Earlier this month, my boyfriend and I embarked on our first holiday together. We travelled to Carvoeiro, a small seaside town in Portugal and had the most amazing time. As the holiday was his birthday present, the majority (all) of the organisation was left to me, and as my track record in holiday organisation is pretty poor - I was thankful that not only did we manage to catch the plane/board the flight/find the hotel without any glitches, I did a rather good job in choosing the hotel.
We stayed in the Vale D'Oliverias Quinta Resort & Spa, which was nothing short of beautiful. Enveloped in landscaped gardens and views onto the nearby golf course and surrounding hills it was a peaceful and relaxed setting. The staff were helpful, friendly and efficient and as we stayed on a B&B board choosing to eat out in the local town at night, the breakfast was wonderful.
The first couple of days were unfortunately hit and miss weather wise. Slithers of sunshine poured through clouds, but only momentarily - and at one point, we felt some drops of rain. Instead of retiring to our room, we decided to make use of some of the hotel's many facilities and had a fairly competitive tennis rally.
The local town of Carvoeiro isn't very big, with just two roads leading down into the town meeting in a small square behind the beach. Traditionally a fishing village, it's become a popular holiday resort but has still kept much of it's charm. The main square is lined with restaurants and leads onto a tiny beach which we didn't feel was fit for purpose size wise, but was nice to stroll onto every evening before dinner. We found lots of restaurants with roof terraces up in the cliffs which were great for spectacular views over the bay. On our final evening, we hopped on the tourist train that takes you on a tour of Carvoeiro and for what was about a 45 minute journey, it only cost €3 per person.
As the local beach was too small, we used our hotel's free shuttle bus and ventured to Praia Grande a ten minute drive away. A stunning beach much larger than the one in Carvoeiro which was incredibly picturesque with little lagoons and a castle. This was big enough to have a walk along from end to end as well as being populated but secluded all at the same time. Up until this holiday, I'd never been a beach girl, much preferring the pool, but my boyfriend showed me the way to live the beach life and as the sea was so still, I loved it.
The food in Carvoeiro was delicious. So much fresh fish and meat meant that we ate like kings every day.
Returning on Monday from this trip was pretty miserable, as we had had such a wonderful week. I sadly returned to work the next day, whilst my boyfriend has cleverly planned a trip to Croatia with his friends at the end of this week, meaning his lack of sunshine is only temporary.
I'd really recommend Carvoeiro as a holiday resort, both for younger couples and families as it has so much to offer. If you're looking for a splash of luxury, then the Vale D'Oliverias Quinta Resort & Spa is sure to do the trick.
Until next year, Sunshine...