Luxurious beach life
The golden, sweeping shore of Vale do Lobo is sandwiched between the gorgeous tropical blue of the Atlantic Ocean and red terracotta cliffs. This striking beach goes on for almost two kilometres, complete with all the amenities you'd expect from one of the top Golden Triangle resorts in the Algarve. The beaches are well equipped with sunloungers, elegantly flanked by palm leaf parasols.
The beach itself has a few popular bars, complete with comfy chairs that sit right on the sand. Examples include the Beach Bar, which during July and August turns into a lively night-time venue, too. There are wicker beach huts and wooden chairs covered with large colourful cushions to enjoy here, too.
If you're the more adventurous type, there are many watersports opportunities for both novices and those who are more experienced. This part of the Atlantic Ocean is full of wonderful sea life, and wreck diving is a fantastic way to uncover the ocean's secrets. You could also take the opportunity of a lifetime and go big-game fishing for shark, tuna, blue or white marlin.
The Algarve is probably most famous for being a windsurfers' hangout, but if you're looking for an alternative family activity you could book a sailing trip. Shorter two-hour experiences are available, or you could opt for a whole day's outing.
Plenty of venues to keep your heart content
La Praca is the name of Vale do Lobo's Main Square and complex, accommodating restaurants and a wide choice of entertainment spaces. Located near the beach, it also offers seaside pools and lounging decks. You'll discover international food venues here, as well as popular bars hosting live music, dance and children's events. Classical concerts and art exhibitions are also held at a state-of-the-art auditorium overlooking a sculpture park.
If you're after fine dining options, head to the elegant Paixa restaurant with its modern outdoor space and sophisticated tapas dishes. Or for something a bit more down to earth during cheap holidays to the Algarve, be sure to visit Monica's Restaurant where beef wellington is the order of the day.
A golfers and sports lovers’s paradise
There are two 18-hole championship golf courses located in Vale do Lobo – the Royal and the Ocean. They originally sprung up in the sixties, making this the oldest golfing resort on the Algarve, and the courses are just as popular now as they were then. You can find out about package deals at your hotel.
The Royal offers rolling fairways surrounded by pine trees and wild flowers, and the 16th hole has a cliff top carry-over, of which many celebrated photos have been taken. It's considered one of the most challenging shots in the world, particularly if the winds are up.
The other course, Ocean, is set next to a nature reserve and, as the name suggests, slopes down towards the stunning Atlantic Ocean. The original layout of the course was designed by Sir Henry Cotton, the winner of three Open Championships and the 11th to the 14th holes offer golfers some of the most spectacular views in the Algarve.
Vale do Lobo is also home to the largest tennis academy in Portugal, attracting both national and international fixtures. There are 14 courts, public swimming pools and two gymnasiums with sauna and massage services here, as well as two restaurants that overlook the courts. Golf and tennis teaching programmes are offered at all levels for adults and children.