My Albufeira Weekender

My Albufeira Weekender

We are notorious. From the girl in Magaluf and the 21 apostles, to Torre Molinos and the Inbetweeners…Far away under the hot sun, young and old Brits alike let loose and thrown social conventions and behavioral norms to the wind. Like packs of wolves they prowl the streets in numbers, not howling but singing football songs and exposing themselves. Alcohol fulled boat rides and sex games, the suspicious parents and Malia chanting. Everyone is burnt to a crisp. Who would go to such places or on such a holiday? I had never done and definitely wouldn’t ever!GROSS!

Moral of the story is never say never*

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Probably the reason why so many people go to the sun to let loose is because its actually pretty fun. Leave your nun’s habit and your paddle of rebuke at home and once at the airport simply follow the streams of groups of segregated young people – boys groups who support the matching t-shirts and the giggling girls in crop tops, short shorts and maxi dresses. So get your personalized T on and join the party. Excitement is high. The beach, ladies and gentlemen is that way –>

*Yes, I admit it! I went to Albufeira and I loved it…

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Heart broken?Mid-life crisis?Workaholic in need of some fun? Doctor Abi prescribes a trip to Albufeira but make sure you bring your best partners in crime along for a guaranteed memorable trip.

I went with one of my best friends who I met and lived with whilst attending a top tennis academy in Barcelona. We noticed when we arrived at Faro airport that whereas retired pensioners and us turned right towards Islantilla and Spain, droves of young people turned left deeper into Portugal. After a week of couples and children, we decided we needed a slice of the action too, and so we left Spain and headed off to Albufeira.

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Albufeira is sea side town in Portugal and we stayed in the old town. Little white houses, with cobbled streets which are built around a large sandy bay, it sounds picturesque, but this little picture postcard has had a fire cracker stuck down its pants. Its fun, its electric: the main walkway down to the sea is called “the strip” as in Vegas Strip and there are lots of off-licences, happy hour, menu boards in foreign languages, buff waiters and groups of hungry lads munching away their Full English and washing it down with builders tea at Bob’s bar. Families ( who either have super cool parents or who didn’t read the small print properly), after a long day at the beach come to eat out, browse the lovely bracelets and jewellery at the market stalls and buy home made ice cream and flipping dogs for their sweet little blonde children from the street sellers. It’s not too loud, not too obnoxious, there are no drunks lying in the street and as its all self-contained it is quite family friendly until 11pm.  You may be a bit disappointed, but for me it was quite enough.

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On our first night we met a large group of Dutch guys who were all really nice and (in typical “Magaluf weekender” style) our two groups merged and became one large one. We are still in touch with them now, so really a highlight of our trip was making friends with such nice people. We would wake up, go to the beach, have some lunch with  a summer wine over looking the sea. Then back to the pool but not before a quick stop at the ice cream shop and then around 8 after getting changed, wonder down to the many bars and have a few scrumptious cocktails (yes, a few, because they are so cheap!) Dinner time can be anywhere from between 9-11pm after which it is time for some serious partying!

Cliff Jumping in the Algarve

Cliff Jumping in the Algarve

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Ever since I left Portimao where I was playing a WTA tennis tournament with my friends in 2009, I have longed to set my eyes again on the green waters and yellow sandstone cliffs of the Algarve. We were setting off from our little house in Islantilla just across the boarder in Spain and so we would have to travel quite a way to finally get onto the stretch of coast where there are cliffs, coves and beautiful little bays. We therefore wanted to stop at a spot which would be breathtaking, yet as far East of Lagos (and as close to Spain) as possible. After a quick scour of a travel magazine we saw a few pictures and set off on our quest in search a beach like the one in Portimao.

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We had arrvied at Praia Marinha and as soon as we stepped out of the car I knew that we had come to the right place. The golden cliffs loomed out of the water and I could see stacks, eroded stones and arches. People walked along a costal path and took pictures, but we set off down the windy cactus lined steep stone pathway down to the warm sandy shore. This place really is paradise and a must for anyone traveling around this area.

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Lemon slush puppies and jumping off the rocks was in order and we did both after finding a place to lie our towels down amongst the many bathers who had made the trip to this secret little treasure island of bliss.

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Today I wore a AX Paris lace dress with bare midriff which I complimented with a large pink flower that I picked up along the way. I spent most of my time in my La Senza swimming cozy though, so not many pics in the dress soz!

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Let me know about the best beach you have ever been to or have heard about and where it is! I would love to know about some more hidden gems like Praia Marinha and perhaps maybe I or my readers will be able to visit them one day! 🙂 xxx

WEARING

Bikini – LA SENZA

White lace and crochet dress – AX PARIS

Wedge Flip Flops – GUESS

Diamond Bracelet – MACY’S

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again

Mama Mia! Here We Go Again

Shhh! I’ve found it…the house, the sea…its even got its very own village people – the secret Mama Mia town of the Algarve, Cacela Velha the first stop on our Portuguese road trip!

I ran out of the parked car and started clutching my purse and shouted loudly: “We danced on the beach, and we kissed on the beach, and dot dot dot – dot dot DOT that’s what they did in the olden days!” I turned around, wide eyed and grinning, so full of joy and happiness – Over the cobbled streets, the white houses loomed up ahead. Now, at this moment in time I WAS AMANDA SIEGFRIED.

And then on the wind came: “Abi! Stop being a freak! Hold the camera, I need to pee.”

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Moment Over.

WEARING

Off the Shoulder Swing Dress with Crochet Top – ASOS

Pink and Gold T Bar Sandals – NEW LOOK

Blue Earrings – MARRAKESH SOUKS

Sunglasses – TRUSSARDI

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Mama Mia is one of my favorite films, I’ve seen it dozens of times and it never gets old. Its just a great piece of escapism, full of humor, great songs and a great love stories set in the most idyllic place. What is your favorite film? I really liked the relaxed summer outfits of the actresses in the film and their fun and care free lifestyle. The dress that I wore today has off the shoulder sleeves and I just couldn’t help twirl around in it all day long. I combined it with my pink and gold flats for a semi- Grecian look.

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Casella Velha was the first place that we stopped on our Portuguese Road trip. It is very close to the Spanish boarder (Monte Gordo turn off) and is just breathtaking. You can take a boat out to a sand bank island and we ate the best marinated prawns at Casa Velha, really worth having lunch there as the quality and the price was great.

Next Stop Albufeira! x