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Trip Report short trip report: albufeira in the algarve

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A short trip report of a short break (5 nights) in Albufeira in the Algarve at the beginning of this month.
We had previously been to Lagos which we loved but decided to Albufeira; Rough Guides provides a positive and accurate description of the resort.
The holiday didn’t start off well with us being charged high prices for a rental car at Faro Airport because we hadn’t read the small print – they charged us 70 euro for a full tank of petrol regardless of whether we used it or not – and we didn’t. We weren’t on our own, customers before us were even more annoyed, but they kept repeating the mantra: “You should have read the terms and condition” – the car hire firm – Guerin.
Then despite having a Sat Nav we couldn’t find our hotel, but nice Portugese businessman helped us out. Apart from these two incidents, everything else was excellent.
We got the holiday on a shoe string 150 pound stirling per person for flights from Manchester to Faro (oh and return) and 5 nights accommodation.
I can not fault the apartment – big swimming pool with plenty of space and it gets the sun all day. It is a little out of the old town (a 20 minute pleasant walk) but taxis (which we rarely used) are only 4 euro.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g189112-d1074445-Reviews-Solaqua_Apartments-Albufeira_Algarve.html
The old town of Albufeira is full of atmosphere, day and night and the restaurants are wonderful, our best was at the following:
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g189112-d2079553-Reviews-A_Taberna_do_Pescador-Albufeira_Algarve.html
Portugal is very cheap with meals coming in about 25 euro including wine.
The surrounding areas are beautiful especially Ferragudo and Benagil (see below)
http://www.ferragudouncovered.com/
http://guides.getportugal.com/algarve/see/13900/06/benagil-beach
Benagil beach looks busy on this photo, but in May we had the place to ourselves.
We also went on a jeep safari, which sounds cheesy but involves a tour guide pointing out all the wild flowers and other fauna and giving you a potted history of the little villages in the Algarve – it was very cheap and included a wonderful lunch including wine at a panoramic restaurant in a lovely old village: Alte. http://www.altehotel.com/uk/homepage.html
We also had a trip to Portimao, which I wouldn’t recommend – apart from we saw a Stork complete with babies en route.
I can definitely recommend the resort - but later in May would be better for the weather. The temperatures allowed us to lie out and sun bathe - early 70s. We tended to leave going round to the pool until 4pm and stayed until about 6.30 when it was still very warm.
But if you like spring flowers and not wanting sun all day then early May is a lovely time to go.

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