Our trip of firsts : a James Villa Holidays Adventure to Portugal

We love family travel and try to showcase as many different experiences and countries as possible.  We believe each different adventure brings its own magic, from the scenery, food, smells of a country to the place where you lay your head to sleep. Each adventure is memorable and we love each of them that we experience as a family.  So, when the possibility of a James Villa Holidays adventure to Portugal arose, we were all super excited as it would be our first time in a villa and the first time in Portugal.

James Villa Holidays Ambassadors

Through our travel blog we have been lucky to have lots of incredible experiences and one such occasion was receiving the email from James Villa Holidays.  In December 2017, I received an email from James Villa saying they loved our blog and would love for us to be their ambassadors for 2018.  It was an incredible feeling to have the work I have done on the blog recognised by an incredible organisation, we jumped at the chance to say yes!

Destinations and villa holidays

The destinations which James Villa Holidays were hoping to send their ambassadors to were ones which we had never visited. So we were thrilled that it would be an adventure of first of us all as a family.  We have stayed in many self-catering accommodation in the U.K. and a few in Europe but we have never stayed in a villa which to the delight of our little adventurers almost always had their own pools. The top two choices for us were Cyprus and the Algarve. Both have been on my list for a very long time and both look incredible destinations for families.  After much deliberation and research, we decided on the Algarve.

So what are we looking forward to for our first villa holiday and the Algarve:


I know it sounds simple but as a growing family of 5 and after spending 2 weeks in Malaysia in campsites / hostels and such like, I was looking forward to a week of staying in a villa which had lots of space. Ample space for us all to relax, unwind and sleep without getting under each other’s toes. I was looking forward to relaxing whilst we have our meals outdoors in a gorgeous garden in the sun, having space for the little adventurers to run around and let them be kids.


My little adventurers are real water babies and having the luxury of our own pool, having access to it 24/7 (may not be such a blessing with hindsight) but the choice of waking up and going for a swim has thrilled our little adventurers no end!

Our own kitchen and going self catering

My middle adventurer is a super fussy eater and after not being so well earlier in the year we are always conscious for the need for him to eat properly.  In addition, having family meals together is a great way to bring the magic of family travel alive as you look back over the days adventures and plan the following days adventure.

Independently exploring

The Algarve looks an amazing destination to explore and true to our name we love to adventure all over any destination we visit. Having a villa and booking through James Villa Holidays we had our car hire included.  Having the freedom to explore far and wide is great for a family like ours as we are not tied down to someone else’s schedule and we can come and go as we please.  We love to adventure off the beaten path and a car is an ideal way of finding the real hidden gems of a country.

Close to the U.K.

After having lots of long haul flights planned for this year, we love the idea of taking a short flight and still having amazing things to do.  Even though we love far-flung adventures, we want to showcase families that adventures are available everywhere and a longer flight doesn’t always equate to a better family holiday.

Real summer sun

This year the U.K. we have been really lucky with the weather but it’s been years where we have prolonged days of sunshine and a real summer. The Algarve has stunning weather all year round but the summer months are super hot, with hour and hours of guaranteed sunshine! We all love the sun in our house and this was super high on our summer wish list!


The Algarve coastline looks beyond incredible. There are beaches galore but what really excites us are the beautiful small coves, gorgeous rocks in the ocean and getting away from the crowds and finding quieter and more secluded places to have a great beach day.


We have had a manic year and the end of the year will also be really busy so we are looking forward to a summer adventure where we can relax and really unwind. The Algarve is a beautiful place and the pace seems ideal to allow families to relax and unwind.

Family friendly

In my research it was more than apparent that so much of the Algarve is family friendly, from restaurants to attractions and families.  It was really refreshing to see most of the places I searched for to be suitable for families.

Why are we excited about working with James Villa Holidays?

Customer service

Firstly, James Villa Holidays customer service has been incredible.  We were originally booked to fly in May but after my mum passed away suddenly, a family holiday was something none of us really wanted.  We contacted the team at James Villa and were amazed with their customer service and empathy in dealing with our situation.

Stunning villas and settings

I will admit I love luxuries on holiday and the villa choices offered by James Villa Holidays are incredible.  As readers of the blog will know, we love extended family holidays and I love that they have a whole range of accommodation for a variety of families.  Not only are the villas beautiful but their locations are equally stunning.

James Villa representatives

I love that each villa has a designated rep who is your first point of contact. Having someone you can contact in emergencies or likewise when issues arise is such a weight off my mind. We have unfortunately had a number of issues occur on previous trips so having this designated person is great.




I am a traveller, mother and blogger. We love to go on adventures (big and small, near and far) and strive to show our children how amazing and beautiful the world is! I caught the travel bug many moons ago and despite having three little adventurers, I still suffer from "itchy" feet. We love the great outdoors and one another. Come and join the fun :)

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3 Responses

  1. We have actually been looking for a villa holiday for next year, it will be our family honeymoon so we want somewhere we can total relax after the stress of wedding planning. Looking forward to reading all your posts on your trip as Portugal is on our short-list, I have never been but my teen went for a long weekend last September and loved it. x

  2. I loved following your trip Nisbah. We’ve enjoyed a villa holiday in Portugal in the past. We picked a huge villa which slept 15 and lots of the family got together. I think they’re ideal for family get togethers as you can have your own space but there are also plenty of areas for you all to get together too.

  3. MummyTravels says:

    I do love sunny villa holidays for all the reasons you mention – so great to have a rep there in case of problems too, just takes some stress away

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