When visiting the Algarve, there are a few things to consider and although we boast a massive 300 days of sunshine, don’t be fooled into thinking that we are all laying on the beach in the middle of December (although you will always find some hardcore sun worshipers there), the winter temperatures are more suited to sitting on a terrace enjoying a spot of lunch or exploring the beautiful towns, dotted along the Algarve.
Now that the hand luggage restrictions are tightening up, it’s a good idea to make sure you pack wisely. Always include sunglasses, some sun-screen and a light jacket. Try to avoid synthetic fabrics in the summer months; cotton is your friend!
The evenings can be cool, even in August, so a pashmina or shawl can come in very handy and take up nearly no space at all.
Many people opt for a self-catering villa or apartment holiday in the Algarve and will find that they have a washing machine on the premises and with daytime temperatures high enough, the laundry can be dry within an hour or two.
You’re never too far away from a supermarket in any Algarve town, and you can find a good range of toiletries and suntan lotions at reasonable prices. Aldi and Lidl sell high factor sun cream for around €4 whereas the small local supermarkets near the beach will easily charge upwards of €12.
Shopping in the Algarve has improved dramatically over the years. We now have a Primark and H&M in Portimao and Loule, which are great for inexpensive summer items. The shopping centres have a wide variety of international brands along with some tremendous Portuguese labels.
With a few essential items, most people should be able to get by with hand luggage for a week in the sun.
Here we will introduce you to each month with a few insider tips. Let’s begin at the beginning, in January.