I’ve broken this blog down into sections; by hotel, restaurants and sightseeing, to hopefully give quick tips and ideas if you’re visiting the Algarve. We visited around mid-September (which isn’t peak season). The weather was warm during the day and got slightly chillier in the evenings.
We stayed at the São Rafael Atlântico hotel in the Algarve. It was on São Rafael Beach, which was a large, sandy beach, framed by limestone cliffs and mesmerising views of the Atlantic Ocean.
I loved the location of the hotel. Every morning, after a filling and yummy breakfast, we would walk to the Old Town in Albufeira. It took about 45 minutes and the views on the walk were stunning. You also get to pass the Albufeira Marina on the way.
As well as being on the beach, the hotel has a pool, and spa if you fancy. We lounged by the pool in the afternoons, and there are plenty of good lunch and snack options near the pool area and beach.
Activities and things to do
Tuk-tuk sightseeing tour
This was of one of my favourite activities! Our guide was excellent – friendly and fun. We explored the Albufeira coast, with breath-taking beaches and cliffs. Our guide took us to some beautiful hidden gems, which were really secluded. We wouldn’t have known to find these places without doing the tour, so I really recommend taking a few hours for this! There are a few different companies offering the tuk-tuk sightseeing.
We took an afternoon to visit Cliff Richard’s vineyard in the Algarve – Adega do Cantor. This was a pleasant tour, which we booked through our hotel. We got to roam around the vineyard, see where the wine is made and of course, end the tour with some wine tasting and visit in their gift shop. A nice way to spend half a day, before relaxing at the beach again!
Food and drink
Casa Del Mar
This was a lovely seafood restaurant with stunning views overlooking the beach. It’s in Old Town Albufeira, so conveniently located if you’re visiting that area. We chose our fish from the counter, which was freshly caught that day. The price is based on weight and the waiters debone the fish at your table – a wonderful experience and food was delicious.
A cool bar, with good music, serving delicious cocktails. (This was right next door to Casa Del Mar restaurant.) We went here one evening for pre-drinks before dinner. Ideal if you want a sun downer in the evening, as it overlooks the beautiful beach.
Castello Del Mar
This restaurant was located on a cliff with an ocean view, so it’s worth paying a visit. I think the restaurant has changed to an Italian restaurant and pizzeria since my visit.
Bank Restaurant and Bar
A lively steakhouse in the heart of Old Town Albufeira, if you fancy seeing the night life around there.