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.

Our holiday video is now live over on Youtube:


If you’ve liked this post please follow me on my social media channels:

Mudpie Fridays: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | LinkedIn

We were invited to stay with James Villa Holidays all opinions and words are my own



  1. Lynda Graham

    Love the Algarve. Stayed many times – beautiful beaches, food and sunshine.
    Heading back to Alvor this year.

  2. Lynn Neal

    I don’t know much about Portugal but it certainly looks interesting!

  3. A S,Edinburgh

    Apart from the hassle with how to pay the toll, that sounds wonderful! So much to do.

  4. Jeanette Leighton

    Looks beautiful I’ve never been abroad but I do want to go one day

  5. We love Portugal, The Algarve too but haven’t gone to the water park. Thanks for showing us it, it looks like you all had a lovely time and happy kids means happy parents

  6. We love Portugal, The Algarve too but haven’t gone to the water park. Thanks for showing us it, it looks like you all had a lovely time and happy kids means happy parents.

  7. Fiona jk42

    I’ve never been to the Algarve, although my husband has gone to play golf. I was invited on that trip, but I’ve been on far too many golf holidays. Maybe next time he goes I’ll see if I can tempt another non-player to go with us so I have some company while the golfers are playing.

  8. Rebecca Whatmore

    Wow, looks so much fun – can I come next year?! There didn’t look like much relaxing going on!

  9. paula cheadle

    you all look like you are having a fab time

  10. Oh we love the algarve too! We have never been back as a family, but definitely want to as it looks so family friendly! The water park looks amazing, Lewis woudl be in his element there! And the little ones too! It looks like an amazing holiday!

  11. That boat trip to the caves looks absolutely amazing. And the Benagil Cave seems totally stunning. I love the idea of Sand City. My children would love that and the water park. It truly looks like an awesome holiday. I’m very jealous. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  12. Oh your pictures are just stunning. It looks like you had the best time, and that water park looks amazing, my girls would love this!

  13. I really enjoyed following your holiday on Instagram. Your story and photos all looked so bright and fun! Monkeys stone did turn out so well, he should be proud. The water park and pool and everything looks like the ideal spot for some family fun and relaxation.

  14. Pam Francis Gregory

    The water park looks like such fun!

  15. I love all the freedom you get with a villa holiday. You chose some great activities and were able to pick a schedule that suited you best, especially with the caves. I’m pleased that went well for Kipper

  16. Wow, the speed boat, the sand sculptures and that water park all look amazing. I think staying in a villa is a great option for families.

  17. Ruth Harwood

    wow, what fun! Think we need a break like this – life needs to slow down every so often xx

  18. I have heard great things about Algarve and would love to visit one day, it sounds like you had a lovely time.

  19. It sounds amazing! The Algarve is top of our list of places to visit.

  20. The Algarve is so beautiful. This brought back loads of memories, though we’ve yet to go with the little one. I think, if you can find a beautiful hotel with a lovely pool, then you just can’t go wrong at all. x

  21. How wonderful, so many fun adventures for you all. The water park looks like somewhere my kids woudl enjoy, but the slides are too scary for me! Mich x

  22. The boat trip to the caves looks wonderful – and really good that they told you that it would be less choppy in the morning. We had a boat trip this summer and it was super choppy and poor Max was a bit sea sick (thankfully he just put his head down on my lap and slept rather than actually being sick!) A water park is a must when you have children, but I feel your pain on amusing them both – it’s never a great place for little ones and I always feel a bit on edge the whole time. But you can’t deny how great they are for older children!

  23. paula cheadle

    looks like you all had a fantastic time

  24. Margaret GALLAGHER

    Looks anazing – will be considering for next year – beautiful place

  25. Wow what a packed holiday! I’ve never been to the Algarve with or without the kids but I’m super tempted to book for next year – it looks amazing. I know my boys would love Sand City x

  26. Oh we love the Algarve but have never been back with the children yet! That water park looks amazing, I think Lewis would have a blast there and the kids would love crazy golf! Maybe one to consider for next year!

  27. You certainly packed a lot into your holiday.

    The boat trip looks like great fun. Buddy keeps asking to go back to Portugal. We’ll definitely be booking one.


  28. Our only holiday abroad with the girls was to the Algarve and we had a lovely time. I love Portugal, there is lots to do, they have brilliant beaches and the flight isn’t too long. It looks like you had a brilliant time. We love a waterpark and this would be top of our list to visit x

  29. Sounds like you all had an exciting time! The kiddos will have lots of fond memories when they grow up.


Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.