HOPING to get away for a winter beach break?
From the sunny weather and blue-flag beaches to water parks and dolphin-watching, the Algarve in Southern Portugal is the perfect place for a quick fix of winter sun.
Just under three hours' flight time and you could find yourself enjoying endless blue skies and some of the best beaches in Europe.
Bear in mind, it's not exactly bikini-wearing season from December to February but the region will have significantly better weather than back at home with temperatures as high as 16-18C.
October in the region is usually warm with a maximum temperature of 23C.
From partying in Albufeira to the historical sights of Lagos, and city-life in Faro, the Algarve boasts some top holiday destinations.
We've selected some of the most popular holiday spots in the region and the cheapest holiday deals from October to December 2019.
A former fishing village, Albufeira is now the largest resort town in the Algarve and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Portugal.
Find plenty of top notch beaches such as 'Praia dos Pescadores' (Fisherman's Beach) – close to the pretty old town.
As well as the old town and marina, there are family-friendly activities such as dolphin-watching tours or a days out at the Zoomarine water theme park.
Albufeira is also known for its nightlife and the strip in the Montechoro area is packed with bars, pubs and clubs where you can party till the sun comes up.
Book a one-week holiday in Albufeira in November 2019 – for a self-catering apartment and flights – from £93pp with Lastminute.
Plus, you can book a break at the three-star Vilanova Resort from £137pp with BlueSeaHolidays.
It's known as the gateway to the Algarve – and provides air-access to the region – but Faro has plenty of attractions of its own for a cultural city break.
Visit the historical old town, hidden behind ancient walls and home to Faro Cathedral and the Museum of Faro.
There's a huge lagoon running along the coastline and its natural, unspoiled beaches are only a short boat ride away.
You can also find tons of top restaurants and food markets where you can try fresh seafood and local favourites such as Piri Piri Chicken.
Book a week-long Faro holiday in November 2019 from £93pp with Lastminute for an apartment and flights, or from £167pp with Expedia for a hotel stay plus flights.
The coastal town of Lagos boasts more great Algarve beaches, with something to suit everyone.
Find a bustling beach close to the town centre – such as Praia de Dona Ana – or the more secluded sands of Ponta da Piedade or Praia do Camilo, which can be accessed by boat or a steep walk down on foot.
For some time away from the beach, you can explore the cobbled streets of the walled old town – and visit the Ponta da Bandeira Fort.
Plus, there are water sports such as kayaking and kite-surfing – and some great hiking and mountain-biking trails with views out over the Atlantic.
Book a seven-night stay in a Lagos holiday from £115pp with Travlsupermarket.com – based on travelling in November with flights included – or from £119pp with LoveHolidays, if you're travelling in December.
The town of Vilamoura has an exclusive marina complex at its heart – brimming with restaurants and bars – as well as the lined up million-pound yachts.
Close to the marina, you can find great beaches such as Praia da Falesia, where you can try water sports like paragliding and banana boats.
There's also easy access from here to the water parks of the region such as Slide and Splash and Aqua land.
If you're into golf, Vilamoura is one of the best places to golf in the Algarve, with five courses including the Millenium and the Pinhal.
Book a week-long Vilamoura holiday for November 2019 from £116pp with LoveHolidays – including flights and apartment – or from £107pp with Lastminute.
Portimao and Praia da Rocha
Portimao is the second-largest city in the Algarve with plenty of sights to see such as the Portimao Museum and municipal market.
The beaches surrounding Portimao are the biggest pull for visitors – particularly Praia da Rocha.
Praia da Rocha is known to be one of the liveliest resort towns in the Algarve with a vast sandy beach with water sports and many restaurants and bars.
You can also take a trip to the pretty seaside fishing town of Alvor while staying in Portimao or Praia da Rocha.
Book a seven-night Portimao holiday in an apartment with flights from £74pp with Travelsupermarket.com or from £115pp with Expedia – based on a stay in December 2019.
For something a little bit different, head inland from Portimao to the ancient city of Silves, set in the Algarve countryside.
The city has numerous historical sights – from the Gothic cathedral to the Castelo (castle), which offers great views of the town.
Plus, the city has quaint cobbled streets to wander along with open-air cafes and restaurants.
Visit Silves as a day trip from surrounding Algarve resorts or you can stay in Silves from £136pp with Expedia – based on a one-week stay, including flights, in November.
Sail through your holiday stress by planning your Christmas break now with our round-up of the best winter 2019 cruise deals.
Heading to Majorca this winter? From the party resort of Magaluf to the family-orientated beaches of Alcudia and Puetro Pollensa, check out our guide to the best offers available now.
And if you're travelling from Heathrow this summer, here's all you need to about the airport's strikes.
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