All Roads of the holiday rental Algarve

All Roads of the holiday rental Algarve

Arteries through the beautiful Algarvan landscape.

The roads of any area together with railway lines, rivers, and canals are like the arteries or veins of a body. They carry the essentials supplies to the various parts of any particular area so that life can continue, energized and improve.

No place better to demonstrate this essential activity than the roads and motorways of the Algarve.

Straight away the A.22 comes to mind. Not alone does it transport the various supplies to the different areas to sustain life, but it transports people ( life itself) local Algarvians expats, Portuguese Nationals from the north, and Spanish visitors from the East.

Of course ! Not forgetting those visitors from Northern Europe and other parts of the world arriving to the Algarve by air to Faro or Lisbon or to a lesser extent Sevilla the Spanish city to the East.

Our journey begins at Faro airport and our intention is to travel via A 22 to its very end at Bensafrim which downgrades to the N 120. I want to describe to you the various areas and countryside you travel through and personal landmarks that are passed on that journey. Personal in so far as each landmark is personal to the viewer and the sense he or she gains from that observation.

Any ways on leaving the airport we join the IC 4 a dual carriageway leading out of the airport and being the traveler to their destinations in the Algarve and further on. The usual sites of an airport perimeter soon appear the obligatory car rental depots and signs for hotels as seen anywhere in the world. But we are intent on reaching the arteries of the A 22 and heading West in the direction of Lagos and Sagres. But they are some distance away so you have to keep a sharp eye for maybe better known but less familiar places. You see a sign for Lisboa and quickly deduce yes Lisbon have to be going in the right direction. Faro itself is well signed so cautious that you have to be travelling in the opposite direction west not east.

Now looking for that turn but conscious we have quiet a bit to go. Almancil is the first town you see signage for on route. This are of internationally golfing destinations names like Quinta do Lago and Vale de Lobe.

Like the rest of the Algarve this a wonderful area for a holiday with holiday rental apartments available on

On the right side of motorway you come across Loule sounds French but it is a commuter town west of Faro.

When driving by night you have to be even more careful looking for signs and landmarks. Having travelled this route before was less anxious with left hand drive hired car but need to keep a sharp eye out for exits and junction.

Otherwise you will be off down the N 125 not a bad journey but a total different experience. Anyways back to the journey my first landmark is on the right the local regional football stadium and the sign shows Estadio Algaria.

When seen in day first impressions are the roof of the stands are not designed to keep the northern European weather at bay. They are designed to keep the spectators shaded from the beautiful Algarivan sun.

Next sign to keep you on your toes with directions for Espana Spain. Keep that on your right for now and eventually to the rear. Then in the blink of an eye you are off the IC 4 and before you know it on the A 22 curiosity of a well designed roundabout, crafted to use up the least amount of road but provide maximum efficiencies. Be cautious the design engineers did not provide any luxuries for exiting motorists. But be prepared to meet free flowing traffic quickly and be prepared to grab a space in the artery of West bound traffic.

Journey on at night its a pleasant drive speed limits of 120KMH. You might be temped to put the foot down but be warned the GRN National Police have responsibly for traffic infringements and like all traffic cops they like to catch speeding drivers.

Anyways by day one of my landmarks after the football stadium is a large villa built 200 meters over the roadway on a cliff face of rock. I always marvel not only at the engineering involved but also the beautiful brown stone used in its construction. Now I know Espana is behind me so I can relax. Yes heading to Western Algarve and eventually Lagos.

But first lets enjoy the journey in stages. Your next sign is Quarteria another well known seaside holiday area. Of course when you see the sign for Vilamoura and your familiar with our website, you will remember the beautiful holiday accommodation on the site.

Of course another one of our destinations is Albufeira visited by thousands of holiday maker each year. At this stage, you’ll have noticed the beautiful Portugese landscape and to my surprise the wonderful green slush countryside which provide the many excellent restaurants on the Algarve with appetizing fresh fruit and vegetables.

At around this point, you will see the water park on your left Aqualand. I always recall hearing Michael O’Leary the somewhat famous CEO of Ryanair likes to spend time here with his family.

On-wards and we are now looking for the familiar name of Portimao, a beautiful city on the coast with links with Praia de Rocha and Alvor. All areas worth visiting or staying in the local holiday rental accommodation. You will keep Portimao to your left and the breath taking vista of the river flowing into the sea. But you will also marvel at the suspension bridge on the N 125 which is a work of art when viewed from a distance.

You know you are nearly there 14 km to Lagos and the A 22 coming to an end shortly after wards. But you will still note signs for Monchique and the Autodromo International Algarve.

You now have options both junctions 1 & 2 will take you safely into Lagos.

Hope you have enjoyed journey and enjoy your stay.

A Few of The Best Places for you to eat in Cork

A Few of The Best Places for you to eat in Cork

As usual our blogs are written in conjunction with promoting our website From time to time you’ll see us mentioning keywords like self catering holidays, holiday rentals, holiday accommodation.

Think of these as the advert break or commercial on the telly . It’s the keywords that pay the bill for us so I’ll pop a few in every now and then.

Our main aim or mission to supply helpfully information to people planning or intending to spend a self catering rental of a holiday home in one of our many sought after locations. We write about specific items we also look at reviews posted on various websites.Collate this information and let you judge for yourself.Reserve the right to make tongue and cheek remarks would want to be taken too serious.

Today we are taking a looking at a few of the many wonderful premises serving food in the general Cork area.

Starting with Midleton lets take at Finins. Its located on the Main Street in Midleton Co Cork Ireland. The proprietor Finin O Sullivan is hands on person from morning to late evening. He has been that way for as I remember and at this stage that is over 34years. Finins is all about quality food and quality favour. Which he sources from suppliers and producers based locally . He personally trains all staff himself to a very high standard, and it shows. He has different lunch specials but he rarely varies his main menu and it is consistently of a high quality served professionally in a relaxed atmosphere.

Taking a look at Tripadvisor Finins is ranked #21 out of 47 Don’t think this a fare reflection but again not sure the position would worry him too much. He was producing excellent food long before Tripadvisor in existence.

Farmgate Coolbawn, Midleton


Next on our list the the Farmgate Coolbawn, Midleton. Like Finins the Farmgate in Midleton was started in Midleton by Marog O Brien a native of Youghal. Which is another splendid holiday rent location.

Now a days the Farmgate is capably run by Marog daughter Sally. Kare Hart Marogs sister was once involved in the Midleton Farmgate. Before she founded the now famious Farmgate in Cork City English Market. The Farmagate in Midleton is open 9am to 5pm daily. Serving teas and coffees and a selection of homemade cones and cakes. Lunch is served daily from 12pm to 15.30pm Tuesday to Saturday.

Specials change daily and are displayed on the blackboard.

Evening Meals served on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. In the evenings the dining room is transformed with crisp white linen, lit by candlelight and becomes a magical place.

Originally the shop at the entrance to the Farmgate was well stocked with local vegetables, bread and cakes cooked in the kitchen and locally sourced cheeses. Had an old world feel to black interior walls lots of timber and strong lighting. Interior tecture colour has stayed the same. Lighting has somewhat changed. The fabrics colours and lighting are similar but the produce has some what changed. It is now known as The Farmgate bakery with a fabulous array of cakes, tarts, scones and tea bracks, and also to stock the bread basket in the shop with fantastic fresh baked crusty bread. The whole store has become more modern more chic keeping with the times. I honestly preferred the old wholesome approach with vegetables and eggs on display. More in keep with the name Farmgate.

Tripadvisor: Ranked #4 in Midleton out of 47.Young proprietor you would expect her to be driving her business and using the internet as a marketing tool.

Not very far from Farmgate has a splendid riverside short stay property at Cois na hAbhann, which can be Booked Online.

Raymonds Restaurant


Now we look at another Midleton restaurant known simply as Raymonds, located at Distillery Walk quite near the entrance to the world famous Jameson Experience.

Stephen Lee is the head chef in Raymonds nowadays. On there website, Stephen states ‘I grew up in a small village on the outskirts of Midleton called Ballinacurra. My earliest memories of food would be when I visited my Grandmother. She was always making bread and tarts in her old-fashioned stove.

The also pride themselves in the fact that they are part of the local community and their produce is sourced locally.

Seafood Ballycotton Seafoods Richard Guerin, Ballycotton

Butchers Crowley’s Craft Butchers, Midleton O’Brien Butchers, Carrigtwohill

All our Beef & Lamb is sourced from East Cork Farms. Our poultry and ducks are sourced from The Chicken Inn, Old English Market and Cork East Ferry Farm, East Ferry, Midleton.

Olive Oil & Cheeses Ardsallagh Goat’s Cheese Carrigtwohill Carrig Foods, Carrigtwohill

Eggs Midleton Eggs

Vegetables & Herbs

The Village Green Grocer, Castlemartyr Horizon Farms, Kinsale

John and Ber Twomey of The Paddocks Holiday Village our accommodation partners for holiday rentals and short stay accommodation would be regular clients of Raymonds.

Taking a quick look at Tripadvisor Raymonds is #8 out of 47 in Midleton The reviews in the most part tend to be very positive. I note Raymond or staff make no reply to good or bad comments.

Sage Restaurant Midleton


I move now effortlessly to The Sage Restaurant and The Greenroom Wine Bar and Cafe all at the Courtyard Main Street Midleton Co Cork Ireland. It might not be correct to tag Kevin Ahern as “the new kid on the block” as he is a very experienced chef. But in a short number of years he has created a restaurant that continues to win accolades from esteemed critics within the food industry yearly. Midleton was always well renowned for fine dining. Kevin and his team have broken onto this very competitive scene very quickly and left others in his wake. Kevin had set a very high standard and gained the respect of all around. His simple and artistic use of fresh produce has meant he continues to win awards and build a loyal following of customers.

His 12 mile culinary expression of sourcing produce from within 12 miles of their front door, has captured the imagination of most people conscious of the environment and people just conscious of eating good food at a realistic price. Their12 mile ethos is simple. They source the vast majority of their produce from within 12 miles of the restaurant. The lush farmland and dedicated farmers of Midleton and its hinterland and the local fishermen supply the majority of their produce.

Tripadvisor: Rank #3 out of 47

Comment: Having a strong local knowledge of the area I think I would go by Tripadvisors ranking Finin at #21 would make sense to me. My advice would be choose carefully before you decide to dine.

Once again all these restaurants can be located near our self catering holiday short stay apartment. Book online at


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Visitor attractions in East Cork Ireland

Visitor attractions in East Cork Ireland

Cork as a place to visit if your from Ireland or visiting from overseas has many locations and ancient sites that are well worth a few hours of your spare time.

If your enjoy a leisurely self catering break in East Cork our accommodation partners will meet your needs. We can book you a place The Paddocks Holiday Village or Fota Holiday Resort or Barmabrow House or Ballymaloe holiday homes. From there you can explore:

Jameson Experience

The Jameson Experience which is located in Midleton, Co. Cork on the site of the old Cork distillery. It is well worth a visit if staying in Midleton or the surrounding area. It is a place where you will experience modern technology that manages to blend ancient architecture and craft into a modern setting. It has of course a goal of marketing and ultimately sales. But this is achieved in a subtle manner that doesn’t take anything way from the whole experience of the art of whisky distilling. They have kept the old distillery intact and well preserved. The whole Jameson experience is created is this ancient place that demonstrates the industrial heritage of the area coupled with the ability of the farming community to grow fist class grain.

Fota Wildlife Park


Your next stop on this tour of visitor attractions in East Cork has to be Fota Wild life Park. This joint venture the Zoological Society of Ireland and University College Cork (UCC) was opened as a wildlife park in 1983. Originally the park closed during winter months but nowadays it is open all year round. With yearly visitor numbers in their thousands it has become one of Ireland’s top ten visitor attractions. There is ample car parking in the grounds of Fota House the charge nowadays is €3 and you can park all day. Be prepared to do a bit of walking because the park has extended over the years and takes a while to complete. But it is well worth it, stop and read about the various species of animal and the breeding programs that are conducted in line with other parks and zoos.

St Colman’s Cathedral


St Colman’s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Cobh, Ireland. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Cloyne. The cathedral is a large, elaborately detailed neoGothic building that overlooking Cork harbour, is prominently sited and visible from quite a distance. Cobh itself is a very history town and has a strong historical link to a number of world events. One which was the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage as Cobh was its last port of call. Construction began in 1868 and was not completed until over half a century later due to increases in costs and revisions of the original plans. Cobh was a very prosperous town in the 1860s as it was Ireland’s principal emigration outlet. More than five million people emigrated from Ireland in the nineteenth century mainly to the United States, Australia and Canada – and a large proportion of them left from Queenstown which it known then. A huge amount of these emigrants would have said a prayer in the cathedral before boarding their ships.

Youghal Co. Cork


Our final recommendation today is a visit to the historical town of Youghal Co Cork Ireland. The town is famously associated with the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. But has many other heritage attractions to see. The Youghal Heritage Trail takes in the most historic buildings and sites in Youghal. Along the way, take in the magnificent town walls, St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Clock Gate, Alms houses and Tynte’s Castle. Taking approx. one hour to complete, it is advisable to budget more time than this to allow you soak in all the history and heritage on offer! Bearing in mind Youghal has some of the finest beaches in Ireland that are just a stones throw from the South Main Street.

All worth exploring or is the weather is nice bring a picnic and just relax the day away.

House wine is also excellent served in an earthenware carafe.


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Food Influences and Origin

Food Influences and Origin

Paella Mista is mixed Paella. Most Spaniards would consider it’s a Valencian dish. Eaten in places like Alicante and Valencia It is regarded as Spanish national dish. It is influenced from both Roman and Arab cultures.

We sometimes if not often take the food we have available to us for granted. But because our website is a platform for advertising self-catering accommodation it is only fitting that we examine the various food available to our travelling guest.

With this in mind we have decided to look at food influences and trends of food in Spain. Of course tapas and Paella come to mind but first off let us look at the latter.

There is a few types of paella seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well. The Valencian paella is believed to be the original recipe and consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (chicken and rabbit), beans and seasoning such as saffron, rosemary and occasionally lemon. Optional ingredients include artichoke, pepper and chicken liver. Seafood paella replaces meats with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of land animals and Vegetables.



Tapas is next on my list. This food dish must be one Spain greatest additions to food range around the world.

Tapas Bars have popped up all over the world. It’s a collection of small dishes. Originally designed as a snack of appetizers. It is served both cold like olives and cheese of hot baby fried squid known as chopitos.

Originally designed to be a number of small servings of food. Which was intended to give people the opportunity to converse before service of the main course. But in time it became an unique way of eating with sophisticated recipes. Ideal for a quick meal if your staying in one of our partners self catering serviced apartments in Seville or Barcelona.

The invasion of the Roman brought the olive and cultivation methods and the Moors from North African brought the almond and other spices. Coupled with the fact Spain has a strong fishing tradition This has all added to the influence and trends to exquisite ranges and varieties of modern day charming tapas dishes.


Our next port of call is the ancient enchanting football loving city of Seville ( Spanish: Sevilla). There we have to get a taste of perscaito frito (local fired fish).

Triana is an area of Seville city centre where you can eat perscaito frito all day. Relax outdoors and order a platter of the dish for you and your friends But include a chilled glass of cold beer that’s what we done with our amigo Fernando from Ubrique which is in Cadiz and only an hour away. Our website has come great holiday homes and self catering accommodation there as well as Seville. When your sitting in a warm May day on the west bank of the Guadalquivir River you could be forgiven for feeling you were in Rome, Paris or even next to Charles River in Boston. A Saturday evening chilling with great food, cool beer and good company. Cheers.

Next I want to talk a natural cheese and a particular one Payoyo a distinguished locally produce Sheep and Goats cheese ( Queso) based in the hillside town of Villaluenga del Rosario which is located in Cadiz.

This cheese has been made here since 1997 and it is so popular it has gone to great lengths to protect its brand from inferior imitations.

They supply a number of products Goats and Sheep Milk Cheese a combination of both. Some natural Goat Milk Yogurt.

Our journey end here for now as we have each Ubrique the home of Fernando our Iberian Product manager due to his influence we have tremendous holiday home and self catering accommodation in Spain, Seville, Cadiz to Barcelona and down again to Marbella tasting all the magnificent foods on our journey.