“Welcome to this week’s #ExperienceOfTheWeek, everyone. Today, it’s all about hot wheels of a true veteran – Happy Van Tours and their Volkswagen T2 Vans in the beautiful region of Algarve, Portugal. It was our pleasure to do an interview with Paulo, the founder of Happy Van, and a truly happy soul with so much energy and knowledge about his homeland. We’ve learned where did the idea for launching Happy Van come from, what has the region of Algarve has to offer, and Paulo even told us what was one of the most unforgettable moments he experienced on one of his tours. Let’s dive into the details, shall we?
Q1: Hi Paulo, how are you doing? How do you like our homepage picture? 😉
Hi there! I’m okay. Hope you are safe and healthy too! I love your homepage picture. It has a VW Van like the ones we use in our tours! You could not choose a better car to represent trips and tours, freedom and discovery, and also the scenery is absolutely fab!
Q2: Let’s dive in. Tell us about the story of Happy Van. How did it all start? Where does the name come from?
Well, Happy Van was born in 2017, from a dream that I have to contribute in my meager measure for a better world!
The search for happiness in me and in others was important for my choice. The time had come to chart a new path, one that fulfilled me deeply and that could contribute to the well-being of others (our visitors and our local residents). And what better way to do it than to show the richness of our Portugal, particularly in the Algarve region? The best of people, nature, heritage, gastronomy, arts, history, uses, and customs of this region is what we constantly seek to convey to those who visit us, with the simplicity and proximity that characterizes us.
Inspired by this journey in search of happiness and in what the vans that accompany us transmit to us, the name was naturally born: Happy Van.
Q3: Portugal is an amazing destination and I bet there are dozens of things to show to fellow travelers in each region. How many guides do you have in your team? Are you all locals?
Portugal is really surprising. From north to south of the country it is a constant discovery, even for those who have always lived here.
We have usually 4 guides that collaborate with Happy Van on different tours and events. Two are from the Algarve and two from the center-north of the country.
Q4: Your selection of experiences has no end. What are the most popular tours among travelers who come to you?
The tours and experiences we have are intended to reach different audiences who travel to the Algarve to live experiences that are closer to their personal “tastes”.
Some experiences are most sought after by young people or young adults, and others that are more popular with adults or seniors. Many times it depends also of the nationality of people that visit us, if they are a family or a group of friends, and most of all on what our visitors intend to take from the Algarve they visit. For us, the most important thing is that travelers remember the Algarve for what it really is: A sunny dream destination, full of history and tradition, with super friendly people, a very rich gastronomy, and a wonder of nature, with the most beautiful landscapes and beaches in the world.
If we speak of the experiences, the most popular in the summer are the Wine Tours, Food Tours, Nature Tours, Sunset and Night Photography Tours. The rest of the year we have a little bit of everything… (continues)”