Back in September 2017, Rishi found insane mistake airfares of Canada to Europe with Air Transat. More specifically, there were flights from Toronto to Dublin for only $110 roundtrip. We booked this flight twice (FlightNetwork and Priceline); thinking one would be canceled. The FlightNetwork booking was canceled but a quick call with Air Transat fixed that. Since Dublin is Ryanair’s headquarters, it’s easy to find cheap flights to the rest of Europe. The first trip was back in November where we explored Dublin and then flew to Munich for a few days. This was our second trip back to Dublin, but this time we wanted hot and cheap and booked a $90 roundtrip flight to Faro, Portugal.
An hour west of Faro, we arrived at Tivoli Carvoeiro Resort with a warm welcome. The room was very comfortable with bright lights and spotless. The bed was big and cozy. They provide slippers and robes. The bathroom was clean and modern with a big rain shower. The room is equipped with a Nespresso machine which was a nice plus and helped us with the late nights of finishing up some work. The best part of the room was the balcony with the view of the Atlantic Ocean. They have turndown service every night where they put chocolates by your bed.
The best part of the resort the view of Vale Covo. Plain and simple. They have designed this resort in a way that you can enjoy it from every corner. You can see it while you are falling asleep and waking up in the room. You can see it when you are sunbathing and have a swim in the pool. You can see it from where you choose to eat or have a drink, from all four restaurants and bars. You see the stunning view from everywhere. This is what makes the resort extremely unique. It was a constant reminder of where we were which made our stay very special.
Tivoli Carvoeiro has a variety of different restaurants, all of them have indoor and outdoor seating, and all of them have a great view. It is in their culture to support local businesses and they proudly serve all local ingredients.
We had breakfast every morning at Med Food & Wine. It was buffet style dining with endless options of delicious charcuterie, cheeses, pieces of bread and fresh fruit. There was also a chef to made custom omelets. Tivoli had their own brand of fresh jams. We ate dinner at Med where we watched the sunset view from our table. It was self-serve appetizers and desserts with a served entree. The food was amazing.
Azur Bar is a great spot for some drinks and tapas. They have a big terrace with couches that overlook the view. Prices are very reasonable with beer being €3-4. We came here often to enjoy some drinks before dinner but also a good location to bring out the laptop to work. They have a good selection of coffee drinks and snacks.
Mare Bistro is the poolside restaurant. We enjoyed their veal burger which was delicious!
The resort has a beautiful rooftop bar called Sky Bar. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset! Its open to the public which creates a nice atmosphere that you don’t see the same people from the resort. They will be adding a food truck on the rooftop; that will be fun! If you are staying elsewhere in the summertime, I highly recommend the Sky Bar as it’s a great place for a night out!
The fine dining option at Tivoli is One Wine Boutique. It is definitely one of a kind restaurant in that its purpose is for you to discover wines from the Algarve region. Most popular Portuguese wines are usually from the Douro region near Porto but the Algarve wineries are growing and their main focus is quality. We were lucky to experience the culinary experience given by One Wine Boutique. With each course, they suggested a wine to pair with. The food prepared by the Chef Bruno Rocha was incredible. We really tasted the freshness of the local ingredients. We had seabass with mashed purple sweet potato (a Portuguese favorite). His version of the pastel de nata was the best I’ve ever had. It was served warm with cinnamon ice cream!
The resort has a really good spa. They sometimes run promotions that if you stay for two nights, a spa treatment is included! Tivoli is a great spot for a destination wedding. They have a special panoramic area for a ceremony. We got to take a peek at the wedding suites and it includes a huge balcony with a private jacuzzi and the best view from all the rooms.
The resort has hiking trails to right outside its grounds. The resort offers a hiking guide to take you on the “Sete Vales Suspensos” or the Seven Hanging Valley trail, which goes along cliffside taking you to seven different scenic coves. Unfortunately, the area was experiencing some heavy rain and we didn’t get to go on the hike. Once we finally got some sun, we walked along the path that started from the resort to the right. In a quick 10 min walk, we reached Algar Seco, a beautiful area of a geological formation that you can walk down and explore. It was a lot of fun climbing up and down the cliffs.
We continued back on the boardwalk and reached the city of Carvoeiro and the local beach. It was an adorable little town with a great beach sided with cliffs. There were gelato shops, bars and restaurants lined up along the small streets. This area could have easily been overpriced and touristy but it wasn’t at all! Right along the coast were patio after patio serving drinks for no more than €3-4. The walk back to Tivoli was only 15 mins.
We spent one of our days at Cabrita Winery. They are a small wine farm like most in the Algarve and is home to award-winning wines. Because wineries in the Algarve regions are growing, they can really afford to experiment and create some unique tastes. We experienced a wine tasting tour like no other. We were each presented a board filled with fresh, local charcuterie, slices of bread and cheeses to pair up with their wines. For the first time, I tried carob bread, fig jam and pepper and honey goat cheese and I loved it! To compete with the big wineries of the Douro region, Cabrita has its eye on quality rather than quantity. They only make a few thousand bottles per year and each one is delicious. My favorite was their Negra Mole. I wish we had brought it home with us but we only came with carry-on bags!
The feeling of community is apparent in Algarve. All local businesses support each other. Big name resorts like Tivoli take pride in making sure they take care of neighboring business. We saw it clearly in how they made their food and how they want tourists to discover the wines of the region. It really shows the type of people they are; super friendly and supportive.
Our stay at Tivoli will be one we will always remember. The view, the food, and the hospitality were special. If you are planning to visit the Algarve, we highly recommend Tivoli Carvoeiro.
If you need help planning for your next trip to the Algarve, please contact me at [email protected]