintina Hotel
Quinta Jacintina features 10 large individually designed and furnished bedrooms each with it’s own colour palette. There is also a luxurious executive suite which is popular with newly-weds as the hotel does host a fair number of weddings, and is happy to book out the entire property for the couples wedding guests so they can soak up both the atmosphere and the alcohol.
The hotel likes to emphasise the outdoor life style with large landscaped gardens as well as unique and secluded secret gardens where you can relax under the Portuguese sun on a hammock. The hotel comes complete with outdoor heated pool, a jacuzzi, sunbathing areas and outdoor dining terrace.
There are also four top quality golf courses within a 5 minute radius of the hotel and the beach only only 2 minutes away. Room rates start from EUR$95/night in the low season and EUR$145/night in the high season (The suite is an additional EUR$100/night), of course you could just hire the whole property, self contained for EUR$7200/week or a little less than a thousand more for it to be fully staffed.
Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel
Located on the shores of Martinhal Beach and surrounded by national park, Martinhal Beach Resort is the first five star property in the Sagres region on the far west of the Algarve coast. With Martinhal there’s no massive, imposing building. Instead, the 170 rooms are divided between a small boutique hotel and a number of external options such as the Village, which offer secluded, fully equipped villas in different locations around the resort. There are also three luxuriously appointed townhouses for those looking to splash out.
The resort has been designed with families in mind, but dont let that put you off they will be busy with the staff doing some of the many organised activities designed for differing age groups. This has helped them win the 2012 World Travel Award for Best European Villa Resort.
The resort has a number of dining options on site and in keeping with Martinhal’s philosophy of barefoot luxury the Finisterra spa offers a large range of treatments for guest. The Village atmosphere extend to the convenience store located on site where guests can purchase local pottery works and produce.
Rooms at Martinhal Hotel start from around EUR$190/night and stunning beachfront units shown in the first picture will set you back an additional EUR$30/night. The Villas themselves come in at slightly higher amount, but there are a large number to choose from ranging from one to four bedroom. You can check them out at the website here.