By Karl Doyle
You’ve worked hard all year and feel you have earned a luxury break for yourself and your family, but don’t want to break the bank either? Well, if you’re looking for just the thing to tick that particular box, consider a trip to the beautiful and unspoilt Western Algarve.
The area features some of the most beautiful beaches imaginable and a rugged, cliff-framed coastline that is distinctively Algarve in appearance. Famously, the iconic Cape St Vincent, with its landmark lighthouse perched imperiously atop the headland, is the most southwesterly point of the continent – the end of Europe, if you will!
And for accommodation, look no further than Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel - situated overlooking Martinhal beach. This award winning resort is located in Sagres – only 1-hour from Faro Airport – which is a quaint little Algarvian town that has kept its authentic Portuguese feel.
The centerpiece of the resort is the hotel, featuring 38 luxury rooms, but there is also a huge choice of luxury houses and villas – each seemingly more luxurious than the last one.
Martinhal accurately describes itself as ‘a playground of possibilities’, and offers you the chance to do a staggering 365 different things during your holiday – if only you had the time.
Spending a holiday in the area is also about taking a culinary journey through the freshest, tastiest and most interesting food and wine in Portugal and, with the vast array of amazing products available, you literally are spoiled for choice.
For instance, at Martinhal you can opt for unpretentious but beautifully prepared Portuguese cuisine in O Terraço, or try the delicious seafood in As Dunas - both of which command stunning views over Martinhal Beach and the Atlantic - to the brand new Italian restaurant in Os Gambozinos, which also offers an extensive range of hot take-away dishes for dinner.
The great thing is all the restaurants are ‘family friendly’, featuring a special children’s menu and a dedicated children’s play area, so you needn’t feel your ‘special ones’ are getting in anyone’s way. In fact, they’re welcomed with open arms.
Actually, Martinhal resort is as much a paradise for the kids as it is for adults, as it features a fully-staffed crèche and Kids’ Club as well as the futuristic-looking ‘Blue Room’ for older children – which features an array of Playstations, Wii’s, table football and internet facilities.
However, if you fancy a lazy day there are plenty of self-catering options available, with full take-away services available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So, after all that delicious food you might be feeling a little guilty and want to burn it off. Well, if an activity-filled couple of days are your thing you are truly in the right spot – as the sporty Club 98 can offer an array of sporting pursuits.
It offers a generously-sized swimming pool (of which there are four in total in the resort), two high-grade artificial grass courts, two glass-sided tennis courts and a multi-purpose sports field. Or how about windsurfing, surf and bodyboarding, kayaking, diving, biking, climbing, trekking, parasailing, horse riding, boating and the more leisurely pursuit of fishing?
Although all that working out may be exhilarating, it can also be tiring – so why not spoil yourself at the resort’s famous Finisterra Spa? The treatments themselves are among the best you could enjoy anywhere, and will leave you totally and utterly relaxed – and more chilled than that glass of white wine that awaits you in one of the resort’s bars.
Oh, I think you get the picture by now!