Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Travel: The Algarve, Portugal


Sunshine, Sangria and Beautiful beaches... 


I recently went to Portugal for a complete chill-out holiday. Life and work has been getting pretty stressful recently and I was really ready for the break. I'm in the 3rd year of my PhD now and I'm also lecturing, as well as blogging, so it feels like I haven't been able to have much of a life recently! Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy what I do and I really hope to be lecturing full time once I've finished my PhD, but it's been quite an intense last few months and I just needed to relax and breathe for a bit before starting again afresh.

So, the sunny Algarve was my destination of choice, for 9 days of sunshine and no work! We stayed in the Grande Real Santa Eulalia Hotel just outside of Albufeira. It's a 5* hotel and apartment complex with it's own beach and several pools. Because we went in March we got a great deal so I'd definitely recommend looking here for out-of-season holidays. It was very clean, modern and I felt very pampered. 

There wasn't a lot to do in Albufeira to be honest, although there was a cool 'Go Ape!' type place around the corner from the hotel. But that was ok for once as we didn't really want a sight-seeing-busy kind of holiday (although our last two holidays to Amsterdam and America were just like that and were amazing!). Albufeira itself was a little too touristy for my liking, so we only visited once for a walk around. I did get some cute little handles for my chest of drawers from one of the many independent shops there though.

In terms of food, we stayed in an apartment on the hotel complex, so we had the best of both worlds in that we had restaurants on site but could also cook for ourselves. I'd definitely recommend getting the apartment if you do decide to stay here as it's big, private, cheaper than eating out and it gets cleaned everyday like a hotel does. In the restaurants around the area the fish was delicious, as you'd expect by the sea, as it was very fresh and simply melted in my mouth. I particularly enjoyed one meal at the restaurant on the beach consisting of grilled sea bass with mini baked potatoes and salad- so simple yet so good.

There is a big shopping centre, The Algarve Shopping Centre, nearby which houses all the main chain shops that you'd want to visit. I went to Sephora, Zara, Zara Home, H&M, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti and Aldo. It was just a 10 minute taxi ride from the hotel costing approximately €13 and I picked up some lovely items for much cheaper than I would have got them for at home (I've checked since I've been back haha!). 

All in all, the Algarve is a place that I would recommend to anyone that wants to completely relax, see the beach and enjoy the sunshine. I'm back now and I feel much better and ready to get stuck into my work and blog again!

What do you think of The Algarve or Albufeira?
Anyone else really in need of a break?

Rosy x

3 comments:

  1. I was going to go to Portugal for my holiday this year, but we ended up going for Barcelona/Salou instead as I really wanted to spend some time in Barcelona. Your amazing pictures have definitely put The Algarve high on my priorities list for future travels though, it seems like a great place to chill out!

    Milly // Mini Adventures

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  2. This looks gorgeous! My boyfriend and I were considering Portugal for our holiday this year but I think we've decided on Cyprus now. I love your pictures though, especially those sunset ones. I bet it was so nice to just relax. I'm currently in my third year of uni and finding it very stressful so am definitely in need of a holiday! xx

    Jessie | allthingsbeautiful-x

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  3. I went to Portugal this time last year we went as a group of 10 (couples) to celebrate the end of uni. I agree it was a little too touristy but it was nice in the Old Tow to go for food in the evening. We stayed about 25 min walk from the Old Town and spent the day at our villa in the pool chilling or doing a few trips :D xx

    LemonaidLies - Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

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