Monthly Archives: August 2011

Martinhal Beach Resort, Sagres, Algarve


Teresa Machan checks into the Martinhal Beach Resort, an eco-friendly hotel in a wind-whipped corner of the Algarve.

Martinhal Beach Resort, Sagres, Algarve: hotel review

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Natural timber, local cane and stone and recycled cork combines with warm furnishings

By Teresa Machan

The location

Overlooking a wild sweep of beach on the south-west tip of the Algarve, within Costa Vicentina national park. The fishing port of Sagres is nearby and Faro airport is a 90-minute drive away.

We like

Recycled materials and a low-rise design help the hotel buildings blend into the rugged landscape. Natural timber, local cane and stone and recycled cork, teamed with warm furnishings, lend Martinhal a “homespun contemporary” feel. Everywhere you look there is snooze-on-me furniture inviting you to do just that.

The rooms

My timber-clad “beach room” had a decked, bay-facing balcony and the bathroom came with separate shower and oversized tub. Artisan skills are rekindled in the cute cork tables and stools, and cane-woven lamps made from Algarvian reeds.

Not so keen

Although sheltered by Algarve standards, wind-whipped Martinhal Bay won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Some of the newly planted foliage has yet to take hold, but a coastal path to the wild-flower-strewn headland is seconds away.

The food and drink

Lunch on the terrace at the chic As Dunas can slip languorously into cocktail hour. Line-caught fish, fleshy hoops of grilled squid, just-landed oysters and clams, and a peculiar delicacy called perceves, a goose-necked barnacle resembling dinosaur toes, were accompanied by a crisp Portuguese white. O Terraco serves breakfast and gourmet fare, including the chef’s sublime starter of sea urchin with scrambled egg served in a half-urchin shell (at €49/£40 the six-course tasting menu is excellent value for money). The lounge area doubles as a bar. The 112-strong wine selection is exclusively Portuguese.

The spa

The Finisterra Spa opens on July 1. Martinhal is a great walking and jogging beach. Also available are surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing, riding, jeep safaris, nature walks, gourmet picnics and (at preferential rates) golf.

The other guests

A sophisticated crowd of British and Continentals. Many locals visit O Terraco.

Access for guests with disabilities

One adapted terrace room. All public areas including As Dunas and the Beach Club are wheelchair-accessible.

The bottom line

Terrace room doubles from £105 with breakfast.

The details

Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel, Apartado 54, Sagres, 8650-908, Portugal. (00351 282 620 026;

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Three Things you have to do in Madeira


The Portuguese island of Madeira has managed to amass quite the collection of aliases – The Floating Garden, Pearl of the Atlantic, The Island of Eternal Spring – and it won’t take long for you to see just how apt they are once you arrive on this Mediterranean wonder.


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Underwater Paradise

It’s not only on-land that Madeira gets to impress though, with things under the waves being even more alluring than their above-water counterparts. Its proximity to the Gulf Stream ensures warm waters, and as the shoreline falls within the islands Parcial do Garajau Nature Reserve the protected inhabitants of the area features some truly spectacular plant and sea life.

Amongst the highlights are the colossal Atlantic Manta Ray, the wreck submerged ship Madeirense and Europe’s most endangered mammal, the monk seal. Whether free-diving, scuba diving or snorkelling, you can be sure of a truly once-in-a-lifetime underwater experience.

Park Life

The islands subtropical climate means that public parks are so much more that the meagre displays we’re used to in Northern Europe, the parks of Madeira positively exploding with diverse and show-stopping displays.

Capital city Funchal, in particular, offers visitors an incredible selection, from the jungle of Orchids at Jardim Orquidea to the Oriental majesty of the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, but for the best all-round experience it has to be Santa Catarina Park. Its views alone are worth the visit, blessed with a glorious panoramic perspective of Funchal harbour, but be sure to seek out the various historic statues dotted about the park as well as looking around the parks chapel.

Walk On

Behind the beauty of the gardens belies an infrastructure of island-wide waterways that have acted over the years to ensure Madeira is properly irrigated. The Levada’s, as they’re known, run alongside pathways that conveniently wind their way through many of the islands most beautiful and view-laden areas, these trails proving to be one of the islands most popular activities.

Some paths will lead you alongside waterfalls, other offering breath-taking views of the colourful gardens below, but all are sure to convince you that the islands many names are all worthy titles.


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BA Adds Faro and Malaga to London City Connections


British Airways has added two new routes to Faro and Malaga from London City Airport, giving passengers more options for travelling to Spain and Portugal this summer.

Algarve Car Hire Faro airportHolidaymakers wanting the convenience of the London airport, close to Central London and the Canary Wharf business district, will now be able to find leisure flights to Malaga – gateway to Spain’s Costa del Sol. Fans of the Algarve will also appreciate the option of finding cheap flights to Faro from the London hub.

Four weekly services to Faro have been added by BA, along with three to the Spanish city, and BA has also boosted its leisure flight offering from London City with added flights to Nice in France until September. British Airways subsidiary BA CityFlyer has also announced it will increase flights to Ibiza and Mallorca between July and September, tapping into increased demand from customers wanting flights out of London City Airport.

Luke Hayhoe, commercial manager at BA, said that the additional leisure routes were in direct response to customer demand: “They proved so popular, particularly during the summer months, that we have decided to expand them further this year. The addition of two extra aircraft to the fleet means we can also offer year-round services to the summer and winter sun destinations of Malaga and Faro.”

In a recently-published list of tips for families looking to reduce stress when travelling abroad, using smaller regional airports was recommended rather than the busier and more sprawling large hubs. Holidaymakers in and around London seem to have embraced this idea, and BA has been quick to capitalise on the increased demand.

source: UK travel news

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European Tourism in 2011


The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its first quarterly report on European Tourism in 2011 – Trends & Prospects. The following g

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ives a brief overview of the report for the first quarter of 2011.

  • Destination and industry data indicate a positive start to 2011. Foreign visito r arr ivals were reported higher through the beginning months of the year by most destinations.
  • Both airline and hotel industry data confirm the continuation of travel growth to Europe, however at a more measured pace than experienced during the peak growth periods of 2010.
  • International passenger traffic to Europe outpaced global growth over the first two months of the year. European airlines also report growth in traffic over the first 14 weeks of 2011, but growth has slowed over recent weeks.
  • Hotel occupancy has i mproved further, but appears to have peaked. Average Daily Rates continue to push up across Europe in response to demand.
  • We expect the overall growth trend to slow in 2011 as comparisons are made to stronger performance in 2010 and high energy prices affect both disposable income and transportation costs.
  • Wage spiral inflation is unlikely in the developed economies as unemployment and spare capacity persist. Capacity utilisation is higher in emerging markets where food and energy prices are also having a bigger impact, thus more monetary tightening is expected.
  • The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake will affect the Japanese economy and consequently outbound travel considerably in the short run. Japan is likely to briefly re-enter recession in 2011 with a 10% drop in outbound travel. A considerable rebound is expected on both fronts in 2012.
  • Capacity of European airlines continues to expand, carrying on the trend from late 2010. Capacity surged between late 2010 and early 2011, averaging a 7.8% increase in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) over the first 14 weeks of 2011. This should translate into competitive fares and act as a driver to travel demand over the next 6-8 months.

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UK Airports & Airlines flying into Faro Airport


UK Airports & Airlines flying into Faro Airport

Here you can find some indication of which airports in the UK operate direct flights to Faro we have taken each region and provided detailed information on which airlines fly into Portugal. Please bear in mind that these routes can vary depending on the time of year with fewer flights operating over the winter months.

Ryan Air Flight to Algarve PortugalFrom Ireland you can fly from Cork Airport to Faro with Aerlingus or Ryanair: Derry Airport to Faro with Ryanair from Dublin to Faro with Aerlingus and Ryanair or from Belfast International Airport to Faro you have a good choice with Aer Lingus, flythomascook, Thomson Flights and easyJet all operating flights into the Algarve.

Starting with the North of England, from Scotland you can fly from Glasgow Airport to Faro with Thomson Flights, charter and easyJet and from Edinburgh Airport to Faro with and Ryanair.

Fly from Blackpool Airport to Faro with you can fly from Liverpool Airport to Faro with Ryanair or easyJet: Manchester Airport to Faro with Monarch, flythomascook, and Thomson Flights: Newcastle Airport to Faro with easyJet, flythomascook, Thomson Flights: Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Faro with easyJet and Thomson Flights and from Leeds Bradford Airport to Faro with Ryanair, flythomascook and

You can fly from Birmingham Airport to Faro with Ryanair, flythomascook, bmibaby, Thomson Fly and Monarch or alternatively fly from Nottingham East Midlands Airport to Faro with Ryanair,Thomson Flights, and bmibaby.

There are three London Airports which offer flights direct to Faro: London Gatwick Airport to Faro with easyJet, flythomascook, Monarch, Thomson Flights and British Airways: London Stansted to Faro with Ryanair, Thomson Flights, Air Berlin and easyJet and Luton Airport to Faro with flythomascook, Monarch, Thomson Flights.

In Wales you can fly from Cardiff Airport to Faro with flythomascook, bmibaby and Thomson Flights.

Down in the south flights from Bristol Airport to Faro are offered by easyJet, flythomascook, Thomson Flights and Ryanair: if you live in Devon you can fly from Exeter Airport to Faro with Flybe and Thomson Flights: flights from Bournemouth Airport to Faro are offered by Ryanair or you can fly from Southampton Airport to Faro with Flybe.

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Algarve Gourmet


Combine the richness of the products of sea and river to the genius of great chefs is the primary objective of Allgarve Gourmet.

Algarve Car Hire - Algarve GourmetAlgarve Car Hire – Algarve Gourmet Aimed at an audience curious and knowledgeable about food and wine, domestic and foreign, the Allgarve Gourmet in Portimão and Vilamoura offers a tasting of creative culinary tastings of some of the most respected chefs.

In Vilamoura, the guest chefs come in show cooking sessions.

There will also be the first time, a space for exhibitors of food and wine, called”Gourmet”market.

In gastronomy, wines and associates Allgarve Gourmet gourmet products, available in areas where sophistication, good taste and comfort are at the outset of the first hallmarks.

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Welcome to GetHolidayTravelTips!


Welcome to GetHolidayTravelTips. Here we will post interesting articles about Traveling and Holiday Travel around the world, including tips about the Algarve and Portugal for those interested in knowing a bit more about this country.

Read our Algarve Business index and News id you need to find business and news in Algarve.

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