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Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

Level Contributor
5 posts
76 reviews
Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

Just wanted to be in a simple beachfront area, with walking not too steep(arthritic knees!) but looking for interesting part of Portugual to stay yet be able to access fishing villages, interesting sidetrips, and we are really not sure if we want to rent a car In March. Any suggestions as we have NEVER been to Portugual.

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
58,762 posts
41 reviews
1. Re: Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

You've posted in Vale do Lobo forum, which might not be quite what you are looking for.

It is one of the most upmarket, golf oriented resort developments in the region. OK it's flat enough and the beach is reasonable, but there is virtually no public transport and very little in the way of diversion. (I walked around there once and I found it rather creepy, with hardly a soul around and security guards patrolling in those electric golf cart things.)

The Algarve is mostly quite hilly. However the eastern end - ie anywhere east of the airport in Faro - is quite flat. there are a number of small holiday resorts and the area is mostly a national park. Some of the beaches and resorts are on offshore islands; the mainland towns often have no beach.

Tavira is still a working fishing port in a small way, but most of the fishing virtually stopped many years ago, the fleets made idle and the canning industry gone. Most of the former fishing villages in this region are now given over to tourism. There are pockets of activity but not in the old ways.

March weather down here will be warmer than Ontario I should imagine, with daytime temperatures in the 15 - 18C (60 - 65F) range, a little cool at night but nothing you hardy Canadians won't be able to deal with. It does rain a fair bit at that time of year.

If it's flat and beach front you prefer (even though it might not be exactly beach weather) you could look into places such as Monte Gordo (although it might be a bit too quiet), Tavira or Cabanas but the beaches are on the islands and access out of season is rather limited. Out to the west there is Praia da Rocha, but that is mainly a modern resort with some pretty hideous buildings.

The area of Alvor and Torralta might fit the bill as there is a large beach. Alvvor is an old village reasonably well kept but encircled by modern development. Most of it is reasonable going and Alvor is one of the places where the fishing has kept going. it also has reasonable bus connections to nearby places eg Lagos and Portimão for day trips without a car.

I can't recommend Albufeira for those who find it a little difficult dealing with steep, cobbled streets as everywhere here you wish to be is uphill from where you are, especially after a night out.

There is much more to Portugal however than the Algarve, but I fear that in March you might find it rather too wet and possibly cold the further north you go. The mountains of the north-east can be pretty wet at times but they are rather nice to visit.

I hope that helps and that your plans work out.

Level Contributor
5 posts
76 reviews
2. Re: Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

Wow...you have been very thorough and I will print off this post as I need to look at the map again. It sounds like Portugual is going to be a bit wet and maybe not the best place to visit in March. Can you even swim in the ocean in March??Who would want to???just hardy Canadians??

I considered renting bikes as that might be a fun way to get around but east of Faro sounds like a better option. I will check out all that you have suggested and reconsider what we are up to. We do not want an All inclusive vacation...we just want to see the countryside and are hesitant to rent a car. Thanks so much for your input...stay in touch if you can.

3. Re: Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

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4,124 posts
4. Re: Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

Not a great deal to add to the advice of our esteemed expert cubsur.

Lagos (in the westerly Algarve) is also on a hill, although there are areas where you may stay and still remain largely on the flat. Being directly on a beachfront may be an issue depending on how close to the beach you wish to be situated.

West Yorkshire...
Level Contributor
661 posts
34 reviews
5. Re: Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

We always stay in Praia do vau in Feb/March and there are always plenty of canadians around (snowbirds) It is close to the beach, easy to use the local transport,Halfway between alvor and Praia da Rocha .My husband has just had a knee replacement and having the other done when we come back so you can tell it is easy enough to get around!

6. Re: Coming from Canada in March and finding choices overwhelming

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