Monday, July 04, 2016

Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal

We're recently back from a break in Portugal at Póvoa de Varzim, north of Porto. These holidays are rather exploratory for us - this one was with Newmarket Holidays and rather underperformed (in my opinion).

The four star Axis Vermar Hotel looks good in the photos. It's just across the road from the beach and has its own pool. It can't help its location though, bathed in a continuous cold, blustery wind from the north combined with freezing Atlantic sea temperatures. This whole stretch of coastline is a concrete ribbon development, which minimises the attractions of walking out (when the wind dies down, which is seldom).

Newmarket had laid on daily coach trips to places inland, hotter and less windy. We mostly didn't take them, having opted for relaxation over hours in a coach every day.

On my second day, I contracted a savage sore throat and then succumbed to an unpleasant debilitating cold for the remainder of the holiday. I saw a lot of the hotel lounge and the recliners by the pool, while Alex and Clare got more adventurous with extended walks and one of the coach trips (to Porto).

In fact I didn't care so much: I was plugged in to all the Brexit kerfuffle and had books to read. And back in the UK now, I've returned with a pretty good tan.

Alex took this: Clare and myself on the coach back to the airport

These two are obsessively sun-shy. Everyone else
 around the pool had their kit off and were in swimwear.

My main hang-out: the hotel lounge

While I'm reviewing, let me say that the Axis Vermar rooms were good but the restaurant (everything buffet and salad-centric) was merely average - mass-catering logistics trumping flair.

We were two hours delayed going out, due to the French air traffic controllers' strike; we arrived there around midnight. Coming back - no problems.

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