Most visitors to Portugal’s Algarve region most likely opt for accommodation in a hotel, or an aparthotel, somewhere near a seaside in one of the more popular resorts.
Nothing incorrect with that, of course. It’s what provides turned the Algarve into the vacation hotspot of Europe (well, that and the great, year-round climate). But it’s simple to miss out on lots that the region provides if you only ever go with the actual package deals offer.
The different types of Algarve accommodation can seem confusing at first, yet here’s a short, explanatory review to assist you choose.
Luxury hotels top any checklist, because of the exclusivity and the level of support offered. Not to mention the cost of staying right now there. The Algarve has its talk about, and some are located where you might not be capable to tear your eyes away from the particular vistas offered from their terraces, verandas and windows.
Luxury villas come next; and the Algarve is no slouch in that regard, either. Some sumptuous properties can be rented for periods of a week or longer. Although hardly cheap, many villas sleep so many occupants that they’re a great option for a sizable party wishing to vacation together.
Pousadas are state-run hotels, usually within the most desirable locations, and providing a high level of service and convenience along with the beautiful surroundings. The Algarve boasts three pousadas, at Sagres in the West, Sao Bras de Alportel in the centre and Tavira in the east. Most pousadas have been converted from stately homes or grand structures like monasteries and convents. They could offer great value for the program provided.
Estalagem is the Portuguese term for ‘inn’. These establishments are usually rated as high as 4- or 5-star and offer a high level of service. They can be a good choice for a quiet night or two when you’re travelling around.
Aparthotels are like hotels, but with the turn of being self-catering. They offer a high standard of comfort if 4-star rated. Similar Algarve accommodation is sometimes called hotel apartamento. They go as low as 2-stars, but are still cracking good value for cash.
Albergarias, or guest houses, can provide extremely comfortable accommodation, especially when 4-star rated. If you don’t speak Portuguese, you might want to check that some staff do speak English.
Resort villas are a variance on the classic Algarve villa holiday and usually offer shared amenities such as pools or gyms. If you’re taking a young family, you’ll probably want to ensure such vital services being an approved baby-sitting service. Be aware that this may not be the best option if you like to retire earlier, since most of your fellow vacationers may be carousing until early each morning.
Pensões are the Portuguese equivalent of boarding houses. You can choose from simply bed and breakfast, or have major meals included. Rated from four stars down, and generally an appropriate choice.
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Camping is increasingly popular. Websites may be private or municipal. Broadly extolled as good value for money, you can find websites all the way from Aljezur in the North West to Vila Real within the Spanish border. Facilities vary between individual parks, but most have sufficient facilities to ensure an enjoyable stay.
A residencial will offer a single room, usually with an en-suite bedroom. You can choose to take breakfast or find it elsewhere. A great choice if you’re travelling around, as you’ll find a decent residencial virtually where ever you go in the Algarve.
Agroturismo means farmhouse tourism. As you may have suspected, comfort levels might be described as a lot more basic, and the location will almost certainly be inland. Your reward will be several breathtaking Algarve countryside views.