Best Quinta do Lago Beaches
July 5, 2023
If you’ve been searching for coastal bliss, you may have just found it.
Discover a world where paradise seamlessly blends with luxury at Quinta do Lago, an esteemed resort gracing Portugal’s beautiful Algarve coastline. With its championship golf courses, luxurious villas, and Michelin-starred dining, Quinta do Lago offers an exciting escape. But when it’s time to bask under azure blue skies, soak up the sun, and surrender to pure relaxation, nothing compares to the pristine beaches that adorn this coastal haven.
Nestled within the prestigious ‘Golden Triangle’ and surrounded by natural beauty, Quinta do Lago is a renowned resort destination that caters to those seeking the perfect beach escape. Whether you yearn for serenity or seek excitement, the beautiful beaches near Quinta do Lago promise an unforgettable experience.
Here are some of the best Quinta do Lago beaches.
Praia da Quinta do Lago
The luxurious resort of Quinta do Lago unsurprisingly has one of the most spectacular beaches in the Algarve. Praia da Quinta do Lago is a 3.5 km stretch of golden sand backed by dunes and located in front of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve.
Access from the resort to the beach and ocean is via a 300m-long wooden footbridge that crosses a large, natural lake and has become an iconic landmark in the area. Quinta beach is bordered by Praia do Ancão to the west and Praia de Faro to the east. The sea is safe to swim in as the waters here are calm and gentle, and the beach has been awarded the EU Blue Flag because of the high standards it maintains regarding water quality, safety, and environmental management.
There are several beautiful cycling and hiking trails in the area, and keen walkers can reach Vilamoura or Faro Island by following the coastline without even setting foot off the sand. Praia da Quinta do Lago itself is rarely very crowded, with plenty of space for everyone and, during the summer months, there is a lifeguard stationed here. Facilities are good with water sports such as jet skiing, stand-up paddle-board hire, and a banana boat ride. All of this can be arranged through Artur’s Watersports Academy, which also organises activities on the Quinta do Lago lake, such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, and even an inflatable, floating assault course!
For those wishing to take a more leisurely approach, Gigi’s beach restaurant has taken pride of place on the sands here for over 20 years. Not only is it well known for its idyllic views of the Ria Formosa, but also for its fresh fish offerings, fine wines and great atmosphere. Prices when eating out and all leisure facilities in this area are not for the faint-hearted, which may be why this region has been known for many decades as the ‘Golden Triangle’.
Praia do Ancão
The seemingly endless stretch of golden sands that form Praia do Ancão sits halfway between Faro and Quarteira. Similar to Quinta do Lago beach, it is backed by sand dunes along much of its length and offers plenty of facilities, including sun shelters, beach chair and lounger hire, acclaimed seafood restaurants, and lifeguard patrols.
Beachgoers here are a mix of those from nearby luxury resorts and families visiting the area, wishing to make use of the great amenities and safe bathing. This stretch of coastline is very unspoiled, with any structures harmoniously designed to blend with nature. One great example of this is the eco beach restaurant 2 Passos, which began life 30 years ago and is located within the boundaries of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. With its wood and glass structure, it blends seamlessly into the horizon, enjoying wonderful views of the dunes and Atlantic Ocean. Unsurprisingly, 2 Passos has been included in the Michelin Restaurant Guide annually since 2018.
Praia do Garrão
Just along from Praia do Ancão is the smaller Garrão beach. Backed by low cliffs and a pine forest, this stretch is a favourite passageway for the local horse riding school, and the famous tennis academy is nearby. The beach here is picturesque, with wooden walkways, sun loungers, sand dunes, a lifeguard, and a large parking area.
Here, you’ll find two of the most popular beach restaurant destinations in the area, Maria’s and Julia’s. Both restaurants are open all day, serving lighter meals at lunchtime and more sophisticated menus by night, with the addition of a DJ or live music as the sun sets. Many years ago, Julia’s restaurant was only accessible on horseback via a sandy road through the pine forest, but now this stretch is a hangout for all ages, from tourists and locals to celebrities.
The lovely Casa Katrina is located near here.
Praia de Vale do Lobo
This 1 km long but relatively narrow stretch of coastline is backed by red cliffs and lush green golf courses – a paradise for golfers and beachgoers alike. The main square of Vale do Lobo, known as The Praca, is the beating heart of the resort and several of its bars and restaurants overlook the sand. There are beach bars serving delicious cocktails, restaurants offering a mix of traditional cuisine and international dishes, and a nightclub.
Sandbanks is the perfect place for a morning coffee, lunch, or dinner whilst gazing out to sea. In the warmer months, it is possible to spend all day and late into the evening here, with live music and children’s entertainment. On the beach, a lifeguard, sun loungers, umbrellas, great facilities, and water sports are available.
Be prepared to dig a little deeper into your pockets for food, drinks, and activities here. Life in Vale do Lobo doesn’t come cheap, but it definitely feels good to embrace what’s on offer and really soak up the atmosphere.
Praia de Loulé Velho
Loulé Velho beach is accessed via a rural path that runs through a valley of fields, olive, cork, and carob trees. Although a little harder to find, it’s an unspoiled beach worth the trip. There are few facilities, but if you pack some food and cold drinks, it truly is a beautiful setting.
In the area, there are some old hydraulic mills and aqueducts where the Carcavai river forms the extensive wetlands, abundant with wildlife. Wild grasses merge with the dunes, and as the tide goes out, old Roman salt-collecting tanks and the ruins of a Carthaginian fishing village are revealed.
Praia de Quarteria
Many years ago, Quarteira was a small fishing village. These days, it is a major, bustling tourist resort town, particularly popular with the Portuguese, as well as international holidaymakers.
This 2 km stretch of urban beach is backed by holiday apartments, hotels, and a long promenade filled with shops, restaurants, bars, and boutiques. There are stone breakwaters along this stretch of the coast, providing protection from the waves and creating calm bays in between. Lifeguards are on duty along the length of the sand, and there are outdoor showers, public toilets, and services provided by the overlooking town itself.
The beach does get busy here, but there’s enough room for everyone, and it’s ideal if you and your family are feeling sociable, as the children will be sure to find new playmates.
Discovering somewhere to have lunch or dinner after a day in the sunshine is easy with so many eateries to choose from. Plus, prices are much more affordable than the nearby beaches within the glamorous resorts of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo. The recreational beach ends at the fish and vegetable market alongside Quarteira’s harbour, where you can buy freshly caught seafood to take back to your villa for the barbecue!
Ria Formosa Natural Park
It goes without saying that anyone planning a stay in the Quinta do Lago area should seize the opportunity to explore the Ria Formosa. Recognised as one of the country’s seven natural wonders, this group of islands forms a magical swirl of seagrass meadows, freshwater lagoons, lush marshlands, and sandy beaches.
Easily accessible by catamaran or water taxi, it is well worth packing a beach bag for the day and venturing out across this network of small and varied communities. You can alight on a deserted sandy cove, surrounded by nature, or you can head to the more tourist-friendly beaches with clusters of restaurants, bars, and kiosks offering activities for the whole family. Depending on the time of year, you may even be lucky enough to spot a siege of herons or flamboyance of flamingos!
We have lots of villas close to the beaches in Quinta do Lago so just let us know your wish list and we will help you find your personal paradise in this sensational area.