Looking for some last-minute September sun? We know just the place for a romantic break now the kids are back at school…
Pestana Alvor South Beach. A little slice of heaven on the Algarvian coast. Think chilled-out vibes and warm sunsets, all accompanied by the tunes of the poolside DJ. Dinners in the nearby fishing village, strolls along the boardwalk and morning dips in the, admittedly a bit chilly, sea (but, hey, once you’re in, it’s fine!) We visited Alvor’s boujee boutique hotel this summer and we just couldn’t keep this place to ourselves. So, here are our five top reasons to stay at Pestana Alvor South Beach…
1. They have the best breakfast buffet
Of course, they’ve got the standard full English (with delicious little hash browns), but what makes breakfast here special is their homemade Pastéis de Nata, baked fresh every morning. These Portuguese custard tarts are like little bites of heaven. Plus, who doesn’t love a breakfast dessert?! Then they’ve got some healthy options, with natural yoghurts and chia seed puddings, as well as a whole table of fresh, sliced fruits. Or, if you’re feeling particularly continental, there’s always the standard buffet of cheese and cured ham. When in Portugal, am I right?
2. The beach is right on your doorstep
The age old question: day by the pool or head down to the beach? Well, at this hotel, you won’t have to choose! The gorgeous sandy beach is just 79 steps along the boardwalk, so we went in the sea every morning before breakfast (Pastel de Nata: earned). Then, we spent our days alternating between the pool and the sea when we wanted a quick cool down. Just remember to top up your sun cream after a dip, it’s toasty out there.
3. There are adventurous activities for those that just can’t sit still
We know the type. While you’re enjoying a relaxing afternoon reading your book on a Balinese bed, you look across to find your partner, goggles and all, doing bombs in the pool and, quite frankly, ruining your peace. These Labradors disguised as humans need adventure, and luckily Alvor is just the place for it! The friendly reception staff at the hotel can book a number of water sports for you down on the beach, like jet skiing or an afternoon on the pedalos, and golfers can book a trip to one of the Pestana golf courses – they’ll even arrange transportation for you.* And if you’re feeling seriously adventurous, the Alvor skydiving centre is just down the road…
* just so you know, any extra reservations, like water sports, will come with an additional charge.
4. There are tons of local restaurants
Sure, you can get some delicious grub in the hotel, but we’re always a fan of checking out the local cuisine. So, we headed along the boardwalk to try out some of the nearby restaurants. Let me tell you: blow-your-socks-off is an understatement. Alvor is a foodie’s paradise! There’s always fresh seafood on the menu – we’re talking gigantic prawns, bowls of razor clams and, most importantly, Cataplana, the locals’ favourite. Plus, you get your pick of ‘the catch of the day’ everywhere you go. And don’t even get us started on the views! We went to one restaurant that was set in the rocks, overlooking the sea. Phenomenal. So, when you’re in the area, we recommend you check that one out. It’s called Caniço, and it’s just a walk or short taxi ride from the hotel. Or for something a bit different, Gastrobar 13 is a trendy little restaurant we found in a secret courtyard in Alvor village.
5. Alvor village is just minutes away
Whilst we’re on the subject, Alvor is worth a visit for more than just its seafood. By day, its a quaint fishing village with plenty of opportunity for ice creams and souvenir shopping. And in the evening, you’ll find softly lit cobbled streets, independent bars for a romantic drink, and an unusual number of Irish Pubs. After a few Guinesses (Guini?), you can wander along the boardwalk back to your comfy hotel bed, and dream about your morning swim!
Still searching for your perfect couples holiday? Check out our favourite adult-only holidays.