It has been one week since we got back from Portugal and to say that I wasn’t having withdrawls would be a lie! 😦
This was the first visit to Portugal for both myself and my other half and actually it was our first proper holiday away together so lots of firsts! We booked our trip back in May/June so we had to endure a whole summer of watching everyone we know and work with come and go on their summer holidays..torture! We booked our trip through Travel Republic, an online travel agent, which I have used multiple times in the past for not only package holidays but hotel stays also. I love Travel Republic as it’s so simple to navigate and everything is all in one place. Not only that but having used it on various occasions I now trust it 100% and know that booking will be straight forward. More often than not Travel Republic do a £1 deposit on hotels and so the final payment doesn’t come out until just before the trip which makes it great if you want to save up before you go but also dangerous as it can be very tempting to book multiple trips at once and worry about paying for it later 😉
We decided on Portugal after researching MANY other destinations. We had originally planned on a USA trip but with work commitments and time of year it just wasn’t going to work so instead we decided to have a sunshine holiday (albeit in October) where we could relax and enjoy some time off together. Portugal kept popping up in all our searches and my parents also spoke highly of it after they holidayed there in October 2012 so it looked like a good option. The deals for Portugal also made it very tempting as it was one of the most inexpensive destinations we found. Once we decided on the location we then looked at hotels, our favourite from the options given was Solaqua hotel apartments (4*) which coincidentally was the hotel my parents had stayed at! We took it as a sign as they had raved about their stay there and they were able to tell us first hand about how new and clean it was as well as its prime location close to shop and food outlets in Albufeira in the Algarve.
When the day finally came to go on holiday we were more than ready for it. All the documents are e-mailed to you once you make your booking, all we had to do was print them and check-in online with easyjet…simple! From start to finish the trip went without a hitch and Travel Republic are to to thank for ease of booking including low-cost transfers too and from Faro airport. The weather when we landed was overcast and there was a slight wind chill but still nicer than NI so we couldn’t complain! We had checked the forecast prior to arrival and expected a dull-ish day so we weren’t disappointed too much. We were lucky that each day after that was sunny and warm with temperatures in the 20’s so not too warm that we were melting either, perfect.
Solaqua lived up to its recommendations in that it was new and clean, spacious and bright. Staff there were welcoming and helpful and we really couldn’t have asked for a better location in the heart of Albufeira; halfway between Old town and New town..though Old town was our personal favourite! Solaqua boasts and indoor pool and jacuzzi as well as an outdoor adult and kiddie pool. In fact it was in the indoor pool that I at the grand old age of 27 learnt to swim on this trip! So it will forever hold a special place in my heart haha.
Our week away was fantastic and I eagerly await our next trip. I would go back to Portugal in a heartbeat as it was one of the best holidays I have ever had but we want to visit new places for now and experience new things. But don’t worry Solaqua…someday we will be back!!! One thing is for sure, that whatever we do and wherever we go we will most definitely be continuing to use Travel Republic!
Thanks for reading,
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