What types of cars do you rent?

Car Hire Comparison UK: Most rental companies categorise the hire cars and broadly speaking, these are as follows: Mini, Economy, compact, Standard or Intermediate, Full Size, Luxury or Premium, Vans/Minivans (also referred to as MPV's or People Carriers), SUV's and, depending on the location, Exotic and/or Special Cars which may include such icons as Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bentley, Lamborghini and so on. The 'vans' or people carriers are typically available in derivatives from 5 seats through to nine seater. Some locations will also have soft tops (convertibles/cabriolets) available, from a sports car through to a family soft top or 4x4 with a removable, canvas top. Compare Car Hire.

The range is exhaustive and we invite you to look at the 'information' section for additional details on individual vehicles and specifications. Remember, that the extent of the range will be dependent on availability, location and country. 

Where can I get my rental car?

The good news is that 'Car Hire Assistant' has access to over 550 suppliers who, combined, have some 30,000 locations in 175 countries. Therefore, if you want to collect your rental car from a large city, small town, holiday resort, sea port or airport, there is an excellent chance that one of the rental companies we use will have an office near you. If you want to collect your hire car from one location and return it to another, this is also possible with some hire companies, although a premium is charged. Many of the companies we deal with also have kiosks or stations at major airports. 

Remember, our service is free, there are no hidden charges or booking surcharges. We search, so you can compare, not just the price of your rental car, but the options, types of vehicles, locations and service. Compare car hire prices with Car Hire Assistant, The UK  Car Hire Comparison Site - Compare Car Hire

Car Rentals made simple

Renting a car, van or people carrier (MPV) does not have to be a stressful experience. Using a car rental comparison site such as 'Car Hire Assistant' can save you  many hours attempting to find the cheapest deals and then trying to compare the hire options on a like for like basis. Moreover, the process of weeding out those rental operators that employ tactics of headline grabbing, low rental costs, only to hit the hirer with a huge list of extras, means you have to remain alert. Car Hire Assistant removes ambiguities with a guarantee of no hidden prices and a commitment to inclusive rental rates. Car options are laid out in a logical manner allowing the renter to compare 'apples with apples'. We also offer additional, complimentary services such as Car Hire Excess Insurance, Travel Insurance and Airport Transfers. Free service and no booking charges. The best comparison site for Cheap Car Hire

Rental Cars in Portugal

Economy, compact, family and people carrier car rentals through Car Hire AssistantTo get the best deals, we all need a little help sometimes and, if you are seeking a great deal on car rental in the Portugal (Europe), then the Car Hire Assistant website is place to be. We are a price comparison site specialising in car hire, not just local hire, but international car rental in any of one the 175 countries we cover, which includes 30,000 rental locations. With some 550 suppliers, we are confident that we can present you with the best prices and range of options for you hire car in the Portugal (Europe). Of course, we don't just limit ourselves to local suppliers, where appropriate, we will also seek prices from many of the major international car rental companies, which includes; Europcar, National, Avis, Sixt, Hertz, Budget, Enterprise and Alamo. 

The service is free and you will not be charged a booking fee. The prices are fully inclusive and completely transparent, therefore you do not have to be concerned about hidden charges, something we have all experienced at one time or another. Too good to be true, well not really, at Car Hire Assistant, we believe your rental price should include such necessities as; Collision Damage Waiver, Third Party Liability Protection, Theft Waiver, Airport charges, Taxes and Credit Card Surcharges. We think the search and the subsequent booking for you hire car in the Portugal (Europe) should be as painless as possible, therefore we provide you with a wide range of options, clear pricing, great prices, a simple, 3 stage booking process. 

Don't be concerned that you may miss out on special offers from rental companies in the Portugal (Europe), if they are running promotions, we will include this in your hire summary and highlight it as a best buy.

Economy, compact, family and people carrier car rentals through Car Hire AssistantIt doesn't really matter where you are travelling to in the Portugal (Europe), or where it is most convenient to collect your hire car, be this at an airport, train station, city location, holiday resort or railway station. There really is every possibility we will be able to accommodate your wishes. 

At Car Hire Assistant, we truly believe that it is important to be completely open about everything. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to highlight the fact that laws and regulations are different in every country and this, would of course, include the Portugal (Europe). Similarly, some terms can vary between rental operators, albeit in a minor way, therefore we ensure that the terms and conditions are made available to you to enable you to truly compare your options. 

We offer a wide range of vehicles in the Portugal (Europe), however, the full extent will be determined by the local operator and your chosen rental location. The types of vehicles will include economy and compact models, family cars estate cars (station wagons), multi-purpose vehicles (also referred to as MPV's, people carriers or vans), prestige car including Mercedes (E Class, S Class, BMW 5 Series and 7 Series etc) and four wheel drive vehicles such as Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV's) or 4x4's. In some larger locations or cities, we can also provide sports cars or high value prestige cars (Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin etc).

 

About Portugal

Portugal is situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula and is the westernmost country of mainland Europe. It is bordered by Spain to the north and east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. The Atlantic archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores are also part of Portugal. The total area of the country, including the overseas territories of Azores and the Madeira Islands (both autonomous regions of Portugal) is 92,345 square kilometres (35,655 square miles). The total population of Portugal (2010) is 10,642,841, making it the 10th largest country in Europe based on population. The population of the Azores is 246,746 and Madeira 267,785. Portugal's highest peak is Mount Pico on the island of Pico in the Azores. This iconic symbol of the Azores is an ancient volcano measuring 2,350 metres (7,713 ft).

Portugal is divided into 18 districts and 7 regions. The districts are, Lisbon, Leira, Santarem, Setubal, Beja, Faro, Evora, Portalegre, Castelo Brance, Guarda, Coimbra, Aveiro, Viseu, Braganca, Vila Real, Porto, Braga and Viana do Castelo. And the regions are; Azores, Alentejo, Algarve, Centro, Lisboa, Madeira and Norte.The districts of Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, and Leiria are the biggest economic centres outside the main metropolitan areas of Lisbon and Porto.

In the 1960's and 1970's, Portugal experienced a decline in it's population as many nations emigrated and it is now estimated that some 4.5 million Portugeuse now live overseas. However, in 1986, Portugal joined the European Economic Community (EEC) that later became the European Union (EU) and since 2000, Portugal has been experiencing net migration. The Portuguese are primarily of Mediterranean descent and their ancestry can be traced to ancient Romans, Iberians, Visigoths and Moors. Lisbon and the The Tejo Valley area on the Atlantic coast (in the vicinity of Oporto) is home to nearly 69% of the population. Tourism is an important part of Portugal's economy contributing 5% of GDP, it is one of the 20 most visited countries in the world, receiving an average of 13 million foreign tourists each year

One of the most popular tourist resorts in Portugal is the Algarve. It has beautiful sandy beaches (some with Blue Fag awards) and summer temperatures that frequently top 30°C. The Algarve is split into 3 areas, Western, Central and Eastern. The most popular places in Central Algarve are; Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Quarteira, Vilamoura, Albufeira (probably the best known resort in the Algarve), Armacao de Pera, Carvoeiro, Praia da Rocha and Alvor. In Western Algarve, areas of interest include; Lagos, Luz, Alvor, Carvoeiro Burgau and Sagres. Whilst the Eastern Algarve would include; Tavira, Silves, Monte Gordo and Olhao. Lovers of golf can find many superb courses in Faro and Portimao.

The city of Lisbon, which receives more foreign tourists than the Algarve, is the seventh most-visited city in Southern Europe, after Istanbul, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Athens, and Milan with some 1,740,000 tourists in 2009. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, predating other European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Lisbon is built on a series of hills with scenic vistas from virtually every angle. Lisbon has much to offer with Gothic cathederals, World Heritage monuments, monasteries, museums and other such cultural treasures. Lisbon is also the only European capital to be close to sandy beaches. It can also boast a mild winter climate where temperatures rarely fall below 10°C. Nearby, world class golf is available in Estoril, fairytale palaces in Sintra, surfing in Cascais and even a casino in Estoril.

Faro in central Algarve is located next to the Ria Formosa lagoon, a nature reserve of over 170 square kilometres and just 7 kilometres from a long sandy beach. In addition, Faro hosts the annual Faro International Motorcycle Rally, a famous festival and renowned for being one of the biggest of its kind. Faro has many outdoor cafes and a vibrant nightlife. Summers, as with most of the Algarve are best described as warm to hot with daytime temperatures of 27°C to 35°C. Autumn and winter temperatures are typically 8°C to 17°C.

Portugal has a total of 26 passenger airports, the main airports are: Faro Airport (FAO); Horta Airport (HOR); Lisboa Airport (LIS); Madeira (Funchal) Airport (FNC); Pico Island Airport (PIX); Porto Airport (OPO) and Lajes Airport (TER) on Teceira Island.

General information.

Around 1.6m British nationals visit Portugal every year. Crime remains relatively low in Portugal, although pickpocketing, handbag snatching, theft from cars and holiday properties is increasingly common in major tourist areas.

In Portugal, you drive on the right. If hiring a car, you should ensure that the vehicle insurance is fully comprehensive and covers you and your passengers for all eventualities. The minimum age for driving is 18 and drivers must possess a UK driving licence (of the EC version) or an International Driving Permit. When driving in Portugal, you are required to always carry your licence, vehicle logbook (or rental contract) and proof of insurance. Transgressors can face heavy, on the spot fines. As with many other Western European countries, in the event of an accident or breakdown, you must place a red warning triangle behind the vehicle and wear a reflective vest when you exit the car. You must also wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles at all times. Children under 12 are not permitted to travel in the front passenger seat and small children must be in child safety seats with the seatbelts fastened in the back of your car.

Fines for traffic offences are substantial in Portugal. Speeding, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, the use of a mobile phone whilst driving and illegal parking are heavily penalised. The Police even have portable ATM machines in most of their vehicles to ensure swift payment of the on the spot fines! Driving regulations and customs are different from those in the UK and the accident rate is higher.

Portuga has an excellent and modern road network, including some 44 motorways. As in many other European countries, there is a toll system in operation on Portuguese motorways. Heavy fines are imposed on those who do not or cannot pay toll fees. therefore, if you intend to hire a car on arrival, you should ensure that your rental contract sets out how the car hire company intends to charge you for any toll costs you may incur.

Visitors must show some form of identification, such as a passport, if requested by the Police. Even if you have a photocopy, the Police may insist on viewing the original which may mean you are accompanied, by the Police, to your hotel to achive this aim.

Planning your Trip

Things always seem to go better when they are carefully planned and flying to another destination is no exception. Plan well and all things being equal, you should have an uneventful trip with less stress. Here are the top tips:

Before you leave

  • Ensure that you have your airline tickets, vouchers for hotel bookings, car rental and/or airport shuttle transfers, your passport, visa (if required), money, credit cards and travellers cheques. If you are renting a car at your destination, make sure you have your driver's licence (paper and photo) and, if necessary, an international drivers permit. These items should all be kept in your hand luggage.
  • Familiarise yourself with the 'banned item' list, these change from time to time, but it is important to know what can go in your hand luggage, what must go in the hold and what you simply cannot take with you.
  • Avoid wrapping items such as gifts or presents because these may be opened by security at your departing or destination airport.
  • If you are taking essential medicines, ensure that that they are in their original packaging and, if they are prescription drugs, try and get a letter from your doctor confirming that these have been prescribed for you. Also remember, that is some countries, certain drugs are banned, even if you have been prescribed them by your doctor. If in doubt, check with the airline and/or embassy.
  • Make sure that you choose comfortable clothing, especially if it is a long journey, also be cognisant of the weather at your destination, which may influence your choice of clothes.
  • Check the weight of your luggage. Most airlines have a strict policy on exceeding baggage limits and airport surcharges can be very expensive. In addition, some airlines will not allow you to pay in excess at checkin, which could lead to delays and inconvenience.

Heading for the airport

  • Always remember to allow plenty of time to arrive at the airport. As a general rule, if you are taking an international flight, you should aim to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure. For local or domestic flights, at least one hour.
  • Make sure you know what terminal you are departing from, some airports are very large and the distance between the terminal buildings can be considerable.
  • Allow plenty of time to get to the airport. Road maintenance often happens at night, and this can occasionally lead to unexpected road closures, so check before you travel and allow ample time for your journey. If you are travelling during the day, then traffic may become your curse, once again, check on travel information sites and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
  • If you are driving to the airport yourself, it is advisable to book your airport parking in advance. Many websites no offer this service and it can be much cheaper than attempting to find parking on arrival.
  • If you are using public transport to get to the airport, then make sure you have booked advance tickets and also, that there are no planned maintenance (in respect of railways) or anticipated road works in the case of coach travel.
  • If you are travelling by hire car and intend to leave it at the airport, make sure the rental company has facilities to allow you to drop it off. Not all car rental companies have airport facilities, many are located just outside.

On arrival at the airport terminal

  • Since 2001, airport security has been tightened considerably and, on occasion, additional security measures are employed at very short notice. As a consequence, the amount of time taken to go through airport security has lengthened considerably and it can also be unpredictable, especially if additional measures have been introduced.
  • Make sure you are familiar with what you can take through security, particularly in relation to banned items and liquids. Remember, even if you have purchased something at the airport (such as drinks), you may not be able to take it through security and/or on the airline.
  • You must keep your baggage with you at all times. In part because of the security issues at airports, but also because it will almost certainly contain your essential travel documents and you would not want to lose them or have them stolen. You should never look after the belongings of other people or agree to carry anything onto the aircraft on their behalf.
  • Once you are through passport control and security, make sure you keep a close eye on the 'departure boards', many airport no longer make verbal announcements and you need to know which gate number your flight is departing from. Also consider the amount of time it takes to get from where you are to the gate, some airport are very large, such as Heathrow and it can take up to 30 minutes to get to the gate.

On the plane

  • If you are going on a long journey, then try to relax and get some sleep. For shorter journeys you may want to read a book, watch a movie or listen to music on your MP3 player. So make sure you have packed laptops, tablets and/or music players into your hand luggage.
  • It is advisable not to eat too much on long haul flights, because this can lead to an inability to sleep or indigestion. Move around the aircraft as much as you can to keep your circulation working. If you have flight socks, then consider using them.
  • Avoid too much alcohol, but drink plenty of other beverages to avoid dehydration.
  • Even if you are a seasoned traveller, it is worthwhile spending a few minutes to decide exactly what you need from your hire car. 
  • When considering the type of vehicle you wish to hire, consider the passengers and the luggage. Hiring a Suzuki jeep for 4 people with luggage could really be a problem. All too often hirers count the seats, but not the luggage.
  • If you are going on holiday and want to relax consider carefully whether you want a manual or automatic gearbox. 
  • Most cars have air conditioning as standard, but some of the economy vehicles may not, therefore if this is important to you, check carefully before you book and upgrade to the next model if necessary.
  • If you are not familiar with the country you are travelling to, then you need to think ahead. Planning the journey from your arrival airport to your destination is often overlooked. Do you need a local map, SatNav or will you take written directions? There is nothing worse than arriving at the airport in the middle of the night and getting lost! 
  • Do you need booster seats, child seats or a ski rack? These are often available from the hire companies at an additional charge, but they have to be booked in advance.  
  • Will you be the only driver? Some rental companies will allow a second driver at no additional charge (or for a small fee), but this needs to be booked in advance.
  • It is recommended that you remove the identiying tag from the car key ring and keep it in a safe place until the termination of your hire to avoid highlighting that you are a tourist and using a rental car. 
  • One Way Hires or dropping the car off at a different location can be convenient, but expensive. Most car hire companies allow this option, but it is worth checking the difference between these options and returning the car to the airport terminal. 
  • Check the terms of your hire carefully. Some rental companies will supply the car with a full tank of petrol and will expect you to return it with a full tank. If you don’t, then there could be additional charges levied and the cost of fuel may not be the most competitive. If your car is not provided with a full tank of petrol then you should plan to stop as early as possible refuel. 
  • Before you accept the car, make sure you check the condition carefully, noting any damage, including scratches, dents, tyres or windscreen damage. You should ensure that these are written on the handover form to avoid any arguments when the vehicle is returned. Also remember that, as the driver, you are responsible for ensuring that the hire car meets local road and traffic regulations, this includes, but is not limited to tyres, lights, wipers and brakes. If you are not happy, reject the vehicle and ask for an alternative. 
  • Above all, familiarise yourself with the car before you drive. Being in a different country with an unfamiliar car can be stressful. Take your time.
  • Rules of the road and more specifically traffic laws and regulations vary enormously between different countries. Therefore, whilst your drivers licence may be valid, your appreciation of local driving laws may not. To avoid frustration, fines, arrest or accidents, all travellers would be well advised to familiarise themselves with the local driving regulations before they embark on their journey. Many European countries also impose 'on the spot' fines for offences such as speeding. Also worth noting is that the car hire company will hold you personally liable for any fines incurred whilst you are using the vehicle, for example, parking fines

Guide to common rental car definitions:

These definitions are provided only as a guide and it essential that you refer to the terms and conditions of your rental agreement for specific terms relative to your hire.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), also referred to as: Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)
If the hired car or any of its parts or accessories is damaged other than by theft, attempted theft or vandalism, while on rental, CDW limits your liability to the amount of the non-waivable excess, if any, which applies in each country, provided that you have adhered to all the terms and conditions of the Rental Agreement. CDW does not cover any damage caused as a result of theft, attempted theft or vandalism.

Theft Waiver (TW)
It is an insurance offered by the car rental firm limiting your liability to the excess amount in case of theft of the vehicle. This does not over negligence, if for example you can't return the ignition key, or you left it in an unsafe place, you could be liabel for the full cost of the vehicle, as would be the case with most domestic car insurance policies.

Third Party Liability Protection
Offers protection against any third pary liability such as damage to another vehicle or personal injuries to an individual not travelling in the hire car. TPLP typically does not have an excess or deductible amount to pay.

Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW)
Covers tyres, roof and windscreen.

Personal Insurance (PI) Insures against the cost if you accidentally kill yourself or a passenger. (Also see ALI below)
 
Personal Effects Cover (PEC)
Covers property that has been stolen from a vehicle.
 
Additional Liability Insurance (ALI)
This is an optional insurance that protects the hirer and other other authorised drivers against claims made by third parties for personal injuries, death and property damage caused by the use of or the operation of the rental car.

 

The top 20 tourist destinations around the world for British nationals are as follows; 1. Spain 17m, 2. France 14m, 3. USA 6.5m, 4. Ireland 3.579m, 5. Italy 3.5m, 6. Greece 3m, 7. Germany 2.372m, 8. Portugal 2.254m, 9. Turkey 1.920m, 10. Cyprus 1.3m, 11. China (including Hong Kong) 1.212m, 12. Egypt 1.202m, 13. UAE 1.1m, 14. Thailand 812k, 15. India 734k, 16. Australia 670k, 17. Canada 650k, 18. South Africa 451k, 19. New Zealand 300k, 20. Pakistan 285k.

The coveted, top 10 most visited countries in the world are; 1. France 75.5m, 2. United States 50.9m, 3. Spain 48.2m, 4. Italy 41.2m, 5. China 31.2m, 6. United Kingdom 25.2m, 7. Russia 21.2m, 8. Mexico 20.6m, 9. Canada 20.4m and 10. Germany 19m.

According to SkiHorizon, the top winter ski resorts were Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy. The French preferred, Val Thorens, Les Deux, Avoriaz, Les Arcs 1800, Les Menuires, The village of Les Coches, Saint Sorlin d'Arves, Risoul, Tignes Val Claret and Plagne Bellecote. For the British, it was; Morzine, Les Arcs, Saas Fee, Serre Chevalier, Avoriaz, La Plagne, St. Anton, Megeve, Puy St. Vincent and Alpe D'Huez. Whilst the Dutch opted for Risoul, Val Thorens, La Plagne, Saint Sorlin 'dArves, Menuires, Les Deaux Alpes, Avoriaz, SFL, Arca and Oz.

Although France leads the league table in terms of visitor numbers, the top spot in terms of revenue earned from tourism goes to America (World Tourism Organisation figures for 2010) of $103.5bn. 2. Spain $52.5bn, 3. France 46.3bn, 4. China $45.8bn, 5. Italy 38.8bn, 6. Germany $34.7bn, 7. United Kingdom $30.4bn, 8. Australia $30.1 bn, 9. Hong Kong (China) 23bn and 10. Turkey $20.8bn.

The worlds safest roads based on the estimated number of road traffic deaths per 100,000 of population are; 1. Netherlands(49), 2. Sweden (53), 3. Norway (56), 4. United Kingdom (57), 5. Switzerland (69), 6. Germany (71), 7. Finland (72), 8. Denmark (74) 9. Japan (75) and 10. Iceland (79).

The top selling cars in Europe in 2011 are; 1. VW Golf, 2. Ford Fiesta, 3. W Polo, 4. Opel Corsa, 5. Renault Clio, 6. OFord Focus, 7. Opel Astra, 8. Peugeot 207, 9. Fiat Punt0, 10. Renault Megane, 11. VW Passat, 12. Nissa Qashqai, 13. Fiat Panda, 14. Citroen C3 and 15. Skoda Octavia.

With plenty of good value holiday packages to the Algarve and 26 UK airports offering direct flights into Faro, visitors can this year soak up the sun in the region.

Whether guests are looking for an active getaway or a relaxing break, or perhaps a combination of the two, the Algarve – where the average temperature is presently touching 33 degrees – is a one stop shop for a summer holiday to remember.

From fun festivals to beautiful beaches to adrenalin-pumping sports to local wildlife, here Breaking Travel News takes a look at just a few of the many activities and experiences on offer in one of the favourite tourist destinations for UK holidaymakers.

Festivals & Events

The Algarve prides itself on hosting a good party with a number of festivals and celebrations featuring in the region’s calendar. Highlights this summer include:

Pink Floyd Live Tribute, August 18th 2012 -

This tribute performance showcases 12 highly talented musicians reproducing some of the biggest hits by Pink Floyd. This concert takes place at Parque de Feiras e Exposicoes, from 18:00-22:00 and tickets are now on sale.

Folkfaro: Rhythm and dance from around the world, August 18th–26th -

FolkFaro is one of the most anticipated events in the summer’s cultural capital of the Algarve. Groups from different countries and continents, totalling more than 300 participants, will light up the Algarve with dances, songs and costumes from different cultures and traditions.

The Gala Opening at the Theatre of Figures from 21:30 on August 18th kicks off this cultural feast which features nine days or activities and performances. To book tickets visit the official website.

CinePraia, Open air cinema on the Algarve’s beaches, August 26th 2012 -

This cinema marathon features five film genres screened at five beaches over five weeks and five nights a week.

The beaches hosting CinePraia include Ilha de Tavira (Tavira), Ilha de Faro (Faro), Marina Beach (Vilamoura), Fisherman’s Beach (Albufeira) and Batata Beach (Lagos) with films running from 22:00–01:00.

Entry is free.

Art Exhibition: 40 artists and 80 works – Masters of Portuguese Contemporary Art, August 26th 2012 -

The exhibition is being held by the Grande Real Sta. Eulália Hotel in Albufeira and is open from 20:00-00:00.

Portimao Marina Ice rink, September 2nd 2012 -

The ice rink at Portimão has a capacity for up to 800 people and features a lounge area with music, DJs and entertainment.

Prices are €5 for 30 minutes and the rink is open from Monday to Friday, 14:00–00:00 and 11:00-00:00 at weekends.

Throughout the month of August visitors will also find a number of antique fairs and local markets taking place across the region in a number of local towns including Vila do Bispo to Loule to Aljezur to Olhao.

Ideal for visitors looking to pick up a bargain, a holiday souvenir or perhaps a traditional product from the region.

World Travel Awards

The highlight of the tourism calendar for any region, the World Travel Awards will visit the Algarve in September for the annual Europe Gala Ceremony.

Taking place at the new Conrad Algarve, the event will welcome the leaders of the European tourism industry to a red carpet event designed to select the best-of-the-best.

World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke said: “We are delighted to host our first ceremony in the Algarve, a decision that reflects the crucial role that tourism plays in the region and its overall contribution to the Portuguese economy.”

He added: “The Algarve is also one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world, and the new Conrad Algarve will set a new precedent for luxury in the region.

“Our Europe Ceremony will provide a perfect forum to showcase its facilities to travel’s top decision-makers.”

Beaches

With some of the best beaches in the world including 77 blue flag awarded beaches the Algarve is the perfect place to relax, unwind and soak up the sun on a beach summer holiday.

Head to the east coast of the Algarve to the beaches of Barril, Ilha de Tavira for calmer waters or explore the central beaches of Praia da Rocha and Carvoeiro for traditional sun, sea and sand. The west coast is perfect for adventurous types where rocky coves separate Arrifana beach from Monte Clerigo and the headlands at Bordeira beach offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sports

The Algarve is paradise for Golf enthusiasts, it is one of the top golfing destinations in the world with 38 golf courses including some of the most prestigious names in the sporting world such as Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Penina, Alto and Vilamoura.

The region’s sporting offerings don’t stop there, for those looking for an adrenaline rush there are plenty of watersports to experience along the region’s 200km coastline.

From wakeboarding in Lagos to scuba diving in Lagoa to paragliding over vast stretches of white sand. Visitors can kayak amongst caves or catch some waves on the rugged western coastline, a hotspot for surfers or head out on a banana boat with friends in Praia da Luz.

Motorpark

From speed on the water to burning some rubber on land, the Algarve’s 200 million euro Motorpark track in covers 300 hectares of land between Portimão and the hills of Monchique, with a capacity for 100,000 spectators.

It has hosted major events such as the final round of the Superbike World Championship and the World Motorcross Championship. The park offers a go karting track and super car track experience for visitors looking for the ultimate high.

Family Fun: Water Parks

With the majority of waterparks open from early April to late October in the Algarve, summer is the best time to visit the region for some family fun. Just outside Albufeira, head to the Zoomarine a combination of family entertainment, educational activities and exhilarating experiences, with top attractions including water slides, an 4D cinema show, an interactive dolphin programme and an aquarium teaming with marine life.

Nature & Wildlife

Explore the hinterland, the Algarve’s hidden gem, by bicycle or on horseback along the Via Algarviana a 240km stretch of inland nature trails and walking paths which meanders through the centre of the region.

With 70 per cent of the Algarve protected nature reserves the Via Algarviana is the perfect way to discover the native wildlife and diverse landscapes of the region.

Each section of the route is divided into 30 kilometres stretches, allowing visitors to relax and take in the breathtaking sights along the way.

Tours can be arranged with knowledgeable guides and incorporate overnight stops at quaint hotels and pousadas. Alternatively visit the Salt Marsh Natural Reserve at Castro Marim, a reserve stretching 2,089 hectares of landscape where keen birders can spot some of the 153 species of birds inhabiting the area from flamingos to mallards.

Spas

To complement the tranquil surroundings and demeanour of the Algarve, guests can indulge in a massage, spa treatment or alternative therapy in one of the region’s luxurious five star spas. Whether finishing the day with a traditional treatment or feeling adventurous and looking to try something new, the Algarve’s spa menu offers and eclectic mix of age-old practices and breakthrough therapies.

For example, in Lagos visitors can try out supervised ‘Juice Fasting’ within detox programmes designed to renew and rejuvenate the whole body or for those wanting to practice Buddhist meditation, courses in Vipassana meditation featuring the fundamental principles can be taken on a ten-day retreat in Tavira and Monchique.

Guests in the Algarve can also book lessons in Tai-Chi, meditation and yoga and or try treatments in Reiki therapy, psycho-energetic therapy, Tibetan Ayurveda therapy, feng shui therapy, homeopathy, shiatsu, reflexology, aromatherapy, crystal therapy and chromotherapy.

With 34 five-star, 141 four-star , and 229 three-star hotels on offer in the Algarve, there are a range of budget options to suit families, friends, couples and single travellers looking for a break in the sun this summer so head to Portugal’s sunshine coast to escape from it all, there are plenty of activities and experiences waiting to be discovered.

 

Need Car Hire Algarve, Portugal. Let Car Hire Assistant search for the best car rental deals in Portugal. We can search up to 175 countries, which includes 550 suppliers to find cheap car hire whether you are travelling to The Algarve, Portugal or elsewhere. Our service is free and we add nothing to the rental price. 

 

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A small Portuguese city has been declared a new UNESCO World Heritage Site, bringing the total in the country to 13.

The garrison border town of Elvas and its fortifications were added by the World Heritage Committee due to it being an “outstanding example of a garrison town and its dry-ditched bulwarked defence system, which developed in response to disruptions in the balance of power within 17th century Europe”.

As one of the greatest and most heavily fortified frontier towns in Europe, Elvas contains remains dating back to the 10th century ad and its fortification began when Portugal regained independence in 1640.

The fortifications designed by Dutch Jesuit padre Cosmander represent the best surviving example of the Dutch school of fortifications anywhere.

Elvas, which has a population of around 18,000, also contains the Amoreira aqueduct which was built to enable the stronghold to withstand lengthy sieges.

With its 843 arches, the aqueduct was begun in 1498 and is one of the most impressive of its kind in southern Europe.

Elvas joins 12 other UNESCO World Heritage sites in Portugal making it a top destination for cultural tourism.

The other sites are: Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores; Convent of Christ in Tomar; Monastery of Batalha; Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon; Historic Centre of Évora; Monastery of Alcobaça; Cultural Landscape of Sintra; Historic Centre of Oporto; Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde; Laurisilva of Madeira; Alto Douro Wine Region; Historic Centre of Guimarães; and, Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture.

Elvas is one of 26 new sites across the world added by the World Heritage Committee during its 36th session.

The new additions include five natural destinations, twenty cultural destinations and one under the mixed category.

Save money on Car Hire Portugal. Car Hire Assistant compares rental companies to save you money on car hire in Portugal. We add nothing to the rental price and our search service is free to use. 

The post Car Hire Portugal – Elvas added to UNESCO World Heritage list appeared first on Car Hire Assistant - News Portal.

Europcar, a leading car rental firm in Europe, has recognised its best performing franchisees at ITB in Berlin.

Franchisees were nominated within five categories:  “Best Performer”, “Technical Solutions”, “Customer Satisfaction”, “Commercial Vehicles” and “Best Newcomer”. This is the first time Europcar has rewarded its international franchisees’ network with dedicated trophies”.

2013 winners were:

Best Performer : Europcar Zambia:  Grant GATCHELL, General Director Customer Satisfaction: Europcar Switzerland: Carlos SARDINHA, General Manager Technical Solutions: Europcar Oman: Nitin SAPRE, General Manager Best Newcomer: Europcar Chile: Cristian PEREZ MOORE, General Manager Commercial Vehicles: Europcar Denmark: Poul TVEDE, General Manager

“We are very proud to reward our best franchisees for the first time. It is essential for Europcar that its franchisees’ network gets further integrated and recognised within our group. We have created our new Awards to highlight the best performances and share the best practices. Our franchisees give the Europcar brand a worldwide presence and high visibility, but also a great diversity to...

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Car Hire Assistant, the car rental price comparison site has changed the website address for its Car Hire Excess insurance. With immediate effect, the new address will be: www.carhireassistant.travelexcess.com.

A spokesman for Car Hire Assistant apologised for the inconvenience, but assured users that the excellent offers previously available for these independent car hire excess insurance policies shall remain.

Car Hire Assistant providers hirers with the opportunity to take out an independent ‘pay and claim’ insurance police to cover the insurance excess imposed by car rental firms. Taking out an independent policy can save hirers a small fortune, when compared to the ‘daily’ charges imposed by most rental companies.

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Heathrow passengers are the first in the world to use an revolutionary technology as component of the airport’s drive to further enhance the passenger experience. Terminal 1 passengers are being asked to participate in a 2 month ‘self-boarding’ trial in collaboration with South African Airways, which makes use of biometric data to help them board their flights quicker and more efficiently.

Once passengers arrive at the ‘self-boarding’ gate, they pass through an automatic electronic barrier which takes an infrared scan of their face. This data is verified against the biometric data that was taken at the check-in stage. When the 2 sets of data scans are successfully met, the barrier opens and the passenger can pass through and board their flight. The technology means that a passenger’s identification only needs to be checked by airline staff once during the whole departure process, minimising the amount of time it takes for passengers...

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Dubai International has broken another monthly record by receiving, for the first time, more than 5.5 million passengers in a single month. According to the traffic report issued by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic rose by 14.6 per cent to 5,559,760 in January 2013, up from 4,852,139 for the same period in 2012.

It is also acknowledged that most markets improved in January through a combination of holiday traffic and visitors to the ever popular Dubai Shopping Festival. In addition, flight links continue to be widened between Dubai and Saudi Arabia with Emirates, flydubai, Nasair and Saudi Arabian Airlines all adding new flights in 2012.

For example in the course of the year Emirates added new flights to Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh while flydubai expanded its network to include Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Taif, Yanbu and Tabuk. Saudi Arabian Airlines, also introduced flights from Medina and Riyadh to Dubai and low-cost airline Nasair introduced links...

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South African Airways Extreme Fares campaign has seen exceptional 2013 figures for the airline in the UK, with income up 70 per cent year-on-year across some channels. The unprecedented improvement in January bookings comes after the recent launch of South African Airways’ focused winter adventure travel marketing campaign.

This witnessed the airline partner with adventurer Charley Boorman for his 4 part TV series Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure, which was broadcast on Channel 5 and exhibited South Africa’s ultimate experiences throughout January. The country was also in the limelight last month on the BBC as a consequence of David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ show. Both shows generated interest which SAA were able to expolit.

Jon Danks head of UK&I marketing & communications, SAA said: “The integrated campaign ran across key digital, print, and social media channels, anchored to the range of adventures showcased in both shows.

“Our tie up with Charley and Channel 5 presented...

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