I just got back from a very relaxing and enjoyable week at the Colina da Lapa, and thought I would share with you my thoughts, which may be of help.
First off I went without any car hire and wondered if I had done the right thing. The truth is, for us it was no problem. We found there were sufficient restaurant choices for us within walking distance, indeed we did not use them all, and we also went into the town by taxi two nights.
The complex is very good with a great pool and pool area with plenty of beds. It was very quiet, which we really enjoyed, as we were able to relax at the pool reading and sunbathing whilst having the odd dip to cool down. The bar makes a nice cup of coffee and a large beer which at 2.50 euros is good value. There are also tennis courts, a kid's play area and volley ball court.
We stayed in an apartment and they are larger than average and importantly spotless clean. The pillows, whilst not as good as our own were acceptable, and the air conditioning a godsend. The kitchen is well equipped and includes a washing machine, so take less clothes and do a wash whilst you are there helping with the ever decreasing baggage restrictions. We didn't but it would be useful for a family.
There are some steps to the apartments but they should not be beyond most. The grounds are well landscaped and there are lots of birds and other wildlife. At night the complex was really quiet so if you want singing and dancing it would not have suited you. This may change as the season kicks in. We really enjoyed returning from a late meal to a nice quiet complex.
There is a really nice restaurant directly opposite the entrance to the complex called the Island Cafe, I would really recommend this. If you like American style barbecue ribs these are amongst the best I have eaten, including in America.
Approximately 10 minutes up the road when heading left out of the complex you will find a decent supermarket besides which, there is a cafe which does delicious coffee and if you want it an English breakfast. At nights they do pizza and pasta, I didn't try it but it looked good. On the opposite side of the road, a further 2/3 minutes further along, was a great Italian restaurant, Da Donato, serving excellent pizza and pastas for 7/9 euros. They do some other dishes as well. We ate here twice we liked it so much. Note the wine is great value everywhere.
Another night we dined on the recommendation of a resident in a restaurant called, The Original. This was a 30 minute walk but was well worth it and after all you are on your holidays and you see some fantastic villas along the way. Get someone to give you directions, it is worth it. The lady in the shop selling beach and fishing gear is very friendly and she will direct you.
There are two other very nice looking restaurants 3 minutes further on from the Italian on the opposite side of the road but again I did not get around to these.
We had an excellent meal in the town of Carveiro in El and Ela's, do not miss it. A taxi into the town will cost about 7 euros.
The complex provide a shuttle bus to Caneiros beach at 10.30 returning at 15.00. The beach is very nice and there is a great cafe / snack bar selling good quality food at reasonable rates. The shuttle will also take you into Carveiro at 10.45 and 11.30 returning at 16.00. It would be good if there were other timings.
The restaurant in the complex is not up to much. Do not go half or full board, sorry guys.
The staff are all very helpful and friendly.
All in all this is a very good place if you want a quieter location. You can survive no problem without a car providing you don't mind a walk. If you want more nightlife then I don't think it is.
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