Planning a family holiday can sometimes be like a military operation. Every day is set out down to the smallest detail – what you’re going to do during the day, where you’ll eat in the evening, how much you are willing to pay for an inflatable dolphin – it can get a tad stressful.
The Algarve is the perfect family holiday destination. All the ingredients are here to keep everyone happy – miles of white sand beaches, family-friendly hotels, lively resorts and plenty of surrounding attractions. To make things even easier we’ve picked out some of the best family activities for a stay in the Algarve.
So, if you fancy a day off from lounging around the pool give some of these a try.
Every family holiday to the Algarve needs to include a day out at Zoomarine. Just a short drive from Albufeira, the region’s premier attraction roll a theme park, water park, zoo and education centre all into one.
Here you can fulfil a lifetime’s ambition by swimming with dolphins or simply watch a live dolphin show. Prepare to be dazzled by the swashbuckling acrobatic Baia dos Piratas shows, say hello to the playful sea lions at Wonderland and let the kids loose on the slides of the Zoomarine Beach water park.
Round off the day by purchasing a stuffed dolphin teddy from the shop and call it a success.
Family Golf Park
Who doesn’t love a game of mini golf? It is the absolute failsafe for a fun family day out (and it gives Dad a chance to get competitive). Family Golf Park in Vilamoura is a unique mini golf experience with two 18-hole open air courses – the Appia Via and Via Lusitania.
The pair are Roman themed characterised with coliseums, acropolis, a series of lakes and greenery to make the courses that little more picturesque. The holes vary in difficulty creating a pleasant experience for everyone, there is even a tourist train that goes to and from the site.
Have your pick of water parks
You simply can’t go wrong with a day out at a water park. The kids will enjoy hours plunging down twisting and turning slides while mum and dad can relax by the pool – before they eventually get the urge to try the slides themselves.
The Algarve has three water parks to choose from – Aqualand, Aqua Show and Slide & Splash – with each having their own charm. Aqualand is one of Portugal’s biggest water parks and boasts the imposing Kamikaze, a 95-metre high slide. Aqua Show has a huge Water Rollercoaster while Slide & Splash is considered to be among the best water parks in Europe.
The only hard bit is deciding which one to visit, or which to visit first.
The unmissable beaches
One of the main reasons why holidaymakers instantly fall in love with the Algarve is its beaches. The region has a coastline to rival any in the world catering for every type of taste. Among the most popular is Praia da Falesia in Albufeira. Stretching for over 10 kilometres, it is a scenic setting with a backdrop of white cliffs and tourists and locals alike enjoying the suntrap beach.
A little further east is Iha de Tavira, a delightful beach which forms part of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. This relaxed shore is perfect for families with young children as they can build sandcastles and paddle in the shallow lagoons. There is also a number of beachside cafes and bars.
Ria Formosa Natural Park
Away from the busy tourist towns there is a side to the Algarve that often passes people by. The region is home to the amazing Ria Formosa Natural Park – a recent inductee to the 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal.
This tranquil expanse of greenery and lagoons is just waiting to explore. The park is home to a wealth of wildlife including thousands of aquatic birds and the Portuguese Water Dog, a breed native to the Algarve which was almost threatened with extinction many years. You can spend hours walking around the park or enjoy a boat trip to see the very best of this natural beauty.
The sand sculpture festival
Have you ever wanted to see the head of Mick Jagger carved completely out of sand? Well, thanks to the FIESA Sand Sculpture Festival these dreams can become a reality. The Algarve hosts this quirky exhibition from June to November every year as sculptors shape sand into some incredible creations.
From the famous faces of the big screen to popular cartoon characters, this is a unique exhibition perfect for the whole family. For 2018, the sculptors have been challenged to create sand representations iconic scenes from theatre, dance, music, literature, cinema, comics and much more.
You will be amazed what they can produce.
Plan your own family adventure in the Algarve with a package holiday from Sunmaster. You can tailor a holiday to suit your needs and choose from a range of family-friendly hotels and resorts. Head to www.sunmaster.co.uk and start your search today.