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Great places to stay in the Algarve that won’t break the bank



A rooftop terrace in the Algarve, Portugal, where it is still possible to find an affordable holiday rental.
Despite the current cost of living in Europe, it is still possible to find affordable luxury accommodation in the Algarve, Portugal.

Known for its golden sandy beaches, good tourism infrastructure, and friendly weather all year round, it is not a surprise that the Algarve, in Portugal, is a sought-after destination for locals and tourists from around the world. And popularity comes at a price: according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), over the first semester of 2023 alone, the average property prices in the Algarve increased by 16.6% compared to the first quarter of 2022. In fact, in the past four years, the price per square meter of properties still available in the region has increased by an astounding 57% – a 10 percentage point increase above the national market average in Portugal.

Thankfully, you don’t have to buy a property in the Algarve to enjoy its 100+ beaches and 155 km coastline. Although the cost of living in Europe have pushed princes up, including temporary accommodation, it is still possible to visit Portugal and stay in decent places charging reasonably affordable daily fees in the Algarve.

Here our readers share the places and areas they have chosen to stay while in the Algarve to make the most of this popular destination without emptying their wallets.

Olhos de Água for affordable boutique hotels

“I spent 12 days in Algarve while backpacking throughout Latin American and European cities. While searching through different hotel booking sites, I came across Velamar Boutique Hotel, in Olhos de Água, which cost me € 85 per day, which is reasonable given the number of amenities the hotel provides including an outdoor swimming pool, a spa, as well as game and meeting rooms.”

Shreya Patel – Marketing Manager at Lowest Flight Fares

Portimão for riverside tranquillity

“I typically head to Spain’s Costa Brava for a quick beach getaway. Last summer, I wanted to treat myself to a little luxury in a new location, so I decided upon the Jupiter Marina Hotel – Couples & Spa – in Portimão, Algarve. It is a luxurious 4-star hotel ideally positioned in Portimão, just a stone’s throw from the riverside and close to the  marina and beach. I particularly enjoyed the comfort of the rooms and the ambiance of the rooftop bar. Reasonably priced from €56, I found it almost half the price of other luxury accommodation in the area.”

Guy Sharp – Relocation Manager at Andorra Guides 

Ferragudo for timeless beauty

“Nestled between the vibrant cities of Lagos and Albufeira, Ferragudo unveils the essence of a quintessential Portuguese fishing village. During my visit last year, I found myself enchanted by the town’s authenticity, momentarily setting aside my camera to soak in the natural beauty that surrounded me. Positioned at the mouth of the Arada River, Ferragudo retains its timeless beauty, offering a tranquil riverside route. While there, also take time to visit Praia do Pintadinho Praia dos Caneiros and the Ferragudo Lighthouse for breathtaking panoramic views.”

Olly Gaspar – Adventure Travel Publisher & Photographer

Daily rates for accommodation in Ferragudo start from €50.

Entire holiday homes in the Algarve can be booked from as little as £69 per day

Roja-Pé for family Airbnb near the beach

“I like to stay at nice places, but I try to avoid busy hotels whenever possible. And as someone who often travels with a family of six members, that is why I first look at Airbnb to see if large properties are available. This works out more economically than booking several rooms separately. For two years in a row, I have stayed at Casa D’ Cor, a spacious townhouse in Albufeira with a rooftop terrace, within walking distance from Falesia Beach and Olhos D’agua Beach. It is a very residential area so, besides feeling safe, I find it close enough to  bustling places during the day – yet still very tranquil for those looking to rest at night.”

Celine Allard – Retired teacher

Booking the entire Casa D’Cor, costs from £69 per day during the low season (November – March).

Porches for luxury within budget

“During my recent trip to the Algarve, I stumbled upon this fantastic spot called Vila Vita Parc by Azure Retreats. It’s a luxury resort offering 7 nights from £1,105pp, including flights, transfers and breakfast. It is Tucked away in the countryside with great views. If you are up for a bit of luxury that won’t wreck your budget, give Azure Retreats a shot – totally worth it!”

Maarten Cox – Director at Gecko Routes

Luz for luxury within budget

“As a travel and lifestyle writer with over 12 years of extensive travel experience, one of my most recent adventures took me to Luz, in the Algarve, where I stayed at the Luz Beach Apartments. These self-catering apartments appeal with their balance of comfort, luxury, and affordability. With fully equipped kitchens, spacious rooms, and stunning sea views, it was far superior to my average Airbnb stays. Being able to enjoy the golden sands within just a short stroll from my temporary home added a unique convenience and luxury that is rare to come by, especially without burning a hole in your pocket. Plus, with eateries and local marketplaces in the vicinity, I could truly immerse in the local culture and lifestyle.”

Amelia Thompson – Travel writer

Sea view studios at Luz Beach Apartments cost from €70 during the low season (November – March)

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.


Greece rated best value destination spot in 2024



Greece rated best value destination spot in 2024
Greece has narrowly beaten Spain and Portugal to rate as best value among 28 destinations surveyed

Greece has narrowly beaten Spain and Portugal to rate as best value among 28 destinations surveyed in a poll of past visitors for the 2024 Post Office Travel Money Holiday Spending Report. The report also reveals that over three-in-five Britons – and 68 per cent of families – plan to travel abroad this year as overseas trips are named the top priority after paying for food, energy and household essentials. However, holidaymakers overspent at record levels on their last trip abroad.

Over the past decade the gap between budgets set and cash spent has widened to its highest ever level. On their most recent trip abroad, almost four-in-five (78 per cent) of holidaymakers set a budget averaging £334.47 per person, less than on their previous holiday. Only a third of holidaymakers stuck to it and the remaining 67 per cent bust their budget by an average of £154.62 – 46 per cent more than planned and up seven per cent on their previous holiday.

Families overspent by even more. Over three-quarters (76 per cent) set a budget for their last holiday but only 27 per cent of these families stuck to it. The 73 per cent who bust their budget did so by 55 per cent, spending around £312 more than the average budget of £566.26. Family overspending levels have almost doubled since before the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019 families allocated a spending budget of £630 – significantly more than the £566 average now – and overspent this by around £159.

When asked which items of expenditure were most responsible for their overspending, well over half (57 per cent) of holidaymakers laid the blame on restaurant meals, while 32 per cent named food and drinks that they had bought from a local shop or supermarket. Over a third (36 per cent) attributed their overspending to the cost of drinks and 44 per cent said they overspent on sightseeing and excursions. This chimes with earlier research by Post Office Travel Money for the 2024 Holiday Money Report in which 84 per cent of holidaymakers expressed concern about the cost of meals, drinks and other tourist items in overseas resorts and cities.

For this reason, perceptions of value for money may play an important role in destination choice. When holidaymakers who had previously visited destinations abroad were asked which they rated good value, Greece came top with a score of 94 per cent, ahead of Spain (93 per cent) and Portugal (92 per cent). Post Office research on holiday costs supports the positive views about Greece and Portugal because Athens and Lisbon were among the top five cities in last month’s City Costs Barometer, while the Algarve was rated best value in Europe in the annual Worldwide Holiday Cost Barometer. Spain did not fare so well as the Costa del Sol came only 14thin the barometer.

Switzerland and Scandinavia were rated least favourably of all by past visitors with scores of just 38 per cent apiece. However, Britons who had never been to either country gave them higher ratings of 45 per cent and 52 per cent respectively. They were two of just four destinations to score better value ratings among non-visitors than those given by past visitors.

Laura Plunkett, Head of Travel Money at Post Office, which accounts for one-in-four UK foreign exchange transactions, said: “The opinions of holidaymakers who have visited a destination are really useful and likely to be a more reliable source of information about value for money than those expressed by people who have no direct knowledge of the country. Most of the 28 destinations included in our good value poll achieved higher scores from past visitors than among those who had to rely on what they had read or heard about the country.”

All-inclusive holiday packages have, traditionally, been regarded as a good way to rein in spending and almost half (47 per cent) of families told Post Office researchers that they are planning this type of holiday in 2024. However, the Holiday Spending Report research reveals that the proportion of people paying for extras has again risen and most people spent hundreds more pounds in their hotel and in local resorts on their last all-inclusive trip.

The numbers paying extra for food and drinks in their all-inclusive resort has more than quadrupled over the past decade to 57 per cent because fewer items are now included in the paid-for package. The percentage paying for local brands of alcohol and soft drinks – once a cornerstone of the free drinks promise made by all-inclusive resorts – has grown to over eight times the 2014 level when just six per cent of people paid for them. Furthermore, 77 per cent of individuals and 81 per cent of families head out to local resorts for meals and drinks.

Despite the rise in numbers paying for extras, there is some evidence that holidaymakers have been tightening their belts. Overall, 51 per cent (53 per cent of families) spent an average of around £373 (£394) on nine food and drink items in their all-inclusive hotel, down by almost seven per cent (six per cent for families) compared with last year. Away from their All Inclusive hotel, the amount spent on food and drinks dropped by around six per cent to just under £274. Families spent over nine per cent less – £300 compared with £331 reported a year ago.

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European Airports with most Summer delays revealed



People waiting for delayed flights at an airport in Europe
Over half (53%) of flights delayed at Frankfurt airport in Germany, making it the worst in Europe

Unfortunately, flight delays are becoming an increasingly common occurrence in Europe. In 2023, European flights were delayed by 15 minutes on average.And, according to a recent study2, almost one in 10 (9%) people would rather avoid air travel altogether as a result of ‘airport stress’. 

As we gear up for peak holiday season, which airports are you most likely to be stuck in this summer? 

To help Brits plan ahead and even choose to fly from the airports they’re least likely to be delayed in, the travel experts at eurochange have created an index of the airports with the best, and worst pre-flight experience in Europe. 

Analysing 40 of the busiest airports in Europe, including in the UK, eurochange’s research reveals the airports that are most and least likely to experience delays. 

The research found that, in the UK, holiday-goers are most likely to be delayed at London Gatwick airport, the second busiest airport in the country behind London Heathrow. A huge 43% of flights are delayed from this airport. In 2023, flights were an average of 27 minutes behind schedule from Gatwick.

When it comes to the airports least likely to experience delays, Northern Ireland’s largest airport, Belfast, is the most ‘efficient’ airport in the UK, with 77% of flights departing on time, and just 23% of them being delayed. 


The top 10 airports most likely to experience delays in the UK

  1. London Gatwick (43% of flights delayed) 
  2. Edinburgh (38.8% of flights delayed) 
  3. London Heathrow (38.3% of flights delayed) 
  4. Bristol (37% of flights delayed) 
  5. London Stansted (35%) of flights delayed) 
  6. London Luton (32% of flights delayed) 
  7. Birmingham (28% of flights delayed) 
  8. Manchester (28% of flights delayed) 
  9. Glasgow (24% of flights delayed) 
  10. Belfast (23% of flights delayed) 

When it comes to the return leg of a holiday this summer, Frankfurt airport in Germany is the European airport most likely to experience delays, where more than half (53%) of flights are delayed. 


Airports in Europe most likely to experience delays

  1. Frankfurt, Germany (53% of flights delayed)
  2. Amsterdam Schiphol, Netherlands (47% of flights delayed) 
  3. Henri Coandă International Airport (47% of flights delayed) 
  4. Stockholm Arlanda, Sweden (46% of flights delayed) 
  5. Charles de Gaulle, Paris, France (44% of flights delayed) 
  6. London Gatwick (43% of flights delayed) 
  7. Lisbon airport, Portugal (42% of flights delayed) 
  8. Munich airport, Germany (41% of flights delayed) 
  9. Edinburgh, UK (38.8% of flights delayed) 
  10. London Heathrow (38.3% of flights delayed) 

Eurochange’s study also looked at the amenities in each of the airports in Europe, to reveal which are the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ to be delayed in, based on the pre-flight experience. 

The study revealed that the ‘best’ airport to be stuck at in Europe is Berlin’s Brandenburg. When it comes to unique attractions, Berlin airport scored particularly highly with its many options for kids, including an entire playground and a special children’s TV corner. There are 45 shops in the airport, and 33 restaurants to choose from. 

Brandenburg even caters to the art lovers amongst us, who should make sure to look up at the ceiling when they check in. Its beautiful Magic Carpet art installation graces the airport ceiling. 

Munich airport closely follows behind Berlin Brandenburg, where the average security wait time is just 5 minutes, and there’s plenty to keep you occupied if you do experience delays. Its ‘unique attractions’ include the world’s first airport brewery, where you can even get a guided tour before you fly home. 

At the bottom of the list is Henri Coandă airport in Bucharest, making it Europe’s most boring airport. With no kids entertainment whatsoever, and an airport lounge ticket costing £40 per person at the Romanian airport, it is the second most expensive in Europe for airport lounge tickets, behind Charles de Gaulle in Paris. 

The 5 worst European airports for pre-flight experience

  1. Henri Coanda International Airport, Bucharest, Romania  
  2. Heraklion International Airport, Crete, Greece
  3. Porto Airport, Porto, Portugal 
  4. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, Nice, France 
  5. Warsaw Chopin airport, Warsaw, Poland 

Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital engagement at eurochange comments: “We created this index as we wanted to provide people with a useful resource before deciding where they travel to next in Europe. 

“Although the airport experience isn’t always the most enjoyable, hopefully this research will help people to make more informed decisions about where they might fly to, depending on their circumstances. For example, families with kids may choose to fly somewhere that experiences the least amount of delays, whereas a group of friends might choose to fly from an airport that may experience more delays, but also has the cheapest beer.”

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Baros Maldives appoints new PR agency in the UK



Baros Maldives appoints new PR Agency in the UK
Maldives is experiencing a significant increase in tourism and celebrated a record 12% increase in arrivals last year

Global independent marketing and communications agency, FINN Partners, has been appointed by Baros Maldives and Milaidhoo Maldives to lead on PR and digital services, in the United Kingdom.

FINN Partners communications strategy will focus on tactics that will generate coverage and awareness to showcase the independent, locally and family-owned properties, highlighting what sets them apart from other resorts in the Maldives. 

“With the UK being an important market for us, we look forward to working with FINN Partners to help build brand awareness in the UK for both Baros and Milaidhoo Maldives, by bringing to life the uniqueness of each property and what sets both resorts apart from other luxury resorts in the Maldives,” says Visha Mahir, Chief Operating Officer at Universal Resorts Management.

Maldives is home to 176 resorts and over 800 guesthouses. According to  the Ministry of Tourism, the country is experiencing a significant increase in tourism and celebrated a record 12% increase in arrivals last year.

“Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it’s an honour to be representing Baros Maldives, ‘The Maldives Icon’. We very much look forward to communicating the private island resorts truly authentic Maldivian offerings to media. We are also excited to showcase how Milaidhoo Maldives, set in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, embraces a contemporary way of living the Maldivian heritage and culture complemented by a wide range of curated meaningful experiences on offer to guests in addition to exceptional cuisine, personalised service, and attention to detail,” says Debbie Flynn, Managing Partner and Global Travel Practice Leader, FINN Partners.

The FINN Partners UK Travel portfolio also includes destinations such as Italy, Greater Palm Springs, The Bahamas and brands including Travelzoo, Intrepid and Accor. 

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