Golf and the Algarve go together like brie and ‘Paree’ or sore heads and San Antonio. So it’s only fair that we bring you the best golfing recommendations straight from the horse’s mouth, along with a few other insider’s secrets on the best places to hot-foot it to for great food and wine. Here’s what a golfing champion has to say about this beautiful part of Portugal.
Famous for fiestas and being the birthplace of paella, Valencia is one of Spain’s most underrated cities, as well as being capital of the Valencian region on the country’s east coast. Aside from its historic status as a port city and cultural importance in the mythology of the Valencian Nation (as locals see themselves), Valencia has everything you could want in a modern city break and more, with a plethora of cool bars, interesting museums, and some of the best cuisine in Europe.
The city is also famous for the stream of festivals that liven up the streets throughout Spring and Summer, with the historic and unique Las Fallas a particular highlight. Even if you go during a regular week, you’re likely to see some incredible art and culture, especially at the world-renowned Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, (City of Arts and Sciences), a cultural and educational complex that was designed by two Spanish architects widely regarded as some of the best in the world. With so much to do and see, no matter what you’re looking for on your city break, you’ll find it Valencia.
Considering the dish most associated with Spain – paella – is a Valencian invention, it’s no surprise the region has some of the best culinary experiences on offer on the entire Iberian Peninsula. While almost every city claims to be a foodie paradise, there are very few that have the clout this coastal city has, especially when it comes to traditional dishes. If your idea of an excellent holiday is munching your way through a city, then read ahead for our guide to Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in Valencia.
The cultural heart of Valencia is The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències in the local language), a large complex in the centre of Turia Gardens. The area contains a whole host of different attractions, all designed by two of the best architects in Spain, making sure that even strolling through the complex is a unique experience. If you’re a culture vulture, a science geek, or just love to learn new things, then The City of Arts and Sciences is the ideal place for you to spend a day or two.
One of the best things about Valencia is that it’s a world class city by the sea – which means beaches. Being such a populous area, there are busier stretches of sand where you’ll be able to have a few beers and have a go at some water sports. If you’re the sort of person who hates seeing anybody else on your little patch of paradise, then there’s no need to worry: just a short car, bus, or even metro ride away are a number of stunning, secluded Valencia beaches that you can while away the day at. If you’re keen for sun, sea, and sand on your Valencia trip, then read on: this is our guide to Valencia beaches.
If you want to truly experience a region, there’s no better way to do it than camp there. This is true in Valencia, where there are numerous different sanctioned campsites, from coastal to countryside. There are a fair few things that make camping in Valencia a unique and fun experience, but there are also a few things to keep in mind. If you want to spend some time sleeping under the Valencian stars, then read ahead: here’s our guide to camping in Valencia.
There are few communities in the world that party like Valencia. The region is famous for wonderful weather, laidback attitude, and famous fiestas. If you want to see something truly authentic on your Valencian trip, head to one of these Valencia festivals.
Before you even reach the Algarve’s rugged coastline, it helps to know that this sun-soaked corner of Portugal expects nothing of you. You’re more than welcome to fly in, roll out your beach towel and do little but flit from buffet to sun lounger throughout your stay. But, should you feel compelled to explore, holidays to the Algarve serve activities by the spadeful. The Google-savvy among you will have read about the many, many championship golf courses, stunning seafood restaurants and upscale marinas. So there’s little use in luring you to those. No, we’ll point you towards the natural beauty of the Algarve’s landscape. Zesty orange hues in the limestone cliffs are more than worth a spot on your Insta feed and the flamingos found in the Ria Formosa National Park keep the colourful vibes coming.
All this beauty is nicely balanced with something decidedly darker. The Algarve’s home to not one, but two ossuaries built from human bones. Yes, it’s quite the key change, but does clue you in to the Algarve’s diversity. You fly in expecting a fortnight of seafood indulgence and a potter around those much sought after unspoilt fishing villages, but the Algarve has much more to offer you. If you know where to look…
It’s easy to assume Portugal’s parties start once the sun sets. But in the Algarve, the sunset parties are where the night’s adventures really begin. Take to the water for a boat party, start (or end) the night in a beach club or track down the outdoor clubs rivalling Ibiza on party atmosphere. With so much focus on the outdoors, you’d be right to assume that summer is the season to land here. Though, year round, the indoor spots keep the Algarve nightlife vibes pumping.
Whether you’re looking for the full theme park experience or just want to dip a toe in some reliably fun waters, water parks in the Algarve have got you covered. Slides range from small and suitably safe for little ones to an epic water coaster you’ll want to ride again and again. Lazy rivers, wild wave pools and free falling slides can be found in the biggest water parks. But if you’re looking for something a little less high octane, there are Algarve hotels with built in water parks and splash pools that serve as a refreshing middle ground.