Quinta do Lago is a resort in the Algarve, situated on the south coast and roughly equidistant between Faro and Quarteria. With golden sandy beaches on one side and lush green pine forests on the other, it's easily a small slice of heaven.
The resort sits within a UNESCO heritage site, thus construction is strictly limited, making Quinta do Lago quite exclusive. The existing villas are largely expansive and luxurious, fitting beautifully in their unique surroundings.
If that's piqued your interest, here's a little more about life in Quinta do Lago...
What to see and do
Ria Formosa Natural Reserve: this UNESCO-protected coastal area is an important wetland which is home to many species of bird. It encompasses two nature trails, an inlet-fringed lagoon and several islands. Not to mention the opportunity to observe some endangered species, such as the Portuguese Water Dog and Purple Swamphen, in their natural habitats.
Aqua Show Park: situated in nearby Quarteria, this water park features some of the biggest flumes in Portugal - perfect for those warm summer days with the family. When the cold weather draws in, the park opens a giant ice-skating rink, providing a great way to enjoy the water no matter the temperature.
Golf: Quinta do Lago is a golf resort with fine reputation, boasting some of Europe's premier courses and as such, the sport is a pretty popular pastime. Many golfing legends have teed off here, including Colin Montgomerie and Justin Rose. What's more, even those that are new to the world of double-bogeys, albatrosses and golden ferrets could obtain a grounding in the basics at the prestigious Paul McGinley Golf Academy before that obligatory visit to the 19th hole.
Watersports: while golf predominates, the Atlantic Ocean offers many opportunities for aquatic family fun. Whether it's a sedate pedalo trip or a high-octane ringo-ride, the Lago Watersport Centre runs waterski, wind-surfing, sailing and canoe lessons. The slightly barmier might like to opt for a banana-boat ride for the ultimate amusement!
Eating and drinking
No matter where your culinary preferences lean, you shouldn't have any trouble finding something to satisfy your appetite. There's the highly-acclaimed Pure Boutique Café, which serves up health and delicious meals, not to mention homemade desserts - perfect for a spot of brunch. Or try Gigi's, which necessitates a trip to the sand dunes. Keep an eye out for any celebrities, though.
Carnivores, on the other hand, might like to head to VP's Rotisseries and Grill, where diners can enjoy local flavours on the outdoor terrace of take home something from the Ready to Grill menu. For something a bit lighter but no less tasty, Koko Lane is a bistro that specialises in pre-golf sustenance or relaxed dinners.
The resort is an easy drive from Faro airport and car hire is plentiful. Alternatively, there is a decent bus service which operates between Loulé bus terminal and Quinta do Lago itself. There is no local train station, the nearest is in Amancil, but this is a mere five minutes taxi ride away.
As you can probably tell, Quinta do Lago is an area that offers a quality of life that is hard to beat. Come rain or shine, duck-hook or hole-in-one, it is a wonderful place to live.
Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014