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by Lady Golfer
I finally took the plunge and booked a “golfing in the sun holiday” as a mid-winter break. Of course I chose the Algarve to do it in: everyone is talking about golf in the Algarve and how wonderful it is, so it was the logical choice. I rounded up three of my golfing girlfriends, who were as keen as me to get in some quality rounds of golf in the winter.
We managed to get a cheap flight booked with accommodation included and left our cold, snow filled village behind with eager anticipation. How wonderful to arrive a few hours later, to glorious sunshine and warmth, at Faro airport.
We were bowled over seeing so much sun drenched colour along our route to the hotel. Having left stark, grey countryside just a few hours ago, it was amazing to see orange and lemon groves, blossom filled fruit trees and fields just carpeted with wild flowers. Whey hey! This is the life!
An hour later we were ensconced in our rooms busily unpacking and getting our golf bags sorted for our first round in the sunshine. We had booked four rounds of golf for our five night stay and we couldn’t wait to get on the first course.
Great golf and fantastic food
What a great game we had. There were fabulous views from every tee box, beautifully kept fairways and immaculate greens. At the 19th hole, all the staff were friendly, service was efficient and the drinks went down well. If the next three courses were going to be as good as this, we were on a winner of a break. We returned to our hotel, had a shower, changed and headed out for a meal.
Fish! Oh my, the fish was the best we’d ever had, freshly grilled and served with boiled new potatoes and a simple salad. A carafe of crisp white house wine to accompany the fish went down a treat, and the Portuguese coffee and port to follow was the icing on the cake. Our first day was over and we went to bed, tired and very happy with our lot.
We played three more courses over the next three days, each one offering different challenges, each one in immaculate condition and each one as good as the next. We got to meet other groups on similar package deals, all of us having the time of our lives. We swapped information on different courses, skill levels and the best times to be in the Algarve.
So much more to do
It was great to learn what else there is to do in the Algarve in the winter; we couldn’t believe there was so much on offer. We found out where to go, where to eat and where the night life is. We heard tales of markets, shopping and activities that could keep us all entertained for hours, and we decided there and then that we would be back – and - next time, we would book a longer break so we could enjoy all the other great attractions in the Algarve.
I have to say the time flew by far too quickly and our trip home was spent plotting and planning for our next visit. Maybe we could even squeeze in two winter breaks next year, perhaps one in November and one in March, wouldn’t that be good?
I have to admit, as I dozed on the journey home, I wondered if I could afford a property in the Algarve to spend the winter in the sun... Or maybe just pack up and move to this golfer’s paradise for good........ hmmmm…
Summer sees the ‘sardine season’ hit the Algarve in a big way as people enjoy the abundance of these tasty fish across the region. At feasts and festivals from East to West, the aroma of Sardinhas Assadas (grilled sardines) is enough to make your mouth water.
There are many ways to tackle a grilled sardine, from the customary effort with a plate, knife and fork, to the messy option of picking the flesh off with your fingers. However, the Algarve has its own traditions for many things, and that includes the unique way to eat grilled sardines. It’s quite a unique skill too! Try it for yourself, with the help of Meravista’s step-by-step guide.[ http://pt.meravista.com/en/blogentry/where-and-how-eat-sardines-algarve]. Of course, you’ll need to find some fresh sardines and prepare them first, but that’s not too difficult in the Algarve. Better still, go to just about any local restaurant and let them do it for you.
Watch how it’s done!
if you prefer, you can see the Meravista guide in action, as Meravista recently took a camera crew along to the wonderful Flor Da Ameixa restaurant in Bordeira (the one near Faro, not the one in Aljezur!) and the following video was the result… enjoy!
dDq3Z2g0Sardine festivals across the Algarve
1 – 11 August: Portimao Sardine Party
Restaurants featuring Sardine menus, a stage with nightly entertainment and various market stalls and activities for all ages. It’s all happening at the waterfront near the old fish market.
8 – 10 August: 16th Annual Sardine festival at Olhos d’Agua
Enjoy a traditional Festa da Sardinha at Olhos d’Agua, located between Vilamoura and Albufeira. With free entry, entertainment and lots of food and beverages on offer, it promises to be a delight.
10 – 15 August: The 28th (yes, 28th!) annual Seafood Festival Olhão
The world-famous annual Festival do Marisco takes place at the Olhão waterfront by the old town, aptly named ‘Jardim Pescador Olhanense’. Featuring all types of shellfish and seafood, sardines are one of the many tasty dishes available. With live entertainment every night, this party is famous!
6 – 8 September: 16th annual fish festival in Albufeira
The annual fish festival in Albufeira takes place in September and will feature sardines along with many other types of fish.
Check your local papers for more details of a Sardine Festival near you – and don’t forget – try eating them the Algarvean way!