Place in the Sun - try a long stay holiday in the Algarve

Most people have seen the TV program 'Place in the Sun', and many of you may have wished you could afford to spend the winter in a warmer and sunnier place. But do you realise that you can try out the 'ex pat' lifestyle really cheaply by renting a place out of season. All the photos above were taken in January and February last year - the beaches are deserted and the flowers are still blooming in my garden. The weather can sometimes be unsettled but it is usually better than the British summer, with lots of sunny days and temperatures varying from mid teens to low 20'sC. Nights are a bit colder but my holiday villa has a log burning fire, and electric heating throughout. And, unlike many winter holiday homes, electricity is included in the price. You can pay as little as £140 a week for a stay of 5+ weeks. We all know the exchange rate is not good at the moment, but when you take into account the amount you will save on your heating bills in the UK you can still have an affordable long stay holiday. The cost of living here, on average, is about the same as the UK now. Some things are cheaper - wine and cigarettes for instance, and some dearer - mostly British brands. But if you bring your car across on the ferry to Santander or Bilbao you can bring your favourite non perishables with you. And you can see a bit of Spain and Portugal on the way. The roads are good now, mostly quiet motorways, and I can advise you on interesting places to stay en route. It is only a total of about 12 hours driving down to the Algarve. Of course if you prefer you can get a cheap winter flight and car hire, and be here in half a days travel. So whether you just want a break in the sun, or whether you are searching for your own 'Place in the Sun' phone or email me for prices and availability. tel 07814 531390 0r email


August Availability for a Villa Holiday - Carvoeiro

This is our beautiful holiday villa on the outskirts of Carvoeiro. You can breakfast up on the roof terrace in the sunshine every morning, swim in our private heated pool, or just relax on a choice of secluded terraces. Look away from our lovely garden and you have a beautiful sea view. We still have July and August availability and I can offer 2 weeks for just £1960. We are within walking distance of Centiannes Beach, the Vale de Milho Golf Course, Carvoeiro village and several local Restuarants.
For details see email me on or phone 017814 531390


Algarve Summer Holiday - See Worlds Largest Sand Sculpture Event

When you are on holiday at my beautiful villa, with private heated pool, you may want to visit the Feisa - an International Sand Sculpture Festival - the biggest sand sculpture park in the world. This is held from 22 May until 22 October every year, from 10h to 24h, at Pera, just 20 minutes from Carvoeiro. Previous years themes vary from Great Discoveries of the World, Hollywood, and World of Nature. It is amazing by day or at night, when it is floodlit. There is a snack bar, sand activities, shops, and music in the evenings. It covers 15000 sq meters and 35000 tons of sand has been carved by 60 known sand artists. This is just one of the many things to do when you enjoy an Algarve holiday - enjoy golf, beaches, cliff walks, historic towns and pretty villages. See for more information.


Holiday Events - Silves Medieval Festival

Silves Medieval Festival - mid August every year

Silves is just a 15 minute drive inland from my holiday villa If you visit it during the Medieval Festival you will be transported to another time. In 1189 D Sancho 1st became King 'of Portugal, of Silves and of the Algarves'.
The festival takes you back to the 13th and 14th centuries, where you will see street shows with jesters, jugglers and acrobats, and battles with Knights on horseback. The streets capture the atmosphere of medieval times and there are various stalls selling food and crafts. See my previous blog if you are interested in finding more about the historic and beautiful town of Silves, or in taking a holiday in my Carvoeiro villa with heated pool.


Algarve Villa Holiday - more than just beaches and sun

We all know that there are lovely beaches and a beautiful coastline just a few minutes from the pretty village of Carvoeiro. That is why so many of you choose to holiday in this area, where my villa with private heated swimming pool is situated. However many people never discover how much more this area has to offer. Just a few miles inland is the picturesque town of Silves. Silves was the western capital of the highly civilized Moorish kingdom in southern Iberia. Although much of the ancient city was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1755 some of the city walls, castle and cathedral survived. On going excavations inside the castle have recently revealed the 'Palace of Varandas' from Arab times, and the 'House of the Governor' from later medieval times. Less well known is the small but beautifully decorated church, on a corner opposite the cathedral. Visit the castle museum to see relics that have been found in the area. There is also ample evidence of Phoenician, Celtic, Visigoth and Roman presence in the area - the river was originally spanned by a Roman bridge, and the remains of Viking long ships have been found a few miles downstream in the Arade estuary. It is possible to take a boat ride up the river from Portimao to Silves so that you can see the less accessible parts of the river and its wildlife, and you can often see storks and flamingos. In ancient times Silves was an important port, and the river front has recently been redeveloped to provide parking and an attractive river walk and quayside area. Explore the narrow cobbled streets and the pretty square and fountain by the Town hall. Although there are also modern buildings, cafes and restaurants, storks can often still be seen nesting on the old chimneys of Silves. See my website to see how to holiday in this area which has so much to offer.


Visit Ferragudo when you are on holiday at my Algarve Villa

While you are staying in my Algarve villa, you should visit Ferragudo. It is one of the few remaining unspoilt working Algarve fishing villages. Situated at the mouth of the River Arade it has beautiful views across the river to Portimao and Praia de Rocha. There are pretty cobbled streets with old fishermens cottages, a church high up with great views along the river to the suspension bridge, and several good fish restaurants on the quay. There is also Praia Grande, dominated by the castle which was once a look out fortress but is now an impressive residence in private ownership. On one side of the castle is the fishermans beach and on the other is a large expanse of gently shelving beach, with a childrens play area and several beach restaurants. This is just a short drive from my holiday villa, and on the way you will pass two other other lovely beaches - Praia de Pintadinho and Praia dos Caneiros. See my website for details of holidays here.


Holiday Bargains - Algarve Markets

A holiday in my villa is always a bargain, especially as I have held prices to those charged in 2008. And the Algarve is a great place for buying holiday bargains. There are gypsy markets which visit a different town every Monday, my favourite being Messines, where you can get everything from fresh local produce, plants, live chickens and ducks, to all manor of clothing, leather goods, lace and pottery. There is a similar market every Wednesday, directed mainly at tourists, in Quarteira, and a locals indoor market at Loule every Saturday. Local to my holiday villa is Lagoa, which has a market the second Sunday of every month. Ferragudo, just a few miles along the coast, has a flea market on the same morning, where you can buy antiques, jewellery, books and much more. And every town, including Carvoeiro and Lagoa, has a Mercado - a covered food market where you can buy fruit, veg and fresh locally caught fish every weekday. Ideal for the Bar B Que at my villa


Spectacular Coastline and favourite Beaches around Carvoeiro

In my opinion the stretch of coastline between Portimao to the west and Armacao de Pera to the east has some of the most spectacular coastline and beautiful beaches, 12 in all, in Portugal. And what makes it so special for me is its accessability. There are few areas of beautiful coastline now where it is possible to walk and enjoy the beauty of nature without the views being spoilt by over development. But here you can walk for miles and see the amazing rock formations, caves and blow holes, wild flowers, and little coves only reached by boat where there are just seagulls on the beach. From our villa you can walk to Centiannes beach, a long beach with a small shaded cove at one end, overlooked by 'O Stop' cafe/restuarant. One of our nearest beaches is Benegil, where a small fishing beach, still used by local fishermen, leads to a hidden sandy cove which is a real sun-trap, backed by high cliffs. From half way up the hill there is a footpath where it is possible to walk along the cliffs to Marinha. But you may prefer to drive the approx 2 kilometers through pretty countryside of old almond and olive trees. There is a large car park and picnic tables over looking Marinha beach. A pathway, then a long flight of steps lead down to the beach. Along this path I saw wild fresias blooming early this spring. Carvoeiro itself also has a lovely beach, which obviously gets busier than the other beaches in summer, but out of season can be very quiet. It is popular with families who enjoy the many shops, restuarants and bars, and the boats offering trips along the coast. All this is just few minutes away from my holiday villa