This week’s guest has recently been enjoying the beaches in the Algarve. Now that the sun has finally decided to come out, I’m sorely tempted to head to a beach myself but I just haven’t got time at the moment. In the meantime, I’ll have to make do with reading about Selena’s experiences.
Hi Selena, thanks for joining me. Can you tell us a little about yourself, please?
I’m Selena. I’m an American Expat living in London with my British husband. I met my husband at a wedding a few years ago. We spent a year living in Texas, but I knew that a move was imminent. He’s a globetrotting accountant and has lived all over the world. Since travel is a love that we share, we quickly decided that London would be a great place to station ourselves for some European exploration. I’m also an accountant, but right now I’m a stay at home wife and travel blogger.
When did you last visit / travel in Portugal and how long did you stay?
In May, we spent a weekend in Albufeira in the Algarve.
Did you come for business, pleasure or something else?
Since we crossed the pond, our holidays have been completely different from the first year of our marriage. Our holidays living in Texas involved a quick hop down to the Caribbean and time spent relaxing on a beach in the blazing sun with a cold drink in hand. Our trips to Europe have involved exploring, a lot of walking, schedules, museum visits and a lot of getting from here to there. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve been fantastic. But, we were in desperate need of a relaxed, quiet beach weekend and some sunshine. (Have I mentioned? Coldest UK Spring in fifty years.)
How did you get here?
We took an EasyJet flight direct from London to Faro and used a shuttle to get to the hotel. The flight was less than three hours.
Whereabouts did you stay?
Galé Praia is located about 10 minutes from the popular spot of Albufeira in the Algarve region of Portugal.
And what sort of accommodation did you have? How was it?
Hotel Vila Galé Praia is a 40 room hotel in a quiet residential neighborhood with a 2 minute walk to the beach. It was perfect, very clean and comfortable. We were greeted with a cold wet cloth and a glass of tea to revive us from our journey. There is a pool, gym, spa, restaurant and bar, everything you need for a relaxing weekend.
Note: You’ll find plenty of suggestions for where to stay in the Algarve in this detailed guide
How did you get around while you were here?
We spent most of our time at the beach which was just a short walk. We took the hotel shuttle into Old Town Albufeira one night and a taxi back.
Where did you find the most useful information when planning your trip to Portugal?
We used Trip Advisor and Google maps to select the area and hotel.
What were you most looking forward to doing or seeing in Portugal?
We are anxious to get back to Portugal to explore much more of the history, culture, food and wine. This particular trip was all about relaxing in the sun.
Of the places you visited, which would you most recommend to other travellers and why?
I would highly recommend Praia da Galé. It’s a beautiful, clean and quiet beach with good amenities.
What about the food – did you try any local dishes? Any you’d recommend?
The fresh seafood was a delight. I had sea bass every night. Matt had sardines and loved them. The bread and butter platters were a great way to start the meal.
Did you buy any souvenirs?
We purchased a hand painted ceramic bowl and a Portuguese rooster ornament to always remind us of our lovely weekend in Portugal.
What would you do differently if you could do this trip over?
The only thing we would change was extending our stay so we could enjoy Portugal longer. It’s a beautiful country and we felt welcome the minute we stepped off of the plane.
Would you like to come back to Portugal? If the answer’s yes, where in particular?
We would love to return to Portugal and Lisbon is high on the list.
Selena is the publisher of Oh, the places we will go!, a London based, lifestyle and travel blog that provides travel information and inspiration while connecting with readers on a personal level. Each post includes personal accounts with a touch of humor and is enhanced with original photography that tells a story and inspires other to get out of their comfort zone and go! Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
If you’ve recently travelled in Portugal and would like to share your experience and tips in an interview, just drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
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