I left my heart in Sao Nemesio…..

One of the perks of my job is that I get to visit the beautiful houses in our programme and one that has always stood out to me as a favourite is  Sao Nemesio

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For this reason, I booked the house for my partner, Chris’s, 40th birthday celebration in September 2012.  It was a truly memorable holiday and each of our guests fell in love with the villa and the location.

 

I remember fondly sitting on the terrace in the dappled shade of the tree, listening to the waves gently lapping the shore below.  It is a magical place.  It is also perfect for a large group as, due to the close proximity to the beach and restaurants, there is the opportunity to take yourself off for some alone time.  You can go for a wander along the beach or grab some fresh sardines and a cold glass of Rose from the restaurant below without straying too far from the villa which gives guests the freedom to do their own thing.  It was perfect.

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On Chris’s birthday, I asked my friends to take him out for the morning while I arranged his surprise celebrations.  First we put up some ‘Happy Birthday’ banners and had some balloons delivered to set the scene.  I had arranged a cake which was surreptitiously delivered it in the morning and hidden in the dining room so he would not see it until later on. He is in the music industry and plays the piano so I asked Algarve Cakes to make a grand piano cake with a sugar version of him sitting on the piano stool smoking a cigarette!  I was delighted with the result!  It was absolutely amazing.

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Then I arranged for The Fat Pig Hog Roast to cater our lunch.  They were all set up and the table laid beautifully for when Chris returned and they served us with a smile followed by a complete clear down – they even washed the kitchen floor before they left!

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It was a fantastic day and the whole holiday was a terrific success. I can honestly say I left my heart in Sao Nemesio and hope we get to return to this beautiful villa.

 

What is more – there is a ten percent discount on all remaining June and July weeks – perfect!

June, July and September Discounts at Dar Albar

 

Villa in portugal

We are happy to be offering a 25% discount on our Dar Albar villa property throughout June & July, with a separate discount of 15% off during September.

One of our most impressive properties, this cliff-top villa boasts 180-degree views of the coastline and sea, a traditional Moorish décor, and facilities ranging from Wireless Internet, kitchen appliances (Washing machine, dishwasher), and a swimming pool.

Arguably the villa’s greatest asset is the patio area, a great viewing platform for seeing the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the surroundings beaches and gardens.

The villa is located to the west of Albufeira, an area ideal for young people or families, with the villa located near shops, bars, restaurants, beaches and the nightlife. With 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, the villa is great for larger groups of young people or for big families.

If you want to see the villa in all its glory, you can enjoy a short video on YouTube showcasing the property here.

If you are interested in taking advantage of our latest discount, get in touch with us straight away by either visiting our contact page, or by sending us a message to mail@thevillaagency.co.uk. We can also discuss the area and the villa with you if you would like more information – just call us on +44 (0) 1273 747811 to speak with one of the team.

Looking for something different? We also have July discounts running on other properties too, such as 25% off our Casa Piscarreta villa in Porches, while you can take a look at our offers page to view our full list of discounts and deals available for this summer.

 

Don’t let Villa Parade rain on you – rescue your holiday with The Villa Agency

It’s the nightmare scenario – you think you have your holiday sorted for good, only for the carpet to be pulled from under your feet and having to start booking again from scratch.

With Villa Parade going into liquidation recently, many have been devastated to find their holiday plans scuppered. So it’s perhaps natural to feel cautious when it comes to booking holidays with a rental agency, especially when horror-story anecdotes have suggested that rental companies have accepted bookings without paying the villa owners, resulting in families showing up only to find themselves kicked out of their villas!

A beach on the Algarve

However, there’s no need to despair, we have a number of good reasons why you can trust us to get your holiday back on track:

 

  • We have been established since 1984 – and in this time The Villa Agency has been offering quality villa properties and a proactive, organised service for our customers. Simply put, we are one of the longest-running, most dependable villa rental companies in the UK.

 

  • We have good, working relationships directly with villa owners, formed over the course of three decades.

 

  • All of our villas are regularly checked to ensure correct standards are maintained.

 

  • We are financially protected and fully bonded with ATOL and ABTOT, meaning that following your booking, you know your money is safe at all times. For further details, click here.

 

Villa Parade was bonded through ABTA, so you will get your money back; however this might take a little time. To ease this pain, if you rebook with us you can pay your holiday in monthly instalments between now and 4 weeks before you travel. And we are happy to arrange any extras for you – just ask us by calling +44 (0) 1273 747811, messaging us at mail@thevillaagency.co.uk, or you can fill in one of our enquiry forms on our contact page.

Book with the Villa Agency now to rescue your summer holiday!

 

 

 

 

Save on Rural Coastal Portuguese Retreats This Summer

 

As a family run company catering for family holidays, we have plenty of experience when it comes to providing for a family’s holiday needs.

Now, with the holiday season fast approaching, we have on offer a number of fantastic rural villas that all the family can enjoy, all surrounded by golden beaches and tranquil countryside, complete with spectacular rooftop terrace views.

Firstly, we have the Villa Saragoça in peaceful Boliqueime, in the Algarve region of Portugal. This is available with a 25% discount for all weeks outside of peak season, and with a 20% discount during the high season. With its country setting, the villa is in a quiet hillside spot, relatively secluded from the busy tourist areas, and boasting truly stunning views of Faro to the east, and Portimão to the west.

portuguese coastal villas

Traditional in décor, yet with all modern conveniences (a dishwasher, washing machine and Wi-Fi are all inside) the whole family can have a splash in the villa’s 10×4 metre outdoor pool, while a Television/DVD player can keep the kids entertained during the quieter siesta periods.

Additionally, throughout May, we have a 10% discount on the Casa de Nossa Senhora villa, based to the south of Lisbon in the picturesque town of Sesimbra. Able to cater for up to 12 people, this spacious villa is ideal for holidays with extended family, with six bedrooms on three levels and a pool which enjoys the most stunning sea views. 

 As only one of two houses on the street, the villa will ensure families a bit of peace and quiet, yet also has the convenience of being within easy access to charming town of Sesimbra itself.

If you are interested in our latest discounts, and want to discuss or book the best villa for you, you can contact the friendly Villa Agency team on 01273 747811, or visit our contact page to find out more.

 

“Albufeira: still a hot spot for 18-30 year olds.”

 

Albufeira holidays

Our Dar Albar villa

Once a quiet fishing village, Albufeira is now one of the Algarve’s most popular resorts, teeming with restaurants, shops, bars and vibrant nightlife. Ideal for young people looking for a fun holiday in the sun, or for families wanting an active holiday, Albufeira is a great, multi-faceted tourist destination. Here are just five of the best suggestions why you should consider a villa holiday to Albufeira:

  1. Full of tradition due to its winding cobbled streets, market stalls, and terrific seafood restaurants, the old town’s charm has been left undiminished. Shops selling local pottery, handicrafts, souvenirs and plenty of other local peculiarities can be spotted, alongside street artists and more besides; the area is always fascinating to have a wander through. 
  2. Albufeira has not one, but two impressive beaches to its name. Alongside Praia dos Pescadores (the Fisherman’s beach), Albufeira also has the Praia do Túnel, otherwise known as the ‘tunnel beach’, so called due to it being accessed through a tunnel through some cliffs! These sandy beaches have fantastic rock formations and are all within walking distance of our resorts!
  3. You can’t miss the Marina if you visit Albufeira. Vividly scenic, this stylish area is home to many a yacht. Plenty of opportunities for boat trips are available with sea fishing, dolphin safaris and diving expeditions all offered. Throughout the year, there are cafés, restaurants and an ice cream parlour to keep visitors entertained, while in the summer the Marina often hosts open-air concerts and fashion shows too.
  4. The Pinecliffs Golf course is only a short distance away from Albufeira, to the east in Olhos D’Água, and allows visitors to master their golfing skills in a pleasant, quiet environment. Well worth a visit!
  5. In contrast, the Albufeira strip is one of the most popular party destinations on the Algarve. The South side of the strip (Areias de São João) is full of bustling bars, shops, restaurants and tourists partying into the early hours, while the north side is relatively more sedate, occupied by wine bars and quieter restaurants.

 

Albufeira Strip

The Albufeira Strip

Since you now have plenty of reasons to visit, you can now check out our villas! We have a number of properties in the area that will suit families, couples and young groups of friends on holiday. Take a look at our Albufeira villas to see which one you fancy.

If you want to discuss which villa would be best for you, or even if you want to book, please do give us a call on 01273 747811, chat to us online via our website www.thevillaagency.co.uk or send us an email mail@thevillaagency.co.uk.

 

Seeing Portugal Through New Eyes

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My name is Yanushka and I have just celebrated the milestone of being at The Villa Agency for one year!  It’s been a busy year and the time has flown by, it feels like just last week I was walking through the door for my first day.

When I started here I have to admit to being a complete novice in the travel industry and my knowledge of Portugal was very limited. I knew of the Algarve but had never been and even had to be corrected in my pronunciation of Faro Airport (I was quick in learning it was not pronounced the same as Pharaoh!).

I am still learning each day, however I am happy to report that my knowledge of the different areas of the Algarve and our wonderful villas, along with my grasp of the Portuguese language, is steadily progressing.

lagos

I was fortunate enough to visit the Algarve in November and what a great trip it was. We were blessed with gorgeous sunshine and I got to experience the different popular resorts in the Algarve as well as visiting several of our villas.

There were many highlights to my trip and numerous houses which I fell in love with and am already planning to stay at as soon as possible!

Stopping for a coffee at the beautiful marina at Lagos is a must, as is lunch on one of the many gorgeous beaches along the Algarve coast; we stopped at a beach just near Kaza Keamara, a house I wish I could live in forever!

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The peacefulness of the Loule hills was a great start to the trip, a complete contrast to the bustling towns of Carvoeiro and Albufeira. Then you have the glamour of Quinta do Lago, with its opulent houses, or the more traditional feel of Praia da Luz and its cobbled streets. I learned how many different sides of Portugal there are; there really is something for everyone.

The best part of the trip though was being able to come back and speak to people about villas with confidence; knowing the locations of the villas and being able to picture the different features we’re often asked about. I can now explain to people my first hand experiences of holidaying in Portugal.

There is a lot do see and do in Portugal but I cant wait to return for a week lazing by the pool, perhaps at Cegonha, Porta Azul or Sao Nemesio, a few more of my favourites!

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Fantastic Offers on Villas in Portugal this Easter

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With flight prices as low as £127 per person from Gatwick to Faro you could be enjoying some sunshine this Easter.

 Unlike many other companies, we don’t increase the rental price for Easter on most of our villas so the rent comes into the low season bracket. And it gets better – We are offering up to 25% discount on some of our villas. Simply go to our website, find the villa of your choice and contact us to ask for the relevant discount. Car hire prices start from just £139 so you really could grab yourself a last minute bargain. For example, Casa Luisa has 3 bedrooms which means that the price  per person for a week would be under £45 for a week based on 6 people sharing. This means that you could be soaking up the sun for under £175 each, including flights!

Or you and your friends could enjoy the amazing Quinta da Luz with a private tennis court and amazing pool with spa

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To make Easter extra special, if you have children under 12 in your party and if you enter EGG on the booking source when completing our booking form we will provide an Easter egg for each of your children.

If you would like to speak to us about the right choice for you we would be delighted to hear from you. You can call our office on 01273 747811, chat to us online via our website www.thevillaagency.co.uk or send us an email mail@thevillaagency.co.uk

Mum’s The Word

Villa agency banner with logo

My name is Ginnie and I have worked for The Villa Agency for many years.  I began in 2000 by popping in to help with some mail outs (basically sticking labels on envelopes!) having graduated from university and in the search for some extra work to pay off my student loan.  Little by little my role within the office grew from occasional label sticker to ‘Ticketing’ to ‘Reservations’ to my current role of running the ‘Accounts Department’!

 Quite a journey…

harWe are like a family here in the office and it is a lovely place to be on a day to day basis which is largely why I am still here.  During this time, I have also had a son, Harrison, who is now 5 years old.

He started school in September 2013 and my partner and I breathed a sigh of relief when the child care costs suddenly reduced massively having been a working mum since he was 3 months old.  We were in for a cruel reality check however as we had not considered the affect it would have on our holiday plans.

Like many others, we are now restricted to school holidays and I am genuinely shocked at the price hikes that occur the minute Harrison breaks up from school.  To add insult to injury, parents can now be fined £60.00 per child, per parent, if they take their children out during term-time

Now I work in travel so you would think I would have been fully aware of this beforehand but it was only when we started to plan our own family holiday that I realised the true implications of these restrictions.  Accommodation, flights, car hire; all are increased in peak season and when you add it all up, a summer holiday can be unaffordable for a family on an average income.

I would like to make things easier so I have pulled some strings with the boss (she HATES me calling her that!) and we have decided to offer a 10% discount on the villa rental on all family, peak season bookings made before 30th April 2014.  This offer is exclusively for groups with children between 5 & 16 who book a villa before 30th April for holidays that occur in peak season (i.e. the most expensive date range on each individual villa in July & August).  Just mention ‘MUM’ on your booking form to apply for your discount. * Lots of our villas are child friendly – feel free to ask us for our suggestions

We would also like to know what children look forward to the most when going on holiday.  If your child would like to draw us a picture of what makes a holiday special to them and send it to us when you make your booking, we will make sure there is a pool toy waiting for them in the villa on your arrival! We will publish the photos on our Facebook page and will send a prize to the artist who receives the most ‘likes’

I can’t change the travel industry but I can make it a little easier for our clients to have a villa holiday.

Us Mums should stick together after all!

ginhar

 

*  Please note that this does not apply to villas already discounted.  Discount is on villa rental only. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

 

 

Why Choose Portugal for your Summer Holiday

Portugal has long been a favourite holiday destination – not surprising as there really is something for everyone.

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For families, The Algarve offers safe, sandy beaches, reasonably priced restaurants, water parks and much, much more. Children are always welcome and as increasing number of villas now have pool fencing parents can have a relaxing holiday too! Most of the beaches have good quality, inexpensive beach bars and many of the beaches have water sports, jet ski hire, beach bananas and other fun things for older children to enjoy.

Portugal is a golfers paradise with more than 80 courses, ranging from small nine hole courses such as the one at Vale de Milho in Carvoeiro to championship courses such as Sao Lourenco in Quinta do Lago and Quinta do Peru, on the Lisbon Coast Portugal offers a wealth of other sporting activities; from tennis at places such as the prestigious Vale do Lobo Academy to horse ridingscuba diving and wind surfing.

 

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There are first class shopping facilities, with Cascais Shopping, Quinta Shopping and Algarve Shopping all offering a wide variety of to suit every taste and pocket.

For those wishing to sample the real Portugal, a short drive to the inland towns such as Loule give a real flavour of local traditions with good markets and inexpensive restaurants serving traditional cuisine.  The carnival in Loule is the oldest in Portugal and has been held for over 100 years.  This year it will be held between 1st and 4th March. The town comes alive with processions, street performances, fireworks and bonfires – the atmosphere really is electric and as the carnival is held out of season flight and accommodation costs are much lower  Loule also hosts a music festival each year. The festival really does get better and better with local musicians but also international artists too – last year they came from as far away as Mali and Jamaica.

 Portuguese wine is massively underrated, perhaps the reds are best known but some of the whites are really first class including the Esporao, Quinta do Carma and Quinta do Cotto. Vinho Verde – green wine, so called because of the region in which it is produced and not because of it’s colour, is slightly fizzy and really refreshing and goes particularly well with the fresh fish which is to be found in abundance. There are some really good wines produced in The Algarve nowadays and a visit to the Adega’s is really interesting  

The weather in Portugal is mild, even in winter – another good reason for heading south and with villa rental and flight prices so much lower in the off season months it is little wonder that Portugal is so popular.

1984

What does that mean to you? To us it means we are officially old. We started The Villa Agency in 1984 from a dark and windowless basement with a handful of villas in The Algarve, plus some in Italy, France and Spain.

Olhos d'Agua in 1980's

Olhos d’Agua in 1980′s

Over the years, the travel industry, and indeed The Algarve, has changed beyond recognition. In 1984 it was really only possible to go Portugal for 1 or 2 week holidays due to the very tight regulations surrounding package air travel. The Algarve was one of the most exclusive destinations in Europe, with a clientele to match; from movie stars to minor royalty. We prided ourselves on offering everyone, no matter what their background, a friendly and personalised service – that is one of the few things that hasn’t changed over the years!

There were only a small number of golf courses dotted along the coast – in those days golf was very much a rich man’s sport. It was advisable to learn a few useful phrases in Portuguese as English was not widely spoken. Indeed, when the first English Restaurant, The Beefeater Carvery, opened in Albufeira the local residents were apoplectic.

Albufeira and Carvoeiro were still fishing villages and Faro Airport was little more than a wooden shed. Hire cars were group A, B or C only and the choice was a Mini, Escort or Cortina.

Carvoeiro in 1980's

Carvoeiro in 1980′s

Communication was something of a challenge – pre mobile phones, computers and the internet we had to rely on telex machines or the occasional international call which had to be booked in advance. This usually involved shouting down the line and enduring a horrible delay before receiving the shouted response.

We have seen numerous villa rental companies come and go during the thirty years and are proud to say we are still going strong. We even still rent one of the original villas from 1984 although it has of course been much modernised since then. We have seen package holidays fall out of fashion, cheap air travel monopolise the industry (which is now going full circle and becoming not so cheap!) and of course the rise of websites that allow individuals to advertise their own villas, thus cutting out companies like The Villa Agency.

So are these changes for the better? Yes and no. European accommodation has become much more affordable which has to be a good thing but surely the internet is a double edged sword? This year we got almost weekly calls from poor souls who had paid their money to a private “owner” only to find out the villa didn’t exist, or it did exist but was next to a building site or that their identity and passport information had been stolen or cloned and the website in question taken down.

What do the next thirty years hold? We shall see. One thing I can guarantee is that I will have handed The Villa Agency over to younger blood and shall hopefully be sipping a gin and tonic in The Beefeater Carvery or it’s modern day equivalent.