Holiday on the Algarve
It's been years since we had a proper beach vacation, so after our 2-day stop-over in Seville, we spent a wonderful five days soaking up the sun in southern Portugal along the Atlantic. I had seen pictures of the Algarve Coast once and since then it's been on my list of travel destinations. It did not disappoint!
The coast itself is just stunning - filled with rocky cliffs and numerous secluded orange-sand beaches. It's the kind of place where you find a 5-star resort and then never leave. Which is exactly what we did. We stayed at the Vilalara Thalassa Resort, which had several pools, restaurants and it's own private beach. There was also a medical spa, meaning they offered everything from botox to smoking detoxes (a shame I'm not interested in either of those).
We spent the majority of the time just alternating between the different pools and the beach. We were pretty lucky with the weather (it was cloudy the days we arrived and left), so sitting in the sun, ordering fruity drinks and relaxing was an easy job. I even managed to read three books (Eleanor & Park, I Let You Go, and Sea of Tranquility). I could have easily spent another week just reading and swimming. It's too bad Warren gets bored easily (I did send him off golfing one morning).
I would highly recommend taking a boat tour out to view the caves and beaches. Since so much of the coast line is secluded and hard to reach, it's the perfect way to see it in all it's glory. The main attractions are the Benagil Cave and Praia da Marinha. We signed up for a boat tour with our resort, which lasted about an hour and a half and visited all the main sights. There were only five of us on the boat and I was able to get some great photos.
The resort next door was the ultra-fancy (and expensive) Vila Vita Parc. Even though we weren't staying there, we fully took advantage of the cool bar and restaurants, by sneaking over a few times. Next time we'll splurge and stay there!