Barbears House 
We went to the Soa Joao area of the Algarve and stayed at the Tropical Sol apartments. They were excellent apartments and this was the first time that all six of us had gone on holiday abroad together. The apartments are slightly off the main strip which has the advantage they they are quieter at night if you have children. The pool was very nice as it has a good children's area which again suited us just fine. It also has a diving board, something that Daniel really enjoyed while we were there.

Tropical Sol, AlgarveWalk into the main shopping strip which heads down to the beach and you will find lots of nice restaurants. If you want to go to the beach then it is a good walk down a very steep hill (locally referred to as cardiac hill), not so bad on the way down, but exhausting on the way back. I would say it is a good 20 - 30 minute walk. The beach is nice, not huge but on the few occasions we went down there was plenty of space. The beach by the old town is much better, but is further away.

Luke loves being in the water, we found that out in Lanzarote, but here we discovered Sophie was the opposite, she hated going in the pool. We would take her in, snugly in the safety of our arms and she would start calling out "Help me, help me, get me out" from the middle of the pool.

Fortunately she is not like that any more, something I think she has learned in subsequent years when we have been in Rhodes.

PortugalRight by the Reception for the apartments we discovered a plant that we first came across in Crete which at night gives of the most fantastic perfume, very powerful, so may not be to everyone's tastes, but certainly is to me and Sue. We never knew the name of it until we went here, "Queen on the Night", which if you look it up is otherwise known as Night Blooming Jasmine, Night Scented Jessamine or officially as Cestrum nocturnum.