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1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

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1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

We're giving the Algarve a go in the August hols next summer for a 10 day hol.

We've never been before so don't know where best to stay. We are 2 adults and a 9 year old, and in the past we've liked the 'holiday village' type resort (pool, separate apartments with kitchen, kids ents, not too far from the beach etc) rather than one room hotels.

Can anyone recommend a family friendly place to stay that's, say:

- 20 miles either side of Faro (where we're flying to - I don't want to hire a car to get to the resort)

- popular with English speakers (more so the kid has someone to play with)

- a pool and kids club

- not too far from the sea (i like snorkeling etc)

Sorry if it's a bit general, but we don't know enough to decide which resort/town to aim for yet.

Any info that helps to kick off our decision making process welcome!

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1. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

first choice actually do a "Holiday village Algarve" int their brochure it has everything you ask for, if you want to book independently have a look at the following Brisa Sol., Sol Aqua,

Parque Cocovada, or Forte do Vale, or with many operators Clube Praia Da Oura

i

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Hotel Apartamento Brisa Sol
Hotel Apartamento Brisa...
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Albufeira, Portugal
Clube Praia da Rocha
Clube Praia da Rocha
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Praia da Rocha, Portugal
Praia da Oura
Praia da Oura
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Albufeira, Portugal
Algarve
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Ballyclare
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2. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

I have stayed in Portugal twice with my young family and if you are staying in Albuferia, I would recommend the Corcovada Apartment complex. It has modern apartments with a small kids park, cafe and swimming pools. These are all privately owned and we booked through Owners Direct. The complex is a short walk from the "strip" where most of the bars/restaurants are located. I would also recommend visiting the Albuferia Old Town (you can get the tourist train in from the strip), where there is also a selection of bars and restaurants but I felt had a better family atmosphere.

We also stayed in Vilamoura last year with other family members and hired a Villa in the Vilamoura Tenis area. This was privately owned and was an excellent place to stay although was about 1 mile from the Marina and probably would be more suitable for a group booking.

A place where we were thinking off last year which may be of interest was the Old Village in Vilamoura. This was a complex of apartments and had a pool with bars & restaurants within the complex it. We went for a drink and also a meal a few nights nights and it seemed like a good spot to stay. There is also a Tourist train that you can get directly outside which takes you to the Marina.

The marina at night was always very busy but had an excellent selection of bars and restaurants and had a good atmosphere.

On both occasions we didn't hire a car and used Airport Transfers with YellowFish. They are very reliable and we found them to be very reasonable in terms of cost in comparison to other Airport Transfer companies. The drivers are also very friendly and offered good advice on areas of interest in Portugal. Would highly recommend them if you are not hiring a car.

Hopefully this helps a bit.

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The Old Village
The Old Village
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3. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

Thanks for the info sunndays and simply08. I was leaning towards Albufeira as there seems a ton of places to stay and stuff to do there.

But Vilamoura looks good to now I've read up on it! We'll have a child with us so it's not like we can go clubbing every night, and I'm guessing Albufeira would be a preferred destination if you were free to go out at night for as long as you want?

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4. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

We have just booked for Albufeira again in July/August last night!

It has plenty to do at night. We can't go clubbing now either but last time we went to albufeira there were plenty of bars that have entertainment on every night on the strip (one long street with bars, restaurants and shops).

You might want to try the Old Town as well for a beer and a meal some night as well if you get a chance.

If you have a kid with you then Zoomarine was a good day out. It has various shows on (dolphin show, high diving, sealions) and has mini amusement park, mini zoo and a few waterpark type rides.

Hope you get sorted and have a good one.

Cheers

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Zoomarine Algarve
Zoomarine Algarve
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Albufeira
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5. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

We've decided to go for Vilamoura, mainly because the resort had 2 bed appts for a reasonable price, and the Old Village Appts look like the kind of place that my wife and daughter will enjoy lounging around most days.

It's not too far from Albufeira (looks about 6 or 7 miles) so I'm sure we'll pay it a couple of visits.

I wasn't planning on hiring a car, so I'll research public transport and taxis now as Zoomarine sounds like a good day out.

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The Old Village
The Old Village
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Vilamoura, Portugal
Zoomarine Algarve
Zoomarine Algarve
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6. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

Vilamoura is 11 miles by road from Albufeira, 35 - 40 minutes by bus costing €4.05 or €20 or so in a taxi on weekdays, 25 ish at weekends and at night.

Bus times www.algarvebus.info/002w.htm

Be aware that the buses do not go to the Albufeira old town. The nearest stop is six or seven minutes walk.

Zoomarine run their own buses from all the tourist resorts and is the best way by far to get there. Details are on their website and you can book bus and admission either on line or at one of the local 'ticket shops'

Edited: 04 January 2013, 21:00
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Vilamoura
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7. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

Problem is that unless you are carefull where you eat and drink especially around marina Vilamoura can be very very expensive compared to Albufeira

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Sheffield, United...
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8. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

Thanks for the bus link cubsur - looks like a nice beach walk from Vilamuara to Olhos D'Agua, and a bus back could be a good day out.

Anybody any idea what the snorkelling's like along this stretch of the coast?

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9. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

Hi I visit Vilamoura regularly and would agree with Sunndays, its expensive if you decide to eat around the marina. There are loads of good value restaurants off the marina in small courtyards. If you are in the Old Village there is a mini train which runs to the resort centre.

There is a water park about a 5 minute taxi ride away and mini golf. 2 good beaches and plenty of cycling paths if you feel a bit more energetic.

Hope this helps.

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The Old Village
The Old Village
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Vilamoura, Portugal
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10. Re: 1st timers: Family holiday village - recommendations anyone?

Cycling sounds great. I assume there's a cycle hire place in Vilamoura?

And off the top of your head, could you (or sunndays) name any of the off marina restaurants?

We'll probably have one expensive meal at the end of the hol, but the rest of the time we'll try and stick within a reasonable budget. Plus plenty of self catering e.g. fresh salad and bread/cold meats/cheese and snacks. So we'll try and locate a good wine shop, deli and greengrocers

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