Portugal’s Algarve on the south coast is hot and beautiful, sometimes stormy but with a wealth of things to do and see. You may have seen my Tavira beach train post and here are my top tips for family friendly things to do, go see and eat…
Visit Praia da Marinha
This stunning beach in Lagoa with its natural rocky outcrops is the one you’ll have seen on postcards. Wonderfully high cliffs when you arrive, there’s a little carpark, and then you wind your way down a pretty path (and quite a few steps!) to the beach cove where there’s a small cafe with toilets. When the tide is out you can walk along through the rock formations, explore or just find a spot to sun yourself. We had great grilled Piri Piri chicken in nearby town Silves before and then drove there via the N125 from it was quite clearly signed. It was actually pretty windy when we went (we were hit with a week of unseasonal rain!) hence the scarf & trench!
For white beachbeds and bar & restaurant at the beach – sometimes a family outing with young kids is much more manageable under these circumstances! – then Tivoli Marina’s Purobeach beach club is just the place. In the buzzy Vilamoura, we ate poolside at the hotel (Gus has a thing with swimming pools and there was the perfect little toddler one) before heading over to the beach for sandcastles and lounging. Great food, my salmon was delicious, Myles went for devour-it-in-a-second burger and Gus’s kids menu pizza was perfect.
See The Pretty Doors of São Brás
The sleepy town of São Brás de Alportel – much loved for its Luis dos Frangos chicken cafe – is also full of picturesque little streets with many a pretty door. Tile resplendent, boasting filigree metal frames and in varying states of repair, I loved walking the streets around the town centre snapping away. Rua Jose Dias Sancho , where you’ll find the costume museum (Museo de Traje – once a wealthy family’s town house with impressive space and gardens housing a small art gallery as well) particularly good!
Museo de Traje, Rua Jose Dias Sancho, 61 8150-141, São Brás de Alportel
Walk Among The Spring Wildflowers
The spring months of April, May and June really are the most wondrously pretty in terms of sprouting wildflowers. If you’re staying a little inland and can find yourself a field to walk through I high recommend it! It can be thorny so not for your skimpiest sandals but catch the sunset rays and it’s an experience you won’t forget. We love walking up to the windmills just above Sao Romao for the fantastic view, but do keep an eye for guard dogs as their bark can give you a fright!
Have Lunch at Lagar da Mesquita
Just outside the town of São Brás de Alportel you’ll find the beautifully appointed Lagar da Mesquita restaurant. Exquisite Mediterranean menu, a real treat, the Dutch-run restaurant is also full of gorgeous homewares, temptingly for sale. We were thrilled to discover this place and will definitely be going back as so close to where we stay – lunch you’re fine to turn up on spec, but evenings you’ll want to book.
Lagar da Mesquita, Fonte da Mesquita, São Brás de Alportel