I only discovered the merits of the Algarve a couple of years ago when we escaped the UK to get some sun during the autumn half term holiday. I have no idea why it took so long! I must admit, I had some preconceived ideas about the Algarve but it truly surprised me. What I found were long sandy beaches, sleepy fishing towns and classy resorts. But which areas of the Algarve should you visit? With the help of luxury villa company, The Real Algarve, I’m highlighting three resorts in the Algarve’s prestigious ‘Golden Triangle’ area.
Vale do Lobo
One of the largest luxury resorts in Portugal, Vale do Lobo is set amongst pine forests with views of long sandy beaches. Within the resort there are activities for the whole family from golf, tennis and watersports. If you prefer something less active, there’s an exclusive spa and, of course, the option to relax by the pool or at the beach.
If sports and golf are your thing, the resort has this covered with not one but two championship golf courses as well as a Tennis Academy. There are two kids’ clubs too, one for younger children and another for teenagers.
Outside the resort, there’s the town of Loule which has a Moorish-inspired covered market and the ruins of a 2nd century castle. In February, the Loule Carnival takes over the town. It’s one of the oldest events of its kind in Portugal – dating back over 100 years.
Other family day trips could include Zoomarine and Aquashow theme park. As well as beautiful beaches, the resort has onsite restaurants, shopping and evening entertainment.
Some of The Real Algarve properties in Vale do Lobo include Casa Erin and Villa Celia.
Quinta do Lago
The luxurious resort of Quinta Do Lago has the stunning Ria Formosa Nature Reserve as its backdrop. The National Park is made up of lagoons, salt ponds, marshlands and sandy beaches and is home to protected species such as the chameleon and seahorse. At 60km long, there’s plenty for the whole family to explore.
Quinta do Lago is renowned amongst golfers with four 18-hole golf courses. The resort also has The Campus – a tennis centre with a team of world class athletes which caters for all abilities. There’s also the option to go horse riding, do water sports or explore the area by foot or bike.
Outside the resort, there’s the seaside town of Olhao as well as the fishing village Santa Luzia where you can enjoy the most incredible octopus. The town of Tavira is a pretty place to explore – as we discovered when we visited. It has a castle and its buildings are covered in traditional painted ceramic tiles.
The Real Algarve’s properties in Quinta do Lago include Villa Alexandra and Casa Carmel.
Vilamoura’s main attraction is its large marina. Surrounding the million-pound yachts is a complex of restaurants, hotels and stylish bars. A perfect place to people watch (or boat-watch). You can also try your hand at watersports or take a boat trip and explore the coastline.
Set within miles of blue flag beaches, there’s no shortage of places to build sandcastles or have a swim. Vilamoura is also famous for its six championship golf courses.
To get a culture fix, the ruins of the Roman villa Cerro da Vila are close by as well as the 12th century Castle of Paderne. Other beautiful beaches include Falésia Beach which is lined by red cliffs. The old fishing town of Quarteira is only a ten minute drive away and the city of Faro is 30 minutes by car.
The Real Algarve’s properties in Vilamoura include Quinta Das Oliveiras and Villa Amelia.
The Real Algarve
Independent travel company, The Real Algarve, specialises in finding clients the ultimate luxury villa holiday. Set up in 1995 by Lynne and Simon Bunting after they fell in love with the region, it now has over 1500 properties across the Algarve. Simon’s daughters Katie and Vicky are now in charge of the rental side of the business with a team of eight based in the UK.
The Real Algarve has a strong focus on families with various activities within the resort and child-friendly villas. All the essentials for babies and young children can be delivered to the villa at the start of the holiday while pool fences and games equipment can be organised.
Its team of Algarve Aunties provide babysitting, nanny and child-minding services. Their experienced staff are trained in first aid and are DBS checked. Each Auntie arrives with activities for the children tailored to suit their age. They can also take children on excursions.
Bespoke Concierge Service
The Real Algarve now has a bespoke concierge service. It can provide your own private chef who can come to your villa and cook for the whole family (or perhaps for the adults when the kids have gone to bed). Led by a Michelin-star trained chef, they have almost every cuisine covered from Mediterranean to Italian and sushi.
As well as advising on the best beaches and restaurants to visit, the service also offers wine tasting experiences and can arrange family activities such as horse riding, culture visits, boat trips and watersports.
A relaxing holiday
Ever been on holiday and felt like you need another holiday? I know I have! If you’re looking for a break where you can completely relax with the family then The Real Algarve appears to have everything covered from luxurious accommodation to childcare and activities for the whole family.
*Written in collaboration with The Real Algarve
**Pictures courtesy of The Real Algarve and Pixabay