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Hereby some tips or tricks to make your Algarve trip possible:

Flying has never been as expensive as it is nowadays, and it is getting even more expensive.  We see a huge decline in the short stays. Before 2020 we used to get a lot of couples who just came for week. Just chilling a few days in a bungalow and enjoying the great Algarve restaurants and beaches. That seems to be over now. Also, we noticed that a lot of families really want to book a stay at Vila do Ouro, but at the end they realize that their Portugal holiday costs way more than their budget allows. We didn’t even raise our prices for this season.

In this blog we would like to give a few tips to make your holiday affordable. Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend a lot of money during your stay in the Algarve. Life over here is still cheaper than in the north of Europe. Nevertheless, there are places where you pay as much as in your own country. Just follow the locals. Go to the local market for the best and the cheapest grocery, go to the local restaurants around Vila do Ouro and order the ‘dishes of the day’. We are sure you will have delicious food on your plate. If you avoid having lunches or diners at the coast, you can save a lot of money on food. Off course restaurants at the beach might look more romantic, but for the quality of the food you don’t have to go there. Restaurants around Vila do Ouro also offer a wide variety of fresh caught fish. Remember that all accommodations have an equipped kitchen. You can always prepare your own food or go for one of the public barbecues at Vila do Ouro.

Flying to the Algarve

Faro is the best option. Just a 30 minutes’ drive away from Vila do Ouro. It is fast and easy, but also the most expensive. Check Ryanair or Easyjet for cheap flights. If you can’t find an affordable flight to Faro, consider flying to Lisbon Airport. A lot of our guests swap money for their time, and they fly to Lisbon. They take 1 or 2 days to visit this awesome city. Remember that Lisbon is also great with kids. After their short city trip, they drive down south to Vila do Ouro (2,5 hours) The total of flying + driving south, is most of the time much lower than a flight to Faro.

Even more low cost is to go from Lisbon to Albufeira is to take the train or the Flixbus. That is really cheap to travel to the Algarve. As a matter of fact, we are writing this blog while travelling in the Flixbus to Lisbon. 22 euro for a return for 2 persons. Great service, comfortable and easy. The train has a fixed price and can be cheaper in high season. The train station of Albufeira-Ferreiras is just 2 km away from Vila do Ouro. The Flixbus arrives in the centre of Albufeira at 7 km from Vila do Ouro which is just a 10 minutes’ drive.

You also can look for flights to Seville in Spain. This is also 2,5 hours’ drive to Vila do Ouro and Seville has also a good Flixbus connection with Albufeira.

Low-cost airlines often charge extra for luggage. Just remember that most people bring way too much. In the months June – September you don’t need a lot of clothes and at Vila do Ouro we have a wash service. Some families can enjoy a nice 15 days holiday just with hand luggage…..

If you can’t find good flights, never forget the option to choose for another departure airport. In your home country some airports might be cheaper than the nearest from your house.

Rental Car

There are lots of car rentals available on the internet. Most of the time the cheapest turns out to be expensive after all. We have seen a lot of sad guests having extra costs or lack of service. Make sure that you read the whole rental agreement before renting. Honestly some guests were happy with their cheap rental car. Our car rental company from Albufeira is by far not the cheapest but has a very good service. It is the only one which delivers cars to Vila do Ouro and that gives an opportunity to the next trick: most guests rent a car that suits their luggage, so they have to rent a big car. We also offer a transfer service. So, if you have a lot of luggage, book a transfer to Vila do Ouro, and rent a Fiat Panda with pick up at Vila do Ouro. This can save a lot of money. A Fiat Panda does not consume a lot and is easy to park. If you don’t want a Fiat Panda, then off course there are all kind of models that can be cheaper than the bigger one you needed to rent before.

Your stay at Vila do Ouro

Most families aim for the best accommodation with lots of space and most of the time: separate bedrooms. The fact is that you pay for space, but do you need space during your holidays? Tourists visit the Algarve mostly to be outside and to enjoy the warm climate. They use their accommodation just for sleeping, to cook and for sanitary stuff. The rest of the time they are outside whether it is exploring or sunbathing. ‘Well, we want an extra room for our kids”. Sleeping with your kids in one room is for a lot of families of Northern countries not done, but for a kid it is such a great adventure to sleep with their parents in one room. “Maybe they don’t want to go to bed that early if they see us awake”. Yeah, but it is holiday. Children adapt very fast. “Oh yeah, but it is not about them, it is about us. We are exhausted and want a good night rest!” Most parents are exhausted indeed, and they are also tired of being outside the whole day. So, when the kids go to bed, not long after they go to bed also. So why don’t you choose one of our cozy bungalows? See picture! This is the interior of the Bungalow Special. You have everything you need to enjoy your holidays with children. There is a double bed and a double sleeping sofa. It saves you a lot of money and you give a fantastic experience to your children….

During your stay

Where the most (spending) money flows during holidays, is with activities and in leisure parks like Zoomarine, Agualand, Aguashow and Slide & Splash. Also boot trips, jeep safaris and playing golf are very money consuming. A day in a leisure park or a few hours on a boat will costs you way more than 100 euros for a family of 4. For some it is nothing, but in these tricky times of nowadays, 100 euros can make a big difference. “But now we are here, we want to have the full experience!” Yes, that is understandable. Everybody wants to get the maximum out of their Algarve experience, but if money is boss, you can choose to have just 80% holiday experience. It is always better than 0% experience.

Choose other ways to have a great experience instead of the normal ways that everybody does. Make hikes, along the coast or inland in the hills and mountains. Or if you want to be in a boat at sea, hire a canoe at the beach or find a cheap cave tour with a small fishing boat. Last week we saw some dolphins along the beach in Albufeira. It is not always that you have to sit 2 hours on a boat to see them…

The last tip, as a dessert, is actually about a dessert. Most restaurants charge a lot of money for desserts. Sometimes more than 50% of the price of a dish. For example, you get a chicken piri-piri dish for 8,50 euros, but the desert is 5,50 euros. If you go dining out, forget the desert, buy in the grocery store nice ice cream or a cake at the nearby bakery and have your dessert at Vila do Ouro. For families, this can save more or less 25-30 euros on your dinner bill. If you can afford the desserts, then we can recommend the ‘Delicious de Algarve’!

If you are doubting if your wished Algarve trip fits your holiday budget, hopefully, with these tips you can manage to make it happen.

Greetings from the rainy Algarve! (some rain showers come over during the last few days. We can’t wait to see the flowers pop up and to see the fresh green hills with the bright blue skies in spring..)