Portugal’s southernmost region, The Algarve is known for its luxury golf courses and pristine beaches. But even if lounging by the pool, traipsing across fairgrounds and enjoying a spa break is too laid-back an adventure, you can try tasting some of the region’s best wines or exploring the local cuisine.
WHERE? The Pine Cliffs Resort, set back from the beautiful azure of the Mediterranean and the red cliffs of the Algarve coastline, is one of the best and most well-known resorts in the region. The resort sprawls over a number of acres, complete with several pools, restaurants, activity areas and a 9-hole golf course, while the hotel comprises older, more authentic Portuguese buildings as well as brand new rooms that have been built as part of the new Ocean Suites collection. The rooms themselves are are spacious yet private, and decked out in traditional hand painted tiles and murals that are inspired by the country’s Arab heritage.
THE FOOD: With Portugal revered for its exquisite seafood, it’s no surprise that Pine Cliffs boasts some of the best ocean-grub in the region. O Pescador is the resort’s chief purveyor of fine seafood, a relaxed restaurant where the enormous red shrimp are as succulent as steaks, and local produce and ingredients are used across the menu. Food is rarely far away at Pine Cliffs, and always served with a spectacular Algarvian view. International cuisine can be enjoyed at the resort’s café, steakhouse and tapas bar, while elsewhere the Clubhouse feeds hungry swingers tired after a round of golf.
ASK ABOUT: As part of the Ocean Suites collection, a wellness spa is open to all guests and offers a fantastic range of paid treatments to indulge in. The deep tissue massage was particularly good, forcing out weeks of knots and tensions in a 60-minute session that left me feeling loosey-goosey and ready to mingle. It’s almost surreally peaceful. Pay for one treatment and you can use the entire spa for the day, including its hot tub and sunbeds.
AND AFTER THAT? If you tire of pools and golf, then head down to the beach. It’s a little trek down through the resort’s red sand cliffs, but it’s as scenic a walk as they come, even in the scorching sunshine. The beach itself is a huge stretch of fine sands – not quite white but as good as it comes this side of the far east, and the bar and restaurant situated right on the beach make all-day stays a welcome possibility.