Vale do Lobo is part of the so-called “Golden Triangle,” an area of three luxury resort towns to the west of Faro (with Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura). It was developed from 1962 until the late 20th century and was awarded the “Best Resort of the Millennium” and “Best Resort in Portugal.” It’s mostly residential, with luxury villas owned by the rich and famous Portuguese and foreigners, but there are also a few hotels and resorts. It is a major destination for golfers and more affluent tourists as well. In addition to world-class golf courses, it offers over a dozen tennis courts, considered the best in Algarve.
The main road leads to the Praça, which recreates a “main square” with several restaurants with outdoor seating, bars, a pool with bar service, and live entertainment. After the sun sets, the Praça becomes a lively spot, with people of all ages getting together for eating and drinking.
But do not forget that this is a high-end destination, so prices are higher than almost anywhere else in Algarve!
Vale do Lobo Golf Courses
With their stunning seaside locations and challenging holes, it’s no wonder Vale do Lobo’s two golf courses are considered two of Portugal’s (and Europe’s) finest.
- Ocean Golf Course
Designed in 1968 by Sir Henry Cotton (the greatest British golfer of his generation), this course established Vale do Lobo as a major golf destination. The name describes the setting – there are spectacular ocean views from the course.
- Royal Golf Course
Designed by Rocky Roquemore, the American golf course designer behind many popular courses around the world, this one opened in 1997. It has rolling fairways set amidst pine trees and lakes. The 16th hole, on a clifftop, is one of the most photographed in Europe.
How to get to Vale do Lobo
If you’re just going to the beach, you’ll find it at the end of the main road. However, there’s limited parking nearby.
Beaches by Vale do Lobo
Vale do Lobo is just steps from the golden sandy beach, which is slightly less exclusive than Quinta do Lago but surprisingly remains uncrowded even in the high season. It’s part of an enormous stretch of sand that goes from Faro in the east to Quarteira in the west. It’s quite beautiful, backed by red cliffs and palm and pine trees. It’s accessed by the Praça and there are parasols and loungers for rent, and sometimes a massage station, in the summer. If you don’t bring your own umbrella, this is the only way to have shade at this beach. If you enjoy water sports, you’ll also find rentals for that. Those who prefer quieter spots should walk a couple of minutes to the left or right.
The water is relatively calm in the summer and very clean. There are lifeguards on duty in the summer.
The beach of Vale do Lobo is similar to that of Quinta do Lago and is just 15 minutes away by car, to the west. For the beach of Vilamoura, head west instead, for about 25 minutes. As mentioned above, these are the upscale resorts of the “Golden Triangle,” so if you prefer other, more budget-friendly beaches, go to Praia da Ilha de Faro or Quarteira.
Hotels in Vale do Lobo