Monthly Archives: November 2019

Portugal’s Golden Triangle – The Adventure Paradise

The small area in Portugal between Vale Do Lobo, Quinta Do Lobo and Villamora, referred to increasingly as ‘The Golden Triangle’ is the destination of choice for the rich and famous. The area’s particularly upmarket and exclusive appeal and has seen it spawn many incredible restaurants (several of which boast Michelin stars) and some hugely impressive luxury villas.

However, not content to simply sit in the sun, the new generation of Jet Setters, are demanding more from their holiday. They want activity and adventure.

Once again, this tasteful, dynamic and forward-thinking destination has reacted, delivering activity and adventure in spadefuls. And all at the exceptionally high standard we have come to expect from The  ‘Golden Triangle’.

Here we run you through a few of the many options that are available in this sporting and adventure paradise.

  1. Beaches

All the beaches in the area can proudly display the Blue Flag, indicating they are maintained at the highest level of cleanliness,  safety and accessibility.
There are a number of great beaches to choose from, many of which have lively and sophisticated bars and restaurants.

beautiful beaches in the Algarve

But variety is the key here. Whether you are looking for a secluded and tranquil spot, a safe and family friendly beach or a lively party beach, this area has all the bases covered.


  1. Golf

golf courses in the Algarve

If golf is your passion, it doesn’t come much better than this. There are several world class golf courses in this area, including the prestigious Vale do Lobo’s Courses: Ocean Golf Course and Royal Golf Course. The golf courses here are amongst the best courses in Portugal and they attract eager players from around the globe.

This year The  Algarve has picked up yet another award, having been named The 2020 World’s Golf Destination of the Year by International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).


  1. Boat Trips

There are all kinds of boat trips on offer, ranging from party boats and coastal cruises, to luxury sailing yachts and dolphin-watching speed boat cruises. However you’d like to experience Portugal’s spectacular coastline, there will be a boat trip that’s just perfect for you.


  1. Tennis

tennis academy in the AlgarveBest enjoyed in the cool of the morning or evening sun, tennis is a great way to get some exercise and to enjoy being outdoors. With several tennis clubs in the area, there are all kinds of options and there is always the opportunity to enjoy some expert coaching to help improve your technique.


  1. Gyms

Gym in the AlgarveThere are several local gyms which are all air conditioned and equipped and maintained to a very high standard. So you can fit a workout in whenever you have a little spare time on your holiday.


  1. Stand Up PaddleBoarding (SUP)

ZEN SUP offers a range of options for you to enjoy stand up paddle boarding including an invigorating ‘Sunrise Tour’. This early morning excursion has you briefed, kitted up and out on the water in time to watch the sun rise whilst afloat. Leaving you with some very special holiday memories.
Find out more about SUP in our previous Stand Up Paddle Boarding article here


  1. Surfing, Coasteering & Kayaking

surfing in the algarveThe surfing is excellent in this area of the Algarve and there’s no better way to learn to ride the waves than with a recognised surf school. Albufeira Surf School & SUP courses from beginner right up to advanced level. They also offer all kinds of other exciting adventure too including Coasteering and Kayaking

For more information, check out our article on Surfing in the Algarve here


  1. Cycling

If you are a road cyclist, the perfect tarmac roads that wind through the Algarve are ideal for cycling. Heading up to the hills, will allow you to take some seriously challenging climbs, whilst sticking to the coastal routes will provide dramatic scenery and beautiful views, without to deal with the heavy climbing.

If you are more of a mountain biker, there are plenty of recognized mountain bike routes in the Algarve. Whilst most of the more challenging trails are further inland, there are a few good 2-3 hours ride close the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo resorts.

Bikes can easily be hired in the area and you can opt to hire an experienced guide, which will help you explore further off the beaten track with confidence.


  1. Other Activities.

New and exciting activities are developing fast in this adventure paradise. Right now it is possible to enjoy a high-octane off-road 4-wheel drive buggy safari, feed your need for speed on a karting track, take to the high seas for a little big game fishing or go below the surface on a scuba diving course.

Whatever activity you choose, the great weather, blue skies, clear water, beautiful scenery and wide open spaces, mean you will have the time of your live. Because this area is truly, an ‘Adventure Paradise’

Check out our villas in The Algarve here.



Christmas on a villa holiday

Christmas In A Suitcase

Booking a villa holiday over the Christmas period is an excellent way to get the extended family together and to spend valuable relaxing time with children, grandchildren or just a group of old friends.  In this short article, we give you a few tips on how to make you’re your Christmas Day (or New Year’s Eve) celebrations go with a bang on your villa holiday.

Christmas Presents.

If you don’t have children with you, you may like to consider celebrating Christmas and exchanging gifts before you leave for your holiday or after you return. This needn’t limit the fun. With the right approach it can just add another great day, or at very least an evening, to your Christmas festivities.

If the thought of having no gifts to exchange on Christmas day leaves you cold, you could always reduce the collective luggage weight by opting for the ‘Secret Santa’ approach.

Secret Santa is a long-standing festive tradition in which members of a group all pull one name from their group out of a hat (or have name assigned to them any other random method). Their job is then to choose a gift for that person, and only that person. It is best to agree a maximum budget for the gift, which no-one should exceed. Technically, the identity of the gift giver should remain a secret and should never be revealed. However, guessing who selected the gift is often part of the fun.

When unwrapped and unveiled one by one at the dinner table, this can lead to a very enjoyable and entertaining spectacle. Fabulous fun for large groups and extended family holidays.  There are many apps available for organising your Secret Santa. Here’s one example that we came across

If you have very young children, you will probably want to take along a few gifts.

Think carefully about the weight, size and fragility of anything you intend to pack in your luggage. Also, think very carefully about any security issues that may arise. It may be difficult to explain that the brightly coloured rocket launcher in your suitcase is simply a child’s toy.

Wrapping Gifts

Airlines recommend that you do not not wrap any gifts before you fly. Airport security staff may unwrap gifts in your hand luggage or checked in bags, causing delays at security. And of course, leaving you with the job of rewrapping them.

Instead, pack wrapping paper in your checked in bags, and wrap your gifts after you arrive at your villa.  Don’t forget to pack a roll of celllotape. But even though your airline may permit you to carry scissors with blades less than 4 inches in length, it’s probably best to leave the scissors at home. Any well-equipped villa is sure to have a pair in the kitchen drawer.


Yes it’s cheesy, but a few Christmas jingles always set the scene on the big day.

Be sure to take along a Christmas CD or two or better still, compile an online playlist.

If you go for the online option be sure to check the box to ‘download’ the tracks in advance just in case you have no WiFi at the crucial moment.

Christmas Outfit

Spread the word before you leave. Make sure that absolutely everyone packs a festive outfit to wear for the big dinner.

You can give this your own spin. Whatever you choose From Christmas ‘Hawaiian’ Shirts and Santa Hats to Red Dresses, White Shirts and Christmas Ties, it is a chance to generate a bit of extra Christmas cheer and get everyone in the mood. A common theme always makes for great photographs in and around your villa too.

Don’t let your plans become too grand, whatever you choose should be light and easy to pack, easy to find and not too expensive.


We’re not suggesting that you drape the entire villa with tinsel and glitter. However, if you take a few lengths of tinsel and a handful of sparkly accessories, you will be able to wow everyone in the party with a beautifully decorated dinner table.

It is always an option to ask every member of the party to bring one item of decoration. Unveiling the collection of assorted decorations and arranging them around the villa could become an enjoyable and entertaining part of the celebration.


Nothing is more festive than after dinner games. They are a great way to extend the celebrations and to bridge the age gaps. Why not take a long a few simple games to play after dinner. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need pack heavy or cumbersome board games. With a little research, you may be able to simply take along a pack of cards, a pen and some paper and a few notes/prompts to remind you of a handful of games and their rules.

Of course, on a villa holiday at Christmas there is always a chance that you will be enjoying dinner outside on the sun terrace, by the pool or even down at the beach, so you may want to adjust your game selection accordingly.

Whether you play wink murder, spoons, charades or name that tune, you’ll have great fun and create many, many memories

If you need a little inspiration, there are countless suggestions for games online but here are a couple of links to get you going:

Table Place Names

Carefully prepared and packed in your luggage, a pile of festive place names for the dinner table will add a special touch to the big event and allow you to carefully adjust the seating plan to ensure harmony or hilarity.

Skype or Facetime

If you have any family members who can’t make it on your trip or friends at home that couldn’t come along with you for any reason, why not gather round an iphone, ipad or latop and call them up live on video with Skpe, Facetime or any alternative.

There are various ways to make video calls these days. But whatever method you choose, it is best to agree a precise time in advance and to be sure everyone in your party knows when it is happening. Make sure you make the call precisely at the agreed time and all should go to plan.

This is a lovely way to share the festive cheer, have some fun and to share a bit of love at the same time.


For some, cooking Christmas dinner seems like a military operation and an utterly unrewarding task. Whilst others thoroughly enjoy the hustle and bustle of the kitchen preparation and revel in the role of head chef and host.

If it is your thing, throw yourself headlong into the process and enjoy every minute.  But remember, there are no rules. You don’t have to produce the perfect, traditional Christmas dinner. This dinner is about the people and the connection between them.

Be prepared to break the rules and adjust the menu to make it easier for you to prepare and serve. It doesn’t really matter if you serve up burgers, pasta, seafood, curry or a beach barbecue buffet.

If cooking a big dinner is simply not your bag, why not consider the alternatives?

External catering may be an option in your villa. Whether you have food delivered or have dinner prepared by a visiting chef, it well be worth the additional cost.

Don’t forget that you can always book and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. In which case all the tips above still apply.

Whatever you choose to do, think things through carefully in advance and you will soon be enjoying your best Christmas ever together in a luxury villa in the sun.

Check out our range of ‘Family Party’ villas




Eebents On a Villa Holiday In Antigua

Antigua and Barbuda – Events In 2020

Antigua and Barbuda enjoy beautiful weather almost all your round and have enough beaches for you to visit a different one each day of the year without ever running out. That makes this sun-swept paradise the perfect place both to party, and to relax, which is why you’ll find there is always something going on.

With so much beautiful coastline, it is no surprise that many of the parties, events and celebrations are centred around yachting, boating and beaches. Here’s a year-round list of dates to add to your diary. But rest assured, whatever occasion fits in with your holiday or trip, the people of the Caribbean are always sure to give you a warm, friendly and enthusiastic welcome.



  • Helping Hand Foundation 6th Annual New Year’s Sports Classic: 5th January – 18th January 2020
  • Antigua Yacht Club ‘Round the Island’ Race: 18th January 2020   

  • Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge: (rowers begin arriving)
  • 5th Annual Sir Andy Roberts Community Spirit Day: 26th January 2020, Bolans Playing Field


  • Round Redonda Race: 12th February 2020

  • Jolly Harbor Valentine’s Regatta: 14th February – 15th February 2020

  • Antigua 360 Race: 21st February 2020


  • The Annual AUA Rohrman Antigua Triathlon: 7th and 8th March 2020

  • Superyacht Challenge Antigua: 11th March – 15th March 2020

  • SOOTHE: A Night of Neo-Soul, Jazz Rhythms and Spoken Words: 14th March 2020

(Tel: 268-732-7685)

  • Playing to Inspire 4 with the Duke Ellington School of Arts: 21 March 2020

Antigua & Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Kanneh- Masons

Venue TBC (Tel: 268-562-7600)

  • Antigua Yacht Club Annual Laser Open:


  • Antigua Class Yacht Regatta: 1st April – 7th April 2020

  • Antigua and Barbuda Horticultural Society Flower and Garden Show: 4th April 2020

(Tel: 268-463-2070)  

  • Good Friday- Easter: 10th April– 13th April 2020
  • Antigua & Barbuda International Kite Festival: 13th April 2020 Devil’s Bridge
  • Peters & May Round Antigua Race: 25th April 2020

  • The Annual Antigua Sailing Week: 26thApril -1st May 2020

  • GARD Centre’s Annual Farm to Table Benefit Luncheon: Gilbert’s Agro-Heritage Centre, Mercer’s Creek


  • Dockyard Day: 2nd May 2020

 Nelson’s Dockyard, (Tel: 268-732-6366)

  • Antigua to Bermuda Race: Begins in Antigua, 6th May 2020

  • Antigua and Barbuda Culinary and Bartending Competition: 8th May – 10th May 2020

  • Run in Paradise: Half-Marathon, 10K and 5K: 24th May 2020

  • Mikie Pigott Jr. Memorial Classic: 29th May 2020

  • Barbuda’s Caribana Celebrations: 29th May – 1st June 2020

  • Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week


  • ‘June is Romance Month’ Promotions

  • 29th Annual Whit Monday 4 x 1.5 Miles Road Relay & Walk: 1st June 2020

 Caribbean Union Bank Headquarters (Tel: 268-788-8783)

  • Showcase Antigua Barbuda: 10th and 11th June 2020

  • Antigua and Barbuda Yoga Week: 14th June – 21st June 2020

  • International Day of Yoga: 21st June 2020
  • Shiva’s School of Dance Annual Production: 20th June and 21st June 2020


  • Antigua and Barbuda Pineapple Mango Festival (PiAngo Fest): July – August 2020

  • 62nd Anniversary Celebrations of Antigua’s Carnival: The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival: 23rd July – 4th August 2020


  • The ‘Buy Local’ Arts and Craft Street Fair: John’s City
  • Carnival Monday: 3rd August 2020

  • Carnival Tuesday: 4th August 2020

  • Ounces Seafood Festival: 6th August 2020, Ounces Ice Cream Parlor & Grill, Parham

 (Tel: 268-562-4440 / 268-774-0047)

  • Urlings Seafood Festival: 8th August 2020
  • ABABW Federation Annual National Bodybuilding Championships: com/AntiguaBodybuilding (Tel: 268-778-9280)


  • 13th Annual Warriors Cup International Soccer Tournament & Youth Cup:

(Antigua & Barbuda Men’s and Women’s Club Team; Youth teams – U8, U10, U12, U14):

3rd September – 6th September 2020

(Tel: 268-786-0115; 268-562-6227/268-460-245

  • World Tourism Day: 27th September 2020
  • Francis Nunes Jr. Memorial Fishing Tournament & Seafood Festival: 26th September – 27th September 2020


  • Antigua and Barbuda’s 39th Anniversary of Independence Celebration Events Begin
  • Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Sports Tourism Tri20 Cricket Tournament: 4th October – 12th October 2019, Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium

(Tel: 1-268-562-7548)


  • Antigua and Barbuda’s 39th Anniversary of Independence: 1st November 2020
  • Antigua and Barbuda Independence Ceremonial Parade: 1st November 2020
  • Antigua and Barbuda Independence Food Fair: 1st November 2020
  • Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Annual Regatta:

  • Music for a Cause:


  • Antigua Charter Yacht Show: 4th9th December 2020

(Tel: 268-460-1530)

  • C. Bird Day: 9th December 2020
  • Gemonites Moods of Pan Festival:

(Tel: 268-464-5007)

  • Ana’s Restaurant Christmas Souk:

(Tel: 562-8562)  

  • Budget Marine Hightide Series:

  • Nelson’s Dockyard Christmas Day Champagne Party: 25th December 2020

  • Boxing Day Horseracing Meet: 26th December 2020, Codrington, Barbuda
  • Nelson’s Dockyard Old Year’s Night Party: 31st December 2020
  • Nelson’s Pursuit Race: Antigua Yacht Club 

Ongoing Events:

Seasonal Events:

  • Cricket Season: January – July
  • Netball Season: January – July
  • Volleyball Season: January – December
  • Horseracing Season: January – December
  • Basketball Season: February – July
  • Cycling Season – February – November
  • Turtle Watching Season – July – October
  • Football Season: August – February
  • Artisans Antigua Travelling Market
  • New Exhibitions at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda: throughout the year

For a list of the latest events, go to   

To find a villa in Antigua go to


Beautiful view from a villa in Antigua

All About Antigua


Villa holidays in antigua

Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator. To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadeloupe, and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.


On Antigua, life is a beach. It may seem like a cliché, but this improbably shaped splotch of land is ringed with 365 beaches of the finest white sand, made all the more dramatic by the azure waters, which are so clear they’ll bring a tear to your eye or a giggle to your holiday-hungry throat.

Meanwhile, the locals take the visiting mobs with a dash of grace that always has the backing of an English stiff upper lip should the situation get too dire. The island’s British roots are on display in many ways, but especially when there’s a good cricket test match on. Memories of the old empire, however, are far removed from the island’s beat, which has some of the liveliest steel-drum music in the islands.

Bordered on one side by the gentle waves of the Caribbean Sea and on the other by the rolling Atlantic Ocean, it has a coastline that has made it popular with beach-lovers and sailors alike.
Beach In Antugua


With 365 beaches to choose from, the country boasts that it has one for every day of the year. These range from tiny tucked-away coves to sandy open shorelines, while the island’s jagged inlets, bays and small harbours have given shelter to ships for hundreds of years.


Barbuda is one of those very few islands in the Caribbean that remains–and probably will remain for some time–so undeveloped as to seem positively deserted at times. With the exception of the guests of the island’s small number of accommodations, the population seems largely to consist of the graceful Fregata magnificens, or frigate bird. As the birds possess a marked preference for the northwest lagoon, Barbuda’s seemingly endless white and pink sand beaches are left to the peaceful wanderings of those lucky enough to sojourn here.


Temperatures generally range from the mid-seventies in the winter to the mid-eighties in the summer. Annual rainfall averages only 45 inches, making it the sunniest of the Eastern Caribbean Islands, and the northeast trade winds are nearly constant, flagging only in September. Low humidity year-round.

Beach In Antigua


It would be difficult to overestimate the impact on Antigua’s history of the arrival, one fateful day in 1684, of Sir Christopher Codrington. An enterprising man, Codrington had come to Antigua to find out if the island would support the sort of large-scale sugar cultivation that already flourished elsewhere in the Caribbean. His initial efforts proved to be quite successful, and over the next fifty years sugar cultivation on Antigua exploded. By the middle of the 18th century the island was dotted with more than 150 cane-processing windmills–each the focal point of a sizeable plantation. Today almost 100 of these picturesque stone towers remain, although they now serve as houses, bars, restaurants and shops. At Betty’s Hope, Codrington’s original sugar estate, visitors can see a fully-restored sugar mill.


Antigua and Barbuda offer a mix of Caribbean culture, but with a nautical theme. The islands’ sailing heritage has left its mark, which is most noticeable during Antigua’s Sailing Week every April when the whole island gets into party mode.

But it’s music and sport that are the other main influences on the two islands.

Antigua is home to many of the Caribbean’s best steel bands and there are plenty of chances to see them in action, most notably at the Sunday night concerts at Shirley Heights or during the carnival celebrations.

But this isn’t all – there are also calypso bands and limbo dancing for the more athletic and many hotels and resorts put on evening shows which guests can take part in.

When it comes to sporting activities, cricket is the passion here and it is the national game of the islands.
It is played to the highest international standard and has made heroes out of home-grown players Sir Viv Richards and Richie Richardson who both captained the West Indies cricket team.

  • Antigua is one of the easiest places to get to in the Caribbean as there are so many flights to the island, with 11 weekly direct flights from London with British Airways & Virgin Atlantic.
  • This makes it ideal for families or travellers wanting to combine it with other islands as there are so many inter-island flights from Antigua.
  • Sunday “Jump up” at Shirley’s Heights is a most do for all visitors to the island
  • On Antigua it’s best to stay in the north if you regularly want to visit the shops and restaurants in the capital, St John’s.
  • Choose the hotel carefully as some properties are targeted at specific markets.
  • Antigua is steeped in culture and history with plenty of sightseeing opportunities. These include the capital St John’s, Betty’s Hope Sugar Plantation, English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard.
  • Antigua is known for its 365 beaches – it also tends to get more sunshine than other Caribbean islands.
  • Recommend the catamaran trips, which are a great day out, or driving out and finding a beach that you can have all to yourselves.
  • The choice of water sports is excellent with diving, sailing and even kite-surfing. There are also attractions where visitors can swim with stingrays.
  • Try to visit Antigua during Sailing Week or Carnival to get a flavour of the parties and celebrations that are held across the island.
  • Tell customers to go to Shirley Heights on a Sunday evening for the excellent sunset concerts or “jump up”.
  • Affordable excursions- such as South Coast Horizons picnic and kayaking through the mangroves and a day on a private beach cost just £9 Adult and  £5 Child
  • With no minimum period of residency, getting married is easy and there are plenty of island hotel which specialise with dedicated co-ordinators
  • The Antiguan people are warm, friendly and extremely hospitable.

Check out our villas in Antigua here

Find forthcoming events in Antigua here