Martinhal is set just east of the windswept but charming town of Sagres on the Algarve's westernmost tip. It is an impressive landscape where the wild Atlantic and the warm calm Mediterranean meet, backed by a Biogenetic nature reserve and is wonderful in autumn when the winds drop totally and migrating birds make for spectacular sites. The fact the region is renowned for wind has the benefit of keeping it unspoilt and rarely seems to bother the families soaking up the sun around the pool, many of whom welcome the cool breezes. The nature reserve is largely flat which invites exploration by bikes, which can be hired, with or without child seats and trailers, from the hotel, as well as by jeep safari which can be booked via the 'village square' reception.
The beach at Martinhal is made up of lovely smooth sand and backed by a handy beach bar with toilets. There are small dunes that little ones enjoy rolling down and great opportunities for shell collecting whilst the sea is handily shallow to some distance. Kite surfing and eco buggies abound, but there's plenty of space for sandcastle building and it’s just a short stroll to the hotel's pool, beach bistro and trampoline area if the wind picks up. A nice alternative beach a short drive away is Praia Castelejo, which is largely sheltered and offers lovely rockpooling opportunities, as well as soft golden sands and shallow seas. Also nearby, Praia da Salema is backed by a pretty fishing village with restaurants and cafes offering lovely sea views. Just to the east, in the rocky cliffs, there are 140 million-year old dinosaur prints, which provide much fascination for little ones.
Sagres itself is within a 5-10 minute drive/taxi (do book a return as taxi a few and far between) trip from the hotel and boasts a handy supermarket, pretty square and a cluster of decent seafood and Italian restaurants.
Getting There: The airport at Faro is approx. 53 miles (75minutes drive). Taxi transfers can be arranged for around €100 each-way. Faro is served by low-cost airlines from most UK regional airports. Try www.skyscanner.net, which BFB finds is a handy reference guide to who flies where and when.