I like to wake up somewhere new on New Year’s day. In 2016 it was the Maldives, but with the low value of the pound and high flight prices, that kind of trip wasn’t possible this year. I wanted to visit somewhere I hadn’t been and the weather forecast for the Algarve Portugal was looking cold but sunny, when I made a last minute booking on the 28th December.
I was extremely lucky to fly from Gatwick early on 30th December, later that day many flights were cancelled due to heavy fog. I arrived in the Algarve mid-morning, to perfect the sunshine and about 16c, no need for my coat then.
My room was lush
I had an Atlantic view room with a large balcony. The beautiful, large and mega comfortable bed had a headboard made entirely of gorgeous Portuguese ceramic tiles. There was a desk for two, a sitting area, seating on the balcony and the usual drink facilities including a well stocked mini bar.
The bathroom included a rainfall shower, a full bath and was stocked with Elemis goodies.
Exploring the Algarve Portugal
I hired a car from Europcar for about £10 a day, cheaper than a taxi from the airport and I could do a little exploring. The day I arrived was spent exploring the local beach, then on new years eve I drove up into the mountains to explore further. After visiting Caldas de Monchique (pretty square but otherwise unimpressive), I followed hundreds of cyclists on the climb to the top of the Algarve at Mount Foia, it was very cold so my afternoon was spent at a lovely beach called Praia Sao Rafael on the other side of Albufeira.
Off to the beach to warm up in 17c sunshine. Compared with the 1c at home in the UK, it was t-shirt weather!
I ate at the nearby Praia Grande, which was sheltered and had a nice view of the Atlantic from the terrace.
Pine Cliffs Resort
A haven for golfers, Pine Cliffs has a number of different residences as well as the hotel. There are several good restaurants, including Piri Piri and Corda Cafe.
I spent a day in the spa enjoying the thermal area and also had a treatment called “On the Banks of the Dead Sea”, which combined a scrub, mud mask and massage, all on a water filled massage table that cocooned me as the mud warmed up, it was incredible!
I enjoyed a New Year Gala dinner at the hotel, which included some amazing food, followed by fireworks across the cliffs. Even if you’re not a golfer you’ll enjoy a break at Pine Cliffs, I certainly did.
Have you been to the Algarve? Where would you recommend? Please comment below.