Mommy in London

Trying to figure things out!

Our Baby Friendly Holiday in Portugal

on September 27, 2012

We recently got back from our trip to Portugal, and it was fantastic!

We found the resort through Baby Friendly Boltholes and then planned around that.  The resort is called Martinhal and it’s in Sagres in the Algarve, Portugal.

To start off, we had to pack!  Packing is always such a pain, but with an 11 month old baby, it’s even more difficult.  I just had to think of everything that we could possibly need, and then eliminate things that we could definitely buy in Portugal.  We decided to bring a couple of packs of wipes (because we use either Cheeky Wipes or Water Wipes at home, and weren’t sure if we would find anything natural and gentle enough for E’s sensitive skin) we also brought swim nappies and sleep nappies (as we didn’t need too many of each, and they do help to pad out the suitcase) and enough regular nappies to last for the first 2 days.  We found that Pampers are available in Portugal but they are called Dodot.  We also brought some Hipp baby porridge mix, Organix snacks and some Ella’s Kitchen fruit and veg pouches.  This way we were able to give E meals in the villa and from restaurants when we were out, but could easily supplement with snacks and fruit and veg pouches when there wasn’t any fresh available.  We were happy with the amount that we brought with us, however, since Martinhal is a resort that is obviously frequented by English families, there were actually quite a few British baby products available in their shop (but they were quite expensive), so in a pinch they are available (which was a comfort to me, in case E decided that he didn’t want to eat anything else).

Now, onto the actual trip.  We flew with Easyjet, which could have been an absolute nightmare, but truly wasn’t that bad.  Families are able to board after those who have paid for Speedy Boarding, so we were able to get seats together and settle in before the plane was too full.  We paid extra to bring extra luggage, but as we had decided that in advance we just considered it part of the flight price.  E was very good on the flight there, it was lunch time so he mostly ate his lunch and played with the little girl in the row in front of us.

We arrived at Faro airport and picked up our rental car (which we rented with a car seat so that we wouldn’t have to bring our own) and drove to Sagres, stopping at a supermarket on the way to pick up some basics for our first day in the villa.  The villa was huge and perfect for a family.  We had requested all of the baby safety equipment, which was set up when we arrived.  We also had a cot, high chair, baby bath and toy box all included free of charge.  It was great to be able to just put E down beside the toy box and let him play while we unpacked and set everything up.  There was also a welcome pack which included bread, milk, cereal, etc.

Everything about the resort is set up fantastically for families.  There are 3 restaurants, 4 swimming pools (3 of which have toddler pools), 3 different playground / play areas, a creche, a kids club, a club for teenagers, a shop, etc.  We were able to get takeaway from one of the restaurants, so we didn’t have to cook every night, but the restaurants are also all very child friendly.  After a couple of days we worked up to taking E with us for an early dinner, and ordering him a meal off the kids menu (which he loved!) It did mean I had to stop being so paranoid about salt content, but I figured that 1 meal a day while on holiday wasn’t too bad, as long as we pumped him full of healthy food and lots of water for the rest of the day.

We swam in the pools and went to the beach everyday, E loves being in the water and had a blast splashing around all the time.  It also exhausted him, so even though we were in a different place, he slept really well for naps and at night.

We also explored the local area, going to a different little town most days, the Algarve is a beautiful area of Portugal

Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I’m so glad that we took the risk of flying somewhere, rather than staying in rainy England!  E enjoyed himself, and we enjoyed ourselves as well (although I wouldn’t exactly call it relaxing!)  Now, where to go next?

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