London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Back to Algarve with kids on this occasion, 10 years after and falling back in love just like the first time. Sagres pristine beaches, nature reserve and Martinhal warm hospitality make it the perfect base, so much fun and facilities for children, so much zen and convenience for adults. Algarve countryside is lush, colourful flowers all around, olive, fig, almond, and carob trees and the coast is out of this world with its unique rock formations and turquoise crystal waters. Best things to do in Algarve Portugal? Here are our favourite beaches, restaurants and activities, one is spoilt between great choices!
Martinhal makes the perfect pied a terre for families willing to explore all the beauties in and around The end of the (old) world, we raved a lot on Insta about dramatic stunning sunset skies and crystal clear Atlantic Ocean inviting for all sorts of watersports. We spent 6 days end of August and beginning of September, but we could have easily stayed 2 weeks and indulge Algarve with kids even more.
Our favourite beaches in Algarve with kids?
1. Sagres is unspoilt and beautiful, fine white sand and crystal blue waters. The Atlantic in here is fresh, expect a couple of degrees less than mid Algarve, but the water stunningly clear, fish jumping and splashing when you go paddle boarding or kayaking. We had 2 windy days perfect for kite surfing and wind surfing and 2 days without wind when we indulged into paddle boarding and kayaking, soaking in the shades of blue and the dramatic coast and rock formations.
2. Praia do Camilo must be our second, with 2 energetic young boys now aged 4 and 7 the stairs and 10 minutes ascent and descent are literally a walk on the beach! They loved the tunnel within the rock to go to the second beach, collecting shells and splashing whilst I loved swimming around the rock formations. A dream of a beach, in many ways reminding me of Etretat in Normandy or Twelve Apostles in Australia, but way better for swimming around, kayaking or paddle boarding.
3. Next door to Praia fo Camilo there’s Ponta de Piedade, a beautiful trek by the coast. Expect formidable caves and rock formations (including a kissing couple, sphinx, cathedral and stairway to heaven), turquoise waters and arches, beautiful vegetation and well kept wooden treks.
4. Praia da Marinha from last time around, more stairs but again out of this world turquoise shades and rocks.
5.Praia da Bordeira, 25min drive from Martinhal Sagres, west coast of the Algarve Portugal, located in the Costa Vicentina natural park. Huge dunes where kids can dune surf just like in the Oman desert ; vast skies and remote vibes beach with access by long wooden walkway and stairs.
Best restaurants Algarve with kids.
For us Martinhal are again the winners, when it comes to gourmet options, wines, sea setting at As Dunas and elegance. Dining Algarve with kids is a super delightful affair in here, the kids have trampolines outdoor plus playground as well as a kids corner inside with painting, domino etc. At Dunas we had the best Grilled Seabass ever and cataplana (Portuguese stew with fresh fish nd seafood) -all divine. Our 7 years old loved their salmon pokes and the 4 years old indulged into chicken, broccoli, cucumber, fries and pasta. As Dunas is superb in so many ways!
2. For authentic cave dining we loved Canico, the setting is unique and the fish is fresh. We had more seabass grilled, Portuguese alioli and vegetables, plus icecreams for kids. They just pleaded for more time on the beach; we did say 6 days for Algarve with kids is not enough!
3. Os Gambozinos at Martinhal must have been our kids favourite, the pizzas and burgers were a winner and for us seafood risotto and spaghetti al nero di seppia. The square is great fun for the kids, with playground, trampolines and cinema options upstairs, so parents can easily enjoy adults conversation, wine and tete a tetes after busy days.
4. We also tried A Tasca in Sagres, the setting by the harbour is pretty and Portuguese hospitality warm. We had in here ceviche, smoked octopus, cod in almond flakes and creamy hakes, all went down a treat. The team has been so kind and provided us with blankets as we opted for seating outside to gaze at the stars and moon.
5. We had a look at the restaurants by Bordeira beaches, the kids were starving but we decided they didn’t match the beauty of the beach/ look and feel clean or friendly enough. And when you have Martinhal Sagres to spoil, it was a no brainer even starving kids could wait 25 minutes drive.
Fun things to do in Algarve with kids :
1. Castle building on Sagres beach, collecting shells, splashing in the sea, kayaking and paddle boarding. The options are plentiful for all parties.
2. Coast trekking and climbing. Again Sagres coast is a dream and if you fancy exploring we warmly recommend Ponta de Piedade and the beaches above.
3. Kids at Martinhal are so spoilt : from splashing in 5 pools, to trampolining and bespoke kitchens kidsclubs per age, cinema, playgrounds, Blue Room.
4. The adults are also super well looked after: from adults only beach area, to spa, to time off from kids whenever they wish.
5. Chasing sunsets again, the ones by Sagres and Cabo de Sao Vicente were our favourites. The end of the (old) world is super windy but expect skies on fire, a lighthouse, a church and stunning views over Sagres fortress and wild coast. One can easily feel in here the magnitude of the nature and the mythological charm.
We have been super spoilt by Martinhal Sagres with a 3 beds Ocean villa, spacious and elegant. The upstairs living is airy, huge glass windows on both sides sunrise and sunset facing, which brings much light and happiness in one’s stay!
The parents picked the bedroom facing the sunrise and most nights we looked at stars from our bed and huge garden. The first night I have been also super lucky and blessed with the biggest shooting star I’ve ever seen. We long debated if it was a comet?
In the new world of unpredictable 2020/2021 travels, Martinhal is the right place to stay from the rigorous approach to health and safety, to villas that can accommodate for the most demanding families looking to relax and spend time together, cook at leisure but have the convenience of exquisite dining next door or simply ordering in room or the supermarket delivery.
All Martinhal restaurants, kidsclub and spa bookings could be done on My Martinhal (online). We felt safe and looked after at perfection, once again!
We flew to Faro, which is about 2.5 hour flight from London and then an hour drive to Martinhal Sagres – an easy peasy itinerary! Algarve Portugal is splendid in September and October, few friends heading that way for half term holidays, wish we could join them again ! Winters are the warmest in Europe in here, so one can easily opt for a Christmas and New Years Eve by the beach, spoilt with great food, wines and cocktails as well as kids having a blast with their friends.
For more inspiration on Portugal with kids, read about our fantastic stay with Martinhal Cascais; for further impressions on Sintra, check our article published with Trips 100 UK and our article on Vila Vita.
Travelling to Portugal during the pandemic. Being fully vaccinated and travelling from UK to Portugal was easy, just a couple of extra forms and tests. For coming back to London we booked our private tests 3 days ahead of our travels and thereafter booked for London Day 2 private tests. The travelling guidance has been fluid though, always best to check the latest UK Foreign travel advice.
Disclaimer: many thanks to Martinhal Sagres for the media rate and warm hospitality. Pictures, opinions, enthusiastic cheeky kids – entirely ours.