11 months old

Our Holiday to Portugal


We've just returned from a lovely week in Portugal!  It wasn't really Ethan's first holiday, as we've already taken him to Cape Town, but it was our first time taking him away somewhere and not staying with family.  It's not a very long flight and we brought lots of toys for Ethan to play with, so he was easily entertained and happily sat in our laps playing with everything he could get his hands on (mostly in flight magazines and buttons on the arm rest!)

The Accommodations

We stayed at Martinhal Resort which is in Sagres, Portugal.  It was a bit of a drive from the airport, and after getting luggage and sorting out the rental car it did take a while to get there, but it was well worth the wait!  We were checked in quickly, and Ethan was even given a cute kids pack with a hat and bib as well as a bucket and spade set which kept him happy.

We were very happy when we got to our cottage (it was bigger than our house!) with a lovely living area, a kitchen with a few essentials like milk, bread and cereal to get us started, a lovely garden area and 2 bedrooms upstairs.  This meant that Ethan had his own room for the first time, and he slept amazingly well while we were there (probably all the fresh air and room to crawl around!)

As we had booked though Baby Friendly Boltholes we were able to request all sorts of baby items to be in the cottage when we arrived.  It was so nice to get there and find a travel cot, high chair, baby bath, stair gates and even a box of age appropriate toys!  Ethan was happily playing with the toys straight away while we unpacked and sorted everything out.

The Food

Food is one thing that we were a little bit concerned about, so we did a box of Ethan's regular baby cereal from home, a bag of his favourite rice cakes, as well as a few puree pouches just in case we had trouble finding food suitable for him.  It was good to have those as a back up, but we needn't have worried as we found lots of things that we liked.  We went to a local supermarket to pick up some things for simple meals (like pasta and sauce) and for making sandwiches to take out with us for Ethan.  There is also a small shop on the resort, which is a little bit more expensive but does have everything you need, including the English brands of baby foods and snacks!

When we were out Ethan was happy to share some of our meals, we often ordered pizza or other simple food for sharing.  We also always carried some snacks for him as well as sandwiches that we'd made at the cottage, just in case he was hungry and we weren't close to a restaurant.  

There are lovely restaurants on the resort, which all offer early seating for families, which meant that we could go out for nice dinners with Ethan.  The other great part, was that they all also offer take away, so we could feed Ethan in the cottage and put him to bed, then pick up a really nice take away, open up a bottle of wine and eat out on the patio and relax.  It was much nicer than having to cook for ourselves every night!

The Family Activities

The resort itself is completely set up for families, so you really could stay there the whole week and never get bored.  There are 5 pools dotted around the resort, we used the one that was quite near our cottages quite a bit, as well as the main one which also has a little pool for toddlers that Ethan could crawl around in.  The main pool also has a snack bar, so you can have drinks and snacks by the pool.  We also took Ethan to the playground on the resort quite a bit, which he loved.  There are also kids clubs and a creche, but we didn't need to use them (I imagine they're great when you've got more than one child to chase around!)

Our main activity was to explore the surrounding towns and to go to as many beaches as possible!  Ethan loves the beach and was happily crawling around playing in the sand and dipping his toes in the sea.  It was so easy to just set him up in the shade with his sand toys and let him play for ages, he is such an outdoor baby!

We had such a fantastic time in Portugal that I truly did not want to leave.  Everyday was something new, with the ease of going back to a very family friendly resort.  I would definitely recommend going to Martinhal as it truly did have everything that we needed and more.  I can't wait to go on our next holiday!

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