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Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

New York City, New...
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Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

Planning to spend 2 weeks in Portugal with a toddler, first 2 weeks of July 2014. Thinking we could 2-3 days in Porto/Duoro Valley, 5 days in Lisbon and about 1 week in either Alentejo or Algarve staying at a 'homebase' on or near a beach and then driving around the region we pick. I read Alentejo is more rustic, local with nice beaches but I'm not sure if there are any beaches gentle enough for small children and if there are either resorts, pousadas or apartments on the beach with good restaurants around. Algarve, I read will be filled British and German partying tourists, so I'm afraid it won't be low-key enough for us, although I read Western parts of Algarve might suit. Any suggestions?

Albufeira, Portugal
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1. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

the beaches on the western coast of the Alentejo face the Atlantic Ocean and there is not much between them and NYC. I haven't been there in July but I can imagine the sea might still be a bit rough. Some of the beaches are extremely nice, wide and sandy. There's certainly very little in the way of major tourist resorts but plenty of small towns. Accommodation may be a problem.

The western end of the Algarve around Sagres and as far as Lagos is quite a distance from the airport so tends to attract an older crowd, although the surfer dude and backpacker types do tend to go to Sagres but there shouldn't be too many in July as the surf is low. There are some small resort towns and nice beaches. The sea can be rough and the wind strong, even in July, but it will be 80F.

Certainly the bigger Algarve resorts like Albufeira, Alvor, Praia da Rocha etc will be starting to fill up for the summer but not as mad as late July and August. The British school holidays don't begin until mid Julyso then we get families en masse.

At this time of year there are golfers by the hundred!

It's estimated that about 40% of all tourists coming to the Algarve are British but most of the rest are in fact Portuguese, coming down from the mountainous north to the seaside.

Accommodation may be hard to find and may be expensive if not already booked.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

I'm not too worried about finding accommodation and expenses - more about the right place to stay. We are always after a more local flavor, but want to make sure our baby is safe in the water. I've read about beaches in the Lagoa area being nice and might fit (Praia Dona Ana, Praia da Marinha, Praia do Carvalho, Praia da Senhora da Rocha, Carvoeiro Beach and Praia do Beliche, Praia de Odeceixe, Praia da Rocha as other options. We would ideally like to stay in a Pousada style boutique place with good restaurants close by (we will have a car). Sagres sounds like its for surfers, not sure if there would be beaches good for a small child.

Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
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3. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

You have very nice boutique accommodations along the coast of Alentejo (most of them classified as "Turismo Rural"), but most are a bit inland (no problem if you have a car). Any of the small coastal towns in Alentejo will have restaurants. There are beaches that are more "exposed" to the elements others have areas where children are ok. Here are some links:

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https://naturarte.pt/

I'm biased towards Alentejo, there you have the chance to experience the "real" Portugal, something that it's a bit difficult in the Algarve (unfortunately).

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4. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

Thank you for all those links and suggestions. Can you suggest any beaches in the Alentejo region that are less exposed and where children should be ok? Which of these accommodations above are close to those beaches?

Lisbon, Portugal
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for Azores, Lisbon, Portugal
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5. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

Both Odeceixe and Vila Nova Milfontes have small river mouths that creat calm sandy areas. Here you have a nice description of several beaches https://naturarte.pt/surroundings/beaches/

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

And how about in the Algarve? Are there are places that might be similar in feel, and have similar quinta/pousada accommodations by the beach, with a beach safe and fun for small children? I would guess around the Lagoa area?

7. Re: Alentejo vs Algarve for small children

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