Tips on choosing the right villa for your Algarve holiday
How to pick the perfect holiday villa
If you’re a lover of delicious cuisine (and portuguese food is so tasty!) and glorious sunshine, spontaneous escapes abroad and rubbing shoulders with locals, then staying in a villa could be the right solution for your holiday. Whether you’re retreating for a week-long break, Christmas and New Year or summer getaway, renting the right home for you and your family can sometimes be tricky.
Peter Jenkins, managing director of luxury villa specialist, Sun-hat Villas & Resorts, knows a thing or two about what makes the perfect holiday home, having previously lived and worked in the Algarve. Here are a few handy tips to make sure your property is the perfect ‘home away from home’ during your stay.
With the lure of warm sunshine and gorgeous Algarve beaches beckoning, it can be all too tempting to book your holiday in an instant, giving little thought to the duration of your stay, and the all important place to rest your head. Take time to really think about what you need, starting with the size of the villa and the needs of your travel companions – after all, one size does not fit all.
If you’re jetting off for a family holiday with your little ones, there are a few things that should be on your checklist. From the basics of renting out a villa with enough rooms to accommodate the family, to roomy washroom facilities with a bath (saving you any hassle of getting excited little ones into the shower!) and a kitchen to cook up a storm on nights where you feel like dining in. Don’t forget about the extras though; the things that really make a holiday memorable - outdoor space for the family to stretch their legs and a heated pool for lazy afternoons if the sun goes in.
If your kids have flown the nest, and you’re finally planning to take a long trip abroad for a few months of sunshine, it can be sensible to opt for a smaller property such as a townhouse. Just because it’s a smaller place, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on luxury.
We all want to relax on holiday and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings. With your own villa, it’s a completely uninterrupted private holiday where you can do things in your own time – whether it’s a dip in the pool or kick about with a football, lounge on the sunbeds or unwind in the hot tub, you can tailor the property to your needs.
If you’re traveling as a family or in a large group, having green outdoor space can be a huge benefit, particularly if you’re worried about trips or falls on paved surfaces for the little ones. You’ll find some villas come equipped with sophisticated outdoor dining, and play areas with swing sets and slides, perfect ways to while away the time.
Location, Location, Location
A large part of any holiday is about exploring your surroundings and getting to know the local area. Before you book, check the proximity of the villa to your local town, and research the area so you know exactly what’s around, both driving and walking distance. There are some wonderful scenic drives as well as great walks to enjoy in the Algarve.
If you’ve rented a car or are happy to ride around on hired bikes, then a day trip to neighbouring villages to see the sights, try new cuisine and wander the shops should be on the cards. You don’t have to hire transport either, use the local public transport links available such as bus and train – but do check these are easily accessible from your villa.
Think about your essentials while on holiday; places where you can buy milk, cereal and toiletries - after all, there’s always something we forget while packing. It’s handy to have a local supermarket nearby and if you’re travelling with picky eaters, a place to buy your creature comforts can be very useful.
For the sporty types who can’t bear to be away from the game for too long, you might have on your checklist of facilities, the best golf courses, nearby football pitches or tennis courts. Take a look at what’s nearby, from playing fields perfect for a kick about, stunning golf courses fit for the World’s Best Golf Destination accolade or endless beaches ideal for all sorts of games. It’s worth also doing some research before you travel about hiring equipment such as golf clubs - with My Caddy Master you can hire clubs and opt to collect them at the airport or have them delivered to your villa.
For more information on Sun-hat Villas & Resorts’ portfolio of villas across the globe, including Algarve villas, visit www.sun-hat-villas.com. And who knows, once you’ve tried it once, you might even want to purchase your very own holiday home abroad!