Looking for a quiet break with great restaurants and a stunning beach? Alvor in the Algarve ticks every box.
My husband and I went to Alvor in the Algarve when I was pregnant with Alex and we couldn’t have chosen a better location. We stayed in the Pestana Dom Joao villas which are right on the beach. Although the accommodation is more like large apartments than private villas, you can’t beat their beachfront location. The sand is literally at the end of the garden, a luxury that is hard to find on a typical package holiday.
Having the garden was a massive advantage. I was able to sunbathe while Luke slept. It was also handy when I was preparing meals, Luke was able to play football outside. The Dom Joao Villas are ideal if travelling with young children who don’t need kids clubs or entertainment to amuse them, and are just happy to be at the beach or kicking ball.
There are dramatic rock formations all along the Alvor coastline. These are not only stunning to look at, but have the added advantage of creating rock pools, a great way to pass the time with young kids too, searching for crabs, small fish or other pirates treasure!
Alvor is a small fishing village, yet despite the influx of tourists it still retains much of its old world charm. The village has narrow cobbled streets with some fantastic restaurants, as well as some lively bars boasting inexpensive prices. Adega Alvor is a great family choice with an extensive menu to suit all tastes. The local Alvor wine is particularly good too.
There are also some stunning restaurants built into the cliffs along the beach. Canico is a particularly good choice, you can access this from the beach, or through the Prainha Village complex. Canico is more expensive than the local village restaurants and although the food does not necessarily justify higher prices, the setting certainly does. Watching the sunset over the Atantic Ocean from its dramatic clifftop setting is something I would never tire of.
I recommend that you hire a car if you want to see a little more of the Algarve. The coach transfer from the airport can be two hours depending on the amount of stops, but to drive it, it is just over an hour. I also recommend a trip to nearby Portimao, the Algarve’s capital, to visit the modern marina and local shops.
Zoo Marine which is close to the airport, is an excellent theme park with dolphin, seal and bird shows. It also has a man made beach with slides and a splash park.
The Algarve is a great holiday destination with a huge number of resorts to choose from, but Alvor will always have a special place in my heart. I look forward to returning soon.