OK, so this post is a little late going up but I feel like there’s been so much going on that I pushed this to the side a bit. Maybe because I didn’t know where to start – my holiday was just amazing.

So from the start. We booked our holiday to Portugal back in March, after the January sale but I felt at a time when holiday companies were still pushing lots of offers. But then these days, when aren’t they? We got a fab all inclusive deal through First Choice/Thomson, for a 7day all inclusive holiday for roughly £540 each. I thought this was pretty good considering we wouldn’t really have to spend anything on food and drink unless out.

At times I felt like the wait from March to September was ages, I think as I hadn’t been away properly in 3 years, whereas other times and especially closer to the holiday, it went really quick. We were soon on our plane (super early flight, but well worth it to get the full first day) and at our hotel before lunchtime.

The hotel we stayed in, the Pestana Delfim, is part of the Pestana Hotel Group, and is an all-inclusive beach and golf hotel.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

The hotel had international check in hours, so we couldn’t get into our room until 3pm, but they looked after our bags and we were soon in full holiday mode lounging by the pool with a pina colada and helping ourselves to lunch.

Our room was pretty standard, but felt quite large and the bathroom was really nice too. We also had a balcony with a gorgeous sea view, which was awesome to wake up to every morning, and watch the sun set from each evening.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

During our stay we ate dinner in the main restaurant every day bar one, when we ate in the Italian restaurant which was also part of the all inclusive deal.

The main restaurant served a buffet style meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and not once were we disappointed. Breakfast was almost the same everyday but there were plenty of hot and continental breakfast options including my favourite, lots of fresh fruit, figs and yoghurt.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

For lunch and dinner there were always several different meat and fish options, including one option which was being freshly grilled in sight, by a chef at the side. There was a salad bar, with choices which changed daily – I loved a courgette and chorizo style dish they had – and also lots of vegetable options, as well as different styles of potato. There was of course a dessert bar too, with a variety of cakes and sweets which also changed daily, with the only dessert coming back night after night being jelly and ice cream, and trust me, no one is moaning about that!

Throughout our stay, we had a variety of meals from the main restaurant, from grilled steak with piri piri sauce (a traditional Portuguese sauce) and steel stews,  to swordfish, tuna steaks and curried vegetables.

With all the choice I must say that our plates didn’t look that pretty as it was always a mix match of everything we fancied – we couldn’t resist trying a little of everything – hence why there’s no food pictures, sorry guys! But trust me it is was amazing.

 The Italian restaurant, also part of the hotel, offered a lovely, friendly, full service style meal, with three courses on offer. The choice was pretty standard, and the mains didn’t blow our minds, but I think that’s because the buffet style food in the main restaurant was just SO good! The dessert however was super tasty. I had the Panna cotta which was deliciously creamy with a potent summer berry compote on top.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

I must mention the drinks on offer. Being all inclusive, I thought we might get a couple of options, beer, wine, one or two spirits, you know, you always hear the bad stories so I didn’t want to expect too much. There were so many drinks options at the Pestana Delfim, including beer, sangria and white wine on tap throughout the day, a number of local spirits including gin and rum, a few cocktails including a pina colada  (I do think these were premix but they still tasted yummy), as well as a number of soft drinks on tap, an automatic coffee machine and of course, plenty of bottled water.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalI enjoyed a slush puppy on our baclony one afternoon too

Each evening there were live acts in the bar area, with live music every night, and 3 nights a week offering something a little different. Whilst we were there, we saw a bird show, an acrobatic/dance performance and there was also a karaoke evening. It’s a mixture of English and Portuguese entertainment, as the majority of hotel guests when we went were from Portugal.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

Whilst we did enjoy the entertainment, especially the dance show, and Alex did get up to do a little karaoke, we did venture out of the hotel for two evenings to find alternative fun.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

The pool area was fab. We had a large round swimming pool, which was more salty than full of chlorine. It was the perfect distance across the middle to practise my swimming, and was never too busy whilst we were there. It was rather cold though, and remembering Alex jump in still makes me laugh!

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

There was a large number of sunbeds, positioned around the pool, and further back on the grass bank, so we never struggled to get a bed for sunbathing in the day. The downstairs bar had an entrance from the pool area too, meaning it was super easy for getting our drinks from throughout the morning or afternoon.

We did venture into the upstairs bar once or twice, but there wasn’t as much happening up there. We did have a game of Pool, and often popped in to check the football scores but that was about it but it always seemed to be busy.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

The area:

I don’t think we could have been any luckier for area. The hotel wasn’t in a party town (not the type of holiday we were after), and was reasonably quiet once it got late, but we were only a 10 – 15 minute walk from Alvor.

Alvor is a very cute old fishing town with cobbled paths lined with bars, restaurant and touristy shops. We ventured to the town once or twice in the day to watch the football (we couldn’t miss the Arsenal match), to do a little pressie shopping, and also went down a couple of evenings too to catch some live entertainment. We did also end up in a karaoke bar the one evening!

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalThis bar was SO cool! Loved the walls.Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

There are quite a lot of Irish bars, and people from Ireland on holiday in Alvor, and they’re all so friendly and lovely. We met a couple of guys on a golfing holiday who were pretty drunk in the karaoke bar, and I was soon up singing bohemian rhapsody with them. I think that night we headed back at about 2ish, and yet we still felt safe wandering back to the hotel which was great. You could get a taxi otherwise which doesn’t cost too much.

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalA group pic with the guys we ended up drinking with

The hotel was also only a 5 minute walk from the beach, if that, which was absolutely beautiful! We did the board walk one day, a walk along the beach, up the board and back through Alvor, and on our last day found a gorgeous side to the beach which was way more enclosed by cliffs and caves – so cute! We walked to the top and the view was incredible!

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalAlex swimming and jumping wavesPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalOur walk along the boardwalkPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalAlex at the top of the cliff!Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalThe views were incredible! Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalLooking down on the beachPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalLook at that view Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalOur climb to the topPestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalCan’t not get a beach selfie

We also had a massage on the beach on our last day – a holiday treat I love!

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, Portugal

Things to do:

If the beach and the town isn’t enough then there are plenty of other experiences you can book through TUI, including a day trip to a water park, tours of the island and swimming with dolphins (which we did – I will tell you all about it very soon!).

Pestana Delfim, Alvor, Algarve, PortugalLook at all my freckles! Love them!

Overall, our holiday was amazing! The hotel was fab, and had everything we needed and more, the area was great (not too party atmosphere, but not too quiet), and absolutely beautiful and the choice of experiences was awesome. I’d highly recommend the area to anyone looking into a holiday next summer! Its great for couples, friends or families (we saw plenty of each!).

I’d definitely book through First choice/Thomson again too. They just take away the stresses and I love having a rep. Our rep, Claire was so friendly and helpful! She gave us some great ideas for walks, other evening entertainment and was great at getting us booked onto our experiences too!

Did you go on holiday this year?

Chloe xx