Ohlos D’Agua, Portugal

We have just got back from a VERY relaxing week in Portugal.  We stayed in a small town call Ohlos D’Agua (which apparently means Eyes in the Water – which was explained to us as the pattern made in sand when air bubbles up through it… nice bit of trivia). Ohload D’Agua is about 5 miles east from Albufiera – a 35 minute transfer from Faro airport.  We stayed in a very nice hotel (Sensimar Falesia) which had just been refurbished and was Adults-Only (no families with kids under the age of 16 year). The focus of the hotel was very much on all-inclusive(we were half board – would have liked Bed and Breakfast, but not an option). After the first couple of days eating in the hotel in the evening we decided to eat out. Primarily because although they were ‘Coeliac Aware’ their was very restricted choice for Coeliacs like me.

Anyway, here’s the main street in Ohlos D’Agua – always busy day or night

DSC_0149There were some glorious sunsets – a couple here..

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DSCN1641We had a morning in Albufeira – we happened to choose the hottest day of the week, but it gave us the perfect excuse to have lunch in the square in the old town and people watch. DSCN1601

We had a walk along the beach in the bright sunshine – not quite walking the whole 5 miles to Villamoura – but we had a good walk for an hour or so. The beach was very busy… and the sunshine was glorious.

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Towards the end of our week we had a trip to the Loule Saturday Market, which was interesting but basically just a fresh food market. We also visited the Gypsy market (about a 15 minute walk from the centre of town) – but have to say that it wasnt very impressive.

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What was Impressive was the collections of old motobikes on the pavement outside the market in Loule…

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A very relaxing week – we always enjoy visiting the Algarve – thanks for reading.

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Portugal in september

She who must be obeyed and myself are currently enjoying some autumnal sun in the algarve. It’s our first time on an adults – only holiday and I have to say it feels a bit weird. With a small number of exceptions, we are probably among the younger group. No families, kids tantrums, no bombing in the pool, no laughter. It’s all very ‘adult’. The holiday company we came with seem to be really pushing their customers to go all inclusive (we are half board, mainly because we like to get out and sample the offerings from the locale). We have spoken to couples who haven’t left the hotel yet and this strikes me as exactly what the hotel owners want. They certainly don’t want you venturing out and spending your money supporting the local businesses.

As I sit on this sunbed, a few things occur to me. Little things mean a lot. An example, without exception, every hotel I have ever stayed in, be it business or pleasure have provided complimentary tea/coffee in the rooms. A nice touch. Not this  hotel. You only get complimentary tea/coffee if you are all inclusive. Pah. We’ll buy ours at the local supermarket.

The hotel is beautiful and they do have the check – in process very nicely done ( glass of cava while you fill in the form?). Rooms are huge and very modern.  Each evening meal is themed, tonight’s offering will be traditional portugese. We chose not to attend last night’s fish themed extravaganza.

Sorry this had to be done….

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My opinion of all inclusive is that it’s a false economy. It certainly makes it easier for the hotel to contain/control their clientele, but for us, it never works. We travel to experience foreign cultures.