Friday, 13 December 2019

- Portugal -

Back in August, the younger three minibeasts all had their very first trip abroad.
We flew off to Portugal, for a massive family holiday. 
We went with my parents, my brother and his family and my cousin.

We re-booked a villa that we had hired 10 years ago and surprisingly nothing much had changed, apart from we took up more space this time thanks to the additions of all the new children.


The villa was in Moledo,  which is in the North of Portugal.
Filled with beautiful beaches and friendly people


Having our own villa meant we could do what we liked and when we liked. 
The boys all need feeding pretty much non stop or they get hangry, so not having to wait for set meal times worked for us.

As I'm talking about Villas, did you know that Clickstay has 75,000 Villas worldwide to choose from!
Amongst those 75,000 there are some amazing villas in Portugal, which could help you plan your very own Portugues villa holiday.

There was a local supermarket that we all enjoyed visiting, especially the boys as they loved looking at all the fresh fish on offer and all the different sort of sweets and snacks Portugal had compared to back home.

Moledo had lots of different bars and restaurants which we could walk to from our villa, a couple of mornings as we were up before everyone else the boys and I would walk down to one of the favourite bars and they'd all have pancakes for breakfast whilst I enjoyed a nice strong Portuguese coffee.
The bar also had a very long Gin list that Kelly, my mum and I tried to work our way through.
Pretty sure we nearly succeeded too. 


Being within walking distance of two different beaches we thought we'd probably spend most of our time down on one of them, but the kids loved being by the pool and playing hide and seek in the garden.

The kids pretty much took the lead on how the day would fold out and we were all pretty happy with that, if the kids wanted to stay by the pool there were enough adults to keep an eye out if some others wanted to go into town and do a little bit of exploring.


One of the best things about the villa was that the wifi wasn't on and the TV didn't have any signal which meant the kids couldn't get sucked into screen time and they actually spent most of their downtime colouring in or making up games to play together.
It was great to see them all having fun together without the aid of a console or iPad in their hands.



Towards the end of the holiday, we heard about a festival going on in a nearby town, so we packed up the van and headed over to Viana Do Castelo and witness their amazing Feasts of Nossa Senhora da Agonia.


The Feast of Senhora da Agonia is probably the most famous pilgrimage in the region.
 It is celebrated over the weekend after 15 August (day of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin), and usually includes ethnographic parades, processions on land and processions on the River Lima with decorated boats. The streets along which the religious procession passes carrying the image of the Virgin are decorated with carpets of flowers.

The cult devoted to Senhora da Agonia dates back to the 18th century. It is associated with the devotion of the people engaged in fishing, who gave thanks or celebrated the graces received in times of trouble during storms and shipwrecks.






We all loved the drumming and the boys loved watching the groups dance around the square.
The drumming was so loud we could hear it even when we were down by the river.
It was an amazing day out and one I'm sure the boys won't forget any time soon.






The boys spent two weeks perfecting their dive bombs and learning to swim in the sea, eating fancy fish meals that my brother who is a trained chef lovingly cooked up for them.
They learned little snippets of Portuguese which Rupert loved showing off to the locals.
They spent two weeks with their cousins who they hardly see since we moved away from London.
We had midnight parties where they all showed off their very amusing dance skills.

We left our normal day to day routine back at home and the boys took a while to adjust but it was lovely to be stress-free and soaking up the sun rays whilst the boys all had a blast just being kids!




I definitely feel villa holidays are for us, as we just wouldn't even fit into one hotel room.
I feel there's more freedom with a villa holiday.


Do you prefer a Villa holiday or are you an all-inclusive holidayer?

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