Portugal – The Algarve. – Travel to Faro, all the usual airlines fly here (BA, Easy and RyanAir – it’s a base for RyanAir) and it’s about a 20 minute drive. Loads of places to stay, and things to do – all year round.
We choose this as a good escape, with all the bugs in Europe, and the restrictions while still in place, allow you go and eat and socialise.

RADIO – The best English speaking radio Station 102.8 or 95.8FM – link below, or use https://kissfm.pt/ there is also an App you can get now to allow direct streaming.

Kiss FM

Some Recommendations on where to eat in Quinta Do Lago, and Val Do Lobo.

Beachside Restaurants:

Maria’s Praia do Garra. Open 12.30pm till late every day.
More upmarket beach restaurant, although can get crowded especially on the weekends, need to book to eat. Best for sundowners.
+351 289 358 675
Poente, 8135-170 Almancil.

Izzy’s Beach Restaurant. Open 10am – 6pm every day (winter) 10pm+ in the summer.
Traditional beach bar and restaurant, Rory’s a star and will look after you well, music on the weekends usually starting around 3pm.
+351 289 396 984
Praia do Garro 8135 Almancil.

Further up the beach toward Quarteira you have BJ’s Oceanside.

BJ’s Oceanside. Open 9am to 6pm every day (except Tuesdays)
Very laid back beach bar – again need to book for a table on the weekends for lunch, as they have live music, although breakfast is normally quiet.
+351 910 698 479
Praia do Almargem, 8125-000 Quarteira

On a Sunday – book a table at BJs then you could walk down to Maria’s – live music starts at 3pm, and then go upstairs for Sun downers.

You can walk there along the beach (40-45mins) if you fancy the exercise, yes and we timed it.

If you fancy a typical Portuguese restaurant right on the beach try Ze Maria on Faro Island and ask to be on a table facing the sea

Local Restautrants:
Alambique – roundabout at the top of the road between QDL and Vale do Lobo – next to BamBoo
Casavostra – Pizza in Almancil – same road as Apolónia and Aldi – also a designer shop
Brava – Brillant well priced Tapa’s restaurant, just down the road from Apolónia, worth booking in advance, looks basic from outside, but amazing food.
+351 289 393 874

Takeaway and budget eating – Piri-Piri Chicken

There are two excellent ones Sr Frango’s and Maurfo 1 and 2 (opposite each other near Lidi’s. Excellent good food – either eat in or takeaway – just turn up.
Sr Frango’s – Rua Manuel Viegas Guerreiro, 8135-016 Almancil 289 393 756
www.srfrango.com email: geral@srfrango.com
Maurfo 1 – R. da Fonte Santa, 8125-020 Quarteira
Restaurante Churrasqueria de Alamncil
Rua Vale Formoso 8135-148 Almancil
+351 289 393 324
Really good value and does take away on Uber Eats if you are really lazy….

Personally I would rate Frango’s higher, but for cost you can’t beat Maurfo’s.

Shopping and provisions.

Restaurante Churrasquerira de Almancil

Top of the line stuff go to Apolónia in Almancil – think Waitrose and then more (probably closer to Harrods) but although you can spend enough to require a second mortgage, the basic’s are still cheap (Veg, meat and wine).
Av. 5 de Outubro 271, 8135-853 Almancil open 8am till 8pm, every day.

Daily shopping means Pingo at Qunita Shopping, Val do Lobo, and elsewhere.
Open 8.30am to 8.30pm every day.

Basics mean Aldi, and Lidi, although to be fair the stuff you would want to buy is around the same in Pingo. The only thing we would recommend is the fresh Pomegranate juice machine in Lidi (3.30euros for 750ml)

House Rentals

Winter rentals can be cheap, (this was 2020/21) but need to reserve in advance, there are loads of local agencies (Seagulls for one) and also the usual sites (AirBnB, Holiday Rentals).

As an idea of cost although this may well be different outside of the virus, a 2 bed apartment can be around £600 per month, and a small villa, town house around £1,000, with a large villa around £2,000 – you will need to negotiate though.

One thing to be aware of is price for Electric and Water, these start from around £100 per month, and some places will include them so consider this.

As to area’s Val de Lobo, and Vale do Garrão is more local and friendly, with Quinta do Lago, being a more upmarket, but less populated (read more big villa’s) and a further walk from the beach bars mentioned at the top.


For an excellent friendly family run Hotel you cannot beat Quinta Jacintina, run by Sally and her lovely collection of dogs (Dolce is our favourite) excellent Breakfast’s and Pool, and and in easy reach of all major things. She does do Dinner, and Lunch Lunch’s – really a home from home, could not recommend more highly.
+351 289 350 090
Urbanização Quinta Jacintina, 8135-025 Almancil
Ask for Nancy or Sally.

Soares Val do Lobo shopping – will recommend good value wine, at a price cheaper than the supermarkets, although Pingo Doce, does have offers, and if you are here for a while get a card – you need to register it for discounts.
Sell QMF (good value wine – excellent Rose around 7euros a bottle – April 2023) and will ship to the UK for not much more (free shipping for 30+ bottles) – not so good now Post Brexit, although if you are driving, and can hide it under the dog…..

I would recommend Maria’s place in Vale do Lobo – 3 newly refurbished courts, will excellent instruction, and mixed doubles at various times.
+351 914 361 926