Southern Portugal has quite the reputation as a relaxation hotspot, especially for golfers. The Algarve region in particular is home to some world-class resorts, with people flocking from all over the world to enjoy everything they have to offer. One of the most popular is Vale do Lobo and it's easy to see why.
An ideal climate
Given its location on the southern coast of Portugal, visitors to Vale do Lobo can enjoy pleasant weather all year round. As the crow flies, the resort is just 150 miles from the tip of North Africa, so the area's climate is influenced by both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In summer, which begins in July and ends in September, temperatures often reach the high 20s, while the thermometer rarely drops below 13°C when winter hits in December and January.
While the quietness of Vale do Lobo is undoubtedly one of its biggest attractions, the fact that the town of Almancil is only a 10-minute drive away means that it's easy for guests and residents to get what they need, when they need it. The small town has plenty in the way of shops, service providers and restaurants - many of which cater specifically for British expats and holidaymakers. There's even an international school which conducts English-language lessons.
What's more, the much larger city of Faro can be found by travelling the same distance in an easterly direction, with the region's main airport passed on the way. Linking Vale do Lobo with Faro is the Ria Formosa National Park, which boasts some of Europe's most immaculate beaches and green spaces.
For those who'd rather not travel at all, Vale do Lobo itself has a host of restaurants offering all kinds of cuisine. There's a supermarket and shopping centre full of quirky boutiques on site too.
Of course, it's difficult to talk about Vale do Lobo without mentioning its impressive golfing heritage. With two championship-standard courses, the resort has little trouble attracting some of the world's best players and in 2002 and 2003 was chosen to host the Portuguese Open. The more famous of the two courses, the Royal, was designed by world-renowned golf architect Rocky Roquemore and its challenging 16th hole has become something of an icon for sport on the Algarve.
With so much to offer, it's no surprise that Vale do Lobo is one of the Algarve's most popular retreats. It could be considered the perfect location for a summer retreat or even a more permanent move away from the daily stresses of the UK.
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2014