So this November (2017) we did just that. I booked through Travel Republic and timed the trip to fit in nicely with school holidays.
Flights – £220 EasyJet
Hotel – £111 (one bedroom apartment close to the beach) Bellavista Apartments
Car hire – £150 (we took the all inclusive insurance cover) Car rental
Extras – £120 (baggage, airport parking, reserved plane seats)
So for the three of us it worked out at around £601 which when I looked at it seems very good value. Especially flying from Belfast, and paying for car hire and additional extras. I am setting myself a challenge to find the same kind of holiday for much cheaper (around 40% less) for next year though!
We are going self catering so we can eat and drink within our apartment. It is fully stocked with crockery, a fridge, cooker and even a microwave!
Weather has been great. It’s in the low 20s every day and we had slight cloud cover the first two days. However we have swam in both the pool and ocean and enjoyed it thoroughly. We have also driven around the coastline to Sagres to soak up some of the traditional Portuguese way of living. There is a local supermarket across the street from our apartment and the closest Lidl is approximately 5 minutes drive up the street.
The police raiding market traders at Loule and a market stall.
Wening trip out and visited the town of Loule and the gypsy market. We strolled around the town which is still quintessentially full of locals and took in the atmosphere. This is where the freedom of having a hire car 🚗 allows us to see places off the beaten track so I would absolutely recommend this if you are a competent driver and comfortable with driving on the other side of the road from home.
Our little car.
It’s amazing how therapeutic a few days away can be and to do it on a shoestring while still splurging on little extras can make it feel extravagant.
Travel with mobility issues
Suffering from mobility issues I would highly recommend renting a car when abroad as it gives you so much more freedom to travel around. It also allows you the luxury of coming and going as you please. For example we took a day trip to Sagres, Loule and Faro which were amazing but yet would not have been possible without our car. Also bear in mind that the £150 car hire cost divided by 3 people worked out at £50 each which would not have even covered airport transfers and day trips so we were quids in to start with.
This little car was so easy to drive and park and I would recommend a smaller car which will allow you to easily navigate the small narrow streets. I also was able to take my blue badge with me to use and did so without issue. There were plenty of disabled parking spaces available.
Enjoying a beer on the beach at Albufiera
Quick stop off on our way to Loule to stretch our legs.
Lunch time dessert at Loule.
The ocean at Albufiera. It was so deliciously warm even at ten am!
Also it can’t be all bad sitting in 22degree heat on a beach in November when Home is experiencing the first icy blasts of the winter.
I must admit that having a week in the warmth of the Portuguese climate has relaxed and refreshed me and made me ready to face the winter and even more than that the Christmas hustle and bustle.