With so many beaches in Portugal to choose from it’s hard to know where to start looking when you are searching for the perfect beach destination. Green coast? Silver coast? Fear not, Purple Travel is on hand to help you narrow down your choice for stunning Portugal holidays. Here are our top 5 beach choices in Portugal.
1. Praia da Falesia
The name “Falesia” means “cliff”, referring to the splendid orange-red cliffs that form a magnificent background to this long stretch of sand. At over 6km long, Praia da Falesia is one of the longest beaches in the Algarve, situated between the popular resorts of Vilamoura and Albufeira. For those adventurous enough, Praia da Falesia offers many opportunities to participate in watersports such as windsurfing and for those seeking a relaxing evening, the coastline has many bars and restaurants to soak up the local flavour.
Praia da Ancora is located on Portugal’s “green coast” in the northern, Minho region, so called because of its wild beaches which are popular with surfers and windsurfers. The beaches along this coast are some of the most beautiful in Portugal, in particular that of Praia de Ancora, which offers calm water for those wanted to bathe and relax. It is particularly popular among swimmers due to the fact that it is protected from Atlantic winds by the surrounding hills to the north and south.
Find out where to let loose, let your hair down and go wild in our Purple 10 World’s Best Party Towns. If we’re missing something, head for the comments and let us know what it is and why.
Phuket, Thailand. Thanks to its ‘anything goes’ reputation, Phuket has become a must-stop destination on the backpacker trail. There are cabaret shows, go go bars, Thai boxing and plenty more. Just remember: what happens in Phuket stays in Phuket! Madness level: 8.9.
Las Vegas, USA. Strippers, gambling and a getting totally wasted. No wonder The Hangover was filmed in Las Vegas. If you want to go to crazy partying, this is a city that will go crazy with you. Madness level: 8.
Barcelona, Spain. Get off the famous avenue Las Ramblas and head for the late night parties in the north of the city that don’t start ’til 1am. Stick with the locals who’ll guide you the best clubs of your life. Madness level: 7.1.
Berlin, Germany. Seriously, Berlin is mad. If you’re committed to partying like a maniac, then the hipster capital of the world has leather themed clubs, converted warehouses made for industrial nights out and everything in between. Madness level: 7.8.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates. If you’ve recently won the lottery you might want to head for the gold plated chic of Dubai’s clubs and bars. The city is packed with champagne serving waiters, beautiful people and the most decadent of party experiences. Madness level: 5.9.
Thessaloniki, Greece. Not the most famous, but one of the best on mainland Greece for nightlife, Thessaloniki’s a student city that offers great nightlife all year round, not just in the heady summer months. And, it’s no distance really from the UK. Madness level: 7.1.
Miami, USA. Go to South Beach, relax in plush lounges or party in your bikini for hours on end. The clubs that line Miami’s art-deco streets are made for blinged out clubbing. Just beware: it can add up! Madness level: 8.6.
Ibiza, Spain. It wouldn’t be much of a list of party cities if Ibiza wasn’t included. Despite the high price of drinks and clubs, party animals flock to the island and for party people, it’s a must visit at least once in your life. There are beach parties all day, and the best DJs in the world all night. Madness level: 6.9.
Albufeira, Portugal. Thanks to its dedicated strip of bars and clubs, there are cheap drinks, all night dancing and loads of places to stay boozing all night, Albufeira’s a good, handy choice from the UK for epic partying. Also makes for a great stag or hen do. Madness level: 8.3.
Prague, Czech Republic. Although not quite as cheap as it once was, the free flowing beer of Prague make it a consistently good choice. There are bars, pubs, locals, clubs, kiosks and restaurants, basically anything where you can buy beer they have it. Get detoxed now, so you’ll be ready. Madness level: 8.0.
Buckle up! The experts at Purple Travel have put together this list of the best budget stag and hen do ideas. Call our dedicated stag and hen do team on 0207 993 9228 for more.
For the stag
1. Prague Home to a weird, wacky stag party with the best in cheap beers, beer bikes and beer baths. The Czech capital is one of the hottest stag destinations, it’s not only a beautiful city, but is a good laugh and great value too.
2. Benidorm The classic Stag do, Benidorm holds its own with lap dance clubs, some of the best superclubs you’ll visit in your life, and days of karting or boozing on the beach all at decent prices.
3. Amsterdam It’s hard to pick a more classic stag do choice than the Dutch city of Amsterdam for a stag party to remember (or forget.) The Red Light District is filled with beautiful women, the bars are great and there’s plenty of culture if that’s your bag too.
4. Barcelona A bit of footie at the Nou Camp, a few cervezas on the Ramblas por favor and the hottest Spanish senoritas, Barcelona ticks all the boxes for a great cheap stag party.
5. Budapest Cheap beer, all night parties, strippers or tank driving, Buda and Pest, the city of two halves has everything you could possibly want on a good value stag do.
Get the best cheap stag do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
For the hen
1. Magaluf Oh come on! Magaluf or Shagaluf is the ultimate last hurrah to single life. 24 hour partying, knocking back cocktails, great cheap hotels, buckets of sunshine and lots of like minded people. A cheap hen party in Magaluf is our top choice for summer 2013.
2. Albufeira, a sunshine favourite, Albufeira, is a quick transfer from Faro airport and has a strip over a mile long of the most wicked clubs and bars with cheap drinks, dancing music and hot guys. In the daytime you could head for the famous beachfront to recover and get ready for more.
3. Ibiza C’mon, is there a more ultimate party destination than Ibiza? All night dancing in some of the best clubs in the world, we’re talking Pacha, Space or Amnesia. For the indie hen there’s a nice alternative in Ibiza Rocks. The beaches are the ultimate balm for the morning after the night before and there are great value hotels or apartments all over.
4. Amsterdam Away from the Red Light bits that keep all stag parties interested, Amsterdam is actually a great city. It’s only a short flight away, you can grab a bike to discover the city by day, head for a cafe in the early evening and kick off your night out with a pole dancing lesson, or cocktail making class.
5. Barcelona who wants a rainy spa weekend in the Lake district, when you could go all out in the bars, clubs and beaches of Catalonia’s favourite city. Stock up on tapas, soak up sangria by the jug and get up close and personal with all those sexy Spanish men.
Get the best cheap hen do from the expert team today at Purple Travel.
No money? No problems! The dedicated stag and hen party team at Purple Travel is waiting to organise the most amazing send off for you and your mates. We’re talking cheap and cheerful not diamonds and champagne. So if you’re about to excuse yourself from single life, or you know someone who is, check out our cheap summer stag and hen dos.
The best cheap summer stag dos
Ibiza (Average summer temps 22-27)
Sun, sea and birds. Could there be a more perfect sunshine stag holiday destination than the beaches of Ibiza? Not only is the weather great, but a cheap stag holiday in San Antonio means you probably won’t be sober for more than a minute. Hop on a booze cruise; get VIP treatment in some of the top clubs on the island, beat the house with a high rollers party, or head for the strip clubs to get an eyeful of those hot Spanish girls.
Albufeira (Average summer temps 18-25)
Albufeira is a really affordable stag holiday option. There are plenty of flights and loads of accommodation options, so all you need to do is think about exactly how you want to spend the best stag ever. We suggest starting off with a day of speed boating or hop on a pirate cruise, this’ll be good fun for you and the lads before the big night out. Hit the legendary bar street, where you’re likely to get free shots before finishing the night in a top strip club. It’s hard to argue with that.
Amsterdam (Average summer temps 18-20)
2013 is a big year for Amsterdam with all sorts of extra stuff happening throughout the city. By that we mean museums, the zoo and loads of concerts. Of course, for a stag, it’s a good cover for all the horse play you’re planning in the background. Our stag parties in Amsterdam are dedicated to all things debauchery. From seeing the city by beer bicycle, to Red Light Tours, it’s absolutely the best of both worlds.
Speak with Jack from Purple Travel to find out the best stag do to suit you and your budget. Call 0125 241 8614 today!
The best cheap summer hen dos
San Antonio (Average summer temps 22-27)
Ibiza’s party capital San Antonio is one of our top choices for you and your girls to get pampered before getting stuck into as many cocktails as you can. On top of that, blazing sunshine is ready to give you a golden glow ahead of your big day, and nothing soothes a hangover like a long lie down on the sand and a dip in the sea. Go for broke and treat yourself and your hens to a speedboat party, or you could always go for the old fashioned banana boat option. Then it’s off for the ultimate club crawl, just remember: what happens in San Antonio stays in San Antonio.
Magaluf (Average summer temps 21-25)
Come on, everyone knows its other name: Shagaluf! Enjoy your last few nights of freedom with the hottest party ever. There are so many nightlife options you could practically call it the pub and club capital of Spain. Get some lap dancing lessons or spend your days downing cocktails at the beach. By night the place is buzzing. Grab yourself a guided bar crawl and VIP entry to the best clubs in town.
Barcelona (Average summer temps 23-28)
Combine city break with city beach and you have all the elements for a brilliant cheap hen do just a few hours from the UK. By day you can soak up the sunshine on Barcelona beach, or if some of your girls want to explore there are amazing landmarks such as the Sagrada Familia or Tibidabo. Then by night you can all regroup go for dinner, have a vajazzle party (yes, it’s a thing) and head for a guided pub crawl of the best bars in town.
Speak with Vicky from PurpleTravel.co.uk to find out the best hen do to suit you and your budget. Call 0125 241 8614 today!
We’re all about the Algarve, specifically the lovely seaside town of Albufeira. It’s got the Old Town that’s perfect for long lazy strolls in the sunshine. Over the hill you’ll find The Strip, packed with neon bars and all night parties. It really offers the best of both worlds.
So if you’re stuck for a place to stay, here’s our top 5 hotels in Albufeira.
Family friendly: The Paraiso de Albufeira Hotel Apartments have practically every facility you could think of, from one bedroom apartments to duplexes. The MGE restaurant and pool side snack bar are great for keeping little ones topped up, while the multi use court for basketball or football, mini golf course and video game room will keep even the moodiest teenager busy. That’s before you even get to the pool, nearby beach or the selection of water parks you’ll find around.
Weddings abroad are becoming more and more popular. You can top up your tan before the big day, you’re surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful destination and it will usually cost you a fraction of a big wedding in the UK. Las Vegas, Sri Lanka, France and Spain are all popular choices. But, getting married in Portugal is something special!
We spoke with one bride, Deirdre who married hubby Barry in Albufeira, Portugal last year. From handling the heat in a wedding gown, to waterparks in the days before the ceremony, she gave Purple Travel the lowdown about getting married in Portugal.
Purple Travel: Why did you decide to go abroad to get married?
Deirdre: We decided to get hitched abroad for a couple of reasons mainly; we had been to a lot of weddings. Although each wedding was special they all followed the same format and tended to blend into each other a bit. Barry also works in a wedding band so he has seen so many weddings we decided we wanted to do something a little different and personalise our experience.
We both wanted somewhere where all our friends could really enjoy themselves and somewhere we could all hang out for a week instead of just a day. A place where young and old could enjoy themselves and make a holiday out of it. The weather was another big factor; we were hoping to find a place where the weather would be nice. Also we were on a budget so a wedding abroad seemed like a fantastic option.
Purple Travel: What was it about Albufeira that made you choose it? Did you have to make a few trips before you decided?
Deirdre: I had been on many family holidays to Albufeira so the place for me was very special and held a lot of very special memories for me. Albufeira is also a fantastic place for people to enjoy themselves on holiday. The weather is usually good, the people are very friendly, there are gorgeous beaches, the food is amazing and atmosphere is second to none. It’s a fantastic place for families as it is very child friendly and there is lots to do on the beaches, waterparks etc.
It is also a fabulous place for single people or couples as the nightlife is hopping. It seemed to have something for everyone and when we looked at it, it seemed like an ideal place for our friends and family to enjoy themselves at our wedding.
Purple Travel: Did hubby take any convincing about the idea?
Deirdre: I am very enthusiastic about Albufeira but brought Barry on a trip to Albufeira to show him what I meant. We had an amazing time and have never come home from a holiday so relaxed and unwound! We were sure at that stage it was what we wanted. While we were there we hooked up with Algarve Wedding Planners, two amazing girls Paula and Karina, who showed us many of the hotels and options for getting married in Portugal. It was fantastic after a few showings we found our perfect location.
Purple Travel: It sounds very romantic, where was the wedding itself?
Deirdre: The wedding itself was in the main church in the old town Albufeira followed by a reception in the Grande Real Santa Eulalia. The place was fabulous we had a rooftop cocktail reception overlooking the sea, we were then led to an outdoor balcony where tables were decorated fabulously, the food was to die for, atmosphere was fantastic and we had a beach down a few steps to take some nice photos.
Later on that evening we had a place called Le Club to have the night part of the wedding. Barry and his friends are musicians so it was great, they played music and that was followed by lots of dancing with an amazing playlist and D.J. The staff were fantastic, we danced until at least six, the bar stayed open and we were never told to leave. That’s the great thing about a foreign wedding; the regular opening hours and curfews don’t apply. That was another big plus for us.
Purple Travel: How did you handle the heat on the day? In a wedding dress, we can only imagine it got a little toasty!?
Deirdre: Wearing a wedding dress in the heat is everything you would expect it to be, very hot and a little uncomfortable. I wasn’t one of those brides who didn’t want to get out of their dress. I couldn’t wait to get out of it! It was probably a bit too heavy so bear it in mind if you decide to get married abroad.
Purple Travel: Did you have local help, e.g. a wedding planner, hotel manager something like that?
Deirdre: As I said, we had a wedding planner, Algarve Wedding Planners. We really could not have done it without their help. They were fantastic! I looked online, wrote to them, told them the type of budget we had and asked what we could get for it. They wrote back with loads of options. We arranged to meet up with them when we were on holiday. After that we met them at home. They come over for a wedding fair every year and they bring lot of people to help with your wedding in Portugal. You name it, they can tell you about it, hotel managers, musicians, florists, makeup artists hairdressers etc. all with portfolios of their work. In one day we had booked hair, makeup, flowers, reception location, menu, music. It was super!
Purple Travel: Was there a lot of paperwork involved, e.g. did you need to sort out licences etc at home first?
Deirdre: There was lots of paperwork involved but there is lots of paperwork for any wedding. You needed to get all the same letters of freedom etc you need for home. I also remember that you needed a solicitor over in Portugal to translate documents but that was all set up by the wedding planners. They knew exactly what we needed to do so it was a relief having them for that part.
Purple Travel: So, would you recommend getting married abroad?
Deirdre: I absolutely would recommend a wedding abroad. We had such a memorably, magical day. I’m not great on organisation but having wedding planners there to make sure everything runs smoothly was fantastic. We had a great time but not only with the day but the whole lead up. Meeting up with friends and family on beaches, in pubs, for dinner, at water parks was so much fun. It can at times be stressful, it’s very hectic and there are so many people to meet and hang out with it can be exhausting but very, very exciting. The excitement of meeting your best friends, on a holiday before your big day is just unforgettable.
The day was perfect, the experience amazing, we would do it again in a heartbeat!
A huge thank you once again to Deirdre for her bride’s guide to getting married in Portugal. If you’re thinking of a wedding abroad, firstly, congratulations and why give Purple Travel a call to find out more on 0207 993 9228.
When you think of Albufeira Portugal the tourist capital of the Algarve, you first think of its golden beaches and pulsating nightlife. These features attract droves of holidaymakers from all over Europe, particularly during the summer months when you can’t swing a lilo without banging into another tourist. Coming under the municipal area of Faro, Albufeira covers an area of approximately 140 km², with more than 40,000 resident inhabitants including a whopping 4,000 foreigners who have chosen to live here. But how has Albufeira earned so much popularity and yet retained its traditions? Read on to find out why, this week, we heart Albufeira Portugal…
The history of Albufeira
Back in Roman times, bustling Albufeira was called Baltum, up until in the 8th century when the Moors who occupied the town renamed it Al-Buhera – The Castle on the Sea. Today, vestiges of aqueducts, roads and Roman bridges can be still be seen in Paderne and Guia. Much later, in the middle of the 19th century, the fishing industry did much to revive the economy of the town, soon becoming the principal means of income for the region. Tourism only began to flourish from the ‘60s onwards, providing a new breath of air for the locals, leading to the town becoming a city in 1986. Thanks to an ever-growing tourist industry, Albufeira has become one of the most desired holiday destinations in Europe.
Best beaches in Albufeira
Albufeira beaches are the most popular in the Algarve, yet with more than twenty golden, sandy beaches to choose from, many of which are blue flagged, they never get too overcrowded. The most well-known is Fisherman’s Beach, where many of the Algarve’s summer parties are held. Despite this, the beach has managed to retain its traditional appearance, of which the fishing industry is still very much a part – expect to see colourful Algarve fishing boats dancing on the waves both day and night. Falésia Beach, a huge length of fine golden sand running from Albufeira to Vilamoura, is another great spot, particularly if you’re bringing the kids as its blue flagged. Similarly, Olhos d’ Agua or “eyes of the water” as it translates to, is a safe beach that’s very popular with tourists due to its myriad resort places to eat and drink along the beach. It gets its name from the freshwater springs underneath the sands, which can sometimes be seen to bubble up at low tide. Praia do Túnel, is situated at the front of the old Albufeira town. It is a magnificent wide stretch of golden sand, embraced by soft golden-red cliffs and boasting striking rock formations in the water. Access is through a ‘tunnel’ in the cliffs under a hotel just past the tourist office with a few steps down to the beach – hence its name.
Albufeira’sold town centre has a charming traditional feel. White-washed houses and narrow, cobbled streets lined with cafés and boutiques lead to a picturesque central square. In the square, you will find yourself surrounded by bars and restaurants where you can taste some of the local fish-based gastronomy. The historic centre exposes Albufeira’s Arab past through its impressive architecture. The charming, meandering streets are narrow and the jasmine-scented air makes walking through the neighbourhood a pleasure. You can walk to the Castillo del Mar from here – the ‘castle by the sea‘ – a fortress built by the Arabs as a significant point of defence. Culture enthusiasts will enjoy discovering the rich heritage of Albufeira, particularly if they visit the Museum of Archaeology. The museum showcases fascinating artefacts from the pre-historic, Roman, Muslim, medieval and modern periods. The Church of São Sebastião on Praça Miguel Bombarda has an impressive Manueline doorway that provides an excellent photo opportunity. From there, Rua 5 de Outubro leads through a tunnel to the Fisherman’s beach, where you can see Albufeira’s colourful fishing boats surfing the waves. One of the best attractions in Albufeira is the Zoomarine Aquarium, where visitors can watch animal shows and even have a chance to swim with dolphins. Go-carting and horse-riding are also popular activities.
Where to party in Albufeira
And if you’re looking for some late night revelry, there’s plenty of it in fun-loving, lively Albufeira. The Strip is the place to head to – a succession of booming bars, restaurants and clubs – and the hub of Albufeira’s nightlife scene. The owners of the bars and restaurants are frequently expats, who make you feel at home straight away and enjoy nothing more than a good natter. For adult holidays there are happy hours, strip clubs and late night partying on balmy summers evening. And the best bit? Drinks are seriously cheap.
What to eat in Albufeira
In the foreground of Albuferia’s dining scene is its fishing industry. Traditional Algarve dishes include the famous Cataplana, a seafood and shellfish dish,and grilled sardines. Tuna, sea bream, monkfish, horse mackerel or alimados, squid and many other delicacies are prepared mostly in stews, ragouts or grilled, or boiled – any of which is sure to be excellent. You won’t find fresher fish than here. Desserts are another strong point; cakes are mostly made from dried fruits, and other titbits are made from almonds, figs and carob beans. There is an ice-cream of carob, the Dom Rodrigo, and werecommend you try the Almond Liqueur, Alfarroba (carob) liqueur and Medronho.
Hours of study? Check. No social life for months? Check. Itching to get out and party? Double check. We’ve been thinking the exact same thing ourselves. There are plenty of places to go for a last minute get away for a bit of sun, sea and sand. But, of course there are things that make that post exam holiday extra special, how about foam parties, bangin’ tunes and great cocktails? From what we’ve heard that’s what makes your cheap holiday in the sun extra special. So grab your mates and head off to the sun for a few weeks of completely getting away from it all.
Here are some of our top picks for Post Exam Holidays…
Beach shoes (Photo credit: @Doug88888)
Beaches, babes and tunes:Greece has long been a favourite with revellers looking to unwind and Zante AKA Zakynthos is probable one of the most well known. You’ll find a belter of a deal on the Greek Islands as now more than ever there is a big drive to get tourists in. The weather is a big part of it; think the mid 30s from June onwards. Laganas has its own mile long strip of bars, clubs and restaurants so you can try a different one (or more!) every night. Lounging on the beach with a cocktail is the perfect way to recover after the night before.
Superclub superfans: Well, it’s said Ibiza is the home of the superclub, so if you want awesome nights that last ‘til dawn, then this Balearic Island is well worth a go. Amnesia is home to the legendary Cream parties, with residents like Paul Van Dyk and Deadmau5. While, Space in Playa d’en Bossa attracts crowds from all over the world and it’s won a pile of gongs. There are tonnes of accommodation options on the island so you’ll find something to suit any budget, which leaves more money for spending out on the tiles.
Splash and party:Albufeira in Portugal’s Algarve has everything you want for an awesome holiday. Think gorgeous pools and a beach just minutes away. The New Town is home to a strip that will give you some unforgettable nights out, while the nearby water parks are just as good for kids or grownups. If you’re into your cuisine, there are plenty of tip top restaurants to keep you going, as well as simple takeaway places for eating on the go. A week’s fun in the sun in Portugal and you’ll be ready for anything.
The original party city: Head for Barcelona. Not only will you find great bars and clubs there is a quality city beach to die for. A visit to the Nou Camp (home turf of Barcelona football club) is well worth it, it’s the biggest stadium in Europe! At night the vibrant main street, the Ramblas is perfect for people watching, seeing the sites and maybe making friends.
So, If you’re heading away this year somewhere for a post exam bash, we’d love to hear about it, or if you’ve been away the last while, let us know where!
Ps. A few things to remember, if you go a little further afield, be sure to check with the country you’re visiting, as unaccompanied under 18 year olds can get a grilling, or even end up deported!