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Recommendation for beach stay in reach of Faro

Recommendation for beach stay in reach of Faro

Old Apr 30, 13, 7:09 am
  #1  
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Recommendation for beach stay in reach of Faro

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping you might be able to provide some recommendations for a spot for a holiday for a small group of girls not too far from Faro.

Four of us are flying into Faro airport from different countries for 6 nights. We're all in our early 30's, two single, two married. We're looking for somewhere we can relax on the beach or by the pool by day, get some spa treatments, perhaps do some shopping (OK, I admit that's always at the top of attractions for me!), and at night, having some lovely dinners, cocktails and maybe even a little bit of dancing. We're not huge party animals, but it would be nice to be somewhere a little bit lively. We're also at an age where we're happy to spend a bit more to stay somewhere a bit fabulous. We've talked about hiring a car to get around for the week, but it would be great to stay within an hour or two's radius of Faro so we don't spend forever in transit.

I would love to know if anyone had any recommendations or tips!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Claire
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Old Apr 30, 13, 11:39 am
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Hi, did you have air tickets already? If not, I'd recommend flying to Lisbon instead and staying on the coast, either in Cascais or Estoril (20-25 km from the airport). There you'd find great hotels/spas and then drive to Lisbon for the nightlife and shopping.
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Old Apr 30, 13, 10:23 pm
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Thanks for the quick response Maria! Unfortunately we've already booked tickets into Faro as it was the airport that required the least number of connections for the majority of us apparently. Shame though as I've never been to Lisbon and heard such great things about it.
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Old May 1, 13, 5:27 am
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Algarve is an amazing place for a relaxing week. Don't be worried with the choice. You'll have a great time.
What month will you be there?
2h radius from Faro by car pretty much covers all of the coast from the West in Sagres to the border with Spain (Vila Real de Santo Antonio). The A22 highway (Via do Infante) is the best way to travel along the coast.
I'd strongly recommend getting a car as you'll be able to enjoy the variety of beaches and go shopping

Algarve has 3 main types of beaches (Praia in portuguese). White wide sandy beaches in the Eastern part. Cliffs and wide(ish) sandy beaches in central Algarve. Cliff and narrow sandy beaches in Western Algarve.
Western algarve beaches:
Visit Sagres, the Sagres point and the beaches around.
I recommend Beliche small sandy beach surrounded by cliffs
You can drive 30m north to Praia do Amado which is becoming the surf hotspot of Algarve. You'll get a feel of the differences between the West and South coasts.
Still near Sagres.
Zavial - If you're looking for a more empty beach. There is a nudist corner.
Salema - It's an in-between. fisherman village starting to grow into a beach town.
Eastern Algarve beaches:
Manta Rota - White sandy beach. Just walk a couple of minutes west and you'll plenty of space for yourselves. Great for walks along the beach low-tide.
A visit to Cacela a velha (5 min drive from Manta Rota) with an amazing view over the lagoon and beaches is a must. Seafood galore.
Praia do Barril is also an interesting experience with an anchor yard and a train ride to the beach.
Central Algarve beaches:
These are the postcard beaches of Algarve. They also tend to get crowded.
Praia da Marinha is a must in my book. picture perfect.
Praia da Falesia. Along with most of the beaches between Vilamoura (more posh part) and Albufeira (for the masses). These are typically night spots as well.
Bottom line there is a beach for each day of the year.

This area Albufeira-Vilamoura judging by your wishlist is also probably your best bet in terms of place to stay.
Vale do Lobo, Vilamoura, Quinta do lago the more upscale places (and your fabulous places)
Albufeira, Olho de Agua more to the masses

Food:
- Fish and seafood are must do.
Go for the catch of the day (ask what is fresh, some of the places will display the fish).
Last year I spent 4 days eating Conquilhas(Clams) 'a bulhao pato. - Red wine. Alentejo wine will not disappoint. Ask for recommendation or house wine to explore.

Shopping:
Just browse the shop directory in these 3 big malls and you'll find what you're looking for. They're open until 11pm, so you don't miss the beach time.
http://www.algarveshopping.pt/
http://www.aquaportimao.pt/121-14071...ortimao.pt.php
http://www.forumalgarve.net/

GBM
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Old May 2, 13, 7:01 am
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Wow, thank you so much for the detailed response GBM! I've got some reading to do....so helpful, thank you!!
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Old May 5, 13, 7:58 pm
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I have not stayed in this place; I just saw it from the outside;
The location is simply amazing.
It is on a barrier island next to the Faro airport
amazing little restaurants on the water.
I doubt they have a spa or anything fancy and they are a little out of Faro. GBM do you have any comments about this place?

http://www.aeromar.net/en/index.php
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Old May 6, 13, 5:05 am
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That'll be Praia de Faro AKA Ilha de Faro: it's one of the sand islands (ilhas de Faro) that fringe the Ria Formosa nature reserve. In truth it's not really an island, but the tip of a peninsula wrapping round the part of the reserve in front of the airport.

Praia de Faro is the only island with road (and public bus) access and it gets seriously jam-packed over summer weekends. There's parking, restaurants/bars and some accommodation. The charm is that, with no big hotel developments, the place is very "local".

There are boat connections to the other, quieter islets.

It's loads of fun, but unless you like the crowds perhaps best visited weekdays or off-season. Beaches are great and you get to chose between lagoon-side or open sea beaches.


It would certainly satisfy the OP's requirement for beach, but in terms of sophistication and exclusivity, it might not be up to scratch. The Aeromar is nice enough, inexpensive, but pretty basic: for me that's a winning combination for a beach stay - but I recognise it's not for everyone.
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Old May 24, 13, 6:41 pm
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Thank you so much for all the advice. We have booked to stay in Vilamoura, but plan to rent a car for some day trips, so I'd love to check out some of the other places you mentioned above. Thank you again, so appreciated!
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