You may have seen last weekend I escaped to Portugal for the weekend (28 hours to be exact) so I thought I’d jot down what we got up to and how it even came about.
I really wanted a mini escape and was looking up flights on sky scanner to the typical cities; London being the main one. I couldn’t get over how much it was totting up for one night away in London. Nearly €330 per person incl. flights, accommodation and transfer.
Then I started thinking how stressful London can be, the tube freaks me out, there defo would not be enough time to really do anything. None of it was sounding like the escape I wanted so I thought I’d think outside the box a little. Which is where flying to Faro came in. Oh I should probably mention we booked only a few days before we left.
One thing that I’m going to look at from now on is flying with different airlines to and from places. By doing this I ended up with better flight times and a cheaper fare. So I looked up Faro as a location on Instagram … nothing really to do there. I then looked up transfers from Faro airport and saw Vilamoura was 20 minutes away. Then I checked that out as a location on Instagram and… bingo! People posting in the sun only days before, yachts, the beach, the marina… sold!
Flying with Ryanair going and Aer Lingus coming home meant flights total were €80 each.
Private transfer return €20 each.
The Tivoli Hotel at Vilamoura Marina (5 star incl. breakfast) €149 total per night
Total €175 each
So what did we get up to in 28 hours?
Majority of the activities involved eating and drinking to be honest. There was absolutely no time to ‘explore’ but everything we wanted was on our doorstep – and we didn’t want to explore anyway!
Our flight was at 7am and we arrived to the Hotel at 11am. While we waited for our room to be ready we sat by the Marina, drank beer, took in the 18 degree heat, chatted, admired all the yachts and people watched.
After checking in we took a walk along the Marina. There was a whole row of restaurants and places to eat outside so we picked one and had some tapas and sangria in the sun. Then we ended up moving inside to watch the Irish rugby, drank some cava and got chatting to people in the bar. After the match we decided to move on to another pub that had live music on and drank some more beer (think you can see the pattern here!)
That evening we went for dinner in hotel the restaurant ‘Peppers’ which was like a steakhouse. Later on, we went to the casino for a few hours which was just across the road. It was no Vegas, but we were entertained!
I was awake by 7am out on the balcony watching the sun come up. I think this was my favourite thing about this ‘escape’. I made myself a coffee and literally had a little zen meditation moment to myself. The waves, the sun, the warmth! Why do I live in Dublin!?!
Anyway… breakfast was amazing and guess what, in Portugal Cava is included just like the apple juice! After breakfast we played a quick game of table tennis for the laugh, went for a swim in the indoor pool, used the sauna and steam room and took a small walk along the beach.
By 12.30pm we were checked out, back on the Marina and eating yet again with guess what …drinking more wine!
We watched people come on and off their yachts and I questioned how on earth they could afford them after discovering they cost the guts of 2 million, and that’s for a small one!!
We left the Marina at 3pm (I had a little look into the boutiques along the way back to the hotel) and the car picked us up at 3.30. Our flight was at 5.30pm and we were back in Dublin airport by 9pm. Even though it was only 28 hours it honestly felt like more. With the sun and the sea, I felt really relaxed (maybe it was all the booze!)
As a heads up my New Years resolution is to travel a lot this year so there might be more travel and less fashion blogs from me. Although I’m sure I’ll still shop, I want to make a conscious effort to spend more money on memories and less on material things. I have a trip to Rome in March, Madrid in May and possibility a week in the sun in between. As well as hopefully a big holiday as usual towards September.
So stay tuned for all the adventures!!