The ‘Golden Triangle’ – Algarve – Portugal
Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Almancil…
The ‘Golden Triangle’ Algarve, south Portugal. Hereby some information about the holiday resorts of Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Almancil, including the beaches, hotels, golf, maps, useful information and in fact, all things ‘Golden Triangle’ Algarve!
The area of the central Algarve between Quinta do Lago, Almancil and Quarteira is often referred to as the Golden Triangle of the Algarve. It has an abundance of luxury accommodation in beautiful settings, some of the best golf courses in the Algarve, lovely beaches and is only about 20 minutes from Faro airport.
Many of the areas have been developed as luxury resorts, complete with a selection of restaurants, designer shops and excellent sports facilities for all the family to enjoy. Two of the best known are Vale do Lobo – home to the ‘Royal’ and ‘Ocean’ golf courses and Quinta do Lago with ‘Pinheiros Altos’, ‘San Lorenzo’ and the Quinta do Lago ‘North’ and ‘South’ courses.
Quinta do Lago – The exclusive Algarve resort with a difference!
Quinta do Lago, one of the most exclusive developments in southern Europe, is situated on the edge of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, so as well as golf it is also a perfect place for walking and birdwatching. The villas and town houses are set amongst the pine trees and lakes along with a 5* hotel, restaurants and nightclubs. Water sports are available both at the beach and on the salt water lakes.
At the entrance to Quinta do Lago is the “Buganvilia” shopping plaza for all your daily needs. There is a large Ali-Super supermarket as well as a bank and an assortment of other shops, restaurants and cafes. At the other side of the car park is “Quinta Shopping” where you will find a tempting selection of designer boutiques, home furnishings, jewellery and even a dentist! Apart from the shops there is an array of restaurants and bars around the central square where everyone gathers after a round of golf or a strenuous day by the pool!
Vale do Lobo – the Algarve’s equivalent to Monaco!
Vale do Lobo is reputed to be 3 times the size of Monaco, so it’s easy to see why it’s known as the biggest and the best golf and beach resort in the Algarve! It certainly is a large resort and still growing with new areas under development. A network of roads (a lot of them one-way) weave their way around the resort past villas and apartments of all sizes. Like Quinta do Lago, once you are in the resort the rest of the Algarve seems a long way away and with, probably, everything you need close to hand – you wouldn’t need to venture “out”! Vale do Lobo has it’s own medical centre and a supermarket and in the central Parque do Golfe complex – a bank, newsagents, wine shop, beauty centre and boutiques. Vale do Lobo also has a great selection of restaurants – many of them at the square by the beach – the popular place to be, particularly during the summer evenings.
It’s not only popular for it’s golf – tennis is a big draw too – it has a tennis academy which hosts a Masters Competition each year with some of the big name veterans from the tennis world and is home to Barringtons Club which offers all types of sports facilites and is often used for training sessions by cricket and rugby teams.
There are many other developments in the “Golden triangle” – Vale do Garrão, Quinta do Mar, Lakeside village, Quinta Verde, Dunas Douradas to name but a few and more, no doubt on the way!
There aren’t many hotels in this area so most of the accommodation is privately owned apartments and villas of all sizes.
The resorts don’t really give a flavour of the Algarve as once you are in amongst the landscaped gardens, pools and often amazing villas you could be anywhere in the world – but it is the perfect place to relax in the sunshine and enjoy a touch of luxury!
Almancil – For every day shopping in the Algarve’s Golden Triangle!
The nearest town, Almancil, is just a few minutes drive from Vale do Lobo or Quinta do Lago and has an abundance of all types of shops and businesses. Most of the shops stretch along the main road through the town with several banks, supermarkets, restaurants and cafes along the way. There are quite a few businesses serving the ex-pat community with an English butchers and a fish and chip shop amongst them.
A very popular supermarket, at the western end of the town, is “Apolónia” which has everything you could possibly want. They stock a range of vegan and vegetarian products including brands that you will be familiar with from the UK and it’s one of the only places we have found with vegan cheese! (It tastes pretty good as well!). If you enjoy cooking they have ingredients for every type of cuisine as well as fresh meat, fish and deli counters, a bakery, good choice of fresh fruit and veg and a wide choice of alcoholic beverages!
The famous church of São Lourenço is in the village of the same name on the eastern outskirts of Almancil and is well worth a visit. It survived the 1755 earthquake intact (one of the very few churches in the Algarve to do so) and has all the interior walls and ceilings decorated in traditional blue and white azulejos (tiles).