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Reconnect with yourself beside the world’s best beach

4 MIN READ • 3rd June 2024

Freelance health and travel writer, Sarah Highfield, drops into Serenity SPA at Pine Cliffs Resort, along the award-winning shores of Praia da Falésia

Tripadvisor recently revealed the world’s best beaches for 2024 as part of its annual Travellers’ Choice Awards, and while the UK’s shores were not as high up the list as we would hope, there were plenty of shortlisted beaches just a short trip away, and the number one beach less than three hours away. The deep golden sands of Praia da Falésia in Portugal’s Algarve took the top spot thanks to its clean, soft sand and enticingly crystal-clear water. The award-winning beach is less than a three-hour flight away from the UK, and what’s more, there is a marvellous spa just metres away from it: Serenity SPA – The Art of Well Being, located within Pine Cliffs Resort. If you’re looking to reconnect with yourself, this is the ultimate place.

Beach Spa Delight

Beach-side spa, Serenity SPA – The Art of Well Being, comprises a multitude of serene treatment rooms, which are hosted by a dedicated and experienced spa team. It also houses Thermal Oasis at Serenity SPA, which includes a steam room, kneipp pool, hydrotherapy pool, herbal sauna, salt sauna, outdoor jacuzzi, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas.

The pampering treatments on offer are extensive, covering all bases of wellness and relaxation, including many types of massages, scrubs, facials, crystal healing, hot stones, and lymphatic drainage. I was lucky to sample two of the spas signature and most popular massages: the Abhyanga massage and the Senses of the Algarve massage.

My Abhyanga massage was with Flavia, a friendly and knowledgeable massage therapist. The massage was designed to detox and destress using herbal oils, and intended to rebalance my energy levels, eliminate toxins, and strengthen my immune system.  I found the massage incredibly relaxing and even drifted off to sleep for a few minutes. Flavia knew exactly how to knead out the knots in my back and smooth down my muscles.

My Senses of the Algarve massage was with Diana, a calming and experienced massage therapist. It was a medium pressure, full body massage, using a delightfully scented local orange blossom oil. Orange blossom oil is believed to fight free radicals and prevents premature aging, which is ideal for anyone who worries about the aging effects of pollution and stress. I felt incredibly relaxed after the massage, my shoulders were looser and I swear I grew an extra inch thanks to an improved posture. Beyond that, my skin felt soft and youthful, and I felt very peaceful.

Following both massages, I headed over to the Thermal Oasis at Serenity SPA, which is perfect for those looking to spend a lazy afternoon circulating through each section of the spa. I found myself moving like clockwork from sauna, to plunge pool, to steam room, to jacuzzi, to shower… The spa is very immersive and dreamy; it is ever so easy to lose track of time in there, thus best to go when you have no other plans to worry about afterwards or a laidback evening ahead.

Explore Nature

Pine Cliffs Resort is one of Europe’s top all-round wellness destinations, providing transformative experiences to nurture your mind, body, and soul. For spa-goers who want to take their wellness to the next level, the Serenity SPA – The Art of Well Being works in tandem with Active By Serenity, which offers visitors various wellbeing programmes tailored to their needs and abilities, all with magnificent views across Praia da Falésia beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  

The wellbeing programmes on offer include both fitness and nutrition consultations, and are themed around weight loss, detox, yoga, Pilates, personal training, group fitness, and outdoor fitness. I chose to try out an Explore Nature programme that encourages guests to take their wellness outside, into the fresh air, and, of course, onto the beach.

As part of the programme, I participated in a guided bike ride with resident personal trainer, Josue da Rosa, to the nearby towns of Vilamoura and Quarteira. We cycled a coastal route that was so scenic and pretty, I forgot I was even exercising. It was a great way to explore the surrounding area while raising my heart rate and getting a blast of fresh air.

We also ran along Praia da Falésia beach during low-tide in the morning and completed the outdoor bootcamp circuit which involved lots of jumping, balancing, sprints, tyre flipping, and monkey bars. The beach run felt like something out of movie, it was so beautiful; I could definitely see why the beach was voted as the world’s best!

Time to Reconnect with Yourself

Between spa activities and exercise sessions, there is lots of time to relax at Pine Cliffs Hotel, whether that be unwinding in the landscaped gardens, playing a round of golf, sipping fruit smoothies by the pool, or watching the sunset over the ocean.

There is also an array of tasty restaurants to choose from including Zest, which serves up big nutritious salad bowls, cold pressed juices, and freshly blended energising protein shakes. Alternatively, for anyone looking for something a little heartier, Corda Café, dishes up a mix of local delicacies, freshly caught fish, various meats, and the tastiest pastel de natas I have ever had.

For more information on Pine Cliffs Resorts, please visit and

British Airways Holidays offers seven nights, at the 5* Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort,-a-Luxury-Collection-Resort/PT-A27-9500100, from £589pp
, (based on two adults), travelling on selected dates between 1 November-30 November 2024 inclusive. Includes economy (Euro Traveller) return flights from London Gatwick Airport, 1 checked bag at 23kg per person and accommodation with breakfast. Book by 16 June 2024. For reservations visit or call 0344 493 0125.

Terms and conditions apply, all prices are per person, based on two sharing. Offered subject to availability. Please note prices are accurate at time of submission and subject to availability and change.

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