Top five active ways to enjoy winter sun in the western Algarve

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UK holidaymakers planning for a warm long weekend should look no further than the western Algarve this winter. With average temperatures of 19-22 degrees Celsius (66-72 Fahrenheit), quieter beaches and coastal walks, visitors can get to grips with the real Algarve away from the summer’s tourist season.



Rugged landscape and crystal clear waters define the Algarve away from the golf courses.   The head winds often mean challenging cycling but it will reap rewards.  Many hotels have on-site bikes for use by guests, although you can also visitAlgarve Bike Hire, which rents bikes out for up to 15 days, with the lowest-spec bike available for 10 euro per day, or 90 euro for the full 15.  Child seats are available, all equipment, including helmets, can be delivered to your hotel for free if based between Albufeira and Carvoeiro.  Cycle the rewarding 10km route west along the coastal road from Carvoeiro to the village of Ferragudo, packed with small restaurants serving fresh fish overlooking its golden beach.



The Atlantic coast provides consistent waves for surfing, with the best spots found to the west of the Algarve, where plenty of established surfing schools hold expert knowledge of the secluded beaches and perfect waves for beginners.  The Algarve Watersport School offers a ‘Surfari’ daytrip which picks up learners from their hotel if in a group of four or more.  Prices and dates depend on location, but pickups include Lagos, Carvoeiro and Portimao and prices start at 55 euro.



The warm Autumnal weather provides good horse riding conditions and spectacular views of the rolling western Algarve terrain.  There are a number of riding schools that cater for beginners through to experienced riders. Tiffany’s Riding School, located 7km west of the town of Lagos, provides a three-hour Adventure Tour (140 euro per person) against the backdrop of the Monchique Mountains, well-known for their abundance of pine and eucalyptus trees.  Quinta da Bica riding school, located 16km from the medieval town of Silves, provides private, 30 minute riding lessons for 20 euro.  The school also has quad biking treks for those more interested in four-wheeled fun.



As a low impact but high return exercise, Kayaking is a gentle activity for both children and adults that provides access to little-known inlets and coves teeming with wildlife along the Algarve coast.  Algarve Kayak Tours and The Kayak Centre take participants aged seven and upwards on two – three hour kayak tours departing from Lagos beach.  Discover the colourful rock formations known as the “Algarves”, the famous grottos and caves of Ponta da Piedade or the Alvor laguna. Places available from 20 euro.



With access to a myriad of golf courses, visitors to the Algarve can be sure they will never be located too far from somewhere to tee off.  Late autumn through to late spring is the peak season for golfers in the Algarve, largely due to the warm weather on offer minus the sweltering sun.  Great deals can be found, and often the courses will remain quiet, provided you choose wisely.  The western Algarve tends to be quieter, Carvoeiro is home to three golf courses, Vale de Milho is more informal, charging 30 euro green fee and is suited to beginners requiring only knowledge of golfing etiquette.  The Gramacho and Pinta, 18 hole courses within 3 kilometres of Carvoeiro, accommodate holidaying golfers for approximately 90 euro per round.


Use Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa as your base


Stay at the luxury 5* Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa, five minutes from Carvoeiro and a 40 minute transfer from Faro airport and use it as your base to enjoy an active outdoor break.  The resort offers self-catering apartments alongside its hotel, ensuring it can adapt to all holiday requirements.


Set within 20 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, the resort offers all the facilities expected in a 5* environment. Relax in the resort spa with a vast range of beauty and wellbeing treatments and a steam bath, or get active with the two tennis courts, two outdoor swimming pools (one for adults, one for children) and a Health Club featuring a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gymnasium.


The resort comprises of 80 spacious one and two-bedroom family suites, 2 suites and 22 elegant hotel rooms, equipped with high standard quality, all at your disposal to make sure your holidays in Carvoeiro will be unforgettable.


Activities at Vale d’Oliveiras Quinta Resort & Spa include the Cycling Social Ride, every Saturday at 11:00, groups up to 10, can enjoy a leisurely bike ride to Ferragudo free of charge.  Guests can also participate in a Canoeing Expedition at the nearby Adrade river side spot of Fontes de Estombar, every Saturday at high tide, for 20 euros per person.


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