After what feels like the shortest summer break ever, due to the excitement of Euro 2012 and the tournament within the Olympics, the football season has now returned. The summer signings have been wrapped up, the pre-season tours have been completed and teams are back in action, ready to battle it out for the trophies that they chase for ten months of every year. The return of the football season clashes with some of the busiest weeks in the year for family holidays, but in Portugal’s beautiful Algarve region, both football and holidays can be easily combined. Premier Holidays has an extension portfolio of stunning Algarve holiday villas for those who wish to combine a love of the Beautiful Game with some of the continent’s most beautiful vistas.
Many of the world’s finest ever footballers have hailed from Portugal, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo and Eusebio, and their immense talent has left a legacy in the country. The Algarve is home to a huge football stadium, Estadio Algarve, which purpose-built when Portugal hosted Euro 2004, and there are countless soccer schools up and down the stunning coast for children and adults alike. Players such as Paul Scholes, John Terry and Michael Owen have been known to holiday in the Algarve themselves, taking time to stop by certain football-related attractions.
In the Albufeira region, a specialist football tour company offers tailor-made tours and special tournaments on professional-standard pitches. Hosting anything from stag parties to children’s training camps, and in close proximity to some of the Algarve’s most picturesque coastlines, the area is ideal for a footballing vacation. With almost enough room for a full football squad, Casa Prado is a conveniently located villa which is situated close to Albufeira and is well-equipped to deal with a family of football enthusiasts. A satellite TV ensures that any games won’t be missed, and the gated swimming pool is perfect for a warm-down after a tough day out on the pitch.
Luis Figo is one of the footballing greats, not just in Portugal, but across the world, and chose Vilamoura in Portugal’s Algarve region as the place he wanted to open his own bar as he settled into retirement. The upmarket Bar Sete is located on the marina front in Vilamoura, just a five minute drive away from the luxurious Villa Oraya, which sleeps up to eighteen people. The vast holiday villa is spacious and elegantly furnished, with features such as a private swimming pool and a traditional charcoal barbecue on a sun terrace. The well-kept gardens and lawns are south-facing and are perfect for a sun-drenched kickabout, while the nearby towns and villages are home to some of Portugal’s most authentic and traditional restaurants and bars.