Look at that beach. Isn’t it just perfect? Come July I will be lying on it, waves lapping at my feet, breathing in that energising sea air. It’s booked, deposit paid and now all I can do is wait, dream and decide how many bikinis I can fit into my luggage allowance.
Our Summer holidays over recent years have been quite diverse:
Iceland: snow-mobiling, glacier-hiking, whale-watching and every other hyphenated scary activity known to man.
Canada: arguing with a French Canadian SatNav woman whilst trying to negotiate the main roads of the Eastern states.
Lake Garda: Lolling by the pool of the gorgeous Parc Germano apartments and drinking copious amounts of the local Bardolino wine.
Dordogne: back to basics with a caravan holiday in the French countryside: heavenly location but too much toe-stubbing in tiny bedroom and husband used up all his gaffer tape fixing wobbly pan handles and a lethal barbecue.
In our quest for the perfect holiday this year to suit a lazy mother, likes-to-think-he’s-Ray-Mears father and increasingly horizontal teenage son, we did a virtual trip around the globe. We spent a good few days on a Western Canada fly-drive (maybe next year) and an inordinately long time in Scandinavia. Husband Dougie, still obsessed with a driving holiday, also had a minor flirtation with the Black Forest. I, however, was yearning for the sea.
At heart, I’m a beach girl. I was born in Whitley Bay on the North East coast and my early memories of holidays are all beach-based. I was dearly missing the sea. So, with a great deal of guile, and the convincing argument that we could afford it as we roughed it last year by going camping, I persuaded my man to come with me to the seaside.
Our destination for 2011 is……Portugal.
On the South West tip of the Algarve coast, near the historic town of Sagres, is the Martinhal Beach Resort. It opened in 2010 and seems to tick all the boxes to suit all three of us. A five star 33 bedroomed hotel, together with an assortment of self-catering family houses, slap bang on the beach within a protected national park. Sporting facilities, chill-out room for older children, choice of restaurants, pools with Fatboy loungers, and that stunning beach.
We will hire a car from Faro airport and have, at the most, an hour and a half of bickering before we reach Martinhal. Then we can take up residence in an Ocean House, right on the beach, designed so the bedrooms are on the ground floor whereas the living area and balcony upstairs can make the most of the views. The accommodation is chic, contemporary and not the least bit fussy. It’s kitted out with Satellite TV, wireless internet access, MP3 docking station, designer kitchen with washing machine and dryer. There’s even a coffee machine. I had hoped it would be a Nespresso like they have in the hotel rooms but apparently not…*wailing and gnashing of teeth*. May have to dispense with shoes and pack my own machine instead.
Rory can sleep, chill by the pool or try his hand at Padel Tennis: a form of short tennis which might appeal to him as it’s less far to run. Dougie might have a go at kite-surfing or kayaking or try out the gym.
Or he may join me, hand in hand, walking along that magnificent shore-line.
Images courtesy of IDeal PR for Martinhal Beach Resort.