Portugal: Altaoura Apartments, Praia da Oura, 1997

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We went in November and the weather was awful - it rained a lot. The apartment is several hundred yards back from the seafront - we had a job finding it at first (we had a hire car - essential) because the area is well-developed with lots of similar apartment blocks.

The block itself is quite good. The people manning the reception desk were very helpful and friendly. Our two-bed apartment was quite big, large sitting/dining room, balcony, nice kitchen - well furnished and equipped with everything you need, clean, well decorated. The water pressure in the shower was disappointing, but that was the only negative thing.

There was a bakery nearby for fresh bread in the mornings, and a fruit and veg market a bit further away. We also used a huge well-stocked supermarket a mile or so away. Plenty of places to eat out nearby - a few hundred yards to the east there is a street full of restaurants..

The resort is part of a long sprawl along the coast. On one day when the sun shone, we walked down to the sea, and sat on a terrace outside a cafe. The beach looked nice - there were people swimming in the sea, evidently enjoying themselves. There was a paved path running for a mile or so along the seashore, which made a pleasant stroll.

We travelled outside the resort quite a bit getting money's worth from the hire car. There are some good places to visit in the Algarve - Silves, Lagos, Monchique, Cape St Vincent, Tavira.

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