Things to do in Mallorca in the Autumn

Things to do in Mallorca in the Autumn

After the summer holidays, the autumn months are cooler but still sunny and warm enough for plenty of outdoor pursuits. It’s also the time when the cultural season starts on the island.

Island hopping
Mallorca has a scattering of islands off the coast and autumn is the ideal time for a boat trip. We recommend a ride out to Sa Dragonera island. It’s a protected nature reserve with stunning coastal scenery that’s inhabited by wildlife and especially lizards – like a miniature Jurassic Park! You can take a walk on the island, and with some boat rides, discover secluded bays and go diving in crystal clear waters. You can often see dolphins on the boat journey and around the island.

Hiking
When the heat of the summer is gone and the beaches empty, the mountains become more popular with visitors. Still warm in early autumn, it’s the later months when hiking conditions are about perfect. Forests walks, spectacular landscape, stunning views and a variety of well sign-posted routes that suit all levels are a big draw. In a rural landscape peppered with ancient dry-stone terracing and knotty centuries-old olive trees and tiny villages, stop off at for a cool drink and tasty local dish.

We really like the hiking trail which starts in San Telmo and runs around the coast to the ruins of La Trapa Monastery. From here you’ll have wonderful views over the coast and Sa Dragonera island.

Harvest festival
There are more than 70 vineyards on the island and an autumn tour reveals them at their best. If you go in the early autumn you might get a chance to see the grape harvest in full flow. There are plenty of festivals to celebrate the end of summer and local produce from nuts to olives. In restaurants all over the island, menus reflect the bounty from summer. It’s also a great time to visit the markets, less busy and full of lush produce.

Golf
Mallorca is one of the top European golf destinations with numerous golf courses and top class facilities. Autumn is the idea time to practice your swing, take a lesson with a professional golf instructors and for experienced players, be challenged by championship-level courses. The greens, shrubs and trees are kept in lush perfect condition all year round.

Beach
Although slightly cooler, at the start of autumn it’s certainly warm enough to hit one of the island’s numerous beaches. Choose a beach with a sheltered cove for maximum comfort. With summer crowds gone and without the intense heat, it’s an idea time to relax on the beach and take a last dip of the season.

Go gallery hopping in Palma
The season of culture starts with the ever-popular Nit d’Art in the middle of September. Palma hosts this free event where the museums and galleries open their doors to visitors. Many of the galleries feature new exhibitions by well-known artists and you can enjoy a glass or two of cava as you enjoy the art. In addition to the open-house galleries, the streets of Palma come alive with performance art and street theatre. The event starts at 19:00 and galleries remain open until midnight.

Take a look at our luxury villas in Mallorca and find the holiday home of your dreams…

Summer in the Algarve

Summer in the Algarve

If you’re off to the Algarve this summer you’re in for a treat. Not only is the weather forecast showing sunshine all the way but Quinto do Lago, the upmarket resort, has a summer programme that’s simply superb.

Seaside, safari and sensational wines
There are so many beaches to choose from you’ll have no problem finding your own favourite to relax on. Swimming in the sea is said to actively improve your health and wellness so what are you waiting for! See our top tips for best beaches in the Algarve.

Take a jeep safari from Portimao to get the most amazing views of the Algarve coastline from the mountains. Stop at Navy Beach, considered to be one of the top 10 beaches in Europe and rated by the Michelin Guide as one of the top 100 beaches in the world. Jeep tours are run by several companies including Algarve Discovery who also run popular boat tours.

Quinta dos Vales Winery, Estômbar, is a vineyard as well as open-air art gallery and the perfect place to enjoy the red, white and rosé wines produced here.

Summer Sports Camps
The new Campus sports facility at Quinto da Lago never fails to impress. There are popular programmes like football with Rio Ferdinand, dance with Lauren Jamieson, rugby with Brian O’Driscoll and tennis with Judy Murray, as well as exciting new additions like Karate Camp for kids. There are options for adults and children, so don’t miss out and book in advance to make sure you get the programme you want. The programme is year round so check the Campus website for details of more great activities.

Golf at Quinta do Lago
There’s not much that beats a round of golf in the sun. Book your session on the lush fairways at Quinta da Lago and make the most of the gorgeous location.

Wine and Dine in style
Casa Vehla, the French fine dining restaurant at Quinta do Lago has a new head chef and updated menu of fresh, local and seasonal dishes. Book in advance to indulge in a delicious culinary experience at this popular restaurant.
For a taste of authentic and rather special Portugal, head to Canico restaurant and bar in Alvor. Accessed via a tunnel and elevator from the top of the cliff you’ll find a beach-level cafe bar whilst upstairs the dining room offers wonderful views of the ocean. The cuisine is traditionally Portuguese with fresh fish and seafood and a fine wine list.

Music, Movies and more
At Quinta do Lago there’s a full programme of events with Movies in the Park, Big Band performance, jazz brunches, picnics in the park, live music nights, barbecues and parties. For details of what’s on at Quinta do Lago see their full list of events: https://www.quintadolago.com/en/events-guide

Don’t miss FIESA, the biggest sand sculpture festival in the world, head to Pêra to be wowed by sand statues up to 12m high.

We have a fabulous selection of luxury villas to rent at the Quinta do Lago resort and around….

Plan your perfect summer getaway to Mallorca

Plan your perfect summer getaway to Mallorca
Mallorca is an enchanting island just waiting to be explored. With great gastronomy and beautiful beaches, fascinating culture and historic towns, plus loads of activities and shopping, we know you don’t need any excuse to visit Mallorca. But, we’ve put together some of our favourite things to tempt you…

Sunshine breaks in Mallorca
Maybe you fancy a round of golf in the sun, cycling through stunning countryside or a relaxed day of wine tasting at a vineyard. Or perhaps snorkelling in the crystal clear sea, browsing the boutiques that line picturesque streets or simply lazing on the beach or round the pool of your gorgeous villa is your thing.

There’s a great choice of seaside towns and picturesque villages for your Mallorcan holiday. Pollensa is one of the most popular seaside destinations and with good reason – gorgeous beaches, huge choice of bars and restaurants and a charming town that’s a jumble of buildings, cobbled streets and courtyards. Hop over to our home page to see our listings of magnificent luxury villas in Mallorca to find the holiday home of your dreams…

Action packed Mallorca
There are plenty of boat rides round the island but for something different try Robinson Boat Trips. They’ve been operating for 60 years and know the secrets of the coast. Take a day trip round the cliffs, go snorkelling, discover secluded beaches and even take a sunrise tour to see the dolphins frolic while you have breakfast on the deck.

Get a round of golf in at Club de Golf, a beautiful 9-hole course in Pollensa. With olive and pine trees, lakes and a stunning natural landscape – reserve your tee time online and relax on the green.

Cycling in the area is very popular and offers several routes including the famous Formentor Peninsula, a 19km long road which winds its way around the coastline of the Med. Ending at the Cap de Formentor lighthouse from where there are fabulous views over the bay. Apparently British Tour de France legend, and holiday maker, Bradley Wiggins holds the record for riding to the lighthouse and back in under an hour!

Shopping and culture
When you’re not relaxing on a golden sandy beach, wine tasting, playing golf or enjoying the many activities and sports on offer, indulge in a spot of shopping and enjoy Mallorca’s cultural scene.
Palma de Mallorca is where you’ll discover the designer boutiques filled with beautiful clothes and accessories. You’ll find local designers as well as big names such as Louis Vuitton, Boss and Mulberry.

Head to the Es Baluard museum to enjoy the work of contemporary artists with a collection which includes Picasso, Fernand Léger and Joan Miró. There are several museums on the island as well as art galleries.

Enjoy exploring parts of the 13th century Royal Palace La Almudaina which is opposite the imposing cathedral in Palma. The grand rooms of this former home of Mallorca’s rulers have some beautiful tapestries and furnishings and the gardens are lovely.

For your dream holiday home in Mallorca, take a look at our stunning range of gorgeous villas here

Mallorca


Mallorca has long lured visitors to enjoy the sun, sea and sangria vibe.
With its Mediterranean climate and pleasant year-round weather, the small island has loads to offer. The capital, Palma is vibrant with plenty of cultural activities and none more than two hours’ drive from anywhere on the island.
With a 340-mile coastline and over 200 beaches, there’s plenty of choice for your seaside holiday. One of our favourite places is Pollensa – it’s family friendly, great for groups and couples too. We’re not alone… apparently cycling legend Bradley Wiggins and family often have holidays here…

Beaches in Pollensa
One of the best beaches is right in the port of Pollensa. Relax on the sandy beach and take a dip in waters so blue they match the clear azure sky. Take your pick of restaurants close by, there’s loads to choose from and plenty of shops to browse.
If you fancy getting away from it all head to Fomentor beach near Pollensa. You’ll find golden sands, clear waters and spectacular views from the old lighthouse next to the beach and a laid-back vibe at this rather hidden, mini paradise. There are a couple of small café’s at the top of the hill leading down to the beach which is lined with pine trees – it’s very local and very relaxed.

Restaurants in Pollensa
There’s plenty of choice for eating out in the town from tapas bars to traditional Spanish restaurants and posh eateries. In the former 1950’s cinema, you’ll find Fogoneu, a friendly and cosy restaurant which in cooler weather has a rather grand fireplace. Off the main drag and in a quiet back street, it’s a favourite with locals who love its fresh, seasonal menu with some classic Mallorcan specials. The tasting menu is highly recommended and some nights they have live music (check their Facebook page for details).

For people watching, Q11 is perfect. In the middle of Pollensa’s main square sit on the terrace and watch the hustle and bustle of the market. Fresh local fish features high on the menu which is varied (great vegetarian and vegan options too). Dishes here are a feast for the senses. See their website for details and to make a reservation online

What to see and do in Pollensa


Climb the 365 steps from the old town of Pollensa to reach a tiny 18th century chapel. The steps, known as the El Calvari, are said to signify the days of the year and were built by the Knights Templar. Some pilgrims do it on their knees but take your time and take a rest on the way up and enjoy the breath-taking views. At the top there is a small chapel plus a café offering refreshments, delicious cakes, pastries and ice creams to fuel your journey back down. At the bottom of the steps there are some quaint little shops offering handmade goods and souvenirs plus more places to sit, eat and watch others make the climb.
Enjoy the stunning décor and artwork of the interior of Parroquia de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles Church. It might not look much from the outside but it’s absolutely worth a look inside.

Culture vultures may enjoy Museo Dionis Bennassar, the former 17th century home, now museum, of Pollensian painter, Dionis Bennasar (1904-1967(. A range of oil paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures, plus tools and furnishings bring the museum to life.

Float your boat

If you’re looking for something a bit more active to do, take a boat tour round the island discovering caves and secluded bays. You can do a half or full day, shared or private trip which includes food and drink plus guided tour. Take your camera – the views are simply sublime.

Shop ‘til you drop
Don’t miss the Sunday morning market in the very pretty town square. Perfect for your fresh veg, fish, meat, spices and oils, cheeses and wine. There are also craft stalls – perfect for souvenir hunting. there are plenty of places to choose from to take a break and enjoy a drink or two soaking in the atmosphere. Small boutique clothes and jewellery shops are always open ready to tempt you in with their wares.

Check out our fabulous holiday homes listings in Mallorca – we have the most beautiful villas on the island. Making your holiday dreams come true…

Secret Ibiza, away from the crowds…

Secret Ibiza, away from the crowds…


Ibiza has long been known for its party atmosphere and endless nightlife – but there’s another side to this beautiful island. A secret side where you can watch the sun set far from the crowds and enjoy a tranquil day on the beach before you join in the party. A land of wildlife and culture awaits…

Escape the crowds
Pine forests and juniper bushes cover 40% of the land. Ibiza is also known as the Pitiusas Islands, Greek for “abundant supply of pine trees”. It’s a great place to hike or cycle, and it’s one of the best ways to discover the true face of the island. In the north the area is more rural and less crowded. In the south there are plenty of beautiful hikes including at Salinas. Check at the tourist office for official hiking trails (it’s a small island but easy to get lost in the forests) and Ibiza Walking Association – www.ibizawalkingassociation.com.

See the sights on two wheels: there are plenty of cycle routes and it’s easy to hire a bike in the towns. Find more details on the Welcome to Ibiza website.

Ses Salines, named after the salt lakes, Ibiza’s natural park in the south of the island is a unique landscape. It’s home to many protected birds (more than 210 listed species) and amazing views, where you’ll get to see typical fishermen’s huts, spot flamingos and discover hidden beaches.

Ibiza and Formentera are home to the largest living organism on the planet – the sea grass meadows of Posidonia, a UNESCO site, protects the pristine turquoise waters of the coves, perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Mystical Ibiza
The island has been a centre for spirituality since time immemorial. Legend has it that in the southwest of Ibiza, Es Vedrà a small rocky island, is where magnetic forces exert a mystical pull. Some say that there is a natural pyramid under the earth’s crust which radiates energy. In Sa Pedrera, hippies started to gather in the 1960s, drawn to the spiritual energy of the area. The beach is known for its stunning views and you’ll discover sculptures, created by artists and stone masons over several centuries.
Ibiza is a great place to recharge your batteries, take a yoga class or enjoy a pamper day – there are several excellent spas on the island.

Dalt Vila | UNESCO World heritage town…
Dalt Vila, which literally means upper town, has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999. It is a fantastically preserved Mediterranean fortress where walking through the gates is like travelling back in time, with its cobbled streets, high stone walls, dramatic drawbridges, numerous churches and historical museums. Being Ibiza, it’s full of stylish modern Mediterranean restaurants and cool bars, so you can refuel as you walk up and down the endless streets, hills and stairs. The best of both worlds…

Best places for sunsets in Ibiza
Ibiza is famous for its beautiful sunsets and you’ve got a huge choice of places to witness the sight of rosy hued skies. One of the best is at the beach of Cala Benirras. You’re likely to find yourself alongside hundreds of other sunset fans, listening to drum music as the red ball dips below the horizon, it’s truly magical. Es Vedra (above) is also a fabulous place to watch the sun go down.
And if you want to watch the sunset in the lap of luxury, head to the 2 Michelin Star Edén Restaurante where you’ll discover an unbeatable view of the sunset towards Hacienda Na Xamena.

See Palmer & Parker’s fabulous and stylish holiday villas in Ibiza – for people who love luxury…

Ibiza – the island of dreams

Ibiza – the island of dreams

Ibiza is a favourite year-round destination for all ages thanks to its wonderfully sunny weather and so much to see and do.
Long known for its nightlife and musical events, the “White Isle” as it’s known, is full of surprises and charm. A world heritage site, beaches, caves to explore, the most glorious sunsets, great food, architecture, fashion, hiking, art, shopping, sports and culture make for an intoxicating holiday.


Best beaches on Ibiza
There are more than 56 beaches to cater for all tastes and with 300 days of sunshine a year – relaxing on the beach, taking a refreshing dip and water sports activities take centre stage here.
Sandy beaches surrounded by outstandingly beautiful nature sites, dramatic cliffs, tiny islands, secret coves and crystal clear turquoise waters, perfect for snorkelling and diving – it’s a beach lovers paradise. Here are just a few must-see beaches:
Cala Conta is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ibiza and very popular, though if you go to the naturist beach part, there are less crowds. Beautiful views, shallow waters and a great atmosphere make this a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
Cala Xarraca is a sheltered beach and if you’re keen on snorkelling this is the ideal place to don your mask. You can also get a free facial here – there are naturally-occurring mud baths to the right of the main beach!
Benirràs in the far north isn’t the easiest beach to reach, but it’s great for relaxing and is the perfect place to witness a glorious sunset to the sound of drum music, especially on Sundays. Browse the hippie market and shop for stylish and bohemian clothes and accessories.
Ibiza Spotlight has an excellent list of beaches on Ibiza.


Excellent Restaurants
Ibiza has become as well known for its cuisine as for its clubbing. There are world class restaurants as well as plenty of rustic Fincas for an authentic local taste.
Sa Punta is a classy, cosmopolitan restaurant on the bay of Talamanca with dazzling sea-views over Ibiza Town and the marina. Delicious international cuisine and fine dining in beautiful surroundings.
For a romantic meal and fabulous sunset views, Sa Capella restaurant near San Antonio, in a former church offers traditional and modern dining where fresh food is prepared on a gigantic grill.
If you really want to push the boat out then Sublimotion at the Hard Rock Hotel is the world’s most expensive restaurant. Michelin-starred Chef Paco Roncero and his team offer a “three-hour, multi-sensory experience” which includes 20 courses and immersive technology. Expect to pay around 1700 euros – per person.


Great high end beach bars
At night, the beach bars come into their own. Most have DJs and start to get busy from mid afternoon though they really get going from around 6pm onwards. Here’s our pick of some of the best sunset cafés:
Beach restaurant Sunset Ashram at Benirràs is a bohemian institution on the island. Book in advance though as its very popular and if you turn up without a reservation, you’re likely to be disappointed.
Blue Marlin is full on VIP and the place to go if you’re rich and famous. A lounger will set you back around €100. In the evening dance the night away, DJ Pete Tong is a favourite here, and gaze at the private yachts in the bay.


Ibiza’s night clubs
Ibiza is world famous for its clubs. In the summer months, there’s a music festival every night of the week. Book your tickets in advance (they can sell out fast) and to avoid queues, you can get them at most ATMs on the island.
Ushuaïa is one of the best known clubs on Ibiza. This outdoor club claims to have the most famous stage in the island and is super stylish with four-poster beds on the beach where you can enjoy champagne or dine on fresh lobster.
Privilege is the biggest club in the world and has established a reputation for the grandiose and spectacular. Watch the dawn come up from the glass encased Vista Club annex.
O Beach Ibiza is known for its stylish, decadent daytime pool parties. Expect to hear Champagne corks pop around the VIP pool beds…
Boat parties, clubs, beach parties – this is club heaven.


See Palmer & Parkers range of luxury villas in Ibiza for your perfect holiday in the sun…

Guide to getting married in the Algarve, Portugal

Guide to getting married in the Algarve, Portugal

Blue skies, sunshine, waves lapping the beach, chilled Portuguese wine, whitewashed villages and lively seaside towns – there’s lots to love in Portugal, especially if you’re in love too…
If you dream of holding your perfect wedding in Portugal, here’s what you need to know.
How to get married in Portugal if you’re British
Probably the easiest way to organise your perfect wedding day in Portugal is with the help of a local and professional wedding planner. Search the internet and you’ll find plenty of ideas to help you find a planner who’s right for you.
They’ll explain the rules which need to be met for your wedding – whether you opt for a civil or religious ceremony. Of course you can also have a celebration ceremony, also known as a partnership celebration ceremony, which though not legally binding, is a wonderful way to celebrate your partnership with the words you choose to say, where you wish and to share your love in a way that’s special to you.
“Weddings in the Algarve are 99% outdoors” says Inês Longuiero at Dream Day Wedding Planners. “With a beautifully cooked buffet featuring a giant Cataplana, a Portuguese seafood dish and paella cooked by a chef in front of the guests – it’s unforgettable”.
Wedding Ceremonies in Portugal

You’ll need ID (valid passport), birth certificates and a certificate of no impediment which is a legal document confirming you are both free to marry. You might also need further paperwork, if you’re divorced or widowed.
All documents must be translated into Portuguese by a sworn translator and authenticated locally.
You may also need a translator for the ceremony.
If you wish to have a Catholic church ceremony, further documentation from your priest is needed.
Fees – the amount varies from year to year so check beforehand.
We recommend you check details and requirements with the Portuguese Embassy in the UK, there is a consulate in London and Manchester.
Book the most perfect accommodation for your wedding celebration in the Algarve

“The Algarve has 200km of coastline and some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the entire world” says Inês. “But if you want to get married on the beach, it can get crowded in summer so we like to recommend places for a sunset ceremony that are a bit off the beaten track like the clifftop location at Senhora da Rocha (known as the “Lady of the Rock”).
Once you decide on your wedding plans in the Algarve, just take a look at our gorgeous villas to find the most beautiful accommodation available.
If you’re looking to host friends and family, you’ll find we have plenty of truly stunning holiday homes that are suitable for large groups, so special they will definitely make memories to cherish. It’s easy to organise a spa pamper session, round of golf, cocktails under the stars, pool party, beach barbecues and romantic dinners al fresco and the Algarve has a huge choice of things to do.
Quinto do Lago, the prestigious holiday resort in the Algarve is one of the most fabulous places for a wedding celebration. They have an onsite wedding planning team to help you organise your perfect day. With a backdrop of stunning sandy beaches, wonderful countryside, manicured golf courses, scenic lakes and several restaurants, not to mention the simply sensational villas that we have in the Quinta do Lago resort – it’s a great place to get married.
See all of our villas in the Algarve…

Flights from the UK to Faro 2019

Faro is the gateway to the Algarve. With year-round sunshine, miles of beautiful sandy beaches and flower-decked and pretty whitewashed villages, it’s easy to see why the Algarve is so popular. And, with year-round flights to Faro from several airlines – it’s an easy to reach, fabulous holiday destination. Plus, the government of Portugal have made special arrangements for British passport holders to be fast tracked through the airport post-Brexit (see our post on this topic).
Transfers from Faro airport to many of the Algarve’s major towns and resorts are quick and easy to arrange. There are several car rental companies at the airport including Avis and Hertz.

What to see and do in Faro
The old town is gorgeous and a key tourist attraction. Its cobbled streets are lined with ancient buildings, authentic restaurants, bars and shops. With museums and great beaches – there’s plenty to do in Faro.
Wander through the Arco da Vila, a striking gateway to the old town and spot remnants of the 1000 year old city walls. The archway known as Cidade Vehla leads to a quiet enclave of the old town with pretty white washed houses, dripping with pots of flowers contrasting with terracotta tiled roofs. With its pretty squares and some lovely restaurants, it’s a great place to stroll.
If you fancy something a bit different, take a boat trip from the harbour and explore the coast. Faro is also the gateway to the Ria Formosa Natural park, a series of salt water lagoons and a haven for wildlife. With some tours you can stop off on an island and be picked up later in the day.
The stunning resort of Quinta do Lago is around 20 minutes’ drive from Faro. With its luxury villas, brilliant golf courses, activities galore, beaches, restaurants and the brand new Campus multi sports complex, it’s a fabulous holiday destination.

Airlines flying to Faro
Faro is served by 26 UK airports and flights to the area (which are more numerous in summer) include:
EasyJet fly from Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow, Liverpool, London Gatwick, London Luton, Southend, Manchester and Newcastle.
RyanAir fly from London Stansted, Bristol, London Luton, Southend, Manchester.
British Airways fly daily with departures from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City and London Stansted.
Aerlingus fly Dublin to Faro.
Flybe fly from Cardiff, Southampton, Exeter and Doncaster Sheffield.
Jet2 fly from Belfast, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburg, Glasgow, Leeds, London Stansted and Manchester.
Thomas Cook fly from Manchester and Birmingham.

See all our holiday homes in the Algarve here

Easter Getaway ideas for the Algarve, Southern France and Marbella

Easter Getaway ideas for the Algarve, Southern France and Marbella
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By mid-April, spring is well under way and in Portugal, Spain and the south of France, our villas are basking in the sun – and you could be too! With Easter just around the corner, here are some of our top tips for perfect, first class getaways…
Luxurious villas in the sun
We have lots of exquisite villas in some of the most gorgeous holiday destinations, from the Algarve, southern France and the Loire Valley, Spain and Ibiza. All of our villas have pools, maid service and are luxuriously decorated. They’re hand-picked and located in the most idyllic settings. When you take a holiday at a Palmer & Parker villa, you know you’re getting the best there is.
Easter in the Algarve
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For many people, spring is the best time to visit this lovely part of Portugal. The almond trees are in blossom, the delicate scented flowers creating a burst of colour and scent. Joined by the velvety fragrance of orange blossom, it definitely invokes a feeling of happiness that the winter is well and truly over.
Deep blue skies, lush vineyards, the golden sands of the beaches and whitewashed buildings of villages reflect the warm sun. Not too hot to cycle or hike, it’s the ideal time to take up a sport and there’s lots of choice in the Algarve including the new The Campus state of the art multi sports complex at Quinta do Lago. With temperatures around 20-25˚C, it’s also wonderful weather for dining al fresco.
It’s a relatively sleepy time of the year before the tourist crowds arrive but there’s still lots going on and at Easter there’s loads to do, from flower festivals to boat trips and of course shops filled with delicious chocolate and sugared almonds.
Inspired to visit Algarve at Easter? Take a look at our fabulous villas in Portugal
Easter in southern France

les-calanques-marseille

By April, the south of France has warmed up considerably. Vineyards are flourishing, the beaches are enticing, the countryside is filled with the scent of blossom from cherry, almond, lemon and orange trees.
Shops and patisseries are filled with drool-worthy sweet things like edible works of art. Chocolate bells are popular – in France chocolate is bought not by the Easter Bunny – but by flying bells! Church Bells are not rung in France between Good Friday and Easter Sunday as a mark of respect for the death of Jesus. Children are told, the bells have gone to Rome and return bearing chocolate.
Visit the south of France before the crowds to discover the authentic charm of Provence and the French Riviera. The markets are bustling, restaurants and cafés that closed for the winter now tempt you to while away an hour or two simply enjoying the atmosphere whist you watch the world go by and soak up some rays. The average temperature is usually between 16-20˚C in April and gets progressively warmer through the month.
If we’ve inspired you to discover the gorgeous south of France for yourself, check out our holiday homes in France from chateaux to villas…
Easter in Marbella
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In Spain, Marbella comes to life in Spring but it’s a tranquil time of the year before the summer crowds arrive to enjoy some of the finest beaches and weather in Europe.
As trees and flowers bloom, the sun starts to heat up the sand and beachside restaurants become vibrant and buzzing with visitors.
This is the perfect time to visit for golf, hiking, tennis and all manner of activities including boat trips round the port. If you’re after a more relaxing break, why not enjoy a picnic on the beach or a drive into the mountains to admire the sun baked houses of Andalusian villages such as Casares and Gaucin or the village of Benahavis, which is truly charming but also a gastronomic paradise.
Easter brings parades galore to the area. Holy images are carried through the streets, sometimes followed by exuberant crowds, other times powerfully sombre. Even tiny villages hold parades and it’s a great way to experience the authentic way of life in this popular holiday destination.
Shops close on national holidays and everyone eats out to enjoy the day off, so book in advance if you have a favourite restaurant in mind and enjoy great Spanish tapas. With more than 1,100 restaurants to choose from in the Marbella area, there’s room for all and a whole lot of choice.
Have we whetted your appetite for Marbella? Check out our absolutely stunning villas in Marbella.
Spring and Easter are just around the corner and there are lots of flights available for a last minute break. We love to help make your holiday dreams come true….

Algarve Beach takes top spot in Trip Advisor Beach Awards

Algarve Beach takes top spot in Trip Advisor Beach Awards

The 2019 ‘Top beaches in the world’ table as voted for by followers of Trip Advisor revealed that Falesia Beach is the number one beach in the Algarve. It’s also in the top 12 beaches world wide and the third best beach in Europe.

Praia da Falesia is a long, long strip of golden sand backed by stunning red cliffs, topped with dark green pine trees which contrast beautifully with the blue sky and turquoise waters of the Atlantic. Its exceptional beauty isn’t marred by holiday apartments but has been kept in its natural state.

There are miles and miles of beach to enjoy, stretching from Vilamoura in the east all the way to Olhos de Água (near Albufeira) in the west. Praia da Falésia actually means Beach of Cliffs and the startling beauty of these monumental, colourful formations is astounding.

Relax on the soft silky sand and take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear water. Or you could walk along the beach with the waves lapping your feet, it takes around two hours to do the whole 6km. Or perhaps you prefer to take the hiking trail from the top of the cliffs from where the views are spectacular (only do this on dry days, when it rains the trail can get slippery).

A tale of two beaches

Alfamar beach on the eastern side towards Vilamoura is enormous with shallow waters. It’s an especially good beach for families with kids. You can do lots of water sports here, from surfing to diving and paragliding. Vilamoura is a stylish resort town with lots of facilities and a marina complex.  And, there are some great bars and restaurants there – for a fun beach atmosphere Beach Club, rua da Falesia, is super…

The cliffs are lower here but as you make your way west towards Albufeira the cliffs get higher and the beach gets narrower. Parts of the beach are very secluded, perfect for a tranquil day of swimming and relaxing.

A former fishing village, Albufeira is now a thriving tourist destination with lots of shops, bars, restaurants and a vibrant nightlife, and of course, a lovely sandy beach…

Book your villa near Portugal’s No. 1 beach: We have some truly gorgeous, luxurious villas near the beautiful Praia de Falesia beach, search our villas in Vilamoura here, and villas in Albufeira here – we aim to help make your holiday truly special…