Tags: 4 star hotels, 5* hotels, Accommodation, activities, Algarve, Attraction, Beach, dublin, flight, Flights, holiday, hotel, luxury hotels, Portugal, Romantic, weekend
If you fancy some summer sun close to home but have seen most of Spain, then its next door neighbour, Portugal, has plenty to offer as a holiday destination. The famous holiday spot of the Algarve is located in the southernmost part of Portugal, and there’s plenty to do and see here. You can book flights to the Algarve on ebookers.ie. If you fancy staying right in the heart of the Algarve then a hotel near to Faro might be the best choice for you, such as the Real Marina Hotel and Spa in Olhao which has a pool and health club with access to the leisure marina, or if you choose to stay a little further out from Faro you can avail of the amenities of the Ibis Faro hotel which has a pool, and is close to the beaches and golf courses of Faro.
There are plenty of resorts to choose from further away from Faro, such as the Clube Praia da Oura, situated on the beach near the town of Albufeira with lots of facilities onsite, meaning you won’t have to travel far from your hotel (unless you want to!) for access to the swimming pools, sauna, disco, bowling green and a restaurant. Also located near to the Praia de Oura beach is the Oura Praia Hotel, which has a gymnasium, tennis court and adults’ and children’s pools.
If you can bear to tear yourself away from the sun lounger by the pool in your hotel or at the beach, there’s plenty to do and see in the area, such as a caves and dolphin watching cruise. During this two hour cruise which departs from the new marina of Albufeira, you’ll sail along the coast of the Algarve and see the beach of Carvoeiro and you can stop for a swim or visit the grottos. Then on the return leg of the cruise you can keep your eyes open for schools of dolphins as the boat goes in search of them.
Another cruise you could take is the ‘Leaozinho’ Pirate Ship Cruise, which offers two tours, both of which involve dolphin spotting. On the two hour Captain Hook cruise, which also departs from Albufeira, the ship heads westward alongside the cliffs and beaches of Catelo, Praia da Gale and San Rafael, with time for a short swim.
The Portuguese island of Madeira also has much to offer as a resort destination with all inclusive hotels such as the Enotel Lido Madeira, located on the seafront and five minutes away from Funchal, offering three restaurants, three swimming pools, health club, games area and hairdresser. You can book flights to Funchal on ebookers.ie. For a quieter experience you could try the Quinta Splendida Wellness & Botanical Hotel, set in 30, 000 metres of landscaped botanical gardens, home to over 1000 species of plants and flowers, as well as a spa and wellness area.
There’s also plenty to do should you choose to venture outside your hotel, such as a full day small group bird watching tour, where you will encounter many species of birds in a wide variety of locations on the island. You could also take a full day tour of the east of the island, visiting places such as Camacha village, famous for its wickerwork; Pico de Arieiro, the second highest point on the island, near to a natural park; and the village of Santana, with its pointed thatched roof cottages. You will also visit the spot where those who first discovered the island disembarked in 1420, the town of Machico. In the evening, you can go on the Madeira nights tour, where you will dine in a typical Madeiran restaurant sampling the dish of Espetada and other local foods, followed by a performance from a folklore group.