The Central Algarve is possibly the most popular area of the region, and it is here that you will find many of the most well known resorts and towns, as well as several of the Algarve's award winning beaches. However, it offers a great blend of resorts and historical towns.
The Central Algarve is ideal for those looking to be based in an area that allows them access the whole of the Algarve with ease.
Here are the highlights of the Central Algarve Locations
An upmarket and purposely developed resort, Vilamoura is the largest lifestyle resort in Europe. It sits as a suburb of Quarteira and is home to 5 championship golf courses, the European equestrian circuit and many other regular sporting events. At its heart is Portugal’s largest marina having obtained an award winning status on numerous occasions. It is characterised by carefully manicured lawns, modern properties, luxury hotels and a wealth of restaurants and bars that have something to offer everyone.
An iconic beachfront resort, Vale do Lobo definitely has a certain attraction to it. Located within the area know as the “golden triangle” it is one of Portugal's most premier and exclusive resorts, offering a variety of properties from seaview villas, to townhouses and apartments. It offers outstanding leisure facilities including two 18 hole championship golf course (with the most photographed hole in the world) and a full tennis academy. It is set within pine forests and upon a cliff top location.
Set on the edge of the Ria Formosa natural park, Quinta do Lago offers luxurious living in a beautiful backdrop of nature. With its award winning golf courses, it offers endless beaches, unspoilt dunes, and has become a favourite amongst celebrities. Built as an exclusive golf residential resort, it features some of the most prestigious properties in the Algarve region. Founded over 46 years ago by the famed Andre Jordan, it has firmly established itself as one of the most prestigious developments in Europe, offering privacy, family activities and promoting well being. Located next to Vale do Lobo and just 20 minutes from Faro airport.
A Portuguese city, Quarteira's main feature is its long sandy beach with calm waters. It is within easy reach of towns such as Loulé and Vilamoura and is characterised by its tall apartment blocks. It is a fishing village at heart and the life of many local residents still focuses around this. With an excellent fish and produce market, it is a hot spot for Portuguese and International tourists alike and with its long pedestrian promenade it is a spot many like to call home.
Probably the largest, most established and well know tourist destination in the Algarve, Albufeira is quintessentially a beach resort. However, because of this it is also a very popular place to live. Whilst it can become very busy in the peak summer months, it has a lot of selling points with something going on at any time of year. Whereas in constrast, many other Algarvian villages and towns can become very quiet over the winter months, it is also home to many fantastic beaches, and has the charm of the old town with its cobbled streets shattered with shops, bars and restaurants.
Loulé, is one of the Central Algarve's larger market towns, with a castle in its heart. The produce market here is famed across the region and it still holds that authentic Portuguese vibe even as a modern and progressive town. Whilst it draws the interest of tourists, it is not its primary focus. Instead, it is a town full of your everyday Portuguese going about their lives. It is unhurried and peaceful and with a number of hilltops surrounding it, making it the perfect location for someone looking to relocate and live in Portugal.
Another one of the larger market towns, São Bras de Alportel is tranquil and offers an unhurried lifestyle. It is set slightly further inland than Loulé and was once the largest producer of cork in the world. Today, the town has undergone a regeneration and is a fantastic place to live, work or play, with street cafes, a selection of great restaurants and all the amenities you would expect from a modern town. At its centre is the church and the old town, where you will find the traditional styled houses, many of which have been renovated and given a new lease of life.
These 3 areas where merged together under on parish back in 2013. Set in the hinterland of the Algarve mountains, Querença is a typical Portuguese village unspoiled by main tourism and renowned for its traditional gastronomy that has been preserved by local restaurants. The area is famed for producing some of the regions most popular traditional products like the chorizo sausage. The village of Tôr is surrounded by two rivers and offers plenty of nature to explore. It still has its main activities in farming, whilst the young population work close by in towns such as Loulé. Benafim offers much the same flavour as Querança and Tôr. With its traditions still upheld, it is a typical Portuguese village with every day life activities and amenities available whilst surrounded by a beautiful natural countryside.
Situated inland from the busy coastal resort of the Central Algarve, Alte is a picturesque village that is most typical of Algarve living and unspoilt by the development seen along the shoreline. It is brimming with whitewashed cottages, cobbled streets and surrounded by nature. With a beautiful waterfall located just outside the village, the local spring has become a hub of activity in the community, with the old women washing clothes, families taking a picnic and children swimming within the fresh spring water.
A historic town and originally the ancient capital of the Algarve region, Silves was founded in the Moorish era. With its solid red brick castle taking centre place, the city has grown up around it. Today it offers a peaceful and unhurried pace of life, with a strong Portuguese ambience unlike the resort towns by the coast. Numerous cafes and open air restaurantes are dotted along its cobbled streets. It offers beautiful scenery and sits aside the slow running Arade river.