The most popular areas to live in Central Algarve
This area is arguably the most popular with home buyers and holidaymakers, home to the world famous luxury lifestyle resorts called the “Golden Triangle”, made up of Vilamoura, where we have our offices, Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.
Albufeira is an area of Portugal which has long been a favourite with holidaymakers and property buyers, and is one of the most desirable destinations in Portugal, offering plenty to see and do. It is popular for its lively mix of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and beaches, but started life quite differently, first as a walled Roman town, then existing as a traditional fishing village for centuries, until the 1960s. In the 1980s, the area experienced a boom, growing significantly and developing into more of a city.
Albufeira is now popular for its lively mix of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and beaches, but started life quite differently, first as a walled Roman town, then existing as a traditional fishing village for centuries.
Beaches in Albufeira are beautiful, but the most popular beaches can be busy in high season, so it’s worth doing your research to find some of the quieter spots to get away from it all. The old town hosts festivals, concerts and firework displays throughout the summer and a big party on New Year’s Eve.
Armação de Pêra
Another popular destination for holidaymakers, with a massive increase in visitors during the summer, Armação de Pêra is located between the other popular resorts of Albufeira and Carvoeiro. Home to a stunning length of golden, sandy beach with coves, caves and other nooks and crannies to explore, this resort is popular with families. The beach hosts a sand sculpture festival each summer, which is well worth a visit. Armação de Pêra is also located close to a number of attractions, including Albufeira and the local town, Pêra, for shopping; the Medieval walled town of Silves for a history and culture fix; and the Zoomarine Park in Guia.
Guia is a small, exclusive resort, popular with celebrity homeowners. Authentically Portuguese, the atmosphere is quaint and relaxed, with an old town and traditional bars and restaurants, offering typically Portuguese fare. In contrast, there’s a large, modern shopping mall on the outskirts of the town.
The closest, Blue Flag beach to Guia is around a ten minute drive away, at Gale, offering watersports and a selection of bars. For more peace and quiet, try nearby Armação de Pêra, or for nightlife and more hustle and bustle, head to Albufeira, both only around 15 minutes away by car.
Carvoeiro is a small town in the Central Algarve with stunning views across the coastline, traditional cobbled streets and pretty, whitewashed buildings. Although a small resort, essentially based on three main streets, there is a great selection of restaurants and bars in the area, along with good quality accommodation, many of which are made up of luxury villas and private residences.
The beach, with its brightly coloured fishing boats, is the postcard picture of Portugal that you might imagine from days gone by. The beaches in this area are a picturesque series of small coves, with a famous network of caves within the cliffs.
Quinta do Lago
Bordered by the stunning Ria Formosa National Park and Atlantic Ocean, yet only around 20 minutes by car from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago is an area of outstanding natural beauty, surrounded by pine trees, hills, rare plant and animal life, and ample greenery, as well as over two miles of sandy, Blue Flag beach and its impressive sand dunes.
The exclusive nature of Quinta do Lago has seen it become home to celebrities and it is one of the most expensive areas of Portugal in which to buy property.
The resort is an exclusive golfing location, with four golf courses, and reflects a great sense of pride in this sport, which has been an important part of the culture in Portugal since the 1970s, when the first Portuguese Open golfing tournament was held. There are also plenty of opportunities to participate in other sports and leisure activities in the area, including tennis, horseriding, watersports and fishing.
The exclusive nature of the resort have seen it become home to celebrities and it is one of the most expensive areas of Portugal in which to buy property.
Vale do Lobo
Vale do Lobo, also approximately 20 minutes away from Faro, is made up of some of the most exclusive residences in the Algarve, with luxury villas, an impressive beach and a world renowned golf resort. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, offering a wide variety of food and drink, and lots of leisure activities on offer. For those who prefer relaxation and pampering to a few rounds on the golf course, there is the Royal Spa, offering a wide variety of spa treatments and therapies. The resort is particularly well taken care of and everything is clean and tidy.
Vilamoura has a reputation as one of the top resorts in Europe, covering a variety of terrains and scenery, including pine filled woodland and a series of picturesque trails for hiking and biking. The focal point for Vilamoura is the striking marina, where you can while away the hours admiring the luxury yachts moored there and spotting celebrities in one of the many bars or restaurants within the marina complex. Vilamoura Marina is also home to the Portugal Buying Guide offices, shared with our partners, Smart Currency Exchange. If you are visiting the area on a viewing trip, or are researching the region with a view to meeting some agents and arranging some property viewings, do come in and see us for recommendations for the local area and additional support for your Portugal property buying journey.
Again, there are plenty of outdoor sports and leisure activities to enjoy in Vilamoura: tennis, horseriding and watersports abound. There is also a casino, and of course, some more world famous golf courses.
For culture vultures, there is an archaeological site and museum, where you can chart the region’s rich history, including its Roman and Moorish influences, over the centuries.
Roughly in between Faro and Albufeira – and just next door to the popular resort of Vilamoura – like many locations in Portugal, Quarteira was originally a Roman settlement, then a sleepy fishing village, but it has grown considerably since the Portugal tourism boom of the 1960s.
Popular with regular visitors and holiday home owners, the long stretch of sandy beach and its pretty, palm decorated walkway, have enduring appeal for both overseas and Portuguese holidaymakers.
Quarteira was originally a Roman settlement, then a sleepy fishing village, but it has grown considerably since the Portugal tourism boom of the 1960s.
Another report with something for everyone, Quarteria is very close to Vilamoura and has easy access to the famous golf courses of the region, as well as a large selection of seafront bars and restaurants, serving a wide range of local delights, particularly fresh fish and seafood.
For shopping, there is a very popular market held every Wednesday that provides a considerable draw for visitors from across the Algarve.
The Portugal Buying Guide is designed to support you through each stage of buying property in Portugal, providing relevant, up-to-date information and tips from Portugal property experts and expats who have been through the process themselves. The guide helps you to: