The Algarve: the #1 hen destination of Europe
Your best friend is going to tie the knot, and now you have the paramount job of organizing the most awesome hen party for all of your friends. Nail that job by going to the Algarve and earn the title of Best Friend of the Century. The Algarve offers all the ingredients for a perfect bachelorette trip. Think summertime fine days that start with chilling on the beach, that turn into pool parties, that turn into afterparties, that turn into the hotel lobby.
In the Algarve the temperatures rise to summer levels from March till October. Food and drinks are considerably cheaper than in the UK. If you book ahead of time, flights and hotels are not bad either. Regardless of budget, your best friends’ hen party is the perfect excuse to escape the country and go on an overseas break with your babes tribe. Get excited and start planning the party of the year with the help of this article.
Best places for hen parties
Albufeira is infamously famous for being the best party town of Portugal. It is in our opinion the best hen party destination in the Algarve. The best place to party in Albufeira is the Strip, which is very close to the party beach of Praia da Oura. Along the Strip you will find countless bars where you can have a cocktail, dance to live music or sing karaoke. Clubbing doesn’t start before 1 AM but when you are in, you can dance until sunrise. Popular clubs are Kiss, Club Vida and Le Club. When you go pub crawling at the Strip, you will most definitely run into other groups of party people.
Start the evening at a pub that offers happy hour and finish the night at your hotel a short walking distance from the Strip. It is advisable to book a hotel that is located in the Albufeira party area, as hotel management welcomes noisy groups. General hotels usually don’t allow you to make noise after a certain hour.
Praia da Rocha
Praia da Rocha in Portimão is a great party destination along a large beautiful beach. The best thing about Praia da Rocha is that everything is within walking distance. On the main street you can go pub crawling at the Cheers Bar, Royal Teaser, On the Rocks Bar and Irelands Eye. More closely to the beach are the popular Moonlight Bar, Aloha, Outro Bar and Bar Diagonal. Go clubbing at Katedral. Or dress up and party in style at the upscale beach clubs Puro Beach Club and NoSoloÁgua. NoSoloÁgua hosts the MTV Summer Parties and other popular theme parties such as the Color Party and the White Party.
Best activities for the ultimate hen party
Whether you are a classy lady or a party animal, you can have a great hen party in the Algarve. Everyone is different, so depending on what the bride loves, you can choose from the following list of activities so you can start planning your ultimate hen do.
The Algarve is synonymous with breathtaking beaches, crystal clear azure blue waters and incredible cliffs. The ultimate activity to do, without a doubt, is going on a boat tour. There are many party boats leaving from Albufeira. Nothing beats drinking and dancing on the water. It is the perfect place to hang out with your mates, take gorgeous Instagram pictures, and find out who is the best summersault jumper. Swim and be amazed by the pretty fish you can see underwater while snorkeling in between drinking sessions.
Matt’s Bar is a popular bar for hen and stag parties in Albufeira for almost 2 decades. During Summer, Matt’s Bar also organizes the Sunset Boat Party from May until September. Expect 3 hours of craziness with live DJs, free shots and champagne sprays. The boat party sets sail at 18 o’ clock and leaves every Saturday. Tickets to the boat party cost € 35 per person and include:
- An amazing boat ride from Albufeira to the marina of Vilamoura (and back of course)
- 2 free drinks on board
- 1 free drink in Matt’s Bar afterparty
- Free club entry
If you like to keep it private and if you only want the best of the best, we recommend you rent your own boat for the day. With Champagne Cruises Vilamoura Boat Charter you can experience the millionaire lifestyle. Your luxury day starts at the harbour of Vilamoura, the beloved home of the rich and famous. Hop on board the fabulous Sunseeker Portofino 53, the Atlantis Gobbi 47 or the Fairline Targa 47. Prices start at € 900 for a whole group. The experience includes:
- Champagne welcome
- Open bar of wine, beer and soft drinks
- Use of the small jet boat
Do you and the girls love the indulgence of massages and saunas, then a great activity for your hen party is getting spoiled in a wellness resort. We recommend the following spas.
Monchique Resort & Spa
In the beautiful mountains of Monchique you find the Monchique Resort & Spa. Have a truly relaxing day and forget the rest of the world for a moment. The spa day includes unlimited use of:
- Aroma cabin
- Sauna with Himalayan rock salt
- Steam cabin
- Indoor pool with hydro massage
- Themed tropical showers
- Marble heated loungers
- Spa lounge room
- Light relax room
- Deep relax room
- Foot baths
A spa day costs €40 per person. You have the option to book additional massages such as aromatherapy or hot stone massages.
Grande Real Santa Eulália Spa
Feel like a celebrity and book a spa day in the 5 star Grande Real Resort & Hotel Spa in Albufeira. The resort is located in a priviliged location right in front of Santa Eulália beach. The spa has 17 treatment rooms for your group to enjoy a heavenly day. The luxurious spa day includes:
- Unlimited use of the Thalassotherapy circuit. The circuit consists of a sauna, steam room, pool, jacuzzi/ bubbling Area and Turkish bath.
- Relaxing hydromassage with camomile oils.
- Hot stone relaxation therapy or real Lusitanian ritual with Portuguese calabashes and sunflower oil.
A luxurious spa day here costs € 130 per person, but it is well worth it.
Is your girl an avid cocktail drinker? Have the best cocktails and learn how to make them yourself during a fun and classy cocktail making workshop. Head out to the glamorous harbour of Vilamoura. Here you find the popular Atlantic Bar that is famous for organizing the best cocktail making masterclasses.
A hen party in the Algarve isn’t complete without the naughty elements. You know your girl loves to get a lapdance from that hot male stripper. You can rent a male stripper at Matt’s Bar in Albufeira.
Or you can rent a male stripper at the privacy of your own accomodation:
Start of the evening in style and hire a semi naked butler that serves your group drinks and nibbles from the privacy of your own appartment or villa. Rent a cheeky butler here:
Get off the track and discover the Algarve in a jeep. During this fun half-day jeep tour you will explore the Portuguese countryside and learn more about the customs and traditions of the Algarve. On this relaxing journey you will explore the beautiful villages, pass orange groves, cork forests, Arabic castles and even waterfalls. The tour includes a visit to a local farm where you can taste the sweet honey liquor called Medronho firewater!
Tips and advice
Book on time
Whenever there are multiple people involved, it can be a hassle to get everybody on the same page and lock a date for the trip. Try to push on finding a date well in advance. It will save you a lot of money if you can book flights and hotels on time.
Collect the cash upfront
Money is the number one reason that groups get into a fight on holidays. Make sure you calculate a sufficient daily budget for food, drinks, activities and transportation. Secondly, insist on everybody transferring you the money upfront. It is best that there is one sensible person from the group that takes care of the budget. Mind that in the Algarve, not every restaurant, bar or store offers the option of paying by card. You do need to carry some euros but don’t bring too much as there is always the risk of losing the money.
Appoint a Master of Control every day
To make sure your group has the most enjoyable and unforgettable hen party in the Algarve, it is wise to appoint someone from the group that doesn’t get black out drunk. The Master of Control doesn’t have to be the same person every day. It is however recommendable to have someone from the group that stays sane during the night, so he/she can protect the well-being of the group. You want to avoid missing hotel key disasters, cash problems or any type of medical issues.
How to organize and book it
There are a number of event management companies that you can take care of your perfect hen party in the Algarve. We recommend you book your hen party through one of these companies. Examples are Go Hen or Hen Heaven.