So Faro So Good

Quietly unassuming next to its much larger cousin Spain, the Algarve boasts treasures of great natural beauty and small market towns steeped in architectural wonders that pre-date the 19th Century. DLUXE’s Andrew Winfield spent 4 days in and around Faro, capital of the Algarve, to learn about the culture, the cuisine, the history and real Portuguese hospitality.

The Algarve is a popular destination for families and couples alike and with Jet2 Holidays opening up new routes from Birmingham Airport in 2017 it is due to get even more popular. With The Algarve being only a 2 hour and 45 minute flight from Birmingham, by the time you have done the obligatory untangling of the headphone wire and flicked through the in-flight magazine, the captain is
announcing the descent.

Once on Portuguese soil, our main focus was to get to a restaurant for some traditional Portuguese cuisine. Tucked away from the main road in a quaint little courtyard, Fazgostos was the perfect port of call with rare Portuguese wines and traditional recipes to get us in the holiday mood.

After a hearty baked steak lunch we set off to one of the Algarve’s many jewels, Loule. With walkways lined with palm trees, the pretty Loule Castle and the historic Roundabout of the Gago in Coutinho Square, Loule is a sightseer’s dream. There’s enough culture here to quench the thirst of the most culturally parched.

Whether you are an avid fan or not you simply cannot visit the Algarve without playing a round or two of Golf at one of the many exceptional courses the region has to offer. We stopped off for a game at the
Quinta Do Lago course ; one of the leading courses in Europe and enjoyed a game followed by a post-match snack in the small but luxurious on site restaurant.

If practicing your swing sounds far too much like hard work why not take a chilled trek through Ludo up towards Gigi Beach and through the heart of the Algarve’s natural sea salt pans; one of the Algarve’s biggest exports. As a reward for all that walking you can grab a cool cocktail at Gigi’s
Restaurante. Situated on the edge Gigi’s Beach, this gem is renowned for its daily caught sea
food and the freshness of its ingredients.

The Algarve is a true luxury destination with enough activities to keep the discerning explorer occupied and beautiful beaches to keep sun bathers busy. With routes to Faro from Birmingham Airport, it’s never been easier to indulge in this little slice of luxury.

WHERE TO STAY

THE CONRAD HILTON:
The Conrad oozes luxury and commands attention. The stylish and sophisticated cylinder shaped lobby was built to resemble an 18th century palace and boasts beautiful views outside of the imposing front and rear windows. The hotel features outdoor pools, a luxurious sauna and spa as well as a world
class gym. Once in the room, it was hard to imagine what else a person could need from a hotel but having a TV at the foot of the bath has now been added to the at home wish list.

EPIC SANA:
Epic by name, epic by nature, this hotel is all focused on relaxation and wellness. The Epic Sana boasts prime positioning right on the beach with its own private access for guests. Whilst here you can take part in yoga classes, relaxation classes and use the stylish and chic sauna and spa. The hotel houses two restaurants; an A La Carte – chic dining experience and a buffet style restaurant with more choices of food than variations of jelly beans you are sure to find something to indulge the pallet.

ANANTARA VILAMOURA:
The Anantara Vilamoura is a hotel that has been completely refurbished and was actually completed on the day of our arrival. This is a luxurious hotel with amazing views over the world famous Victoria Golf Course. The main restaurant in the Hotel; “Emo” is not only beautiful but the food served here is of the highest quality and it seemed that every detail had been thought about not once but twice over to ensure the absolute best in quality. Jet2 Fly seven days a week from Birmingham Airport to Faro throughout the
summer.

Find out more and book online at www.jet2.com