Portugal is referred as ‘Europe’s west coast’, a country of picturesque vineyard-filled rolling hills, dramatic cliffs and year-round sunshine.
Add to that stunning hotels, and it’s no wonder Portugal is such a popular luxury holiday destination.
Madeira offers sun, sandy beaches, golf and elegant gardens.
The Island of Eternal Springtime, lovers’ Isle, Pearl of the Atlantic, Floating Garden of the Atlantic are just a few of the epithets awarded to Madeira, the largest of the islands in the Madeiran Archipelago which also includes the sand and sea worshippers’ island of Porto Santo, and the uninhabited islands of the Selvagens and Desertas.
Funchal is on the southeast coast of the island in a picturesque bay, Madeira’s capital, Funchal, lies between the deep blue of the ocean and the lush green of the mountains
Porto Santo, 40km to the north of Madeira and reached by ‘plane or boat, is a popular escape for many Madeirans.
Porto Santo is a tiny island, measuring just 6km by 11km, the golden sand beaches spread out in one long uninterrupted line for the best part of 10km, beyond the beaches it remains largely undeveloped with only craggy volcanic peaks to break up the landscape.
Sao Goncalo is a peaceful country retreat, The Palheiro Gardens offers extensive variety of flowers and is said to be one of the most beautiful gardens on the island.
Golf enthusiasts staying in Sao Goncalo can enjoy the outstanding Palheiro Golf Course which boasts an 18-hole, par 72 Championship course which meanders through pine woodland.
The Algarves offers 150 beaches soft golden sandy beaches
The Algarves was once made up of peaceful fishing villages, now its offers bustling tourist activity with great restaurants and bars, in the popular towns and cities, loved for years by so many tourists, in part thanks to its year-round warm and sunny climate with July the warmest time of year.
Vilamoura offers its Roman ancient ruins, from its early fishing settlement that can testify to this, and its modern-day life.
Vilamoura revolves around the impressive marina dividing the splendid Praia da Falesia beach from the sands of the Praia Olhos d’Agau.
Praia da Falesia
Golden sand lies at the foot of ochre coloured cliffs, they the beach is some 6km - 8km, so plenty of room for everyone with an great choice of restaurants and activities to enjoy.
A great coastal path which threads its way through pine forests and scenic villages, making it ideal for a spot of gentle walking or cycling along with golf never far away.
Quinta do Lago
Known as an exclusive golfer’s paradise, with tree-lined boulevards and luxury hotels, Quinta do Lago is located just to the west of Faro.
With no fewer than four championship golf courses, a lagoon within the resort for watersports enthusiasts and high-end restaurants and stylish boutiques.
Porches offers vineyards and tiny hilltop villages to the north from the beaches, coves and headlands to the south.
The village itself is noted for its traditions artisan pottery, fine wine and delicious seafood, the picturesque cliff top chapel at Nosso Senhora da Rocha is an unmissable delight.
Porches is also home to one of Europes most luxurious resorts with two Michelin stars at its Ocean restaurant.
Lagos offers laid-back beaches with a good surf, a 16th century old town, an ancient Arab fortress and a modern marina with restaurants, bars and shops.
There’s a lively atmosphere in the old town after sunset as the pubs, cafes, clubs and bars get busy, with great hiking, cycling or horse-riding offer great ways to explore the islands.
Vale do Lobo
Vale do Lobo is all about golf and the beach with two championship golf courses, the Royal and the Ocean both with luxury hotels.
Vale do Lobo was where the ‘Golf Coast’ reputation of the Algarve started in the 1960’s, so this sure is a golfers paradise.
Praia da Rocha
Praia da Rocha since the 16th century when a small fort was built there to save Portimao from invaders and pirates.
Offering luxury hotels and residential developments have sprung up alongside restaurants, bars, shops, clubs and a casino as well as a fine marina at Portimao.
Tavira town’s centre is a maze of worn, cobblestone streets revealing pretty gardens and shady plazas in equal measure.
Tavira offers many ancient churches and 18th century buildings, built after the earthquake of 1755, although golf courses are opening nearby, the beach lies beyond salt pans reached by a small ferryboat or footbridge to the sand-bar island of Ilha Tavira.
Albufeira is the Algarve’s longest-standing and most well-known holiday resort, with its narrow, cobbled, whitewashed alleyways in the old town’s main square.
With unspoilt beaches and bays line the coast, many of them blue flag recipients, including Praia d’Oura, a favourite of watersports enthusiasts.
Carvoeiro is now a popular tourist destination famous for its selection of sandy beaches and sheltered bays ideal for a luxury holiday, with even a beach in the centre of town with umbrellas, loungers and plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.
The cliffs are lined with postcard-perfect white housing, lighthouse and the remains of the fort which date back to the 17th century.
Olhao’s ‘look’ can be challenging at first, but the waterfront promenade offers pleasant walks and cool gardens in which to escape the heat of the midday sun.
Olhao is also the gateway to one of the most beautiful and deserted landscapes of the region and some of Europe’s finest beaches, with the natural beauty of the estuarine Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, network of dunes, lagoons, endless beaches and salt pans is home to numerous species of birds, fish, fauna and flora, idea for uninterrupted peace and solitude it is hard to beat.
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