Quinta do Lago Portugal – golf, beaches and fabulous homes

Bird's eye view of Quinta do Lago / quintadolago.com
Bird's eye view of Quinta do Lago / quintadolago.com
14 February 2019, Marilia Poiares

In southern Portugal, Quinta do Lago, near the Ria Formosa Natural Park, is a luxurious living destination. An award-winning golf resort founded by André Jordan in early 1970, it has been the home of the rich and famous and of foreigners who are looking for their little piece of opulence in the sunny Algarve.

Thanks to its proximity to Lisbon and the good flight connections to Faro airport (just 20 minutes away), many retirees and ex-patriate families choose Quinta do Lago as their new home. The golf resort offers immaculate golf courses, beautiful beaches and amazing houses by the sea in a very exclusive and private set up.

Aside from the favourable tax regime and the lower cost of living that allows many ex-pats to live in communities such as this one, Quinta do Lago attracts golf fanatics, offering them a chance to live luxuriously in a natural setting with every commodity possible.

The resort offers 3 golf courses and has received many awards that recognise it has one of the premium golf destinations in the world, plus several great restaurants (André Jordan first imagined the resort at the farmhouse that is now the fine dining restaurant Casa Velha) and top-notch sports facilities at The Campus, to cater to any of the residents' needs and beautiful and impressive properties for sale and rental.

Be aware that Quinta do Lago is a luxury destination so, the property prices will be high and not for every pocket but you must also take into consideration that it provides more than a regular house – it offers a lifestyle that includes a few things you should know about.

Golf

Live your golf dreams at Quinta do Lago
Live your golf dreams at Quinta do Lago

Considered Europe’s Best Golf Venue in 2015 and 2016 at the World Golf Awards and the winner of “Editor’s Choice Award for Best International Resorts” by Golf Digest in 2016 and 2017, Quinta do Lago opened in 1974 with the inauguration of the A+B courses designed by William Mitchell and Joseph Lee.

Today, it is one of the largest golf destinations, with 3 outstanding courses – Norte, Sul and Laranjal – and has hosted the Portuguese Open Championship and well as many other national and international tournaments.

The fairways are wide and flanked by pines, heather, broom and beautiful wild flowering shrubs with several lakes, providing a test for players of all abilities. To complement the facilities, you can find the first Paul McGinley Golf Academy in Europe and the only TaylorMade Performance Center in southern Europe. If golf is a way of life for you, here you can enjoy it in the glorious Portuguese climate, surrounded by almond trees and citrus groves while feeling the sea breeze.

As we said, there are first class driving ranges, a golf academy, putting greens, pro-shops and clubhouses with large and informal terraces – the perfect setting to relax and have a well-deserved drink or a light meal after a challenging round.

Also, if you are looking for a bit of stress-free fun, you can also enjoy the mini-golf course with replicas of the world’s most iconic holes.

Other sports

The Campus, near the Vilar Do Golfe roundabout in Quinta do Lago, offers different sports memberships for any of the resort’s residents for activities like sailing, water sports, walking, bird-watching, beach trips, swimming, cycling, gym, running trails, riding, kite-surfing, tennis and paddle tennis.

When it comes to tennis, there are several tennis courts open to the public and on-site coaches who can assist in the development of your game.

If you like to cycle you can join the Social Spins by The Bike Shed at The Campus. You can go on biking outings along the Ria Formosa trails, by yourself or with your family or friends.

Beaches near Quinta do Lago

Take a walk along the wooden bridge that takes you to the beach / Flickr
Take a walk along the wooden bridge that takes you to the beach / Flickr

Quinta do Lago has its own beach that provides an exclusive atmosphere just like the resort. It is located alongside the Ria Formosa nature reserve and has three kilometres of white sand protected by dunes. You can access it by the wooden bridge that crosses Ria Formosa’s tidal lagoon. It has been awarded the EU Blue Flag for its calm and clean waters, safety and environment-friendly standards.

But if you want to explore a bit more, you can find a few other beaches in the area that are worth a visit:

  • Praia do Anção: very close to Quinta do Lago, you can find this family-friendly sandy beach, along the main road. Awarded the EU Blue Flag, Praia do Anção is the perfect place to spend the day swimming, sunbathing, playing volleyball or doing water sports. And don’t worry about safety, there is a lifeguard present during the day.

    Find luxury villas and apartments for sale near Praia do Anção
     
  • Praia da Marinha: on the other side of Albufeira, this beach is accessible by car and is one of the most beautiful in the world. The beach is very big, surrounded by cliffs, with warm, clean waters for you to swim in.
  • Praia do Barril: moving east from Quinta do Lago, only a 45-minute car ride, you can find Praia do Barril, on the island of Tavira. The beach is accessible by a bridge that connects it to the mainland. The beach, which has been awarded the Blue Flag, is great for swimming, paddling, practising water sports and to watch wildlife and birds. You can even find a nudist area!

    Find luxury villas and apartments for sale near Praia do Barril

Nature, sightseeing and family fun

Ria Formosa Natural Park is an amazing area with paths, trails and wooden bridges where you can hike or bike. Aside from the aforementioned Bike Shed’s Social Spins, you can also take a Segway tour around the park or even a boat trip from Faro to Olhão to see the lagoons, saltpans, sandbanks and islands around the area.

If you prefer to stick around Faro, go for a walk and cross the wooden bridge that connects Quinta do Lago to the beach and ocean. Enjoy a laidback day on the golden sandy beaches and, on the way back, make sure you walk by the famous Gigi’s restaurant for a snack.

Entrance to the Quinta do Lago's shopping centre / Wikimedia Commons
Entrance to the Quinta do Lago's shopping centre / Wikimedia Commons

For a more city centred day, visit Faro’s old town, with narrow streets and a strange chapel of bones or even visit an art exhibit in nearby Loulé, at Art Catto, or in one of the pop galleries you can find in the city. If a shopping spree is in order, visit Quinta do Lago 'Q' Shopping Centre, with designer shops, luxury eateries and a Farmers Market on the first Sunday of every month or drop by bigger centres such as Designer Outlet Algarve or Mar Shopping.

Now, for those who prefer to stay at the resort, there are always fun events and activities to do, especially around the summer months and holiday seasons like Christmas or Easter: live music and parties at The Shack, Picnics at the Park, Sunday Brunches at Bovino and beach parties at Koko beach.

Keep an eye out for celebrities

Quinta do Lago is a luxury destination so it’s no wonder that many celebrities spend time there to relax. If you keep your eyes wide open, you might spot some of the most famous people in the world like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods, Niall Horan, Ronan Keating and even Madonna. A piece of advice: keep a pen and paper at hand because you never know when you might be getting an autograph!

Bars and restaurants in Quinta do Lago Portugal

  • Bovino – Quinta do Lago’s signature steak house restaurant wows with its décor and food. Perfect for great meals during the winter and for great terrace dinners during the summer, it offers entertainment for the children and amazing cocktails for the adults. Make sure you don’t miss the Sunday BBQ lunches!
  • Casa Velha – timelessly elegant, Casa Velha is chic and romantic and sits on the land where André Jordan envisioned Quinta do Lago. Try their spectacular French cuisine that matches the wonderful views.
  • Casa do Lago – fantastic lake views and delicious seafood, what more could you ask for?
  • The Shack – parties, fun and good times. The perfect place to unwind and have some fun with your kids or with friends.
  • Koko Lane – this family-friendly café and restaurant is open all day and offers views of the driving range.
  • Pure Boutique Café – living a healthy lifestyle has never been easier with fresh, simply cooked meals.
  • Gusto – this is the place for a great Michelin Star meal at the Conrad Algarve. Fabulous fine dining and service.
  • Gigi’s – iconic beachside restaurant where you can have the best seafood in the area.

The weather at Quinta do Lago

Looking for good weather, warm temperatures and lots of sunshine? The Algarve is the place to be. At Quinta do Lago temperatures rarely fall much lower than 10 ºC during the winter and might even reach more than 40 ºC during the summer. The hottest months are July, August and September, so make sure you are there to enjoy the summer, the beach and dives in the Algarve’s warm waters.

Also, if you want to escape the rain this is a great destination since it barely rains in the south of Portugal, so be prepared for sunny days all year round.

Where is Quinta do Lago and how to move around

Quinta do Lago comprises one of the three corners of the Golden Triangle of the Algarve, with Vale do Lobo and Vale do Garrao completing the Triangle, in Almancil. How you can get there:

  • By car: to get to the resort from Lisbon by car, you must drive down the A2 highway and then catch the N396 to Quarteira/Almancil. Take the N125 exit and follow through Avenida 5 de Outubro and Rua Sacadura Cabral to get to your destination.
  • By train: if you prefer you can also take the train from Entrecampos (Lisbon) to Loulé. 
  • By bus: the cheapest option is to go by bus from Sete Rios (Lisbon) to Almancil.

When it comes to flights you can go via a direct flight to Faro airport (usually the flight doesn't last longer than 3 hours from European destinations), which is 20 minutes away from the resort or take a flight to Lisbon and, from there, a connecting flight to Faro (which only takes 45 minutes).

The best way to get to Quinta do Lago from Faro airport or from the city centre, after you leave the plane, the bus or the train, is by hiring a rental car, by taxi or Uber since there aren’t public transport options. Also, once you arrive at Quinta do Lago, some distances might be too far for walking around, especially during the hot summer months so you can use a bike.

If you choose to have your car in the resort, you can find parking spaces at the shopping centre (paid during the summer months), by The Shack and by the bridge to the beach.

Long-term rentals and properties for sale:

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