The Algarve has increasingly been advertising its cultural and natural secrets, while building a reputation as a safe holiday destination – all year round, thanks its mild, sunny climate.
In the far south of Portugal is a region with Europe’s mildest climate and more days of sunshine a year than any other, at about 300: the Algarve. Its mild, relatively dry winters and hot summers are the result of the twin influences of the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea and its proximity to North Africa.
With so many days of sunshine it is a great place both for holidays and for work.
““It is clearly one of the sunniest, most luminous areas of Europe,” says the president of the Algarve regional tourist board, Desidério Silva. “The Algarve is a region with lots of light – fantastic light.”, conta o presidente da Região de Turismo do Algarve, Desidério Silva.
This luminosity is ever more popular with cinema directors who opt to shoot their films in the Algarve, but it also guarantees holiday photos in colours that will make your friends jealous!
Aside from such factors, there is a whole panoply of ways to enjoy the region, from nature-oriented, cultural or sporting activities, such as bird watching, walking, cycling or local cuisine.
“You can’t ski in the Algarve but you can explore the mountains and hills of the interior, the coast, the Ria Formosa estuary, the Rota Vicentina coastal walking route and the Guadiana valley, all thanks to the mild climate,”, says Silva.
Safe, relaxed holidays
“The land is here all year round, as are the local products, the climate and the safety”, he points out.
These days safety can count for a lot when people are choosing where to go on holiday.
“We all see people in the region going about their daily life and going out at night without problems”, says the tourist board president. “The Algarve is a family destination and one where you will see lots of people on the streets.”
Safety is important not only for the region’s residents but also for visitors, and has been a key factor in establishing the region as a top tourist destination.
There is nothing like a good dessert to round off a gourmet experience at the Vidamar Resort Hotel Algarve.
For any meal in any of our restaurants there are many delicious daily sweets made from scratch by our team of pastry chefs.
Now we have decided to open the doors of our factory of sinfully sweet desserts!
“Here everything is sweet,” explains Bruno Henriques, Vidamar Resort Hotel Algarve pastry chef, as he presents a tray of regional Algarve goodies.
Algarve almond tart, orange roll, carob cake and Dom Rodrigo – a traditional eggy local dessert – are just some of the delicacies available year round at the Vidamar Algarve that enable visitors to sample the region’s traditional flavours.
As well as regional sweets, our team of pastry chefs also prepare various Portuguese and foreign desserts and cakes.
Each day of the week brings a different themed menu, with days for French pastries, fusion and Mediterrean dishes.
“When you love what you do, you enjoy working even more, and a lot of teamwork is needed to make these sweets … sweet!”, comments Henrique, surrounded by hundreds of desserts ready to serve to guests.
Our team’s commitment, professionalism and dynamism are the ingredients that make the difference in ensuring that our guests can enjoy a memorable experience.
Summer is when the Algarve is at its busiest. But the region has plenty to offer all year round, in terms of leisure activities, sport and also experiences that enable you to discover the history of one of the sunniest parts of Europe.
The mild climate outside the height of the summer offers an opportunity to really get to know a region that is so distinct from the rest of Portugal. Here are some tips!
Sport, adventure and nature
The arrival of autumn does not mean the end of opportunities for sport and outdoor adventures. The mild temperatures are a veritable invitation to explore the Algarve’s landscapes on safari – on horseback, by bicycle or on foot.
For keen cyclists and walkers there are signposted routes such as the Via Algarviana, Grande Rota do Guadiana and Rota Vicentina.
From September to November the Algarve receives thousands of migratory birds, which can be observed in unique natural settings such as the Lagoa dos Salgados (a lagoon near the VidaMar), the Ria Formosa estuary, the Sagres peninsula, the marshes near Castro Marim, or the Ria de Alvor.
At the Algarve’s western end, winter is a particularly good time for surfers to visit. From November through March the waves measure up to 2 metres to 4.5 metres high.
History, culture and flavours
Over the centuries the Algarve’s culture has been shaped by a variety of European and Moorish influences. The castles at Silves, Loulé, Castro Marim and Paderne, the cathedral at Faro and that city’s old town and municipal museum, the fortress at Sagres, the Roman ruins at Milréu and in Vilamoura, the replica of the caravel Boa Esperança in Lagos, and the Islamic baths of Loulé are all well worth visiting.
The Algarve’s cuisine is another great way to get to know the region, with a vast range of traditional dishes such as grilled fish, xerém (cornmeal porridge), arroz de lingueirão (rice with razor clams), cataplana (fish stew) and feijoada de búzios (beans with whelks), as well as stuffed dried figs and egg-and-almond sweets such as Dom Rodrigo and morgado de amêndoa,
Traditional food markets such as those in Quarteira, Algoz, Loulé, Olhão and Lagos are not only housed in buildings full of local charm, but are great places to find the fresh ingredients for most of these recipes.
Algarve wines have also been winning ever more international plaudits. Several vineyards are open for visits, tastings and in some cases even art exhibitions, with the Quinta dos Vales, oustide Lagoa, just one example.
History, biology, adventure and diving come together at Ocean Revival, Europe’s largest artificial reef, created off the coast near Portimão in the Algarve.
Hook up an oxygen tank and dive into the Algarve’s waters to discover how nature has taken over sunken warships, transforming into a real home for hundreds of marine species.
This project, located about half an hour from the VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve, is focussed on the sea, so standing out from other theme parks in the region, and putting the Algarve firmly on the international diving circuit.
It all started in 2012, when four Portuguese naval warships were sunk about two miles off Prainha beach, so as to become an artificial reef and underwater theme park.
The patrol vessel “Oceânico Zambeze”, corvette “Oliveira e Carmo”, hydrographical ship “Almeida Carvalho” and frigate “Comandante Hermenegildo Capelo” were the ships the navy chose to make the Ocean Revival a reality.
The structure was established in an area of calm waters that are safe for diving, and where the temperature ranges between 14º and 22ºC over the whole year.
As well as the underwater complex itself there is support infrastructure and services on land, such as a small museum and a hyperbaric chamber to handle any diving emergency that might arise, as well as other underwater spots to explore in the Algarve, such as shipwrecks from the 18th century or the First or Second World War, as well natural reefs and walls.
How to arrive and enjoy Ocean Revival
Ocean Revival is freely accessible to any qualified person or tour operator to dive without any problems, although it is necessary to know and observe the park regulations.
Those in charge suggest that going through a diving club, centre or certified school is the safest way of making the most of this underwater showcase for Algarve marine life.
Among the advantages of going through certified companies is the chance this affords of getting to know all detailed aspects of the diving and the degrees of difficulty of the various routes on offer, or the characteristics or particularities of the sunken vessels.
Once you arrive on site, you can choose between various itineraries whose routes are carefully defined with a view to a safe and certainly unforgettable visit!
To prepare for your underwater adventure, you can take advantage of the diving lessons that VidaMar organises weekly. There are various courses on offer, to suit both beginners and more experienced divers.
More than relaxation and an escape from day-to-day routine, the Vidamar Resort Algarve offers a complete ‘prescription’ for recovering your energy and taking care of you during your stay.
As well as the warm weather, sunshine, clean air, sea, nature, fun and gourmet food you are invited to enjoy some of the treatments and massages on offer at the VidaMar Spa.
Alongside individual treatments, the VidaMar Sea Spa has eight special themed programmes, such as the ‘Total Relax’ and the ‘Express Spa’.
The Spa also has a heated pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath.
The indoor heated pool is also available for use by families daily, in the morning.
Four seasons, four suggestions
Each season of the year brings challenges for the body and mind.
The ‘Flower Power’ is our suggestion for spring, comprising Shiatsu, a Hibiscus Flowers Massage, a Head Massage and an Aromatherapy session.
In summer it is time for ‘Body Love’, a 90-minute treatment programme that includes an Oliva Body Peeling, a Chocolate or Seaweed Body Wrap, and an aromatic Lotion Body Massage.
To welcome in autumn there is nothing like a Herbal Pinda massage, in which linen sachets filled with medicinal aromatic herbs and sea salt are used for their relaxing and stimulating properties.
Forgetting the rigours of winter is easier with the ‘Total Relax’ programme, which includes a Hot-Stone Massage, a hydrating Face Mask, a Facial Massage and an Aromatherapy session.
‘Yin & Yang’ – this year’s innovation
In 2016, the VidaMar Spa is offering the ‘Yin & Yang’ package, a programme for two people designed to ensure you relax and unwind, soothing muscle discomfort or any tender spots.
Over an hour and a half you are given a Relaxing Body Massage with Aromatherapy, localised Therapeutic Fango and moisturising Facial Massage.
The localised fango consists in the application of a seaweed-based mud that, when applied to areas that are suffering from discomfort, pain or tension, helps to relax muscles and relieve pain.
The sea with its aroma, its colors, its sound, its freshness, is a vital part of the Vidamar Resort Hotel Madeira experience.
Our infinity pool are an example of this interaction and recently joined the top 10 of the most spectacular infinity pools in the world, according Trivago
That worldwide hotels search engine, highlights the “exceptional view of the bay of Funchal” with a “panoramic where the blue of the pool, the sea and sky come together, creating a unique visual experience.”
A sea of experiences
The hotel is facing the sea and all its structures and services were created to ensure our guests a close connection with nature and with the Atlantic Ocean.
Here you can enjoy the largest Portuguese sea platform with an area of 7.500m2. An idyllic entrance to the sea, when you meet personally, will confirm that the pictures do not do it enough justice.
This connection to the sea is guaranteed both on vacation as the events we organize and promote.
Our 15,000 m2 outdoor spaces are designed to ensure that you will enjoy pure leisure time, relaxation and enjoyment for all ages.
A solarium with 3,500 m2, three outdoor sea water pools, a children’s pool, an interior swimming pool with exterior access, Kids Club, the diving club, multi sports field, exotic gardens, two piers for sea access, a spa Thalasso with 2000 m2 facing the sea and 5 restaurants are some examples of the VidaMar Madeira facilities.
For sports lovers, there are several outdoor activities, two squash courts, tennis court and fitness center prepared for multiple sports.
Canoeing, diving, windsurf and stand up paddle are some of the proposals that are waiting for you!
The vast sea is the ideal background to celebrate the different moments of your life or your business at VidaMar Resort Madeira.
Let the imagination take care of yourself and of your heart and VidaMar team will make the party of your dreams in one of the many spaces we have for events.
The VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve has in its gardens a special new corner with a sea view: the Bali Beds.
Isolated, exotic, comfortable and romantic, these outdoor beds are ideal for sunbathing or stargazing as a couple.
Inspired by Indonesian furnishings, Bali Beds afford moments of privacy and luxury in the open air, without your having to give up the chance of diving into our pools, which are close to hand.
Perhaps the first idea that comes into your head is of idyllic moments on a honeymoon, but the truth is that couples can enjoy life together at any and every opportunity. This novelty at the VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve offers exactly that, with more memorable holiday moments.
Let yourself be caught up in your natural surroundings. Relax, gaze out to sea, listen to the sounds of nature, read a newspaper or book, sample some seasonal fresh fruit, enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and some snacks or sushi prepared by our team.
Experiences made to measure
There are various ways to enjoy our Bali Beds, from the basic and standard packages to the superior and premium. They all include a bottle of cold water in the morning and seasonal fruit in the afternoon.
The basic gives access to the Bali Bed and includes a bottle of bubbly, while the standard option includes a bottle of wine and some snacks.
The superior package includes a daily paper, a body sun kit, replacement water, fruit juice and mini pastries, wine, cocktails, snacks and a selection of sushi – options that come in still more generous quantities with the premium package.
Don’t hesitate: reserve a Bali Bed for your holidays at VidaMar Resort Hotel Algarve!
Day-to-day life often takes us away from the natural world, and holidays in the Algarve are the ideal moment to enjoy and experience nature, whether at sea, on the seashore, or inland.
Water parks, wildlife parks, boat cruises, diving, surfing, standup paddleboarding and safaris are among the numerous activities open to you.
The Algarve’s water parks are internationally famous and every year they unveil new features for the most daring visitors!
Aquashow, in Quarteira, is considered Portugal’s most complete water park, with its swimming pools and wave pools, Europe’s biggest roller coaster, water slides and tubes fast and slow for all tastes. This year’s novelties are the Twin Space Shuttle, the Shark Slide and the Aquakids children’s area.
Over in Lagoa, Slide & Splash is one of Europe’s largest water parks, with slides to thrill even the most daring of visitors!
There are special spaces for children such as the Tropical Paradise, where they can choose between the various fun mini-slides in the shape of animals.
For adults there is everything from the simplest of slides to the more adventurous Crazy River and Tornado”, the Kamikaze or the Black Hole. This last slide is unique in Portugal and is a sure-fire way to get the adrenaline pumping. In fact, pregnant women and people with heart problems or claustrophobia are barred from using it.
The land inside and wildlife
Combine adventure with discovering the real Algarve, the interior, with a safari in an off-road vehicle. Krazy World is a wildlife park located in Algoz with lots of family activities in a natural setting. It is a place where you can climb trees, explore, and get to know and even feed the animals.
Lemurs, caimans, tortoises, camels, llamas, reptiles and many other creatures live in this park, with some of them taking part in themed shows.
The sea inside
The Algarve can be seen from various different points of view. Boat cruises are the proof of that!
Limestone cliffs carved out by coastal erosion, caves, secret beaches only accessible by sea, witnessing an unforgettable sunset or watching dolphins are among the experiences popular at the moment.
Diving is another way to discover the region and its sea – which is known for forming the frontier between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, and also for its top-quality fresh fish.
Close your eyes and imagine waking up with a direct view of the Atlantic Ocean, to the bay of Funchal and our sea platform, or a stroll through the palm trees gardens on the edge of the cliff. A first starting image for an holidays where you can combine perfectly relaxation and fun.
Don´t just imagine how would be your holidays in Vidamar Resort Madeira in 2017. Book them now and start planning them. Here are some tips!
Nature and events you can’t miss
Nature is something that you can enjoy at any time of year, but there are moments and events of this island that are real “visit cards”.
In May, Madeira Island pays tribute to the spring with the Flower Festival, natural element, spectacular and diverse that “decorates” and perfumes the “Atlantic Pearl “.
The downtown street of Funchal receives the traditional Flower Parade that in addition to variety shows, concerts and folklore performances, you can watch the making of the floral carpets.
The Madeira Atlantic Festival marks the beginning of Madeiran summer and has been claimed with a diverse program that includes the “Raízes do Atlântico” Festival (international music concerts) ” , the Regional Arts Week and the Regional Bread Fair.
This event focuses on famous spectacles of fireworks displays and music that are held for four Saturday night in down town city, near the marina.
Vidamar Resorts Madeira have his own Atlantic Festival, where a a dinner party, live music, entertainment and firework displays, makes a true and unforgettable moments for all guests
The Popular Saints festivities are experienced across the island with the grilled sardines, the manjericos (Portuguese traditional herbs), festivals and popular marches. We highlight the St. John festivities days in the last week of June, which puts the Madeiran neighbourhoods into despique to win the contest of the St. John Altar.
Vidamar popular Saints Festivities
An environment that invades the VidaMar Madeira where besides the typical decor you are invited to a popular marches parade, folklore and typical gastronomy typical of these season
The Madeira Wine Festival arrives in late summer and highlights the “nectar of the gods” produced in the archipelago and combine a packed program of traditions, folklore, exhibitions, shows and animation.
Learn about and taste the Madeira Wines and unravel some of the secrets that make these special wines and world-renowned.
Vacations = Family + Fun + All ages
This is the formula that moves the VidaMar team and motivates her to continue to innovate and introduce news to their guests.
The initiation or improvement windsurf lessons, Stand Up Paddle and diving are some of the proposals we have for you!
The underwater area in front of Vidamar is a great place to explore the local reef and other attractions
But nothing better than family moments and VidaMar Madeira have several spaces and activities that combine the grandparents vacations, parents and children, such as the game room, outdoor swimming pools, gardens and our restaurants.
For the younger ones we have a special space: the Aquatica Kids Club.
The ideal place to play and participate in recreational and educational activities, games, toys, crafts, face painting and many other activities. All this complemented by an exclusive swimming pool for children.
Stuffed vacations of unforgettable flavours
The gastronomy and conviviality at mealtimes merge when thinking of meals in a “portuguese style”. At VidaMar Madeira, this experience is multiplied by five, with its themed restaurants and buffet.
At “Casa das Espetadas” skewers restaurant, suggest skewed meat, fish or seafood accompanied by a Madeiran wine or the famous Poncha while watching the traditional local bread (bolo do caco) being cooked on open wood fire.
The “Koi Sushi” restaurant, get ready for the unexpected and surprising combinations, such as tuna and gorgonzola, salmon nigiri and citruz spicy ponzu jelly cubes.
With the ocean as background, at “Sabor a Mar” restaurant the invitation is to taste the local swordfish and tuna, do not miss the opportunity to taste fresh limpets with garlic butter and fresh bread.
At “Mamma Mia” enjoy the best of Italian cuisine with a Madeiran touch provided by typical and local vegetables and ingredients. Shrimp with tropical fruit cocktail and avocado or a chicken breast stuffed with smoked provolone in pistachio crust is some unmissable treats
The Madeiran and Portuguese cuisine is one of the sweet tooth “secrets” that we have for our guests, and we want it to be enjoyed unhindered, that’s why we prepared a gluten and lactose free menu.
Madeira Island is unveiled every day! Unveiled it with us!