Algarve Holiday Diary: During the first week of the Summer Holidays we were lucky enough to visit the Algarve with James Villa Holidays. You can read all about the beautiful Villa Olive we stayed in during our visit in our review post. We had a brilliant time and I was really surprised by just how much there is to do as a family. For this reason I wanted to share our holiday diary. But as ever its on the long side so I have split it into two, this is the second half of our holiday.
We got up early and headed towards the beach we spent our first day at. While we were there on Friday we had booked a boat trip to visit the caves. When we booked I explained that Kipper was only 26 months and expressed concern around his safety. Because of this we had to go out in the morning when the water was less choppy. So we took the earliest boat at 9am. The tour is only an hour long which is the perfect length for little ones. We got really lucky as we were the only family on the tour at that time. During the tour you visit around 10 caves depending on the tide, some them were pretty tight! It was a great way to see things that we wouldn’t have been able to swim to with young ones. Including the well known Benagil Cave which was stunning.
Kipper wasn’t too sure of the speedboat initially or going in and out the caves. But he did relax towards the end and actually fell asleep. Monkey loved it all especially the fast ride back to shore. They are able to get the boat very close to the beach which means you don’t get very wet when getting in and out. They also supply life jackets for all.
After our exciting trip out we spent the rest of the day in the villa playing in the pool. Our intention was to head into Portamio in the evening to walk around the marinas (it has three). Yet both boys requested curry for dinner. So Hubby found one in the town itself but we didn’t realise it was quite away from the marinas. The curry was very nice. But it did mean we were all too tired to do much promenading after it. It will have to go on the list for next time we visit.
We had planned to get up early this morning to fit in both Sand City and a trip to beach which has just been rated The Top European Beach of 2018. It didn’t quite go to plan so we only managed to fit in Sand City. But then that the flexibility of a villa, the pool is always a hit with the boys so it doesn’t matter if things get in the way.
So we eventually made it to Sand City around 11.30 it wasn’t very bug and only took us about 40 minutes to walk round. Espically with a six year old. However they do put on craft activities around lunchtime. Monkey had fun painting a stone and it gave us a chance to feed Kipper in the shade. He was very proud of his stone!
On the way back to the villa we went to great pains to find a post office which was open that we could pay the tolls on. Portugal unlike other European countries we have been too don’t have toll booths on the road. Instead its all electronic and you need to pay at a post office five days after you went through the toll. Despite taking over an hour to find one that was open we were told that there was nothing to pay. Which was slightly annoying. My recommendation if you are hiring a car is to take the deal with the hire company who will cover the cost via a daily fee. Will save time and stress!
The rest of the day we spent in the pool. The boys love jumping in and playing on the numerous inflatables. It was so hot 38 degrees (OMG). We finished the day with a BBQ and sitting on the veranda playing cards.
I can not believe its our last full day. Its gone so quickly!! One thing which Monkey kept asking to do was to visit a waterpark. We didn’t do much driving while away but every time we got in the car we seemed to pass a waterpark. The bright slides calling out to a certain six year old. Now if I am honest its my idea of hell. Kipper only being two means that hes far to young for any of the slides and we would spend the day apart. As Hubby went on the slides with Monkey and I stayed in the splash pool with Kipper.
Yet at the same time I felt bad that he wouldn’t get the chance to experience it. So on Wednesday we did just that. Choosing Aqualand which is the closest one to the villa. At most a 20 minute drive, plus we had picked up some 50% discount vouchers at the airport. Which meant even if we decided to leave at lunchtime it wasn’t going to cost us the earth. We set up close to the splash pad and separated. Kipper seemed happy enough until he saw the larger slides which he wasn’t allowed on. Suddenly the baby slides which had been keeping him amused not longer cut it… Thankfully at two there is only so much excitement you can take. After a snooze and something to eat he was happy enough in the baby pool again, before a trip to the wave machine. Which we managed to do as a family. In the end we didn’t leave until around 4pm.
That evening we had planned on eating out. But everyone was exhausted by the day out so. Instead we ate at home using up the salad, meat and cheese we had in the fridge. Both boys were in bed early which gave Hubby and I a relax ahead of the travel tomorrow.
We got up early and packed. The cleaner arrived at 10 and we were ready to go. Although our flight wasn’t until around 6.30pm. So we decided to try our hand at Mini Golf. Everyway you turn in the Algarve their is a golf course so it seemed the right thing to do. We saw a dinosaur one advertised which was back towards Portamio, called Adventure Golf Alvor.
Arriving around 11am we had the place to ourselves for the first twenty minutes. Then it got really busy so if you are thinking of visiting then I would recommend getting there early. Especially as there is little cover from the sun. The course consists of eighteen holes. It took us little over an hour to go round, although I think if you were playing properly it would take a little longer. Its probably the best themed mini gold we have ever done. I espically like that there is a bridge with a pulley system. The holes are all different and some are quite long. However it is not an easy course and I would think would probably suit children aged 8 and over. Since there is nothing to stop the balls flying out the other end of the hole. The green seems to be sunk slightly which works well if you can hit a ball softly. This is not Monkey’s strong point.
Saying that they both had fun and Kipper liked the big Dinosaurs! There is also a small cafe selling drinks and snacks (crisps and sweets mainly). It over looks the course and when we visited there was a nice breeze. Considering theres not much else around its very well priced. It was a good activity to end the holiday with.
Monkey is already asking if we can go back and try out the other water parks. So I am sure we will return and to the same location. The area is perfect walking distance to restaurants and the beach and kids activities a short drive away. Thank you James Villa Holidays for inviting us we had an amazing time and have created memories that will stay with us for a lifetime.
You can read the first part of our holiday diary here. Have you been to the Algarve with little ones? I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.
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We were invited to stay with James Villa Holidays all opinions and words are my own