A January 2002 trip
to Algarve by gghani
Quote: A relaxing five day break in the Algarve, with warm weather, food and the Euro
It was a great choice. The weather is usually warm during the day, and often warm enough to sunbathe. We stayed in Albufeira, and this seems to be a fairly lively spot.
If you go in the winter, the shops close a bit earlier, and the place has a bit of closed feeling in the evening. Best thing to do is plan your activities for the day and afternoon. Walks along the coast from old to new Albufeira are rewarding and involve a bit of a srcamble.
Also a drive along the coast takes little time, and the the sights are less crowded. Worth a look are the mountain at Foia and Cap St Vincent and the opulant chic of Vilamoura.
The hotel restaurant served evening meals, which were quite cheap, but also quite nasty. The breakfasts were a "help yourself" affair, and were adequate, with selections of cold meats, cheese and scambled eggs.
The residents were mainly Brits and over 60. The evening entertainments were jolly affairs, and the drinks reasonable.
It is located above the old town and near to the coast road. There is a swimming pool, but we didn''t try it. The poolside bar was expensive.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 20, 2002
Estalagem do Cerro
Avenida Do Cerro
We did have lobster there, and it cost 90 Euros for two. Ouch!
It closes at 6pm in winter.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 20, 2002
Restaurant Sol e Mar
Esplandae do Tunel
The grilled mixed fish platter lasts for as long as you can. Food is cooked as you eat so it is always fresh and hot and was accompanied by boiled potatoes and a great salad.
Can't quite remember the names of the fish, but there were salmon steaks, local sardines, snapper, something he called an anchovy, although my experience is that anchovies are not the big fish I was served.
Whatever it was, no sooner had we finished one fish, the waiter, who was watching, delivered more. They will only stop cooking when you say to stop. The fish was very fresh. It didn't move on its own, but it must have been close. They also do meats and I think a veggie option. The waiters were cheerful, helpful and kind. Hardly spoke any English, but this was not a problem.
Incidently, we went to a posher restaurant the next day, and the food was not nearly as good, and twice the price.
Ze Peixe Assado
Estrada de Sta Eulalia
Deals could be had, and we paid 51GBP for four days.
The Algarve is not big, so you don't need a huge car to cover the distances, unless you have a huge family.
We had a Suzuki Wagon R, which is essentially a shopping trolley. It has small wheels, and so does not cope with the usual Portugese terrain of potholes and poorly maintained roads. If you have a choice go for a conventional car, they cope with the situation better.
Buy a map as well, as roadsigns are variable.
Do explore, we went up the mountain at Foia and stopped off a several delightful villages on the way. And the roads sparkle; little bits in the road reflect the sunlight and it's like driving on jewels.
Also worth a drive for its sheer unspoiled beuty is a drive to the most westerly point in Europe, Cap St Vincent.
The police have a 0 tolerence attitude to poor driving, and to drunk driving. I had no problems and the driving was OK in the winter.
Watch out for the odd horse and cart on the main roads.
London, United Kingdom