People, I have a secret. A true insider tip and an answer to a question my timeline is full off once the end of summer rolls around. The question is: What’s an easy to get to place that is still warm in December? The answer is here, friends. It’s Portugal. The Algarve is a lovely stretch of land in the South of Portugal that  will usually still get over 20 degrees and full sunshine by the end of the year.

For me there is only one choice when it comes to winter travel in the Algarve: the Martinhal in Sagres. It was my second time coming here in December and I think I loved it even more than the first time (I had written about it here). This enormous resort that is usually fully booked only had 6 guests when we stayed here in the second week of December – probably the quietest week of the year. Prices were down by 80% but the perks such as free childcare, 24-hour gym, incredible champagne breakfast, heated pools and so on were still up and running. If you wish to end the year on a truly relaxing note, especially if you have kids, make this your destination and you won’t regret it.

My favorite part were the sunrises (possibly the only upside to sharing your bedroom with a 4-year old early riser) and the orange skies that came with them. Every morning I would jump straight into my gym clothes, go and jump on the outdoor trampoline for 15 minutes (the Martinhal Sagres has 3 and they are built into the ground) and then head to the gym for a run and a few exercises. At 9.30 the kids club would open, I’d drop off my kiddo for some arts and crafts or in and outdoor playtime while I enjoyed breakfast in the sun on the terrace of the Martinhal’s main building. By the way, there is childcare at breakfast here, so while you enjoy your eggs your kids get to draw and make fun with Marshmellow (aka Marcio) who speaks 4 or 5 languages and is a true expert at entertaining little ones.

After breakfast I would then head down to the heated pool and swim a few laps and more often than not there were no other guests joining the party – so relaxing! And that view!!

Afternoons are for excursions and so I’d pick up my son from kids club, have lunch and then drive our rental car to one of the many surrounding options for short trips and adventures. There is no shortage of great places to see and admire and I strongly suggest you check out Sagres Fortress, Cape St Vincent and Lagos like we did.

So, if next December you find yourself freezing and missing the sun, consider grabbing one of those cheap low-cost airline flights to Faro and book yourself a slice of paradise by checking into the Martinhal. By the way, you would usually book a house which all come with 2 bedrooms, so why not bring a friend or another family along and split the cost? Whatever you end up doing – enjoy!


Disclaimer: We were kindly invited to 4 complimentary nights at Martinhal Sagres. All expressed opinions are absolutely my own and I cannot wait to come back as a paying guest.