These prestigious developments are arguably the most sought after resorts in the Algarve, with golf courses considered to be amongst the best in Europe. Set in the beautiful Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has some of the most luxurious villas on the coast. The resort was carefully planned, with gleaming, whitewashed villas blending neatly into pine trees, and golf courses which are an oasis of green. Facilities include floodlit tennis courts (professional coaching available), two top golf courses, horse riding, water sports and squash. There are superb shops at Quinta Shopping, including fabulous boutiques offering exclusive designer labels and amazing interior design outlets. In addition there are some wonderful, international restaurants on the estate – one of our favourites is the Casa do Lago overlooking the lagoon.
Vale do Lobo is best known for its fabulous golf courses – including the famous Ocean Course, one of the prettiest in Europe. Set in a valley, running down to the sea, there is a magnificent white sandy beach with fantastic beach front restaurants, bars and cafés. The famous Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy is one of the finest of its kind in Europe; there are fourteen hard courts, set in a pine clad amphitheatre overlooked by the superb club house; it is difficult to imagine a more relaxed and picturesque setting to enjoy a game of tennis. Throughout the summer, activities include archery, dance classes, exhibitions, massages and children’s ballet.
Dunas Douradas is situated between Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo and is popular with golfers as it is close to so many of the Algarve’s top courses. It is also the perfect resort for families. Set in 77 acres of pine forest, the estate is named after the golden sand dunes in the area. Most of the villas have their own pools but you can still enjoy the superb communal pool in the heart of the resort. There are also tennis courts, which can be booked and paid for at the reception, lovely beaches close by, a mini-market and 24 hour security. Although all the resorts have supermarkets, most visitors tend to shop in nearby Almancil which has several excellent supermarkets and a fantastic selection of restaurants ranging from small, family run bistros to five star international establishments. The restaurants in these resorts can be a little bit pricey and the menus are often international so it is worth driving inland for more authentic and reasonably priced choices.
Pros: Close to some lovely beaches and ideal for golf enthusiasts with numerous sports and leisure facilities. Luxurious properties with landscaped gardens.
Cons: Inevitably, the coastal areas are more likely to be adversely affected by building work. Restaurants are likely to be more expensive in these resorts.