Tee off from a new home in Portugal
Well-priced villas await in two top golf resorts, reports Cathy Hawker
AUTUMN is Europe’s peak golfing season. As temperatures cool and students settle into classroom routines it’s time for golfers to reclaim their beloved golf resorts.
Portugal’s Algarve is a golfing favourite with 39 courses along its beautiful 100mile south-facing Atlantic coastline. But authorities have worked hard to widen the area’s appeal for non-golfers, too.
The Ecovia do Litoral is a dedicated 132-mile cycle path linking Sagres in the western Algarve with Vila Real de Santo António on the Spanish border. There are established walking trails along the coast and into the Monchique mountains, plus tennis clubs, marinas and plenty of water sports opportunities.
Resorts also understand the need for a wide offering of activities and two of the best are Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, upmarket yet understated residential golf resorts. Both are within 20 minutes of Faro airport, both have extensive family-friendly facilities and both have property prices that, at the top end, far exceed anything else on the Algarve. “The number one reason why buyers choose to come is security, both personal safety and safety of their investment,” says Alison Buechner Høbjerg of Savills associates, Quinta Properties. “Even in the recession when prices along the Algarve were crashing, those on Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo did well.”
VALE DO LOBO
Vale do Lobo is the Algarve’s oldest golf resort, established in 1962 on 1,235 acres where facilities include two 18hole golf courses, the largest tennis facility in Portugal, a spa, gym and over a mile of beaches.
“Vale do Lobo has a different vibe to Quinta,” says Rita Castelo Branco from Quinta Properties. “Homes are generally smaller, with younger buyers looking for good sea views. The golf influence is strong with year-round rental returns for owners.”
Entry-level homes start from £137,000 for a one-bedroom, recently renovated apartment or £251,000 for two bedrooms. A beautifully renovated and furnished three-bedroom townhouse a minute’s walk from the beach and the restaurants and bars of the central square is £726,000. A two-bedroom 1,895sq ft flat opposite the tennis club at the heart of the resort is £361,000, both through Quinta Properties.
QUINTA DO LAGO
A few miles along the coast next to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has four driving ranges, a Paul McGinley golf academy and five golf courses where more than 100,000 rounds are played each year.
The owner, Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, has lavished cash on his resort. His latest addition, The Campus, opened this summer, with an extensive, impressive multi-sports complex.
Quinta is immaculately landscaped, less densely built than Vale do Lobo and further from the sea. Homes are larger and facilities, including 16 restaurants, are spread around the 1,606 acres. It is popular, with high prices for the ultracontemporary sprawling mansions being built along Parque Atlantico.
Detached villas start from £1.8 million, with one-bedroom apartments in Lakeside Village from £182,000, two bedrooms from £411,000 and a comfortable semi-detached villa with threebedrooms in Monte de Quinta with its own garden and pool is £640,000. A two-bedroom apartment with large west-facing balcony in one of the most prestigious areas of the resort with views over the San Lorenzo golf course is £432,000 through Quinta Properties. On the Pinheiros Altos golf course, Chestertons International has a handsome three-bedroom townhouse for £648,000 with private garden and communal pool.
PORTUGUESE PROPERTY SEARCH CONTACTS
Savills: savills.com Chestertons International: chestertons-international.com
Hole lotta fun: enjoy golf at Vale do Lobo in a dramatic setting overlooking the sea and beach on Portugal’s Algarve coast
£361,000: a two-bedroom flat close to Vale do Lobo tennis club (savills.com)