Tuesday, 25 July 2017

LIFESTYLE: WHAT TO DO IN ALVOR, PORTUGAL



I recently had the pleasure of holidaying in The Algarve, southern Portugal. For 10 days my boyfriend and I soaked up the sun, swam in the Atlantic ocean and ate like Kings and Queens - not to mention daily cocktails and for me anyway, a whole load of shopping in the boutiques. If you want to have a nosey at the jewellery and accessorise I bought, check this post out

Today I am sharing a few thoughts on our summer holiday, where we stayed, what we did and the general vibe of the place we stayed. If you're thinking of booking a holiday somewhere sassy, or considering a holiday to Portugal, give this a read and see what you think.


Where we stayed in Alvor...

We booked our holiday through onthebeach.co.uk - yup, we booked a package holiday! Well, onthebeach actually offer 'dynamically packaged holidays' where you can pick and choose what elements you want from your holiday - but you get the point! Flights, accommodation, transfers etc were all bundled up together.

With the power of influencer marketing channeled through social platforms such as Instagram, as well as everybody and their cat calling themselves a 'wanderlust travel blogger' - There is far too much emphasis these days to 'travel' to exotic and famous Instagram-able destinations, Santorini? LA anyone? It is often just so that somebody can upload a posed picture that's been recreated a thousand times for likes. Is it Instagramable? Some bloggers aren't even doing that in today's world, choosing to instead use photoshop to superimpose an image of themselves in-front of a wanderlusty background..but alas I digress and that's a whole different kettle of fish!.

Back to package holidays...

For a moderate price, we booked flights to Faro and found a charming one bedroom apartment at the Prainha Clube in Alvor. I was super sold on the sound of the cliff top fresh water pool overlooking the crystal clear water and charmingly rugged rocks below. You know when you just get a feeling? Well, I had one and so our holiday to the Algarve was booked around 7 months before we flew out.



The Prainha Club is a large resort which comprises of a hotel and a large village of privately owned whitewashed villas spanning an entire cliff top. Standing on-top of the cliff to the backdrop of endless azure water was literally breathtaking. What I also loved about the Prainha Clube was how green it was, lots of lush grass, beautiful pink flowers and palms. The site also included access down the rugged cliff to a gorgeous covey area of Alvor beach, two pools, a well equipped supermarket and 3 restaurants (Highly, highly recommend the Miss Pasta pizzeria!) but not at all impressed by the Atlantic pool bar or the cliff side beach restaurant, Canico, which in theory look gorgeous, but the service was pretty shoddy for one reason or another.


Back to good things Our apartment was super spacious and very charming, featuring a fully equipped kitchen, 1 double bedroom with loads of storage and a huge lounge. We also had a private balcony and gorgeous views over the bay. There was a lot of Moroccan influence in the decor also which I loved. If you stay at Prainha Clube, you are around a 20-25 minute walk into central Alvor, though taxis are only around 3-5 euro and there are bus stops outside.

So why Alvor? Well, I must admit I wasn't entirely sold on Portugal in the beginning, but my boyfriend suggested that he'd like to visit there and I knew my parents really enjoyed their time there also. Before we booked, wherever I went, whoever I spoke to, Portugal kept coming up time and time again. I had worried it would be too Benidorm-esc - which, if you like that kind of resort and vibe that's awesome, but for myself, I was looking for something different and definitely not too much like Blackpool in the sun. Right up until the holiday I was concerned I wouldn't find the historical architecture, the tiny fishing villages, the authentic food and pockets of culture that I'd craved from a holiday. My preconceptions, however, couldn't have been more wrong!

Whilst Alvor is geared up towards the summer holidaymakers - the entire vibe of the place was perfect! A little bit of everything and definitely not what I expected. As soon as we began exploring Alvor itself and I found myself walking up the tiny, narrow cobbled streets lined with beautiful ceramic tiles and watching the fresh fish being caught by the fisherman - I knew I'd found a lovely place.

What we ate...


Ah! Just thinking back to the food we devoured in Alvor whilst currently sticking to a strict diet is really tough. The food in Alvor is amazing. Of course, a large portion of this is seafood and it was literally the best seafood I've ever eaten in my life. I recommend Ababuja on the waterfront for traditional seafood. The prawn curry and clams were both delicious and there were locals queuing out of the door to get a table. If that's the case you know it must be good!


There is also a ton of Italian food in Alvor and you'll find the best of it at Paesano and Medetaraniam (which is just down the road from Prainha Clube) In Paesano, ask to sit in the little courtyard at the back and get the Truffle mushroom lasagne! You won't be disappointed. Another beautiful outside space to sit in can be found in the Silmar restaurant, the food and service were both incredible. I didn't actually have a bad meal in Alvor and there is something for everyone. Definitely, try cocktails at Mouriso (very Moroccan inspired venue) and the Bolan bar where measures don't matter as I found out via half a glass of Campari mixed with a millimeter of lemonade.


What we did...

Aside from the usual shenanigans eat, sunbathe, drink repeat we took a trip to the beautiful town of Lagos. I have to say, this place was entirely my vibe all thanks to the historical buildings, beautiful tile work and narrow cobbled streets houses a myriad of little bazaars. We caught a bus from outside the Prainha Clube and it took around half an hour to get the little marina town. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves here, but it really was a gorgeous, quaint place.

We also took a boat trip on the Ophelia Catamaran which was a full day boat trip that took us to the Benagil caves and to a beach where we had a BBQ. I must say, the entire day was brilliantly and precisely executed by the Ophelia team however, I was a little underwhelmed by the Benagil caves and they weren't all worth going in to.

Yep, there were some cool aspects of them i.e the beach cave that was surrounded by rock with just a small hole above - but I have seen more interesting caves on my travels. The beach we had a BBQ at was lush and I even launched myself off the side of the Catamaran and swam in freezing cold and extra salty ocean to the shore. The food was delicious too, probably the best beach BBQ i've ever had #Bigstatement!

Overall, Alvor was such a beautiful place to visit and I am so glad we chose to go on holiday there. I you're thinking of visiting, I highly, highly recommend as there is something for everyone, couples, families, you name it! It just goes to show, package holidays can be #Instagramable too!


Have you ever visited Portugal?

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