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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Branqueira

Branqueira, Portugal

Each year, millions of tourists go on holidays to the Algarve. They're attracted to the region for its gorgeous Blue Flag beaches, and the superb Mediterranean climate. But this means certain Algarve resorts get busy during the summer months. That's where Branqueira holidays come in. This small village is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of livelier resorts, within a couple of miles of the Algarve's beaches and other attractions.

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The quiet life

You probably won't have heard of Branqueira. It's a small village of white washed houses surrounded by green fields, and a blue glimmer of ocean on the horizon. There are lots of chic Mediterranean villas in the vicinity with pretty landscaped gardens and private swimming pools – chances are, if you visit, you'll be staying in one of these.

Branqueira feels tucked away, but it's actually very well connected. Hop in the car and within a few minutes you'll hit the pretty Algarve coastline. Albufeira is less than 10 minutes away. This lively resort is crammed full of restaurants, bars and tour operators. You can take full advantage of all the amenities and then head back to Branqueira for some lazy hours sunbathing by the pool.

Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Portuguese
  • GMT - None

Idyllic beaches

Holidays to Branqueira are all about relaxing on the beach. There are so many gorgeous swimming spots to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice. The first one you'll hit is laidback Santa Eulália, a small cove of golden sand surrounded by green lawns and palm trees. You'll find sun loungers, parasols and restaurants here.

If you're seeking a quiet spot, you'll love next-door Praia da Oura, a tiny cove of red-tinted sand with plenty of rockpools and inlets to explore.

For those who like a few more beach-based activities, head to Praia dos Alemães, a larger Blue Flag beach near Albufeira. You'll find an inflatable playground in the water, which children will love. There are also plenty of watersports on offer including banana boating, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.

Family-friendly fun

The Algarve is a popular destination for families as the seas are calm and shallow, perfect for taking children swimming. There are lots of family-friendly activities available, especially around Branqueira. If your children love animals, take a 15-minute drive to Zoomarine, where you can see dolphins, sea lions and birds interact with their trainers. It also boasts beach and pool areas as well as a fun pirate zone.

There are two nearby waterparks, Aquashow and Aqualand. In Aquashow you'll find more adrenaline-fuelled rides, such as the White Fall, and even a log flume. Aqualand is more geared towards younger children with splash pools and a lazy river ride.

Other fantastic attractions include a trip to the zoo or to Fiesa, an amazing sand sculpture park. The kids will spot characters from their favourite shows sculpted in sand.

Nearby nightlife

Branqueira holidays don't have to be completely quiet. Albufeira has an atmospheric old town and lively marina crammed full of bars and restaurants. Whether you're looking for a romantic meal for two or to party the night away, there's something here for you.

To get a taste of the local culture, visit a traditional restaurant serving specialities of the region. Tuck into grilled fish, rich rabbit stews, and seafood steamed with white wine and tomatoes. There's even a two Michelin-starred restaurant here, Vila Joya, perfect for a special anniversary dinner. There also more budget-friendly grill restaurants, burger joints and pizzerias.

Albufeira is renowned for its nightlife. Head to The Strip, a long promenade lined with cocktail bars, lively clubs, and British-style pubs. You're bound to find something here you like. For something really special, head to the other side of Branqueira for Kadoc. This dance club has five floors, sub-tropical gardens and regularly attracts world-famous DJs.

Holidays in Branqueira give you the Algarve experience without the hassle of constant crowds. Located so close to Albufeira, you'll be in complete control of when you relax, and when you party. This really is the type of trip to suit everyone. Couples will love getting away from it all, while families will appreciate the kid-friendly activities on offer.