Set at the edge of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Logo are a golfer’s paradise, with five championship golf courses in the area. Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches, with endless stretches of golden sand, while away from the beach or the golf course you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants, bars and nightclubs to keep you entertained. For a change of pace, lively Albufeira is just a short drive away, while nearby Faro offers a taste of the real Portugal in the lanes of the old town.
This part of the Algarve has many stunning beaches, and Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago have one apiece, both equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas and with beach bars selling drinks and snacks. Ria Formosa Natural Park has endless unspoilt sandy stretches, while Albufeira’s buzzing beach, with bars, restaurants and water sports, is very easily reached.
Things to Do
Golf lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to play a round or two on one of five championship golf courses in the area, and lessons are available if you need to brush up on your technique. Nature buffs will enjoy Ria Formosa Natural Park, a protected tidal lagoon which is a haven for bird and sea life including flamingos, seahorses and chameleons – this area is best explored by boat or kayak. For some history and culture head to nearby Faro where you can wander the lanes and squares of the old town and marvel at museums, churches and the famous bone chapel.
Eating and Drinking
You’ll find a variety of excellent places to eat in both Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, from beach cafes to fine dining restaurants. Just a short drive away in Faro diners are spoilt for choice with restaurants and food markets. Throughout the Eastern Algarve, you will find Portuguese restaurants serving up grilled fresh fish and seafood stew with rice, as well as piri-piri (spicy seasoning) chicken restaurants. Local vineyards at Tavira and Albufeira produce deep-coloured, fruity rosé wine, but crisp, cold vinho verde (young wine) from the north of Portugal is a popular choice on a hot summer’s day. Try local desserts made from almonds and figs, and finish with a shot of Monchique’s medronho, a spirit distilled from the fruit of the ‘strawberry tree’.
Nightlife and Entertainment
Both Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo have a selection of bars offering everything from a quiet cocktail to a glass of wine overlooking the beach. Quinta do Lago has regular live music evenings, while the Gecko nightclub and the Beach Bar in Val do Lobo feature DJs who will keep you dancing until the early hours. If you venture further afield, Faro is a student town with a lively nightlife based around Rua de São Pedro, Rua Conselheiro Bívar and Rua do Prior.