Many British tourists desperate to enjoy summer holidays again are reportedly planning to bring their extended families with them this year. And the Algarve – with its exceptional natural attractions – is among their dream destinations.
According to a poll by Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, “hardly seeing their nearest and dearest during the past 12 months has left 68 per cent champing at the bit to do something special with them”.
Carried out by One Poll on behalf of the travel company (one of Faro Airport’s major operators), the survey found that 40 per cent of the 2,000 adults polled believed their families “have never needed a holiday more than they do now”. Forty-one per cent said the best way to do this would be with “a bumper family holiday”, adding that they hoped to take “as many as five loved ones away with them in addition to their immediate family, with grandparents, aunties and uncles the most likely companions”.
Outlining details of the poll, a spokesman for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said, “Spending quality time with family is incredibly special and something many people haven’t been able to do this past year. Quality time with loved ones – somewhere away from the same four walls – is what people are looking forward to more than anything.
“There certainly won’t be a shortage of things to catch-up on and, while this past year has been incredibly challenging, families are clearly looking forward to enjoying an extra special break together and creating some fantastic memories.”
With 12 per cent of those polled revealing they would travel somewhere they had always dreamt of visiting for the first time – and Portugal (together with Greece and Turkey) topping the list of favourites – the Algarve is well-prepared to help new visitors fulfil their dreams.
The region’s picturesque natural areas, in particular, are expected to be even more appealing this year as an increasing number of tourists opt for open-air holidays away from the main urban areas.
One popular destination, which offers a mix of both nature and modern facilities for families, is Vilamoura. In addition to a marina, beaches, golf courses and the Cerro da Vila Museum and Archaeological Site, the resort is home to the Vilamoura Environmental Park.
Extending for over five kilometres, the nature trail begins near the banks and dense riverside vegetation of the Ribeira de Quarteira, before passing by the Vilamoura equestrian centre and entering into cereal farmlands and typical Algarve non-irrigated orchards of carob, almond and fig trees.
Further along the trail, in the heart of the environmental park, there are two bird observatories and a humid area with a rich variety of wildlife. Birds attracted all-year-round include the rare Purple Heron (Andrea Purpurea), Little Bittern (Lxobrychus Minutus), Purple Swamp Hen (Porphyrio) and Marsh Harrier (Circus Aeruginosus).