Most know the Algarve as a summer “beach” holiday and they’d certainly not be wrong, but those that truly know the Algarve will argue there’s just so much more than Golden Sandy beaches. But just in case that’s what you want, we have over 150 Blue Flag beaches along the coastline.
Golf would certainly be another thing that comes to mind for those thinking on visiting the Algarve, with over 30 top-class golf courses there are some truly amazing backdrops to hit a small white ball around for a few hours a day!
Sports and fitness are a huge part of the lifestyle here nowadays, with some state-of-the-art training centres, excellent water sports facilities, surf schools being very popular with our climate as well as equestrian centres. Cycling and walking tracks/lanes are being implemented into each council’s redevelopment plan to encourage people to ditch their cars and get out and about in a healthier way, both to the environment as well as personally.
We’ve listed some of the hot spots along the various regions of the Algarve coast to help give you a brief overview of the areas.
An area that spans from the Western Edge of Faro down to Albufeira's west coast and, some would say, as far as Carvoeiro. This geographical area is, at it's furthest, 45 minutes from Faro airport, the importance of this is paramount for holidaymakers who wish to make the most of every minute in the country.
What can one expect whilst visiting this ever-popular area of the Algarve? A wealth of stunning Blue Flag beaches would be fairly high on most visitors "to do" lists. From huge sprawling beaches with water sports and beach bars around Vilamoura for example, or Albufeira, to the smaller quieter (although this is not necessarily applicable during the summer months!) beaches, like Ancao, Forte Novo, Bengali for example, there's certainly no lack of choice if the beach holiday is your cup of tea and the kids will love it.
Of course, the coastline areas are geared up for tourism, with countless restaurants offering all manner of cuisine, streets of bars and nightclubs for the nightlife are also not short in supply if you know where to look, the Albufeira Strip and Vilamoura marina are always popular long into the small hours... However if you want to get a taste of the "real" Portugal and mix with a more local scene then head a little inland, Loulé offers a great high street, weekly food markets and a more Portuguese vibe to it than some of the tourist resorts.
When it comes to looking at property in this region, it's a firm favourite for all the above reasons, as along with this allure it stands to reason it's a safe investment. With great rental potential and strong resale potential, there are not many safer investments in Europe than the Central Algarve. Many have chosen this area to invest with a few to moreover, or at least spend a more considerable amount of time here in the future. The wealth of activities year-round, a great blend of local and tourists offer's a very ecliptic atmosphere, and of course, with the easy access to most area's if you have a preference for the quieter Portuguese life you can avoid the tourists altogether should you need some rest!
The Golden Triangle – Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, Dunas Douradas & Surrounding áreas Vilamoura
Santa Barbara De Nexe
Stretching from the borders of Carvoeiro down to Sagres, the West Algarve offers some of the most amazing coastlines in Europe. With ragged red cliffs’ winding around hidden coves, some of the beaches in this strip of the Algarve have been classed as some of the best in the World and it’s not hard to see why!
There’s a slightly different feel to the West Algarve, the large cities of Portimao and Lagos certainly offer plenty in the way of entertainment, both offering stunning beaches, with Praia da Rocha a more “party” style front line and Lagos with its marina and slightly quieter beaches again there's something for everyone in this area.
A more windy and rugged climate appeals to sailors and especially surfers. The Western Coast of Portugal offers some of the best surf conditions there are and you can often see competitions being held along the coast with the worlds best!
If it’s a more touristy, beach resort you’re looking for then do not worry the picturesque village of Alvor and Carvoeiro offer this in spades, with magnificent beaches, lovely old town centres and plenty to do in terms of eating out, golfing, sports etc…
Property here varies as one would expect, the busy coastline locations come with a noticeable premium, putting them in the same price bracket at the Central Algarve is most area’s, due to the lack of premium space this will unlikely change any time soon. But there are some area’s inland that offers cheaper property, if you don’t mind jumping in the car and driving to the hot spots there’s the potential to get a lot more property for your money.
Although the area has been touted for some time as "underdeveloped" it's certainly changed over the last few years, with massive amounts of investment in town centres and riverfront locations, such as the promenade in Cabanas and the development of Olhao. There is undoubtedly a slower way of life once you head East from Faro, with less "glitz & glamour" and more worldly charm.
Demographically it appeals more to the older clientele, with huge amounts of historic appeal along with its market places and street-side cafes, and a large central area with easily walkable routes, although ladies might want to forego high heels of an evening as the pavements are generally calcada and slippery.
One thing that the Algarve does well, better than all its European competitors, is beaches. The Eastern Algarve is no different in that respect. The beaches along the Eastern coastline are phenomenal, the only difference here is they're generally only reachable by boat. This is of course catered for, with countless water taxis running back and forth all day and adds a more "tropical island" feel when you set foot on the beaches here.
Property wise, there's been huge increases in value here over the last 10 years, what was once considered an area of "bargains" is no longer the case. Prices are high, especially in the centre of the town, and in short supply. Most apartments are in older buildings and have no swimming pools due to the premium on space. Villa's close to the centre of Tavira is on a par with prices in the Central & Western Regions of the Algarve. You can find cheaper options in this region, of course, however, it will mean being further away from major town centres. A lot of the villas here do have extensive land attached, due to the sprawling nature of the region, although this cannot always be used as it's quite rocky and difficult to cultivate, it does offer a certain level of privacy which some clients value highly.