Advice for American family going to the Algarve in August?
July 18, 2014 7:38 PM   Subscribe

Mr. TEA, preschooler TEA, and I are going from our home in the U.S. to the Algarve next month to visit family for a few weeks. This will be the first trip out of the U.S. for our preschooler, and the first trip back in a long while for us adults. What advice can you give us about how to help our preschooler prepare for the trip? About what to do as a family while we're there? About traveling with kids in the Algarve?
posted by TEA to Travel & Transportation around Portugal (5 answers total)
There will be a ton ton ton of touristy things to do in the Algarve in the summer since it is a prime destination for British tourists. There is a water park, a zoo, a bazillion beautiful beaches, some malls, tons of great seafood restaurants, wonderful bakeries (i'm biased - i love bread).

Try to go to some of the pousadas - I particularly liked the one in Tavira. They are hotels built in historic sites, but you can also just have lunch there if that's more your budget/plans.

Monchique is beautiful and you can visit the spa there which is gorgeous and relaxing.

Porches and Loule have wonderful pottery workshops/stores. I am pretty sure there is a pottery store in Porches attached to a restaurant run by a British couple which has lovely goods and delicious sandwiches.

Do you like wine? Try the vinho verde - a kind of very young almost sparkling wine made from young grapes. 1 Euro at the Aldi!! Also somehow the butter there is so much better. Also, please eat many pastels de natas on my behalf.

I liked visiting the castle in Silves - perhaps your young child might also. I liked how you could just clamber over it, basically, as compared to the more restrictive roping-off that happens in Canadian historic institutions.

Cape St Vincent is a nice trip to see the Southwestern-most point of Europe. Bring a picnic lunch and eat on the cliffs. Also I bought a sweater and a blanket from the guys selling stuff outside and have been happy with both.

It's gonna probably be hot. But it's also going to be so beautiful. Enjoy!!
posted by hepta at 8:55 PM on July 18, 2014

Doesn't the Algarve region in Portugal have a lot of nice beaches? You could do that.

I think any advice in regards to your preschool would probably similar no matter where you're going.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:38 PM on July 18, 2014

This blog might give you some ideas - it's written by a couple who moved to the Algarve from London. They also have a companion blog in which they review local restaurants and wines.

Since you'll be there a few weeks, please don't miss the opportunity to drive over to Sevilla in Spain - it is truly lovely!
posted by PlantGoddess at 4:36 AM on July 19, 2014

Go to FIESA, an international sand sculpture festival in Pêra. It's worth a visit and they have got sand sculpting workshops for kids, too.
posted by lost_lettuce at 7:18 AM on July 19, 2014

It's not mentioned in the other posts so far, or yours, but get a car!! So much of the Algarve is inaccessible or nearly so if you do not have a car. Especially the really nice beaches.

Also, sunblock. Lots and lots of sunblock.
posted by whatzit at 4:45 AM on July 20, 2014

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