Quinta do Lago
There are four excellent golf courses to be found in Quinta do Lago. With the total number of holes a staggering 72, this makes the estate one of the largest golfing complexes in Europe. Tee times can generally be booked up to 48 hours in advance by ringing the golf course reception desk.
Quinta do Lago. The original 27 hole course was designed by American William Mitchell of Palm Beach Florida and a further 9 holes were subsequently designed by Florida based architect Joseph Lee and his associate William Roquemore.
Several international competitions have been held here, including 7 Portuguese Opens, and many prestigious amateur competitions are held here annually, including the World Final of the BMW Golf Cup International and the TAP Air Portugal Open.
The green fee on either course is 13,000 Esc per round. Further information and bookings can be made by calling the club direct on Tel: 289 390700 or Fax: 289 394013.
San Lorenzo. Owned by Forte Hotels and designed by the American Joseph Lee, this course is destined to become one of the classics. Tree lined fairways, water hazards and two beautiful holes bordering the Ria Formosa Estuary will set you a stern challenge but the rewards will leave you well and truly satisfied.
Visitors green fees are 18,000 Esc. Further information and bookings can be made by calling the club direct on Tel: 289 396522 or 396534 or Fax: 289 396908.
Pinheiros Altos. This is the newest championship golf course and residential development at Quinta do Lago. Designed by Ronald Fream, it has two distinct 9 hole sectors – the first 9 called The Pines and the second 9 called The Lakes, each offering a different challenge to any golfer. Pinheiros Altos also has its own Golf academy which offers a choice of tuition with the resident professionals.
The normal green fee is 13,000 Esc. Further information and bookings can be made by calling the club direct on Tel: 289 394340 or Fax: 289 394392.
All three courses have practice areas where you can buy buckets of balls and arrange tuition with the resident professionals.
Vale do Lobo
This was originally designed by Henry Cotton MBE and officially opened in 1968. The original 18 holes have a par 73 and the new 9 approx 35. The complete 27 hole course has become the most scenic in the Algarve: the famous 7th hole on the new Yellow Course is known as the most photographed hole in Europe.
Vale do Lobo Ocean Course. This newly combined 18 hole course featuring the Green Course and the reconstructed Orange Course. The greens on the Orange have been completely reconstructed and 26 new bunkers have been added. The course offers a superb mixture of challenging golf and some of the best views on the Algarve.
The normal green fee is 15,000 Esc. Tel: 289 393939
Vilamoura I. Designed by American Frank Pennick, the old course is one of the favourites of the Algarve and has hosted the Open. Laid over and around gentle sloping hills with tree lined fairways it poses quite a stern test.
Green fee 18,000 Esc. Tel: 289 310341
Vilamoura II. The old D Pedro course, now renamed Pinhal, has been totally transformed into a genuine championship test. Narrow fairways and water feature strongly.
Green fee 11,000 Esc. Tel: 289 310390
Vilamoura III (Laguna). Designed by Joseph Lee, the 27 holes of the area’s newest course provide 3 challenging nines. The 2 currently open are set among dunes and water hazards and whilst the fairways look inviting off the tee, trouble lurks for the mishit shot. Once it has fully matured this will be one of the toughest courses in the Algarve.
Green fee 10,000 Esc. Tel: 289 310180
Designed by Donald Steel, Vilasol hosted last year’s Portuguese Open. Located on the road to Vilamoura/Quarteira from the EN125, Vilasol is lush, tree lined and presents a superb challenge to middle handicap golfers.
Green 13,500 Esc. Tel: 289 300505 or 300522
Golf passports can be obtained from any golf course club (except Vale do Lobo) at a cost of Esc 38,000, allowing you to play 5 rounds in 5 different golf courses.
Please note: the above prices are valid at the time of writing.
Horses Paradise. Located on the Almancil-Quinta do Lago road. Hacks, lessons by qualified instructions.
Tel: 289 396864
Pinetrees Riding Centre. Scenic riding areas. Jumping or dressage area. Regular competitions. Lessons for all standards by BHS qualified staff. Residential riding holidays. Equipment for hire.
Tel: 289 394369
Centro Hipico da Quinta do Lago Riding Centre. Located in Quinta do Lago, offers lessons for both children and adults. Also available are treks and hacks under the experienced eyes of British Horse Society instructors.
Tel: 289 396099
Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy – located in Vale do Lobo. Tel: 289 394145
Jim Stewart Tennis Centre – located in Quinta do Lago. Tel: 289 398848
Vilar do Golf TennisVilar do Golf Tennis – located in Quinta do Lago. Tel: 289 396615 Ext 3013
Rock Garden Sports Club – located in Vilamoura. Tel: 289 321170/322740
Vilamoura Lawn Bowling Green – the only championship-sized green on the Algarve. Designed by Bob Davies, centrally located in Vilamoura. Tel: 289 321260
Vilamoura – 4 olympic ranges. Variety of firearms available. Clay pigeon shooting. Europe’s finest ground. Skeet sporting and trap. Equipment for hire. English instructor available weekends for lessons, for beginners and experienced. Open every day except Monday. Tel: 289 302545
Stretching, bodybuilding, gym and keep fit exercise classes are held regularly at the Hotel Quinta do Lago and are also open to guests staying in Quinta do Lago. The prices range from 2,000 Esc to 2,500 Esc. Classes must be booked in advance. Tel: 289 396666
Barringtons – Vale do Lobo. The biggest range of sports, fitness and leisure facilities under one roof in the Algarve for all ages, in quality surroundings. Plus comprehensive health spa and Clarins beauty salon. All with multi-lingual staff. Tel: 289 396622 (contact your rep for special membership rates).
Rock Garden – Vilamoura. The club for all seasons. Indoor heated pool (outdoor pool) & Turkish bath. Snooker, pool, gym, squash courts and tennis with professional coaching. Tel: 289 322740.
Choose from western, central or eastern areas of the Algarve for exciting one day safaris deep into the countryside. Call your rep for reservations.
Test your driving skills against others on a purpose built outdoor track and experience the exhilaration of speed and car control in safety. Suitable for the young and the not-so-young!
Located in the centre of Vilamoura. Gaming rooms, restaurant, live shows, disco. Open daily 16.00 – 03.00 hours. Free entrance into slot machines and bingo (no passport needed). Esc 500 entrance to gambling room and you will need a passport to enter. Maximum bet Esc. 1,000 (blackjack) Esc 500 roulette. Slot machines up to 10,000,000. For special dinner & live show reservations call your rep.
A great day out. Any one of our four main attractions. Slide and Splash, The Big One, Atlantic Park and the Aquashow will keep you entertained for hours.
All four parks offer a selection of rides and slides to suit all ages and tastes. Full restaurant facilities at all parks and you can be sure the funfilled atmosphere will surely mean that you will work up an appetite.
The parks are not to be missed and a sure way of cooling off and topping up the tan. Please see your rep for your nearest waterpark and the special deals that we can offer you.
To play... to love... and feel the wonder of life in the sea ... Zoomarine. A chance to see and experience some of nature’s most beautiful and elusive sea creatures.
Watch the dolphins display remarkable powers of intelligence and marine acrobatics. Some lucky children in the audience will have the chance to participate. See the giant elephant seal, sea lions and the amazing parrot show to name but a few attractions.
Travel along the beautiful coastline. Stop at lovely bays, take a swim and stop off for lunch. There are many cruises available, mostly departing from Vilamoura harbour. Ask your rep.
DEEP SEA FISHING
Fish for sharks, tuna, marlin etc. On one of the well equipped big game fishing boats. Departures from Vilamoura. Ask your rep.
FOOD AND DRINK
You should try the local ‘sardinhas assadas’ or grilled sardines. One of the best places to eat them is at one of the quayside restaurants under the old bridge at Portimao (best during summer months).
Cataplana – meat and seafood dish cooked together in a copper pan
Caldeirada de Peixe – if you like fish this is the dish for you. It has several varieties of fish cooked with potatoes and various herbs and condiments.
Cabrito or Kid – invariably delicious. Try it grilled or cooked in the oven (assado).
Frango no Churrasco – the local version of grilled chicken. The dish is specially tasty and well presented at Monchique.
Caldo Verde – a potato based soup originated in the northern regions. It is served with maize meal bread.
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine – bread is still a vital part of a Portuguese meal. The traditional cottage loaf is ‘pao caseiro’ with a thick crust and is often served in the restaurants. The more common oval roll is known locally as ‘papo seco’.
Presunto – a type of ham traditionally made in the mountains of Monchique. A fresh leg of prok is impregnated with coarse salt and left in a cool place for three months. It is then washed repeatedly with water and rinsed in white wine. When dry it is coated with a paste of paprika and olive oil and left for a further three months.
Almancil Beach Bars
Gigi’s at Quinta do Lago beach is set behind the dune with views over the Ria Formosa nature reserve. A lively place with superb grilled prawns, lobster and a selection of fresh fish, good music and cocktails. Every day a party. Brazilian Gigi and his brother maintain the happy vibes. Access from the parking lot past Hotel Quinta do Lago – walk over the long wooden bridge. (open daily for lunch and wundowners – private parties only at night).
Joao Passos is a friendly man with a gentle nature who runs this restaurant/beach bar with his lovely wife. Together they have made countless friends from around the world who write and visit regularly. They offer superb lunches of fresh seafood and their very own brand of chips in a relaxed ambience. Access from the Praia do Ancao parking area – concrete block path with Algarve chimney lights. Tel: 289 396435.
Tropical is a recently opened bar which offers fresh fish and seafood and is located next to Joao Passos. Tel: 289 398123.
Mendes beach bar is one of the ‘in’ places – and rightly so. Partners in music Patricio and Hermanio are two happy South Americans with a passionate love of food (South American) good music (South American) and the good life (Algarvian). Enjoy superb seafood and sizzling steaks and, after dinner, some of the hottest live misic around when the partners join Guillermo to make sweet sounds. Opening for dinner from July, follow the signs as you drive from Vale do Garrao towards Quinta das Salinas. Closed Sundays.
Antonio’s at Julia’s beach is a typical Algarvian beach bar – advertising calendars on the walls, TV inside, ice creams and cakes and of course good grilled fish and chicken & chips. Beware the local medronho that friendly host Antonio so readily offers – northern European livers were not designed to cope with this Algarvian delicary.
Julia’s has a superb position with its lovely views over the beach. The dining patio is enclosed with sliding glass for protection from those springtime breezes. It’s best to be early or book. Tel: 289 396512.
Maria’s at Praia do Garrao (the Dunas Douradas beach). The tables are usually full with Porguguese and foreigners enjoying their meals. Fresh fish and chicken are served on a patio overlooking the beach. Arrive early or stop in earlier to book. Lunch and dinner weekdays, lunch only on weekends.