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?

Benagil cave Algarve

Top 10 blog posts about Portugal

2019 was a busy year on our blog and the top 10 of our most-read blog posts were all about Portugal! Traveling to Portugal soon? Don’t miss out on our top 10 blog posts about Portugal. Within Portugal, some of the most-read blog posts were about the Algarve while others about Madeira. And, no surprise! Blog posts about Benagil are very popular.

Read our Top 10 blog posts about Portugal:

Tips for your Easter holidays in the Algarve
Discover the prettiest beaches in the Algarve

Our top 6 beaches in Lagos, Portugal

One of SeaBookings’s founders, Femke, has been living in Lagos for more than 20 years now. Living in Lagos is lovely and the beaches in Lagos continue to surprise every single day. Lagos is worldwide known for its stunning beaches. Femke shares her top 6 of beaches around Lagos. The beaches in Lagos are all stunning and all different.

Her favorite 6 are Porto de Mós, Praia da Batata, Meia Praia, Praia do Pinhão, Praia Dona Ana and Praia do Camilo. But it is hard to choose and herself usually goes to quieter beaches that are a bit further away from town.

SUP tour in Madeira
Doing a SUP tour in Madeira can be done all year round

9 reasons to visit Madeira during the Fall / Winter

Thinking about Madeira as a trip during this Winter? Good idea! We went to visit Madeira in low season and had a great time. That’s why we’ve shared 9 reasons to visit Madeira during the Fall/Winter.

SUP or kayak to Benagil
The epic Benagil cave is just one of the many caves of the region

Algarve Caves: Top 5 – Caves of Portugal

If you’re planning your holidays to the Algarve, you’ve most likely already heard of the Algarve caves. In this article, we’ve shared the top 5 caves in the Algarve you can’t miss.

To write this article, we’ve spoken to some of our partners who know the Portuguese coastline like no other. Check them out and book a boat trip to visit them!

SUP or Kayak to Benagil
SUP or Kayak to Benagil

Benagil – the best way to discover the cave

The Benagil caves are the most impressive sea caves in Portugal. As a result, the cave has been the most popular cave to visit in the Algarve. There are several ways to visit this cave. In this blog post, we tell you some of the possibilities and the pros and cons of each. 

Lisbon’s enchanting during sunset!

How to get from Lisbon to Benagil

Traveling to Lisbon and dreaming about visiting the famous Benagil sea caves in the South of Portugal? How to get from Lisbon to Benagil is one of the most frequent questions our customer support gets. This is why we decided to make a blog post about how to get from Lisbon to Benagil!

It is possible to visit Benagil from Lisbon on a day tour. However, if you can spare one night, it is much more relaxed if you take your time and make it at least a two-day trip. But that’s just a suggestion.

Sesimbra is a great spot for nature lovers

How to get from Lisbon to Sesimbra

And another “how to get from A to B” blog post in our top. If you’re visiting Lisbon, you have many possibilities for fun day trips to discover more of Portugal! One of the day trips we recommend is Sesimbra!

We love going to Sesimbra so now and then and think you should too, so we decided to make a post about how to get from Lisbon to Sesimbra! The easiest way to get from Lisbon to Sesimbra are our transfers, which start at 25€ per person and pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation in Lisbon. But of course, there are more options.

On a boat ride along the coast, you get to see many caves

Algarve Caves: Top 5 – Caves of Portugal

This blog post was already mentioned above. Interestingly, its German version is also in our list of most-read blog posts about Portugal 😉

From a boat, you’ll enjoy the coast from a different perspective

How to get from Faro to Benagil cave

If you are on holidays in the Algarve, you might be looking for some tips about how to get to the famous Benagil cave. That’s why we want to help you find out how to get from Faro to Benagil cave. Remember that there are boat tours to Benagil with many different departure points in the Algarve (from Lagos to Vilamoura), which might be easier to reach than the Benagil Beach itself, by land.

grotto trips in Lagos
Welcome to paradise (aka Ponta da Piedade)!

5 Ways to discover Ponta da Piedade Lagos

Ponta de Piedade is another popular landmark of the Algarve. It’s a must place for nature lovers and photographers thanks to the beautiful colours of the setting which make an incredible postcard portrait. 

For the most sporty ones and if you dare climbing up 182 steps to the top of the lighthouse, you’ll have a view of the Ponta da Piedade promontory, which marks the limit between land and sea. This lighthouse can also be reached by car or foot from Lagos. Of course, we are a fan of the kayak, SUP and boat tours to Ponta da Piedade. To discover the best way to discover this area for you, read further.

Albufeira Holiday Tips
Enjoy the many things to do in Albufeira

20 Things to do in Albufeira – Algarve, Portugal

We’ve been writing quite some blog posts about things to do in Albufeira because it’s one of the Algarve’s most popular holiday destinations. Albufeira has long been one of Portugal’s most popular resorts because it combines an interesting cultural heritage, stunning beaches and there are many things to do in Albufeira for all age groups.

We hope you liked our list of most-read blog posts. Let’s see if next year, we get some articles about our other destinations in this top 10! Happy 2020!

The best things to do in Aveiro

Aveiro? Yes, Aveiro. In Portugal, in between Lisbon and Oporto, along the coast, you’ll find a fishermen town called Aveiro. Aveiro may not be the most obvious touristic destination, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for an authentic Portuguese experience. Aveiro is an interesting destination for a day trip or as part of a tour of central Portugal. In this post, we’ll share some information about the town as well as the best things to do in Aveiro.

Being a typical charming Portuguese town, Aveiro is an enjoyable, alternative holiday destination in Portugal. Aveiro has an extensive history which is closely intertwined with the evolution of its port and saltwater lagoons. The town is crossed by waterways which are made fun and colourful by the traditional fishing boats.

In fact, Aveiro is characterised by a bold Art Nouveau architecture, man-made canals and ornate fishing vessels. These vessels once served the marine agriculture but are now adapted for tourism. It’s an unusual and remarkable town which development has been driven by the surrounding saltwater lagoons.

For tourists, Aveiro is a truly unique day trip from Porto and this settlement is unlike any other in Portugal. We highly recommend Aveiro for those seeking something a little different. If you want a relaxing overnight trip and visit some of Portugal’s finest beaches, the region of Aveiro is superb.

This post details the main things to do in Aveiro according to our own experience:

aveiro-mercado-peixe

Best things to do in Aveiro: fish market

  1.    Have some seafood at the fish market square

Aveiro is known for its fish and seafood delicacies. The best spot to try the local cuisine is at the lively traditional fish market (Praça do Peixe). Eel based dishes are one of the most popular among the locals, like the eel stew, fried eels and eel with escabeche sauce. But no worries if you’re not fond of eel. There are plenty of other specialities like cod and lamprey. The prices of a meal range between €10 and €25 per person and most menus are specified in Portuguese and English.

aveiro-museu

Best things to do in Aveiro: museums

  1.    Visit the historical museums of Aveiro

There are three main museums in Aveiro. Our recommendation would totally depend on your personal interest, so we simply introduce the three of them:

  •         Museum of the City of Aveiro: the goal of this museum is to boost education of the region’s history and culture. The main museum building is located at the entrance of Rossio and displays the origins and traditions of Aveiro which strongly rely on two industries: fishing and salt manufacture.
  •         Art Nouveau Museum: in Portuguese, this is the Museu De Arte Nova, perfectly housed within an elegant building denoting this architectural style. The museum is worth a visit, even if just to take a look at the striking building!
  •         Troncalhada Eco-Museum: this museum is a bit out of the centre, near the Troncalhada Marine. It’s an exterior museum that details the history of the local salt industry. Its location is obvious: the well renowned salt hills of Aveiro. We recommend the tour that gives a learning experience about how the salt is formed and handled.

These three museums are open from 9h30 – 12h30 and 14h00 – 18h00 (and only 14:00-18:00 during weekends). There are multi-entrance tickets available at a symbolic price of €2 (children under 12 and adults over 65 are free). The guided tours for all three museums costs €4.50 per person (minimum of 6 required). These three museums are surely some of the best things to do in Aveiro for those who are interested in getting to know more about local traditions and history.

fishing-Aveiro-5

Coastal boat trip in Aveiro

  1.    Do a coastal boat trip in Aveiro

This boat tour in Aveiro is ideal if you would like to closely enjoy the icons of the Aveiro region such as the Barra lighthouse, the São Jacinto Bay and the lagoons of the Vouga River. The boat tour in Aveiro lasts approximately three hours. The planned route, subject to change, is: Sailing Club of Costa Nova → Barra lighthouse → São Jacinto Bay → Entrada dos Canais → Bacalhoeiros Pier → Salt Marinhas.

You’ll pass by the Barra lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse of Portugal with 62m in height. This boat trip in Aveiro also passes by the São Jacinto Bay where you’ll find a small village. This typical village is crucial to the region due to the shipbuilding yards. Historically, these yards were of utmost importance to the region’s economy and the local airbase.

The Vouga River flows into the lagoon of Aveiro, the Ria de Aveiro. The meeting between fresh and salt waters gave origin to a lagoon known for its natural beauty and unique landscape in Portugal.

Cod fishing remains one of the most important economic activities in the region of Aveiro, creating a significant number of jobs and a turnover which is very relevant for the entire region. That’s why the pier of Bacalhoeiros is worth a visit.  A visit to the “Marinhas” is a must, especially between May and September! The “Marinhas” are the place where sea salt is produced. The “Marinhas” can only be visited at this time of the year due to its seasonality.

This boat tour in Aveiro is one of the best things to do in Aveiro to taste the most of the local history and traditions in only three hours!

fishing-Aveiro-2

Fishing in Aveiro

  1.    Experience a fishing boat tour in Aveiro

Aveiro is also known for traditional salt pans and fishing. In the Aveiro lagoon one breathes fish. Nothing better than a fishing experience on a boat trip in Aveiro to feel the authenticity of the city. This fishing boat tour in Aveiro takes about four hours and starts in the Marina Costa Nova. No experience is required and it is suitable for all ages as the experienced staff will be happy to teach you everything. The crew is passionate about fishing and will tell you the best kept secrets for fishing in Aveiro.

The lagoon waters are habitat for a broad range of fish species. That’s why the Ria attracts many professional fishermen and is a favorite spot for amateur anglers too. The most common species in the Lagoon, depending on the season, are the golden bream, plaice, sole, sea bass, the lamprey and eel.

Fishing in Aveiro is one of the most fantastic things to do in Aveiro. You’ll feel like a local!

Dolphin-watching-boat-tour-in-Aveiro-3

Dolphins and bird watching in Aveiro

  1.    Feel the local nature on a dolphin and birdwatching boat tour in Aveiro

Did you know that Aveiro is also a great spot for dolphin and birdwatching? Thanks to its unique location by the Atlantic, Aveiro is home and a passing point for a variety of cetaceans. Regarding birds, Aveiro is a very popular spot for bird watchers as it is home to a lot of marine birds and some migratory birds stop in Aveiro too.

Beside experienced and friendly skippers, a qualified marine biologist will come aboard. The marine biologist will be able to explain everything you want to know about the dolphins and birds you’ll find on your boat trip. The staff will provide an introduction about what kind of species may be encountered during the dolphin and bird watching tour and will give live commentary on the tour and sightings.

If you like dolphins, birds or other marine fauna, this is surely one of the best things to do in Aveiro. We recommend you to get aboard of this unforgettable dolphin and bird watching boat trip in Aveiro! This trip takes around four hours and has daily departures, depending on weather conditions.

Aveiro

Colorful beach in Aveiro

About planning, the restaurants and the museums can be visited without booking or doing a reservation. The boat trip in Aveiro should be booked in advance. Like that you guarantee your seat. For bigger groups, we also recommend booking the restaurants and museums ahead. Let us know if you need any further tips about Aveiro or if you’ve got some additional tips on the best things to do in Aveiro!

[primary picture by Alexandra Gnatoush]

Coisas para fazer no Algarve Portugal, Things to do in Albufeira

Planning the Best Holidays in the Algarve

Planning the Best Holidays in the Algarve

Are you coming on holidays in Portugal? The Algarve, is a perfect destination to relax, do some sightseeing, do some great activities and of course for the younger generation, a fantastic nightlife in bars or on a boat party.

Your holiday planning for the Algarve depends on the type of person you are. Who are you?

 

Party Animals

The younger generation, from 15 to 25 years old, should definitely enjoy the best of Albufeira.
In Albufeira, you have many fun things to do, as the Caves & Dolphin watching tour (my favorite tour), Captain Hook Cruise (an inexpensive way and fun to enjoy the coastline) or a wild boat party from Albufeira Marina!

Albufeira is perfect place to party until you drop down.  At day time, enjoy the beautiful white and sunny beaches with amazing cliffs and rock formations to recovery energy to party over and over again.

Boat party in Albufeira

Things to do in Albufeira

Young Adventurers

For young couples, in our opinion, as you might not want the wild nightlife, but rater prefer to have a romantic holiday in the Algarve. You should choose a city as Lagos or Carvoeiro, little cities, with an amazing history and nice restaurants.

Lagos is the city known because of the world discoveries.  In this city, you will have the possibility to see the most amazing beaches of Europe (Praia D. Ana and Ponta da Piedade).
The most popular tour in Lagos is definitely the grotto tour. On this tour from Lagos, you will enter in sea grottoes and enjoy the view over the impressive coastline.

Things to do in Lagos, Boat trips Algarve - Ponta da Piedade - Lagos - Boat trips from Lagos- Lagos, Portugal

Boat trips Algarve – Ponta da Piedade – Lagos – Boat trips from Lagos

 

Families

If you are coming on holidays with your family, we would recommend, first of all, to find a place that allows children to play and make some noise without stress. At the end, they are also on holidays. Taking this into consideration, with children of any age, we would suggest you to stay at a countryside apartment with a swimming pool.

We highly recommend Monte Rosa Apartments in Lagos, as you have comfortable apartments with a swimming pool for affordable prices.

The things we would recommend you to do on your family holiday in Lagos, is definitely, the dolphin watching tour.  This boat tour from Lagos is unforgettable because everyone will be impressed by this amazing wildlife.

Go to some waterparks, as Slide & Splash, or discover some beaches at the west coast.

Dolphin watching - Boat Trips -Algarve - Sagres, Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Faro

Dolphin watching – Boat Trips -Algarve – Sagres, Lagos, Portimão, Albufeira, Faro

 

Nature Lovers

For the most relaxing holidays in the Algarve, you should go to Sagres, a very calm place to discover the best of nature. From Sagres, you have several walking or cycling tours along the coast. Or if you just want to sit down and enjoy the views, get on a Jeep Safari.

Near Sagres, you have amazing restaurants to enjoy the freshest fish ever while looking over impressive views over the beaches and cliffs.

The friendly and calm population, makes this a non-touristic but a desired place to go. Go on a boat trip from Sagres to see the most amazing high cliffs and wild dolphins.

Cabo São Vicente tour

Cabo São Vicente tour from Sagres – Cabo São Vicente – boat trip Sagres – Sagres

Are you ready now? Don’t forget to have fun and book your activities in advance to avoid disappointments.

Holidays in Portugal – a lot of awards in 2016

We’re so proud on our beautiful country. It is with great pleasure that we found that among the Europewinners of the 23rd World Travel Awards™, Portugal stands out. Holidays in Portugal are becoming more and more popular. This is why.

Founded in 1993, the World Travel Awards are a great reference in the world travel industry. Every year, an international jury of hospitality experts and peers awards hotels and other hospitality companies. The World Travel Awards are given both on a world level and international region level in a wide range of categories, like Europe for example. The categories include the best hotel, travel agency, airline and car-hire company. The The Wall Street Journal called the World Travel Awards the “Oscars” of the travel industry.

Cordoama - André Carvalho

Cordoama, Algarve by André Carvalho

Last year, Portugal did great. This year was amazing too. Holidays in Portugal are a must if we look at the categories where Portugal wan (full list at end of article).

Holidays in Portugal are great as you can fly with the awarded airline TAP. In the airplanes of TAP, you can enjoy Europe’s Leading Inflight Magazine. So, if you’re considering holidays in Portugal, don’t hesitate any longer. Beside the amazing nature, weather, people and food, we’ve got unforgettable watersports and boat tours, and also airlines, hotels and cruise terminals!

TAP Portugal Madeira

TAP airplane taking off from Madeira

You can either go for the best all inclusive resort, Pestana on Porto Santo, part of Madeira, a leading island destination. The The Vine Hotel was awarded Europe’s Leading Island Hotel & Spa.

Madeira SeaBookings

We love Madeira!

If you prefer the south of Portugal, go to the Algarve, Europe’s leading beach destination (stunning Benagil ont he top picture by Almarco). Here you can find a broad range of amazing accommodations.  How about Hotel Quinta do Lago, Portugal, Europe’s Leading Beach Resort, or Vila Joya, Portugal in Albufeira, Europe’s Leading Boutique Hotel? Also in Albufeira, you’ll find Europe’s leading family resort fot the best holidays in Portugal with your family: Pine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort. If you prefer a private villa, you won’t get disappointed in Porches at the Private Villas at Vila Vita Parc. There are two more hotels in the Algarve that got awarded: Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort & Spa is Conrad Algarve and Europe’s Leading MICE Hotel is EPIC SANA Algarve. For the most romantic couples, you must try the Monte Santo Resort in Carvoeiro. 

Hotel Quinta do Lago

Hotel Quinta do Lago, Algarve

If you’re coming to Portugal by cruise, you’ll be welcomed on Europe’s Leading Cruise Destination and Europe’s Leading Cruise Port. In Portugal’s capital city, you can stay at awarded Myriad by SANA Hotels for business or Altis Belém Hotel & Spa if you appreciate design. We also recommend the awarded Bairro Alto Hotel.

Altis Belém

Altis Belém, Lisbon

Of course all these awards would not have been possible without the great support of Europe’s Leading Tourist Board: Turismo de Portugal. We’d like to thank Turismo de Portugal. This award was definitely well deserved. Let’s keep up the good job!

Beside all these awards in hotels, airlines, cruise terminals, we’d like to remember you that when you’re on holidays in Portugal, you should definitely enjoy a boat tour or do some watersports. Let us know what you’d like to do and where or simply check out our offer. Don’t forget to book on time! Enjoy your holidays in Portugal!

Full list of Portuguese awards:

Europe’s  Leading Airline to AfricaTAP Portugal
Europe’s  Leading Airline to South AmericaTAP Portugal
Europe’s Leading All-Inclusive ResortPestana Porto Santo All Inclusive & Spa Beach Resort, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Beach DestinationThe Algarve, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Beach ResortHotel Quinta do Lago, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Boutique HotelVila Joya, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Boutique ResortChoupana Hills Resort & Spa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Business HotelMyriad by SANA Hotels, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Cruise DestinationLisbon, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Cruise PortPorto de Lisboa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Design HotelAltis Belém Hotel & Spa, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Family ResortPine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Hotel VillasPrivate Villas at Vila Vita Parc, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Inflight MagazineUp Magazine (TAP Portugal)
Europe’s Leading Island DestinationMadeira Islands
Europe’s Leading Island Hotel & SpaThe Vine Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Landmark HotelBairro Alto Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort & SpaConrad Algarve, Portugal
Europe’s Leading MICE HotelEPIC SANA Algarve Hotel, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Tourist BoardTurismo de Portugal
Europe’s Most Romantic ResortMonte Santo Resort, Portugal