Alvor! What a place! - this is our 4th time here and most definitely our favorite sun holiday destination.
We stayed at Brisamar apartments - low rise apts situated in wide open spaces and immaculate gardens. Spacious, basic, bright apartment. Great value for the price we paid: €120 for the week.
We rented a car through economycarhire.co.uk which I would recommend. Driving in the Algarve can work out quite expensive with all the motorway tolls and high fuel prices, but we were glad to have the car to drive to the beach which otherwise would have been a gruelling 20minute walk in intense heat!
15-22Sept - weather was superb. We spent our time dipping in and out of the pool and the sea to try and keep cool.. the heat was pretty intense, surprising for mid-September!
The beaches here are seriously amazing. We parked up by the Prahina resort each day and took the elevator down through Cafe Canico to the beach. This part of the beach is surrounded by beautiful cliffs and caves - extremely scenic. It's quite busy but not over-crowded. The sea is lovely to swim in, the waves make it more fun.
Cafe Canico is a great little spot for lunch. Decent sandwiches, great coffees and ice-creams, lovely gazpacho, chilled out music, spectacular setting and sea-views. Yes a little pricier than other places in Alvor, but the setting is one in a million. Sandwiches and coffees for two = €12.
We ate in O Arco Da Velha most nights - highly recommended (I've submitted a separate review to the restaurants section). We also ate in O Navegador which was good, but we preferred the food and atmosphere at O Arco.
We had a great day out at the Slide n Splash waterpark. It is a bit of a money racket - €25per adult, then if you want lockers, umbrellas, sunbeds you'll fork out up to €10 extra per person.. but it really is a fantastic park - recommended for a day of perpetual smiles and laughter :) The newest addition - 'The Tornado' is great fun.
In summary Alvor is a great great spot. It has expanded quite a bit and is definitely a more lively place than when we first visited in 2002, but it retains it's charm and chilled out vibe. I'm already planning our next trip :)