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Best Places To Stay In Portugal: Algarve Holiday Guide

     Welcome to the No.1 website for renting luxury villas in the Algarve. Discover all you need to know about the infamous region of the Algarve in Portugal. From its suitability for families and couples, to the best things to do, top places to stay, popular restaurants, best beaches and more, read on for your complete guide to the Algarve.

     Located on the southern tip of Portugal, the Algarve is home to one of the most famous stretches of coastline in the world. Magnificent beaches and coves emerge from the awesome cliffs that border Portugal's shoreline to create some of the best beaches in the world.

     World class resorts and stunning luxury villas with pools are the perfect backdrop to this idyllic beach holiday destination. Portugal's waters are a haven for endless watersports and rare wildlife, you'll find dolphins, flamingos and all manner of marine life in the region's seas and waterways.

From Lagos to Albufeira, Sagres, Vilamoura, Faro and Portimao, the Algarve is the ultimate holiday destination with something for everyone.

All the best,

John Paul Donnelly

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Why choose Algarve, Portugal?

     Beyond the golden sands and tranquil coves that make the Algarve so special, there is plenty to see and do.

     On the waters' edge, you'll find traditional fishing villages, stylish marinas, sand islands, nature reserves and lagoons teeming with unique and exotic birds. Inland, huge swathes of untouched valleys and hills, offer the chance to see beautiful wildlife, flowers and fauna up close.

     Hiking trails can take you far into the hills, where almond trees and citrus groves are dotted with ancient castles and historic ruins dating back to the Romans, Moors and other great civilisations.

      It is really easy to get around and thrilling waterparks, world-class championship golf courses, top restaurants, buzzing bars and pulsating clubs provide the range of entertainment needed to keep everyone happy all holiday.

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Best things to do in Algarve, Portugal

      The Algarve is packed with a dazzling feast of things to do and see, From breathtaking beaches to extraordinary natural sights, fun family days out and top restaurants, here's our round up of the best things to do in the Algarve.

Best things to do in Algarve:

     The Algarve boasts one of the best maintained stretches of coastline in Europe, so regardless of the beach or harbour you visit, you can expect easy access to a wide variety of top watersports including: flyboarding, jet skiing, scuba diving, kayaking, inflatables, paragliding and surfing.

     One of the best ways to explore this diverse coastal landscape, is on a boat tours that will allow you to see many of the country's top natural sights from an advantageous position in the sea.


Best Beaches

     The Algarve is the beach capital of Portugal. All the best beaches are here, spanning a diverse range of different types and sizes.

     From rugged, untouched beaches to award-winning shoreline, secluded coves and seas made for surfing, you'll find an enormous choice of well-kept beaches to discover. Here are just some of the best beaches in the Algarve.

     The Algarve is a beautiful area with beaches backed by chiselled cliffs and staggering rock formations. Two of the most exquisite beach settings in the Algarve are Praia do Barrill and Praia de Odeceixe.

     Both beaches are quiet stretches of sand, in picturesque natural surroundings, where you can lie back undisturbed and drink in the views. In fact, Praia do Barrill is located within the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa for phenomenal views from its sandy, white shores.

     For sensational, Insta-ready coastline Praia de Dona Ana and Praia da Marinha lead the way. These two glossy coastlines, deliver sensational beach settings, good enough for any magazine cover.

     Praia de Dona Ana is hedged in by dramatic, rugged limestone cliffs that stretch high above the idyllic blue and yellow cove below. This is one of the most famous beaches in the country so you can expect it to get busy in the summer.

     For a buzzing beach, brimming with bodies, bars, inflatables, beach sports and fun, head to the busy shores of Praia da Rocha or Meia Praia. Of the two, Praia da Rocha is one of the biggest beaches in the Algarve, so it still feels spacious when pumping with a live event or packed with holidaymakers.

     Sagres is the place to go if you are looking for the best beaches for surfing. This laidback fishing town draws huge swells with lesser-known beaches that offer a wide and often empty, expanse of shoreline to enjoy.

     There are many beaches in Sagres to choose from. Some of the best, most scenic and quiet settings are Praia da Mareta, where high cliffs, a massive beach and nearby bars and restaurants create the perfect place to surf. Other top beaches for surfing include, Praia do Tonel, Praia do Beliche and Praia do Castelejo.

     To fully escape the crowds, head over to the tiny coves of Praia do Camilo or Praia de Cacela. Close to the Ponta da Piedade, Praia do Camilo is possibly one of the most astounding coves in the area.

     Encircled by enormous cliffs and rock formations, Praia do Camilo is a riot of colour that starts from the yellow limestone cliffs covered in green foliage and works its way down to the golden sand below, edged with the sparkling, bright blue of the water. It is absolutely breathtaking.

     Finally, for the longest stretch of sand in the area, 6km Praia de Falesia is a must see. Delivering the most arresting vista, trimmed with cliffs and aromatic pine trees, Praia de Falesia has all the additional facilities you need to relax here all day.


Best local attractions:

      For days out away from the beach, there is lots to do and see in the Algarve. Waterparks are a popular choice for family trips in the local area. The Algarve is very well facilitated for families so you'll find a number of top, award-winning waterparks scattered across the region.

     Slide and Splash in Lagoa is said to be the best. It is the biggest waterpark in the country and has won numerous awards. Slide and Splash's perfect mix of thrilling rides for both young and old, as well as restaurants, animal shows and relaxing pools, sets it head and shoulders above the rest.

     Other much-loved waterparks in the area include: Aquashow Park, Banzai Boggan, Aqualand Algarve, Wake Salinas, Surf Spot and Zoomarine Algarve. Each park offers something different and all are well-looked after and highly rated.

     One of the other biggest attractions in the Algarve is Ria Formosa Natural Park. Rio Formosa is a magnificent, wetlands nature reserve that reaches 60km along the coast.

     Take one of the many nature trails here to explore the lagoons, marshes, saltpans, islands and woodland that make up this wondrous natural habitat. Whether you hike, cycle, kayak or take a boat tour through the park, you can expect to see a fascinating array of rare and exotic birds, marine life, plants and flowers.

     The Algarve's rocky coastline has many heart-stopping peaks from where you can survey the dramatic coastline. Of all the best, Ponta da Piedade offers something extra special with its unique collection of rock formations, caves and grottoes.

     You can swim in its majestic cove, kayak, take a boat tour or hike up to its full, 20 metre heights to see the unrivalled views across to Sagres and Carvoeiro.

     However you explore Ponta da Piedade, you'll enjoy spotting all the different named rock formations at the water's edge, such as the cathedral, the submarine, the camel's head and the kissing couple.

     For history and a slice of culture, explore the cobbled streets of the old town of Faro where you'll find artisan shops, interesting architecture leftover from its Roman and Moorish past, as well as a marina, beaches and a museum.

     Silves and Loule are also well worth a visit. 8th century Silves Castle and the Museu Arqueologico are a reminder of its Moorish rulers, whilst Loule has many ruins to explore, including: the 16th century Capela Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, a 12th century Moorish castle and house, as well as the Igreja Matriz de Sao Clemente.

     Finally, with over 31 top golf courses in the Algarve, if you like sport, you'll want to pay a visit to one of the many sublime golf courses in the area, each offering tremendous views across the Algarve.

     The best golf courses in the area include, the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club, The Faldo Course and the unmatched Quinta Da Lago resort.

Best restaurants

     Portugal's fresh seafood and flavourful dishes are legendary.

     Top restaurants are easy to find in the region, with many favouring seafood and slow-cooked dishes. Some of the best restaurants in the Algarve are: Real Portuguese Cuisine, Pigs and Cows, Windmill, Maria do Mar, Al Quimia, Cafe Ingles, Restaurant Vivendo and Le Cro Portugal.

     When you want something different, burgers at Fabios Roadstop, tapas at Tapas Jukebox or a curry at Sunita's Castle all come highly recommended.

Best nightlife

      You'll find plenty of beachside bars, beach parties and great clubs in the Algarve. Top local bars include: the Beach Bar, the Deck, Canico and Matts Bar.

     For all night clubbing, head to: On the Rocks, Kiss, Bliss, Lick or the Medusis Club to party long into the night

Best places to stay in Algarve, Portugal

     Luxury villa accommodation is a must for your stay in the Algarve. Plush holiday villas are available to rent all over the region for the perfect backdrop to your idyllic stay in Portugal.

     Whether you want a private villa with a pool, a six bedroom villa in the hills or a three bedroom villa rental with killer sea views, you'll find stunning villa rentals to suit every need and family size.

      Here's our top picks of the best places to stay in the Algarve.

Algave, Portugal Holidays: Why go?

Find out more about the top local attractions in Quinta Do Lago:

Nearest airport to Algarve, Portugal:

When is the best time to visit Portugal?

     Portugal enjoys average temperatures in the high to mid twenties for most of the year. Winter sees the arrival of the rainy season where temperatures drop to around 15°C although there are still many hours of sunlight in between the showers.

     The hottest temperatures are found between July and September with an average temperature of around 28°C throughout the summer.

     In March, April and November temperatures fall below 20°C to an average of around 18°C for each of the three months.

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In 2005, John Paul Donnelly, began his luxury villa journey. He spent three years building resorts and holiday apartments in Alanya, Turkey, along with his brother, Joe. The concept was to create the most luxurious villas on the Turkish coastline and provide clients, along with their family and friends, the opportunity to enjoy exclusive holidays together.

By 2008, after the successful development of 3 resorts, JP had well and truly fallen into the world of villa rentals. With a portfolio of 6 villas and a desire to explore new places, he decided it was time to take the villa rental business outside of Turkey. He wanted to give his clients access to beautiful holiday rentals in destinations across the globe.

The expanding villa rental company was rebranded in 2011 to 5 Star Villa Holidays, and today 5 Star Villa Holidays offers over 10,000 luxury villas around the world.

JP and his partner, Helena are currently travelling the globe, devoted to hand selecting the best villas and property management companies, and giving them their stamp of approval! 5 Star Villa Holidays' ambition goes beyond being an ordinary holiday rental company. It is a marketplace for luxurious and exclusive villas around the world.

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