Praia da Rocha

 

Praia da Rocha, AKA ‘The beach of rocks’, is a popular, yet peaceful, holiday resort just south of the town of Portimão, on the Algarve. I travelled here for a mini break in October with my family, for some last minute sun before the Winter set in.

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We stayed at the Hotel da Rocha. A 4 star hotel overlooking the beach front. I couldn’t recommend this hotel more; all of the staff were very friendly & helpful, the food was spot on with a brilliant selection of local cuisine (which includes a lot of fresh fish!) and the rooms were modern, spacious and very comfortable! Facilities included a good sized pool, good for a refreshing dip in the mornings and a fully equipped gym which I tested out a couple of times.

Praia da Rocha has one of the largest beaches on the Portimão coastline. The golden sand is marked with large rocks and boulders wth hidden caves and that is why it is known as ‘the beach of rocks’. Even in October I managed to take a brisk  dip in the Atlantic Ocean! But, if you don’t want too sandy, then you can take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk which stretches along the majority of the beach.

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My family loves keeping active on holidays so we didn’t just spend our days sun seeking on the beach! Praia da Rocha and the surrounding areas are perfect for shorts strolls, hikes among the dusty paths and slightly longer walks to stretch your legs. The larger town of Portimão is just over 3km away and is full of local shops, cafes, and lovely architecture.

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We decided to check out the neighbouring fishing village of Alvor one morning, so we followed the costal path along the beach, which eventually took us up along the cliffs which provided breathtaking views! When we got to Alvor we wondered along the river front lined with bars and seafood restaurants. We then wondered up the narrow cobbled lanes which led us into the old town and onto the 16th century Igreja Matriz church (fun fact: I love seeing churches while on holiday, I just enjoy the atmosphere and design of them!) which sits proudly above the village. In the evenings we would usually take short strolls along the boardwalk, or down the street to the Fort of Santa Catarina, a medieval fort which is lit up at night and gives stunning views to the coastline.

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Praia da Rocha is a gorgeous resort for little breaks and longer holidays. I enjoyed every minute of my time here and would visit again to explore in a heart beat!

Thanks for reading!

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Weekend Away Up North

For an early Valentines day present my boyfriend treated me to a night away at a hotel up north! He booked the Mansion House in Elgin, Scotland. This year has been pretty stressful with his final year of Uni (aka dissertation time!!) and with me working almost full time, so we don’t get the opportunity to see each other as much as we both used to back when I was at Uni. So it was really nice to be able to spend some time together ❤

We drove from Edinburgh up to Elgin on Saturday morning, which took roughly 3 and a half hours.. A long trip but it was definitely worth it!

When we got to the hotel, we checked in and settled in to our room. We then decided to look round the hotel and check out the spa facilities (they had a lovely pool, with a sauna and steam room). We booked dinner for around half 7, and went down to the lounge where we ordered drinks, I got my absolute fave- Gin & Cranberry- and they brought us Canapés (we felt v. posh!) which were Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese Roulade with Fruit and Nuts. It was different, as I’m not a fan of smoked salmon, but we still enjoyed it.

We then ordered our food and after about 15 minutes we were shown to our table.

I ordered the Carrot Veloute with toasted hazelnut oil and croutons to start, the Fillet of Aberdeenshire Scottish Beef for a main, and then the Selection of Chocolate & Strawberries (With a difference!) for desert! We both really enjoyed the meal.

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I would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone who is planning a weekend away in Scotland. It is rustic yet modern, and the decor is gorgeous! The rooms are spacious and clean, and my favourite part was the bathroom (the bath was huge!). The staff were brilliant and could not have been more helpful.

The next morning we went down for breakfast around half past 8, we both decided to have a full cooked breakfast as it’s something we rarely eat at home. We then checked out and headed down the road! 🙂

 

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