We stayed in the Elma apartments in June of this year – four of us, husband, wife, son, and his school friend.
The apartments are located in a quiet residential area in Sao Joao that also has a number of bars and restaurants close-by. There are at least five blocks in the complex, which are mostly perpendicular to a one-way street that leads down from the junction where the Panacee restaurant is located to the last block about 300 metres away. In between the apartment blocks are ‘side-streets’ where cars can be parked.
The reception is in one of the blocks, and is managed by Christine, one of the most helpful people I’ve encountered anywhere on holidays. Tickets for water-parks, how to regulate the gas, where to purchase matches – she has all the answers.
The apartments themselves are somewhat on the ‘old-fashioned’ side, but don’t let that put you off. They are quite spacious, and were more than adequate for the four of us. Our apartment was two-bedded, and each bedroom had an en-suite. Each bedroom had a large ceiling fan that helped to keep the air circulating.
The kitchen area has a gas cooker with four rings and an oven. There was also a big fridge and a microwave. There was also a toaster and a kettle. The living area has a wall-fan, a couch, a TV, a side-board, a dining table and four chairs. Outside there is a small balcony with some chairs and a plastic table.
The pool area is behind the apartment blocks and is reached through an entrance off one of the side streets. The pool is nice, and well-maintained. There is a small snack-bar by the pool that sells drinks, sandwiches, burgers, and so forth. Cushions for the sun-beds can be hired for €1.50 from the bar, and there are a small number of parasols available for free.
The Panacee is a bistro-style restaurant situated in one of the blocks. The food is superb, and the waiters are very friendly, and attentive. Look out for their nightly fish specials written up on a black-board in the restaurant. Their Golden Bream is really nice.
The Sao Joao beach is a short stroll down the hill by the Monica Isabel Beach Club. You can walk right in as far The Fishermans Beach in Albufeira, in about 15/20 minutes.
It’s about a 30-minute walk by road back into the Old Town. The ‘Strip’ in Montechoro is about 15 minutes in the opposite direction. There are one or two small supermarkets in the immediate vicinity where you can pick up the essentials: water, bread, cold drinks. I recommend the local Bar Azul as a nice place to have a drink on your way out for the evening.
There is a large Modelo and Pingo Doce supermarkets about 15 minutes walk from the apartments. A taxi back costs around €3.50, or there are two bus lines (Blue/Green) which head all around Montechoro but eventually pass by the main road near to the apartments (€1.10 per trip).
If you are looking for a peaceful spot for a well-earned rest, then the Elma may be for you.
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- Also Known As:
- Elma Apartments Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
- Elma Apartments Hotel Albufeira
- Apartments Albufeira