While it’s currently snowing in many parts of the world (including Amsterdam!), we are busy dreaming about sunny summer holiday destinations. And we are guessing you might be too! So to get you started we have collected quite a few amazing family friendly boutique stays in the Algarve – don’t dream it, do it!
Located in the eastern part of the Algarve, close to Tavira and only 5 minutes away from the nearest beach, this green-minded property offers all you need during your family holiday. The beautifully decorated studios are well equipped for families up to four, including a kitchenette and a terrace.
We absolutely love all the attention and detail with regards to sustainable living; this quintais a superb example of how to implement that whilst maintaining comfort and luxury. Salt-water pool? Check. Organic garden and local produce? Check. Solar panels and re-use of water? Double check.
Feel like touring around for a bit? Just take one of the bikes and explore the countryside, walk to the beach or play a round of golf at one of the golf courses in the area. Board games are available on site, perfect for a game or two in the shade provided by the cabanas.
Grownups can schedule a yoga lesson or personal trainer session to sweat off the delicious food and wines. Don’t forget to have a drink on the rooftop terrace during sunset, with views of the sea at one side and the Algarve Sierra on the other. Cheers!
If you are looking for some off the grid adventure with your kid(s), this is the place: glamping at its best! Dutchies Dave, Sonya and Petra built four tents, tipis and a brilliant tree house on 40 hectares of wild and rugged land in Portugal’s southwest coastal area.
Think outdoor living, climbing trees, swimming lakes and unlimited fresh air. Add morning yoga/Pilates sessions, breakfast baskets, early hikes and outdoor showers et voilà: a perfect family stay…
Your kiddo(s) will love the bunk beds and DIY pizza oven and might even be tricked into taking a short trip to one of the beautiful beaches in the area. Hooked by now? We told you! Delicious dinners are optional during high season; don’t forget to hire a car – makes getting there a tad easier.
Feeling you could do with a bit of extra luxury this time? Then we’d love to suggest you stay at this property:
Elegance, luxury and great service. Just a few words to describe this amazing beauty of a hotel- and they welcome families too!
There are plenty of activities (bake cookies! tennis lessons! a games room!), a special kids pool with toys, daytrips to nearby islands with the hotel’s private boat and picnics at the beach with baskets provided by Vila Monte.
Grownups will love the outdoor cinema (with lots of classics on the screen), a market visit with the chef and regular tennis and yoga sessions. Our favorite? Oyster picking in the Ria Formosa Natural Park. It does not get more idyllic!
The hotel’s two restaurants use only locally sourced ingredients, some of which are grown in the hotel’s own gardens. The hotel also uses eco-friendly cleaning products, toiletries and lightbulbs.
As Vila Monte provides sarongs, beach bags and sun hats in your room, you might be able to travel light…. The junior suites are most suitable for families up to 4; they can also be connected to have more space.
You will find this oasis of calm just 25 minutes from Faro airport; possible travel stress will fade immediately when jumping into the beautiful pool-with-a-view. Based on a hill in a 200-year-old ‘monte’, this B&B offers five different rooms, all with a private terrace.
Planning on making memories with another family or large group of friends? Just your luck, as the Farmhouse can be rented exclusively by groups up to 14 persons (and kids under 3 stay for free!).
Why not spend your holidays lazing around in the hammocks, at the table – light lunch and snacks are available during July and August – or in the pool? In case of a sudden urge to explore, beautiful ancient Loulé, Faro and Tavira are just around the corner.
Best features? The room boasting a four-poster bed on the roof terrace (hello starry nights…) and the honesty bar keeping you cool with splendid local wines.Travel cots, baby baths and high chairs are available.
Why TRVLBEES loves the Algarve
Well, first of all because of the pleasant climate (year round!), the perfect beaches, the beautiful ancient villages full of history and the fresh seafood. But there is more!
As we aim to show you green and ecofriendly properties and options, we love the fact that the Algarve is currently focusing on becoming a sustainable destination. Controlled eco-tourism to the east of Faro and on the western Atlantic coast is intended to generate new sources of income whilst protecting wildlife and fauna- an achievable and realistic balance with the economy is currently being discussed and sought for.
The Portuguese have been determined not to overdevelop their tourist regions and emulate mistakes made by their Spanish neighbours in regions like the Costa del Sol. Traditionally the tourism industry has attempted to orientate itself towards the upper end of the market and avoid the deleterious effects of mass tourism- and this is something you actually experience during a visit.
Although it is definitely busy and crowded at times, most places are still quite unspoilt and not too crammed with concrete high-rise buildings. Initiatives such as the Residential tourism Conference (held in 2018), discussing the importance of creating a sustainable Algarve tourism destination, are also on the rise.
Depending on which part of the region you choose as a base, there are numerous things to do and places to go- it all comes down on what you feel like! To give you a heads up, we’ve gathered our absolute favorites below:
If you are a fresh (sea)food lover, Portugal is your place to be. Many dishes are simple yet incredibly tasty- just like it should be!
The food market in Loulé is definitely a must-do; start your daytrip with an excellent coffee on the cute main square before roaming the stalls. We could not decide what to buy as literally everything looked so tasty and fresh. Feel like eating out? Our number one lunch-on-the-beach spot is Gigi da Praia; although pretty expensive, the food is perfect, and so is the location and vibe. Just the right spot to enjoy an ideal afternoon, in between beach fun. Barefoot, wine at hand, fresh seafood and stylish Portuguese people. Pure bliss!
Dos Pasos is also located right at the beach and just a bit less upscale; the food, however, is great. Try the fried rice and chicken while sipping your cold drinks, staring out to the sea….
In the mood for a simple yet tasty pizza or pasta? Try Casa Vostra; a stylish, family friendly restaurant with an adjoining boutique for beachy must-haves. This is the kind of place where you come for lunch and end up staying for dinner and drinks.
Shopping and Sightseeing
We at TRVLBEES love to browse local boutiques, markets and little shops for unique products and finds, and Portugal is perfect for shopping! Faro has a beautiful historic city center and port to wander around and enjoy an ice cream; there are quite a few little shops but for major shopping you should visit the huge shopping mall. As it is air-conditioned and has several food courts it might be a great solution on a hot day!
Feel the need to spend an entire day away from your hideaway? Then we’d definitely suggest making the (longish) trip to Lisbon. This beautiful ancient city will deliver in every possible way; from little shops to the big chains, from cozy bars to fancy restaurants.
Take a historic tram to see as many areas as you possible can, and don’t forget to visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge (the views!!) and Belem, to get a famous pasteis and visit the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos where you will find Vasco da Gama’s tomb. Quick stops at the beach along the way will keep your kid(s) happy too! (Cascais, Estoril or Comportaare great)
Tavira is regarded as one of the most beautiful towns of the Algarve, so make sure to visit this so-called Venice of the Algarveduring your stay. Ancient buildings (in which you see the traditional architecture combined with Moorish influences), lots of historic sights and the many pretty beaches make for an excellent day trip destination. Don’t forget to try the famous local octopus!
Olhão is another gem that cannot be skipped; situated in the middle of the Rio Formosa National Park it boasts golden beaches and beautiful remains of Roman and Arabic buildings. Best known for its fish (rumor has it that Olhão has the best seafood in the Algarve) you definitely need to visit for lunch or early dinner.
The coast of Tavira is located within the Rio Formosa National Park; as the beach is on Ilha de Tavira (the island of Tavira) it can only be reached by boat. Do check out some of the other islands around Faro; it makes a great destination for a daytrip ánd involves fresh (sea)food! (Ilha da Culatra, Ilha da Armona, Ilha da Barretta).
Praia da Falésia, situated between Vilamoura and Albufeira is really really beautiful and child friendly.
Quinta do Lago, where abovementioned restaurant Gigi Praia can be found, is also a superb beach to spend long lazy days; you can easily park your car and cross the long wooden bridge over the lagoon- it does not get more beautiful than this!
Interested in other stylish, sustainable & family friendly destinations? Please check out TRVLBEES regularly, as we’re adding new finds all the time!