Portugal continua a ser o Melhor Destino do Mundo

We went sailing in Lisbon on the Tagus River

We went on a private sailing tour on the Tagus River, in Lisbon. We met our skipper, Nuno, at the Docas de Santo Amaro where he welcomed us on his lovely and cosy «Alchemist». As we did this sailing tour during the post-lockdown period, Nuno helped us disinfect our hands and shoes before boarding and he’d wear a face mask. These are the protocols by the national Clean and Safe seal.

Unforgettable moments with friends, that’s what we want now, after-lockdown

Once we were all comfortably seated, we were ready to set sail. The wind was on point so we were lucky to almost not use the engine. 

Nuno has a passion for sailing in his veins and you could really sense that. He’s very passionate about sailing, about his boat and about the city of Lisbon. So if you’re interested in these topics, be ready to learn a lot! Even us, Portuguese living in Lisbon learned some interesting historical facts with Nuno. And some of us even accepted the challenge to help a bit with the sailing.

Nuno gave us the choice of a more touristic route in the River towards downtown or to go out to the sea. As we had already sailed in the Tagus River, we were super excited with the option of sailing towards the Atlantic.

We had a great time onboard. We prepared a delicious picnic to share onboard and also brought our drinks from home. Nuno also has a refrigerator available and is happy to share some of his rosé or “green” wine.

We cruised in the direction of Carcavelos beach and were lucky enough to spot some wild dolphins! These were incredible moments. Seeing these magical mammals in their natural habitat is always special. 

Enjoying the sun on the water

Regarding the weather, despite having good wind, we were not so lucky with the clouds that showed up later and made the sunset not so stunning as usual. As such, we’ll go sunset sailing in Lisbon again soon, and try to capture the amazing colors in the sky.

We strongly recommend this sailing experience in Lisbon. It’s a great way to enjoy the city from a different point of view. And, in these crazy times, to be outdoors with a small group of friends, away from the crowds

Watersports Activities you can Enjoy with Your Family in Santorini

Watersports Activities you can Enjoy with Your Family in Santorini

One of the most recognizable islands in the world, Santorini is a symbol of Greece. Known for its whitewashed Cycladic houses, ancient archaeological sites, and the fact that it’s built on the remnants of one huge volcano make it a pretty spectacular place for a holiday. And we haven’t even mentioned the spectacular sunsets! It’s one of the most memorable places you could visit – though it’s probably not the first place you’d think of taking your family. Nevertheless, there are lots of things to do for all ages on the island. 

Of course, one of the most popular draws is its white, red, and black beaches. Each has its own personality and character, but after a few lazy days on the beach, you might start to crave something that will get the adrenaline flowing a little more. How about trying some watersports

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best family-friendly watersports in Santorini. Hopefully, it’ll make it easy to plan and make the most of your trip! 

Stand up paddle boarding in Santorini is magical during sunset

Stand up paddle boarding in Santorini

Santorini’s waters are known for being calm. So, unfortunately for some, that means surfing is off the menu. However, if you feel at home on a board you could try stand up paddleboarding instead. The fastest-growing watersport in the world, it’s a great workout for your core – and who wouldn’t want to say they’d SUPed in the remains of a collapsed volcano?!

Try it at sunrise or sunset, and if you have plenty of SUP experience, you could even have a go at yoga on your board. The ability to do SUP at a slow and relaxed pace means that it’s an ideal way for the family to see the scenery of Santorini together.

There are several different paddle boards depending on what you want to use yours for. So, if you’re wondering which paddle board do I choose? You can either get some expert information at the link there, or find a reliable rental service on the island who will find the best board for you!  

Swimming in Santorini

Something that can be very off-putting when deciding which watersport to do is the need for equipment. Thankfully, with swimming, all you need is a swimsuit. And perhaps a pair of goggles. With swimming spots all over the island, you’re sure not to be disappointed with Santorini. 

Kamari black sand beach is the most popular beach on the island, and there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent for breaks between swimming. The black sand beach at Perissa has a water park where children can swim safely, while Red Beach has an awesome swimming spot amongst impressive rock formations.  

Snorkeling is a refreshing and fun experience

Snorkeling in Santorini

One way of exploring the fascinating waters and the underwater world of Santorini is through snorkeling. Snorkeling in Santorini is one of the best ways to see colorful sponges, groupers, snappers and many schools of fish. Book your tours with SeaBookings and explore the treasures under the sea in safe conditions.

Sea Kayaking in Santorini

Another great way to take in the caldera of Santorini is by kayak. Like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking gives you a great core workout but you’ll be sat down instead. You’ll be able to enjoy some of Santorini’s most famous sights, including rock formations, the Akrotiri lighthouse, while also ducking into sea caves for a bit of shade from the relentless Mediterranean sun. 

Of course, while you kayak you’ll have the opportunity to stop off at a number of beaches that are inaccessible to the busloads of tourists you might find on other parts of the island. 

Parasailing

Maybe one for families with older kids here – and definitely not for anyone scared of heights. Parasailing will see you dragged along behind a speedboat attached to a parachute. You’re likely to reach heights of up to 100 metres! It’s an incredible activity to tick off your bucket list and the views of the caldera below will be etched into your mind forever! 

Water-biking

Shaped like Volkswagen Beetles, water-bikes are basically just fancy pedalos. You might not think of the Beetle as a family-sized car, but there’s space for four on one of these cute little vessels and the good news is it’s very difficult to fall off one!

Are you ready for your first time diving in Santorini?

Scuba Diving in Santorini

If you enjoy diving, Santorini boasts its beaches as it offers great chances for scuba diving due to its volcanic geological background. For people who have experience in scuba diving, this should be one of your highlights during your stay in Greece. Many diving centers and tours have opened over the last couple of years offering diving courses for all ages and levels. Just rent the necessary equipment for your scuba diving experience and your experienced guides will take you out for an amazing time in the underwater world of Santorini. There are also options available for first-timers.

Jet Skiing

Another activity that may be more suitable for families with older kids. Jet-ski safaris are a popular way to see Santorini’s collapsed volcanic craters. Thanks to the high speed of a jet ski, you’ll see what you would in a whole day on a kayak in just a couple of hours. And it really gets the adrenaline pumping! The only issue here is that it’s more difficult and expensive to do as a family. 

Flyboarding

Have you ever wanted to fly above the water before diving down to the depths of the ocean? Okay, maybe not the depths. You want to give flyboarding a go. You’ll be strapped to a jetpack which will enable you to fly more than 10 metres in the air – all you need to do is keep your balance. This unusual activity is just 10 minutes long and it’s available on many of Santorini’s beaches. 

Catamaran cruises are a more relaxing option

Catamaran Cruise

Okay, a catamaran cruise isn’t exactly a watersport, but after all of the high adrenaline activities on this list, it might be time to do something a little less taxing. With a range of options, you could enjoy a sunset dinner cruise or a full day exploring the caldera and beyond. A cruise as a family may be a little pricey, so make sure to find something all inclusive.

Need more reasons? Let us know and we'll tell you!

5 reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown

If you’re dreaming about the picturesque island of Madeira, you will be pleased to learn that it will re-open to international visitors from July 1st. Its neighbour in the archipelago, Porto Santo will too. The Portuguese archipelago had closed in March to help control the spread of COVID-19. There are many more reasons, but here are our main 5 reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown.

About Madeira

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, an archipelago of two main islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. Along with the main Madeira island, with a length of 57km and width of 22km wide, its sister island, Porto Santo, measures just 14km by 8km. There are also Desertas and Selvagens islands which are uninhabited. All islands are a true paradise for nature lovers, both sea and mountains.

COVID-19 in Madeira

So far, the region has registered 92 cases of COVID-19 out of which 90 have already recovered. Madeira and Porto Santo will reopen to tourism on the 1st July date when the mandatory quarantine will be eliminated. The reopening will be carried out safely and aiming to recover the confidence both of travellers and locals

You'll be impressed by Madeira's lush landscape
You’ll be impressed by Madeira’s lush landscape

Reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown

1. Madeira has had very few cases of Covid-19

Until the present date, the islands of Madeira have registered ninety-two (90) positive cases of COVID-19. And there was no community contamination and no deaths. The local government acted quickly to control the virus on the archipelago (actually, the whole of Portugal has been widely praised for its rapid response).

Madeira was a pioneer in the whole Portugal, in developing good practices document to deal with Covid-19 – COVID SAFE TOURISM (English version here), resulting from the involvement from the whole tourism sector, along with the launch of a certification process that will reassure consumer confidence and hence promote Madeira as a safe tourism location for all visitors.

2. Free COVID test when visiting Madeira

All travellers are requested to be tested within 72 hours prior to arrival for faster checkout. Passengers who were not tested will do a free test upon arrival at the airport. Children ages 12 and younger do not have to take the test, except for suspected cases.

“The government will pay for all costs of the tests upon arrival to the destination to prevent any extra costs for travellers,» says Eduardo Jesus, regional secretary of tourism and culture. «This measure ensures all visitors that not only the locals are virus-free, but all those who enter will be scanned, thus promoting a highly secure and reassuring environment. The testing process is being prepared by the Regional Health Authority, with the collaboration of ANA – Airports of Portugal, and strives for the highest speed with least inconvenience for travellers.» 

Need more reasons? Let us know and we'll tell you!
Need more reasons? Let us know and we’ll tell you!

3. No mandatory quarantine in Madeira

The Regional Government of Madeira (GRM) will carry out a test for all travellers, upon arrival in Madeira islands. These tests can be avoided if passengers present a PCR test with a negative result, carried out in the last 72 hours before landing time. 

However, while confinement is not mandatory for those who took the test upon arrival, it is recommended for travellers to go to their accommodation while they wait for the results. Results should be presented within 12 hours.

This measure ensures all visitors that not only the locals are virus free, but all those who enter will be scanned, thus promoting a highly secure and reassuring environment.

4. Monitoring of travelers in Madeira

As part of the pre-travel requirements, all passengers should be monitored through an APP (mobile application). The app is called «Madeira Safe to Discover» of the Regional Health Authority, of voluntary, but recommended use, or by telephone contact. 

5. Madeira will always be Madeira

Luckily, COVID-19 did not change the natural and cultural blessings of Madeira. Warmed year-round by the Atlantic sun, Madeira is known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’. The archipelago is worldwide known for its lush botanical gardens, wine tasting and, of course, the crazy toboggan rides in a wicker basket from Monte to Funchal. 

It is also an outdoor paradise that attracts hikers and sea lovers. The main reason to make the journey to Porto Santo is that it boasts one of Europe’s finest golden-sand beaches. Travellers between Madeira and Porto Santo are currently free from any control by Health authorities.

Madeira has already opened most of tourist products and services such as bars, restaurants, spas, and tourist spots implementing health and safety protocols like social distancing, proper hygiene, and the wearing of mask. Boat tours and other sea experiences like SUP and surf will resume July 1st (some have already restarted in June).

SUP tour in Madeira
A SUP tour in Madeira can be done all year round

The Regional Government of Madeira, through the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture, and Madeira Promotion Bureau are working side by side with all stakeholders to relaunch the Destination. Our teams are always available to share information.

What are you waiting for? Madeira is ready for you, vamos! And if you need more reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown, let us know, we’ll convince you!

Visit Algarve kayak tour in Lagos

Please visit the Algarve. Now! For you and us.

My name’s Bo, I’m one of the cofounders of SeaBookings, and I need to share something with you: visit the Algarve. Now. I’d like to share why, for good and bad reasons. Let’s start with the bad.

I went to Lagos for a few days last weekend and I had the best time ever. I usually stay at my parents’ in the countryside, so at first, I did not notice much changed now during the “new normal”. But when I drove into the city of Lagos and found the main avenue empty with no cars parked along it, I felt my heart squeeze. I literally had tears in my eyes. I mean, at SeaBookings, of course, we noticed a tremendous decrease in demand, but I could never imagine Lagos so empty. I could never imagine the Algarve so empty. Or even Portugal as a whole.

Tourism is huge here and we need you. We need you on our boats, but also in our restaurants, our hotels, AirBnBs and shops, of course. In Lagos, maybe one-third of the cute little local shops and cafés are still closed because there’s simply not enough demand to stay open. This needs to change urgently. So, please, please come and visit the Algarve!

At the same time, you may ask why I had the best time ever. Well, simple. It hurts to say but the Algarve with no tourists is a true paradise. If with tourists the Algarve is stunning, now imagine the beaches and roads just for yourself! 

And we enjoyed the sea, of course, on a kayak tour in Lagos! I had visited the famous Ponta da Piedade by sea before, by kayak, SUP and boat, but this time was far the best ever! Besides the fact that the sea was very calm and the light perfect, not having many other boats or paddlers around gave us a very special experience. So calm and relaxing.

So, you better visit the Algarve soon before the other tourists, to have the sea for “yourself”. And also the beaches, the restaurants, the shops, what not! Now is the time to enjoy the beauty of the Algarve peacefully.

And last but not least, I’d like to share my concern about the negative news out there about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Portugal. Please note that these cases all very much concentrated in the suburbs of Lisbon. And yes, special measures are being applied, but I promise, for now, as a tourist, and even in Lisbon, you won’t even notice them. And about these cases, I truly believe that, if we would consider these cases proportional to the number of tests done, the number would be rather low when compared to other countries. In fact, Portugal is one of the countries of the WORLD with the most tests done per 1000 inhabitants.

So, what are you waiting for? Come and visit the Algarve!

Algarve is the best holiday destination

Travel experts agree: the Algarve is the best holiday destination this summer

A panel of travel experts at Clickstay.com has voted the Algarve as the best destination for British tourists this summer.

52% of the in-house travel pros voted in favour of the Algarve, the South of Portugal, citing successful control of Coronavirus as one of the key factors.

The Algarve obtained more than half of the votes

“Local government has done fantastic work in limiting the spread of the virus and put in sensible measures to ensure people can enjoy their holiday safely”, said Tom Hughes, founder and MD at Clickstay.

“Their use of technology, such as the Info Praia app where tourists can real-time information about the level of occupancy of the beach, is a great example of how the government is being innovative in its approach”, he added.

The article about this study mentions that Portugal recorded a considerably lower number of Covid-19 cases than the UK, so is considered low risk by the UK government. On the other hand, the Portuguese government considers that the UK has got the virus ‘under control’ and is calling for a so-called ‘air bridge’ between the two countries, which would allow British tourists to go on holiday to the Algarve, and the rest of Portugal, without having to quarantine on arrival.

According to these travel experts, there’s a wide range of activities which you can enjoy safely, making the Algarve is the best holiday destination this summer, above other destinations in Europe.

During your stay in the Algarve, you will be able to visit the vast range of beaches without worrying about overcrowding, thanks to social distancing and hygiene protocols and dedicated beach surveillance.

“I usually go on a beach holiday during the summer but was a little anxious having seen some photos of very crowded beaches in the UK,” said one of Clickstay’s holidaymakers, “If social distancing is properly enforced on the beaches in the Algarve, I will definitely consider making the trip”.

Algarve beach
The Algarve’s beaches are a huge attraction for British tourists this summer

Outdoor activities like swimming, kayak tours, SUP tours, and surfing are permitted and most boat tours are already running, all with hygiene and safety protocols in place. In fact, these tours and activities are all recognized by the Portuguese «Safe & Clean» seal. This is surely another big boost for the region’s tourism prospects. According to Tom Hughes, “Many of our customers love to go surfing in their summer holidays, so being able to do that in a safe environment would be a massive attraction’.

For those looking for a more cultural experience, restaurants, hotels, museums and galleries are also already open, with social distancing protocols in place. So yes, you can enjoy some of the local fresh seafood and terraces in under the blue sky are abundant for a safe food-experience.

The shrimps are ready!

The research shows that the geography of the Algarve has also been a factor. In the Algarve, there are many relatively quiet places to rent a villa compared with the busier coastlines of France and Spain, which make it a good destination for those wishing to keep their distance and enjoy a relaxed holiday. 

What do you think? Would you consider the Algarve for your holidays this summer?

Safe Holidays in Portugal

Portugal commits to ‘Safe Travels’ protocols by WTTC

‘Safe Travels’ is a special safety and hygiene mark to provide consistency and reassurance for consumers to speed the Travel & Tourism recovery. Portugal is among the first destinations to adopt private sector protocols and stamp.

 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp. The specially designed stamp will allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

The stamp will allow travellers to experience ‘Safe Travels’

The landmark move by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, has also received the backing of the influential United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.

Portugal is a pioneer in this type of stamps

Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State, said: “Portugal has been committed in reassuring our tourists they will always have the best experience in our country. This stamp, together with our “Clean & Safe” program, is one step further in reassuring everyone that we care, our destination is focused on recovery, and trust is at the core of our business.”

WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.

Last week WTTC’s launched the first of range of new worldwide measures that were part of its Safe Travels protocols to rebuild consumer confidence and encourage the restoration of the global Travel & Tourism sector. They provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the post COVID-19 world. 

The protocols are also being defined following the experience of WTTC members in dealing with COVID19 and based on the best available medical evidence. It also follows guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What do you think about this initiative? Does it influence your decision about where to travel to?

Clean Safe SeaBookings

Portugal, un destino seguro – el sello “Clean & Safe”

Turismo de Portugal creó un sello para distinguir las actividades turísticas que aseguran el cumplimiento de requisitos de higiene y limpieza para prevención y control del COVID-19 y de otras posibles infecciones, reforzando así la confianza del turista en el destino. En un momento en el que se está preparando la recuperación del sector, los proyectos turísticos, las empresas de entretenimiento turístico y las agencias de viajes, pueden solicitar la declaración de establecimiento “Clean & Safe”.

El sello distingue las actividades turísticas que aseguran el cumplimiento de requisitos de higiene y limpieza para prevención y control del COVID-19

Este reconocimiento es válido por un año, gratuito y opcional y exige la implementación en las empresas de un protocolo interno que, de acuerdo con las recomendaciones de la Dirección General de Salud, asegura la higiene necesaria para evitar riesgos de contagio y garantizar los procedimientos más seguros para el funcionamiento de actividades turísticas.

El sello “Clean & Safe” se obtiene online en las plataformas digitales de Turismo de Portugal: RNET (Registro Nacional dos Empreendimientos Turísticos), RNAAT (Registo Nacional dos Agentes de Animação Turística) y RNAVT (Registo Nacional dos Agentes de Viagens e Turismo) y estará siempre asociado al número de registro de la entidad.

Después de enviar la Declaración de Compromiso por parte de las empresas, estas pueden utilizar el sello “Clean & Safe” físicamente en sus instalaciones o en sus plataformas digitales.

Kayak tour in Albufeira
El sello también se aplica a actividades al aire libre como recorridos en kayak

Turismo de Portugal, en coordinación con las entidades competentes, realizará auditorías aleatorias a los establecimientos adheridos.

Los alojamientos y restaurantes locales también podrán próximamente solicitar este sello, respectivamente, a través de AMA (Agência para a Modernização Administrativa, I.P.) y DGAE (Direção-Geral das Atividades Económicas).

Con esta medida, la autoridad nacional pretende no sólo transmitir a las empresas información sobre las medidas mínimas necesarias de higiene y limpieza de los establecimientos, sino también promocionar Portugal como destino seguro desde el punto de vista de los cuidados a la propagación del Virus, con una acción coordinada por parte de todas las empresas del sector.

Clean and Safe Stamp SeaBookings
En la página de experiencia mostramos el sello

Paseos en barco y deportes acuáticos «Clean & Safe»

En SeaBookings, nos asociamos con los mejores proveedores de tours en barco y deportes acuáticos en cada uno de nuestros destinos. De hecho, en Portugal, casi todos nuestros socios ya han obtenido el sello «Clean & Safe», mientras que otros todavía están ajustando sus protocolos internos para poder presentar su Declaración de Compromiso.

En SeaBookings, puede ver si una experiencia se ha comprometido con el sello en la página de cada experiencia, donde mostramos el sello.

Si desea obtener más información sobre el sello «Clean & Safe» o sobre cómo los proveedores turísticos locales se aseguran de que Portugal sea un destino de vacaciones confiable, no dude en contactarnos en cualquier momento. Nos complace ayudar y esperamos darle la bienvenida de forma segura y limpia para disfrutar del mar portugués.

Beachside Wedding

Pros and Cons of a Beachside Wedding

On average, there are over 2 million weddings in the U.S. each year. That means there are a lot of weddings to plan! While some people opt for a simple courthouse ceremony or a backyard event with family and friends, others go all-out. Things like barn weddings, country club weddings, and even traditional church weddings are all still popular in their own right. 

But many people opt to have a beachside wedding due to its natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and uniqueness. It’s easy to think about a walk along the beach at sunset for a romantic date or getaway (no matter where you are in the world!), but when it comes to planning your wedding around the beach, there are some pros and cons to consider. 

Your big day shouldn’t be stressful because of the location you choose. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the benefits and potential drawbacks of a beachside wedding before you decide whether it’s right for you. 

Sunset is the most romantic time for a beach wedding

Pro: A Naturally-Beautiful Backdrop for Any Season

One of the biggest draws to having a beachside wedding is the natural beauty. It takes very little decorating or “preparing” the space to make it look great. With that, you can save money, since you’ll have to worry less about creating a big budget for decorations. You can also use the beach as both your ceremony and reception area by utilizing a large tent; no need to have your guests travel to another venue for food, drinks, and dancing!

Plus, if you get married in a more tropical location or in a Mediterranean climate such as Greece or Portugal, you can have your wedding any time of the year. There are plenty of ideas regarding the best month to get married, but if you don’t want to wait, you can enjoy warm, beachside temperatures even during the winter when you choose a warm destination. 

Con: The Risks of Being Outside

Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather. Weddings take an average of 13-18 months to plan, and the one thing you can’t plan for is harsh sun, rain, wind, or even a higher tide than you expected. On bright, sunny days, you might be putting yourself and your guests at risk for UV exposure. 

It’s a good idea to have both a backup plan for inclement weather and a way to keep your guests safe. A tent or enclosed location is a great solution for rain or wind. Having sunscreen and sunglasses available for both UV protection of the skin and protection for the eyes would be a good idea, and they can also serve as cute party favors for guests to take home. 

There are plenty of location options for beachside weddings

Pro: Many Theme Options to Choose From

You don’t have to limit yourself to standing on the shoreline when you’re considering a beachside wedding. There are plenty of location options you can choose from: 

  • A long dock/pier
  • A lighthouse
  • A boat/ship
  • Further away from the shore
  • A rental property facing the beach

Don’t limit yourself to your idea(s) of what a beachside wedding has to be. When you choose the location that fits your needs, you can also choose the “theme” and style that works for you. Beachside weddings are often more casual and less formal, so guests can enjoy everything from feeling the warmth of their feet in the sand to appreciating a romantic beachside sunset as the backdrop to your reception. Get creative with your seaside locations!

Con: Not All Beaches are Private

Beach weddings can be very intimate, private things if you choose the right spot for your ceremony, but keep in mind that not all beaches are private. If you choose to get married on a public beach, you run the risk of a lot of noise, other people nearby, and even “beach rules” in place that everyone needs to follow. 

Obviously, the best way to avoid this is to rent out a block of time on a private beach. If that isn’t an option for you, be prepared to share your wedding day with other beachgoers who might be curious enough to look-in on your ceremony. That even includes animals, wildlife, and bugs that create their natural habitats on the beach and may crash the party when you least expect it!

If you plan a wedding in low season, you’ll likely have more privacy

Pro: An Instant Honeymoon Spot

Because the beach itself is so naturally romantic, you can transform it into your honeymoon location after the reception is over. Rent a small beach house for a few days and do nothing but relax. If you do decide to have a destination wedding in Greece or Portugal, you’ve already set the stage for the honeymoon of a lifetime!

Beachside weddings are beautiful, romantic, and almost always popular with guests. With a little planning and preparation, you can have the wedding of your dreams with your feet in the sand. 

Vale Do Lobo Golf SeaBookings Family-friendly Golf Courses In Portugal

Discover These Family-friendly Golf Courses In Portugal

The many golf resorts across Portugal provide numerous opportunities for families to enjoy themselves not only on the golf course but with a host of activities for the entire family. Along with the first-class golf courses, there are waterparks, beaches, and kid-specific activities can be found at several resorts across the region.

Additional Read: Top 10 blog posts about Portugal

Below are a few of the more popular resorts along with information about their family-friendly features and activities.

Amendoeira Golf Resort

A favorite among many family travelers, the Amendoeira Golf Resort in the Algarve features apartments and villas available alongside 36 holes of Championship golf, with the Christy O’Connor and Nick Faldo courses. There is also a very popular 9-hole course that is perfect for beginners, while still an enjoyable play for low handicappers. A full 27 holes that will put that new GPS watch to its test.

In July and August, the resort’s “Kiz Club” is active. Designed to entertain the younger crowd, it’s a place where children can engage in age-appropriate activities and make new friends. There are also nearby activities for the entire family, like boat tours and fun watersports in Armação de Pêra.

As hosts to the World Kids Golf Championship, the Amendoeira Resort attracts juniors from across the world to compete in a supportive environment, stimulating growth and development as golfers. In an effort to create a true family experience, it is encouraged that parents serve as caddies for their players. After the tournament concludes, a Parent-Child Par-3 contest is held.

The Amendoeira Resort is a prime example of what makes the Algarve region such a great destination, with nearby proximity to the beautiful beaches of southern Portugal. Views of the magnificent Monchique Mountains are at every turn through the two championship courses, and the resort is home to the region’s only floodlit par-3 course.

Photo credit to https://www.amendoeiraresort.com/

Recently awarded the honor of being the Best Course in Portugal by the World Golf Awards in 2016, the Faldo course is consistently ranked as a top 100 course in Continental Europe.

Penina Hotel & Golf Resort

The original home of golf in the Algarve Region, the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort is set within 360 acres of perfect grasslands and natural beauty. Three golf courses, including the Algarve’s first 18 hole championship course, accompany the five-star hotel and leads the way in high-class service.

Photo credit to https://www.penina.com/

For the kids, the Penina’s Kangaroo Club is a securely enclosed and fully supervised area that provides quality entertainment for children. Daily programs balance entertainment with education, to ensure that every child gets the most out of their holiday experience. A swimming pool, climbing area, football pitch, bicycle track, and a sandpit are all at the kids’ disposal, and . during the summer season a supervised bouncy castle is also set up. There is a Kangaroo Club Restaurant, a state-of-the-art crèche with baby changing facilities, a designated toddler area, and a fully stocked game room.

The Penina Resort welcomes dogs up to a weight of 7 kilos, at an extra charge so don’t forget to pack the doggy toys and their favorite food. No other pets are accepted, with the exception of guide dogs.

Penha Longa Resort

With two golf courses set across the beautiful slopes of the natural landscape near Lisbon, the Penha Longa Resort is a spectacular place to play golf. The stunning forests and rocky mountains rise around the grounds, giving an isolated experience and perfect place for a high-class golf escape.

Two golf courses, the Atlantic Course and the Monastery Course are located at Penha Longa. The Atlantic Course is the resort’s main attraction, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and is ranked as one of the top 30 golf courses in Continental Europe. The 6,786-yard tract features many dramatic holes cut through the resort’s sloping landscape. The course features two distinct sections, with six holes running through a valley, and the remainder straddling the hillside. The Atlantic Course has twice served as host for the Portuguese Open in the mid-1990s, as well as the Estoril Open in 1999.

Photo credit to https://www.ritzcarlton.com

While the Atlantic Course remains the star attraction at Penha Longa, the 9-hole Monastery Course also deserves a look. A less challenging course, with fewer undulations throughout the tract, the views of the nearby Sintra Mountains are spectacular and make for a nice, relaxing round for players of all skill levels.

There is fun for the entire family, as children can enjoy the Penha Longa Kid’s Club where they can enjoy a host of toys and games to play and learn. With Pirates, Treasures and camping, painting and cinema, cooking classes, and pyjama parties, a continuous choice of activities will fill their days while enjoying their stay at Penha Longa, with even more activities during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays. 

There is no need to find a dog-sitter for your holiday. Pets are welcomed at the hotel with a reservation of a Junior Suite, but additional charges apply.

Vale do Lobo Resort

The renowned Vale do Lobo Resort sits on the magnificent coast of southern Portugal and is one of Europe’s best all-encompassing golf resorts. Two golf courses, the Royal and the Ocean, provide an epic layout and rank among the best golf courses in Portugal. Vale do Lobo is an ideal combination of two contrasting courses to make it a truly unique venue among its peers.

Thanks to a huge choice of activities, Vale do Lobo is an ideal location to spend quality time with family and friends. Throughout the year there are a host of activities in the various different areas of the resort, from enjoying the restaurants and live music in the Praca to relaxing on the beach or by the pool or just spending time on the courts or the golf courses.

The Tennis Valley section of the resort features a children’s playground area. The newly refurbished par tee mini-golf course includes fantastic new elements, holes, and challenges, including plenty of water features, tricky holes, and oversized entertainment.

When will beaches in Spain reopen?

When will beaches in Spain reopen?

Will we be able to enjoy the lovely Spanish beaches this summer? Now that we know that the two-week coronavirus quarantine for overseas arrivals in Spain will be lifted from July 1st, we want to know when will beaches in Spain reopen. According to El País, Spain is to recommend reopening beaches at reduced capacity, just like its neighboring country, Portugal, where beaches are already open.

Spanish beaches should be reopened in summer with measures in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion. These measures include:

  • Limits on capacity
  • Distance between sun loungers
  • Delineating the space allowed for each beachgoer.
Holidays in Spain after lockdown
Soon, beaches in Spain will reopen

Beaches are allowed to reopen under Phase 2 of Spain’s deescalation plan. So far, beaches have been only open for walks and sports activities. The Institute of Quality Spanish Tourism (ICTE) established general protocols for reopening beaches. In addition, a draft agreement was reached with regional and local authorities. The final decision on beach regulations will fall to city councils, which are largely responsible for beach management. In fact, local councils will have to determine whether it is necessary to set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity. 

“It’s a draft that still needs to be approved by the Health Ministry, meaning that the final version could be different,” explained a spokesperson from ICTE. “The rules are not binding, but they have been created with the input of the regions and local authorities, so we believe that most of them will be followed.”

Just can’t wait to enjoy the beach in Ibiza again!

Local governments should estimate the capacity of each beach, taking into account its characteristics and how space is used (availability of beach umbrellas and sun loungers) to determine whether it is necessary to control access or set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity. 

According to the guidelines, areas for sun loungers and umbrellas must be clearly demarcated, with controls set up to ensure that “the equipment has been properly cleaned and disinfected.” 

Some regions in Spain have already outlined their own regulations. In Andalusia, for example, Southern Spain, regional authorities have recommended limiting time at the beach to four hours, setting out safe distances on the sand, setting opening and closing hours, disinfecting beaches every day, and banning the use of shower facilities and changing rooms. And in Tenerife, the white-sanded Las Teresitas beach is now open under Phase 2 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan. Some watersports are even available already, like SUP tours and kayak tours for small groups.

So the answer to our question is soon! Gradually, beaches in Spain will reopen. There’s no fixed date like in Portugal, because the decision about the reopening date and the protocol for each beach depend on municipal authorities.