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Portugal's premier destination is without doubt the Algarve. A long lasting love affair as a family favourite, it's easy to see why! Beautiful coastline, gorgeous golden beaches, delicious food and more action-packed activities than you can fit into a single holiday. A villa holiday in this family-focused region is always a wonderful experience.
The Algarve is a favourite destination for holidaymakers around the world. Famed for its beautiful beaches, wondrous attractions and azure waters, it's an area made for beach lovers. There's something for everyone with young and old well catered for, making this Portuguese paradise perfect for multi-generation family holidays. Whether you're after an action-packed adventure to tire out the little ones, or a more relaxing experience whilst your teenagers do their own thing, the Algarve is the place to be.
Choosing an area for you and yours doesn't have to be difficult. The most popular resorts are Albufeira, Villamoura, and Carvoeiro. All three are right in the heart of the action, with theme parks, water parks, beaches and more only a stone's throw away. A villa here is the perfect base for you to enjoy all the Algarve has to offer.
Having served families from around the world, the Algarve caters for every taste. You won't have to go far to find British favourites on the menu that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. That's the kids sorted! With such a variety of restaurants available, you should be sure to indulge in the local cuisine and traditional treats!
Arguably the most famous local dish you can get in the region is Cataplana. Topping many menus, it would be hard to miss this favourite served in a unique copper bowl from which it's named. This gorgeous seafood stew is simple but unforgettable and truly the taste of the Algarve.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with the quintessential Portuguese pastry, the Pastel de Nata. You might not recognise the name, but you'll defintiely recognise this golden custard tart. Found all over Portugal they're the perfect sweet treat to give you and your loved ones a boost of energy throughout the day.
Of course, when only those home favourites will do, your villa kitchen comes to the rescue! If they're missing dad's signature dish or a homely delight from mum, you'll be able to whip it up in no time. Swapping a full plate for a beaming smile, as they spot the tastes of home.
With over 150 beaches to choose from, finding a beautiful bay is easy! On a family holiday you're going to want as much relaxation as possible, plus plenty of things to keep your whole tribe entertained. Fitting the bill is the poster child for the Algarve – Praia da Marinha. You may not recognise the name but you will definitely recognise this world famous beach from the postcards.
The golden amber limestone cliffs and rocks are some of the most photographed in the world, and they do not disappoint. The majesty of this beach has to be seen to be believed. Families flock here and there always seems to be room for people to lay on the sand and enjoy the sunshine. With a few small kiosks serving drinks and snacks, you could easily spend an entire holiday just finding more things to do here.
Another beautiful beach is Praia do Anção, sheltered by sand dunes it backs on to the Ria Formosa Natural Park – a day out with the family by itself. Lifeguards patrol the whole beach and there are plenty of facilities to keep bellies full after a hard day of relaxation. Sunbeds, sunshades and boats are available to rent, as well as great water-skiing and water sports. Just outside the beach are restaurants famous for their fish and seafood dishes, a delicious ending to a beautiful day.
Heading east you will come across Praia da Rocha. As one of the Algarve's most popular resorts it's a real crowd pleaser. The long, broad beach allows plenty of room for everyone, even in the height of summer but head west and you'll find quieter spots with small caves to be explored and rocks to clamber across. Praia Da Rocha is a great option for families. The choice of activities on offer including surf lessons, kite surfing and beach volleyball make the beach perfect for all ages.
There's always fun to be had down at the beach, and the Algarve has plenty to choose from. A land of golden sand and pure blue seas there's so much to explore. Each beach is a unique slice of paradise, some made for peace and quiet whilst others are perfect for water sports and adventure.
For the water babies among you, a trip to one of the waterparks is guaranteed fun in the sun! Aqualand is one of the largest waterparks in Europe with some of the biggest and fastest slides around. Open throughout the summer, why not take the plunge on Kamikaze – the tallest slide in Portugal at a dizzying 95m – or the Anaconda with its corkscrew twists and turns? Speeding along at incredible speeds with the flying carpets is bound to be a hit with the kids!
Along with a fantastic coast, there's also an ocean of options available. Countless boat tours are available to discover secluded shores inaccessible by foot. You can always take a trip to see the gorgeous hidden beauty of the Benagil and Zorreira caves with its secret beaches.
While seeking out concealed coves at sea, you'll most likely meet some of the local marine life. Dolphins are notorious in the area, watch these majestic, playful creatures in their natural habitat for a once in a lifetime experience!
If you'd rather stick to land than splash about in the sea, there's plenty of activities for you to enjoy without getting wet. Exploring the Algarve couldn't be easier with a whole host of hiking and coastal trails for you to take in the natural beauty of the region. Want to kick it up a gear? Why not try your hand at go-karting or quadbiking?
Little monkeys will love scrambling along the canopy and zooming down ziplines at Parque Aventure. The tree top adventure will keep the whole family entertained. Definitely not one for the faint hearted!
If there's one thing the Algarve is famous for more than its gorgeous beaches, it's golf. Luckily the kids don't have to miss out on playing a round as there's plenty of mini-golf courses available to play the day away in the warm Mediterranean sun.
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