Varandas do Lago
Varandas do Lago
Located between Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, this has the same stunning scenery that you’d expect from those places. Blue waters match the cloudless skies above, and its silky sand gives you that classic holiday feeling when it’s between your toes.
When it comes to villas and apartments, we have you covered. Private pools, maid service, quality air conditioning, Wi-Fi, barbeques, cinema rooms and more are all available at a variety of prices that would appeal to any budget. Every member of our team have also visited the area before, so we’re more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
Nestled within the privacy and security of the Ria Formosa nature reserve, Varandas do Lago offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle all year round. A welcoming climate, picturesque landscape, and wealth of attractive amenities only tell part of the story.
What sets Varandas do Lago apart and one of the principal reasons why the resort is heralded as one of the most attractive holiday destinations, not only on the Mediterranean but anywhere in the world, is the splendid smattering of beaches.
Lying on the Atlantic coast, Varandas do Lago benefits from azure blue skies and a tropical climate. Temperatures routinely reach a tropical twenty-six degrees Celsius in the spring and summer months, oftentimes breaking thirty degrees in times of heatwave. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Varandas do Lago is a sunseekers paradise.
So, if you’re thinking of visiting the resort and pondering which are the best beaches in the area, here are just some of the best beaches that you need to visit.
Praia de Marinha
Holiday-makers willing to travel a mite longer than a mere 5-minute car journey in search of that picturesque beach should consider visiting Praia de Marinha. Voted as the most beautiful beach in the world, Praia de Marinha lies on the opposite side of Albuferia, closer to the west.
Access to the beach is via a staircase that perfectly complements the surrounding landscape and offers spectacular views of the ocean, including the imposing stone stacks rising from the ocean.
Such is Praia de Marinha’s prestige, it’s unsurprising that it’s one of the most popular beaches on the Algarve. Don’t be surprised to find it bustling with people in the height of the summer, however there is ample room for visitors, even during high tide.
Additionally, throughout peak season Praia de Marinha has a lovely beachside restaurant that sells beverages to quench your thirst and has a menu of tasty meals that’ll immediately cease the rumbling in your stomach come mealtime.
Quinta do Lago Beach
The acclaimed resort of Quinta do Lago, a mere five-minute drive from Varandas do Lago that affords visitors the same exclusivity, seclusion and privacy as the remainder of the resort. Lying alongside the stunning Ria Formosa nature reserve, Quinto do Lago beach is famed for its pristine white sand which extend for three kilometres.
The beach is only accessible via the resort, with sunseekers having to traverse a small wooden bridge across the tidal lagoon of the Ria Formosa. Offering unspoilt views of the ocean and with crystalline, calm waters, Quinta do Lago beach is a recognised EU Blue Flag beach that’s as inviting as it is breath-takingly beautiful.
Praia do Ancao
A very short distance from Quinta do Lago is Praia do Ancao. The expansive fine sandy beach is bordered by a magnificent dune landscape. Trek along wooden boardwalks, which have been specifically-designed to protect the soft, delicate sand, and emerge onto one of the most scenic beaches in Portugal.
Extending approximately two kilometres, Praia do Ancao is synonymous with crystal-clear water and a light breeze. There are varying water sports activities for visitors to enjoy. Jump atop a banana boat and be pulled around the bay, get your water skis out and glide across the ocean or rent a kayak and explore the natural landscape.
Yet another of Portugal’s Blue Flag beaches, Praia do Ancao is an extension of Quinta do Lago beach, but sand is connected so seamlessly you’ll hardly notice.
Praia do Barril
One of the best beaches in the Algarve, Praia do Barrill combines golden sands and clear water with the intrinsic heritage of the region. Once the location of small tuna fishing community, the heritage of the beach endures to this day giving Praia do Barrill a lovely, homely feeling.
Firmly embedded in the beach landscape is the Anchor Graveyard. This rusting memorial harks back to the fishing fleets of yesteryear, with anchors used on the tuna fishing boats sticking above the sand.
Like many other beaches in the Quinto do Lago and the Varandas do Lago areas, Praia do Barrill has been awarded Blue Flag status, meaning the beach exemplifies quality, safety, environmental awareness and protection and sound management. Meeting the stringent standards, it become apparent that Praia do Barrill is surely worth the visit from the moment you arrive.
Sitting on the sand your eyes will be immediately drawn to the indigenous wildlife and birds that circle majestically overhead. There’s also a wealth of water sports opportunities. The western side of the beach features naturist stretches of sand, so you may want to avoid this area if you don’t want to be confronted by nudity.
These are just a few of the best beaches around the Varandas do Lago area. One of the most serene areas on the Mediterranean, a visit to any of these beaches is an assuredly enjoyable day out for all the family.
Located just five minutes from the iconic Quinto do Lago resort, Varandas do Lago isn’t a new pretender to the crown of the Algarve’s most-desired holiday resort. It’s a resort that perfectly complements the existing opportunities for discerning Mediterranean holiday-makers by offering them the same sophisticated milieu and range of activities.
Stay in Varandas do Lago and you can enjoy some of the very best attractions the Mediterranean has to offer. A favoured holiday hotspot for the rich and famous, including Madonna, Niall Horan, Wayne Rooney, Rory Mcllroy and Tiger Woods, the region is a playground for some of the most famous faces on the planet.
Affluent, without being pretentious, Varandas do Lago offers a wealth of attractions for adults and children alike. Bask in the long, sunny days before relaxing come the evening, enjoying a fine meal or visit one of the local nightlife hotspots.
So, are you thinking of heading to Varandas do Lago this summer and are interested in learning what are where are the key points of interest? Keep reading below to discover more.
Seafood Festival at Casa Do Lago
One of the highlights of the Easter social calendar, the seafood festival at Casa Do Lago is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy delectable seafood dishes whilst enjoying a wonderful celebratory ambiance.
The beautiful lakeside restaurant serves the freshest fish the Mediterranean has to offer on delicate seafood platters. An Easter celebration that’s quintessentially of the Algarve, the seafood festival is a great way to encourage children to develop a diversified food palate, or for long time seafood enthusiasts to gorge themselves on some of the most salivating seafood dishes anywhere in Portugal.
Come along with your partner and enjoy a sample from Casa do Lago’s special, locally-sourced seafood menu. Perfect for foodies, a visit to Casa do Lago is great not just during the seafood festival, but any time of year.
Picnics in the Park
If you’re heading to Varandas do Lago with your family and hoping to create memories that’ll be treasured for years to come, there’s one event that you can’t afford to miss – Picnics in the Park.
Hosted each Friday on Tee 1 of the South Course, Picnics in the Park transforms one of the most prestigious golf courses in the Algarve into a sociable family-friendly environment where parents and children can soak in the atmosphere, relax and enjoy sharing a meal, complete with live music and children’s entertainment.
As the sun descends, crowds of holiday-makers descend on the Magnolia Hotel. Entrance costs a mere 5 Euros for adults and free for children up to 12 years of age. Buy one of the picnic baskets provided by Quinta do Lago and entrance to all is free. Open from 6pm, picnics in the park is a perfect way for families to relax on a warm summer’s eve.
Soccer Camp – With Legends of the Game!
One of the most immensely popular attractions for youngsters in Quinta do Lago are the soccer camps. Offering the opportunity for kids to train with the legends of the game – Rio Ferdinand, Richard Dunne and Bobby Zamora, the soccer camps, hosted at The Campus, are renowned across Quinto do Lago.
Whether youngsters have the dream of becoming an internationally-recognised football star or have designs on developing their freestyle skills, at Soccer Camp they will learn that passion, practice and prowess are the three core skills to make their dreams a reality.
At the Soccer Camps, word-renowned footballers, like Rio Ferdinand and Richard Dunne are joined by Football Escapes’ UEFA Coaching team, Laura Rafferty, Sophie Perry and accomplished freestyler, Jamie Knight to help kids achieve their footballing aspirations. Remember though, places on the camps fill up quickly so book early to avoid disappointment.
ArtCatto Art Gallery
Located in the heart of Loule, less than 20 minutes from Varandas do Lago, is the ArCatto Art Gallery. Housed in an impressive Portuguese townhouse, the gallery showcases the work of internationally-acclaimed artists from across Europe.
Owner, Gillian Catto, is a prominent figure in the London art world – and internationally – having spearheaded a successful Hampstead art gallery for more than 30 years, championing talented artists, such as Scottish painter, Jack Vettriano.
Since opening its doors in 2011, ArtCatto has held several previews and events showcasing some of the best national and international artists’ paintings, sculptures and photography. The gallery has also been responsible for showcasing some exhibitions at the nearby Conrad Algarve Hotel, with works by notable artists, Phillip Jackson, Dom Pattison, Maimon and photographer, Terry O’Neil.
Anyone with a passion for the arts or wants to enjoy a day out at an immersive art gallery experience should make a point to visit ArtCatto – it may just inspire you to pick up a paintbrush.
Varandas do Lago and the surrounding areas have much for holiday-makers to enjoy. From gastronomic delights to works of sublime artistry, there’s plenty on offer when staying in the region.
As one of the most exclusive resorts in Portugal, it seems almost redundant to proclaim that Quinta do Lago – and Varandas do Lago – offer some of the best shopping anywhere on the Mediterranean.
However, this is precisely what the resorts, and the surrounding areas offer fashionistas and casual shoppers when staying in the region. There are boutique stores abound within easy reach of the resort, shopping centres where you’ll find all the provisions you’ll need, and a plethora of traditional Spanish shops and amenities where holiday-makers can happily spend an afternoon exploring.
Indeed, anyone intending to indulge in a spot of retail therapy when staying on Varandas do Logo will be positively spoilt for choice. Interested in learning where the best shopping experiences are? Make a note of the areas below and make sure to add them to your agenda when visiting the resort.
Necessities and Shopping Plazas
One of the joys of staying in Varandas do Logo is that everything you’ll need is right on your doorstep. The complex hosts a range of elegant eateries complete with mouth-watering menus, local shops which house everything from quaint Spanish trinkets to ingredients to cook that mouth-watering Spanish meal, and even newsagents where you can grab a paper and catch up on the news of the day.
Though the complex may seem secluded – with the hordes of holiday-makers flocking to all areas of the Algarve, it’s quite self-contained, an oasis that also offers a slew of daily necessities.
The entrance to the Quinta do Lago resort, a mere five minutes from Varandas do Logo features two distinct shopping plazas, which are situated at the Q roundabout is Quinta Shopping and by Bougainvillea Plaza. Here you’ll find a collection of boutique fashion shops, jewellers and a newsagent. Located immediately behind Quinta Shopping on the road to Vale do Lobo is Bougainvillea Plaza. The largest supermarket to the complex, a bank with cash points, hairdressers, children’s clothing stores, and a wealth of other amenities are just a handful of the handy local shops to explore.
Sporting Goods Stores
One of the most popular sporting holiday destinations on the Mediterranean, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the complexes have a range of sporting goods stores for adults and children alike to explore.
The three championship golf courses, San Lorenzo, Quinto do Lago, and Quinto do Lago Laranjal course all feature a pro shop of sporting boutique, stocked with high-fashion sporting apparel. Great for casualwear or when hitting the fairways, holiday-makers can choose from a range of fitness clothing that’s both light and comfortable.
Visit one of the pro shops and you’ll also be able to choose from a range of affordable golfing equipment. Whether you need a new 5-iron or have designs on buying a new set of waterproofs, you’ll be treated to a fine selection of equipment and clothing to choose from.
Situated on the airport side of Faro is Forum Algarve. A very pleasant, open-air shopping centre with a great selection of shops to browse. High-street fashion brands, such as Zara, Cortefiel, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti are well-represented within the shopping centre – and there’s a large supermarket and a selection of home décor shops.
Moreover, there’s a cineplex with 9 screens that shows the latest releases and a food court where you can purchase a bewildering range of food, certain to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.
Often the focal point for celebratory events and activities, the Forum Algarve is, arguably, the hub of social activities during the festive season. Throughout the Christmas season you’ll discover a mounted ice rink and artificial snow that’s sure to get everyone in the seasonal spirit, regardless if the temperature outside doesn’t quite represent what most of us associate with Christmas!
Open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, the Forum Algarve is well-worth the short 20-minute drive from Varandas do Logo to sample the shops or pass the time when not relaxing shoreside or by the pool.
The Fonte Santa Gypsy Market
Just a short fifteen-minute drive from Varandas do Lago in Quarteira is the Fonte Santa Gypsy Market. Held every Wednesday morning, this presents holiday-makers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in Portuguese heritage and culture.
In stark contrast to the elegant shopping malls of Quinta do Lago and Varandas do Lago, the Fonte Santa Gypsy market offers holiday-makers the opportunity to experience an authentic, vibrant and colourful market, rich in bespoke handcrafted items.
Peruse the stalls and choose from a selection of items created by local craftsman using techniques that have been passed down for generations. A true taste of a Portuguese market, the Fonte Santa Gypsy market is the best place to uncover souvenirs, a wealth of cork products, ceramics, linen and handbags that are perfect as mementos or as gifts.
So, there you have it – the best shopping experiences you’re likely to find in Varandas do Lago. With a diverse range of options, you’d be wise to withdraw just a little bit more spending money when holidaying in Varandas do Lago – after all, what’s a holiday for if not for a little splurging!
The region of Quinta do Lago is famed for its affluent exclusivity. One point of the Golden Triangle, the resort attracts tens of thousands of holiday-makers every year who come to bask in the Mediterranean climate, take advantage of the first-rate sporting facilities, or visit Ria Formosa Natural Park – and these are just a smattering of attractions that the resort has to offer!
When the sun goes down, there’s still much for night owls to enjoy. Though not a resort where bar-hopping from dusk till dawn is encouraged, nor one where young people are likely to find their musical brethren on every street corner, Quinta do Lago’s nightlife still offers a plethora of choice for those who aren’t quite ready to retire for the evening when dusk descends.
If you’re considering spending a week or two in Varandas do Logo and are wondering what the best nightlife attractions are, look no further. From elegant bars to jet-set beach clubs, sports bars and music venues, here’s a smattering of venues to consider visiting when the moon has risen.
Parrilla Beach Club
This juxtaposed beachside restaurant morphs into a sophisticated lounge bar at the end of the afternoon service. Enjoy panoramic tranquil sunset views and an ambiance that’s hard to match anywhere on the Algarve.
Set on Ancao beach in the middle of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, Parrilla Beach Club harmonises with the natural colours of the surrounding landscape. Its wooden tones are indicative of the beachside sand dunes and serene ocean colours and the natural light shone into the beach club bestows shimmering gold and blue tones during the day and pink and dusky evening hues.
Above the restaurant is the Parrilla Beach Club lounge bar. The perfect place to meet sophisticates, the bar décor is completed with comfy sofas and sunshades. With an elevated standpoint, Parrilla Beach Club offers glorious views of the coastal landscape and the evening sky. Order one of the signature cocktails and enjoy the perfect end to the perfect day.
The Shack Bar
Looking for that laid-back evening vibe? If so, then there’s only one bar to visit – The Shack Bar. Open throughout the day and late into the night, The Shack offers a selection of good food, live music and a range of tipples to suit even the most discerning palate.
Emanating a faux-rustic charm, The Shack mimics the authenticity of a fisherman’s shack offering tempting indulgencies of a mouth-watering menu and delicious cocktails.
Located right by Quinta de Lago lake and the Casa do Lago restaurant, The Shack offers up sublime views of the lake and the famed Ria Formosa. Perfect for an evening meal with the kids, or a quiet romantic meal with your partner, The Shack’s similarly rustic yet jet-set beach club ambiance needs to be sampled just once when staying in Varandas do Lago.
Open daily from 12 noon to late, Dano’s sports bar and restaurant is a place where everyone can kick back and relax whilst enjoying the intoxicating ambiance of good food, a family-friendly environment, craft beer and sports.
Touted as The Campus’ social hub, Dano’s is similarly stylish and welcoming. Affixed around the bar are multiple screen that show the week’s sporting action. On holiday and don’t want to miss a Champions League tie? There’s only one place to visit.
Dano’s has a fabulous outdoor terrace overlooking the palatial padel and tennis courts. Head over to the bar and enjoy a pint of Guinness whilst marvelling at the elegant Portuguese tiling details and vintage sports décor touches. Then retire to the terrace to tuck into one of their delectable burgers or steaks. Don’t worry, the menu also has plenty of vegetarian and vegan option too.
The Melting Pot
Arguably one of the best-known and most-frequented pubs in, not only Quinta do Lago but, the whole of the Algarve is The Melting Pot. As the name suggests, The Melting Pot has a real cosmopolitan appeal where people of all nations and walks of life can meet, chat and make new friends.
A staple pub and restaurant in the Quinta do Lago shopping centre for two decades, The Melting Pot offers a range of ales from across Europe. Partial to a German beer? You’ll find a frothy pint at The Melting Pot? Fancy a refreshing American lager? The Melting Pot has a fine selection of lagers to sample.
There’s live music twice a week and patrons are welcome to stay until late into the night. The perfect way to round off a day or afternoon having spent hours trawling the shopping centre for those little holiday indulgencies or gifts for the ones left at home, The Melting Pot is rich in ambiance and in relaxation.
There you have it, these are our picks for the best nightlife attractions on offer to those staying in and around Varandas do Logo. If you’re sure to hit the town when visiting the region, make a point to visit one – or all of these establishments and you won’t be disappointed.
Aiguablava is for many people the Costa Brava`s most perfect spot, where the cliffs reach down into a turquoise bay backed by a beach of gently shelving sand. It was here in 1908 that Ferran Agullo first coined the term Costa Brava. Although Aiguablava (its name means `blue water` in Catalan) has been `discovered` and villas are creeping up the hillsides, this remains a good place to experience the Costa Brava as it was before mass tourism took over in the more southern resorts.
Haven On Earth have an excellent selection of villas with private pools in Aiguablava, as well as apartments in smart developments such as Cap Rubi and Los Oliveres. The villas we have in Aiguablava range from 2 bedrooms to 6 bedrooms. We have a selection of smart, modern villas in this area, offering a contemporary feel to your holiday and for those looking for more of a traditional experience we have older villas which do tend to be better value for those who don’t mind a rustic feel.
Platja Fonda: Platja Fonda can be reached via the coastal footpath from Fornells. The beach is approximately 130m long, has coarse, dark sand and is quite low down in comparison to the path, meaning that it is reached by a long set of steps. The beach remains unspoilt and wild thanks to its access.
Platja de Fornells: Fornells is well known for its small harbour and can be easily reached from >Begur by road and also via the coastal path that runs between >Aiguablava and Fornells. Fornells enjoys favourable weather conditions making it a pleasant holiday location. The original beauty and charm of Fornells has not been lost despite it becoming more residencial. Fornells is also a great place for fishing. At each side of Fornells there are two small coves: `Ses Orats` and `Can Malaret`.
"Three miles to the north, the triple whammy of Aiguablava, Fornells and Platja Fonda will spark a best-beach debate..." Extract from `The Perfect Spanish Costa` by Chris Haslam from The Times January 13, 2008
Platja d`Aiguablava: >Aiguablava is for many people the Costa Brava`s most perfect spot, where the cliffs reach down into a turquoise bay backed by a beach of gently shelving sand. The beach offers fine, light-coloured sand and beautiful shallow waters – a perfect setting for any holiday maker. The beach of >Aiguablava is easily reached by road with good parking facilities. The beach is one of the most popular beaches not only in >Begur, but the whole of Catalonia. Over the years many artists and writers have depicted this wonderful location in their works.
"Aiguablava: The setting here — a sunset-pink rocky inlet where little boats ride on Smartie-coloured buoys against an amphitheatre of green hills — is Mediterranean perfection." Extract from `The wilder side of the Costa Brava` by David Wickers from The Times, June 26, 2005
Aiguablava seems immune to change; probably why it is still among our preferred destinations on the Costa Brava. As we approach, we pass through lush vegetation and catch glimpses here and there of resplendent, well-hidden private houses dotting the hills. At times the ascent from the waterfront is so steep that construction is virtually impossible; and yet the government-sponsored Parador de Aiguablava crowns one of the highest rocky crags. The hotel, modern and spare in style and well over 30 years old, takes a back seat to the vertiginous views. The hotel pool, at the edge of the precipice, is perfectly situated. In the evening, lights sparkle from the houses in the surrounding hills, and we briefly contemplate staying put but we can`t resist exploring nearby villages and their own coves: Tamari, Aigua Xelida, Sa Tuna, Aiguafreda, and Llafranc, where the simple but immaculate little Hotel Llafranc sits along the tree-shaded seaside promenade.
When we returned to the Costa Brava in October, we checked into Mas de Torrent, a few miles inland from Aiguablava. The hotel was at the vanguard of a wave of small deluxe hotels sprouting in Spain. An 18th-century masia (Catalonian manor house) in the countryside, exquisitely refurbished; the hotel is ideally situated to take advantage of both the coast and the rural interior. While here we direct our attention inward, visiting beautifully preserved medieval towns like Peratallada, with cobbled streets, covered passageways and an 11th-century castle (now a deluxe hotel with eight guest rooms), and Pals, former fief of feudal lords that was rediscovered by city folk who have splendidly restored the houses as weekend retreats. We are especially charmed by the isolated town of Monells and its singular Plaza Mayor, from which multiarched porticoed streets, tunnel-like passageways and alleyways emerge at odd angles.