A fifteen minute drive from the main airport in Faro, the small town of Almancil is perfectly pleasant and typical of the Algarve. The neighbouring village of São Lourenço boasts a church decorated with characteristic blue tiles telling the life story of its patron saint, this example of azulejo work being particularly notable because of its age, it dates back to 1730, and the fact that it is attributed to one of the azulejo masters of the time, Policarpo de Oliveira. A stone’s throw from the church is the local centro cultural, which for many years has hosted a range of art exhibitions and musical performances. The local pottery is also widely renowned.
However, Almancil probably owes its position on the tourist trail mainly to the two very exclusive resorts located within 10km of the town. Both Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo are well-established developments which offer luxury accommodation, top notch food and excellent golf and have long been the holiday destination for the important and famous. The influence of their proximity is notable in the quality restaurants and stylish stores which adorn this seemingly simple market town, offering an alternative to those resident in the two beach resorts, or a decent place to stop for those just passing by.
Vale do Lobo is a far cry from the ominous English translation of its name. This supposed 'valley of the wolf' is, in fact, the most established golfing development in the area. Created in the late 60’s, before the end of the Salazar dictatorship and before any of its present competitors, its role in helping to establish the Algarve as a golfers paradise cannot be underestimated, although its tennis courts are also worthy of praise. The famous British golfer Henry Cotton designed the course, whose terrain is both varied and beautiful with wide ravines and troublesome bunkers vying with splendid views the ocean or of clusters of almond and olive trees so typical of this part of Portugal, and I dare say its proximity to the Atlantic has probably introduced the local fish population to the concept of golf balls over the years!
Next door, the immense Quinta do Lago complex is extremely impressive, with prices to match. Its five-star hotel has accommodated heads of state and fully paid-up members of the glitterati club, while its superb restaurants offer a cuisine fit for kings. Beyond this, its over 1500 acres offer no fewer than four championship sized golf courses, all situated alongside stretches of the Rio Formosa Nature Reserve and each with its own distinctive flavour. São Lourenço is par 72 and considered the most tricky with a large expanse of saltwater to overcome on some of the long drives. The Quinta do Lago and Rio Formosa courses take you through some terrain very typical of the Algarve, that is to say clusters of cork trees and the scented shade of pines. Finally, designed by American Ronald Fream, Pinheiros Altos boasts the tall pine trees alluded to in its name, along with many petite lakes and some shots that stretch even the most able golfers, despite looking cunningly straight forward.
Nearby, some of the best riding stables in the Algarve offer treks which take you through stretches of classic Algarve countryside and even along beaches.
Almancil bed and breakfasts
- 2 Bed 2 Bath Apartment (from €600.00)
We are delighted to offer a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment with communal swimming pool and pool bar at the entrance of the 5* resort of Vale do Lobo. With awards and accolades galore and home to the rich an
- 37 Quinta Verde (from €2700.00)
37 Quinta Verde is available for rental in this very desirable location set within the luxurious 5* development of villas called Quinta Verde, including its very own clubhouse with "state of the art"
- 4 Bedroom Luxury Detached Villa In Vale Do Lobo With Heated Pool (from €1784.00)
This beautifully furnished villa is located at an elevated position in Vale do Lobo with superb views of the golf course and sea.
- 429 C Apartment, Vale Do Lobo (from €650.00)
The apartment is in the well known luxury resort of Vale do Lobo, where the sun shines almost year round, near Almancil, not far from Faro and LoulÃ© towns.
In Vale do Lobo you have the B
- 684a Margarida (from €750.00)
This apartment is simply stunning! Only a couple of years old, and set in a very peaceful location. Easy access, and all rooms and garden are on the ground floor. Tucked away in a quiet cul-de-sac, it
- 8 Jardins Do Golfe (from €450.00)
Apartment Number 8 is lovely sunny, spacious apartment in the development of Jardins Do Golfe. we have just finished renovating the apartment, new kitchen was installed in March 2008. The kitchen has
- Al-sakia Village (from €250.00)
A luxury fully equipped family friendly two bedroom apartment, superbly located in the -Golden Triangle- between Vilamoura, Vale Do Lobo and Almancil. The prestigious Al-Sakia village is ideal for tho
- Barringtons (from €66.00)
Barringtons Hotel Golf and Spa in the heart of the luxurious Vale do Lobo Resort just twenty minutes from Faro Airport is a truly unique place to stay. This truly unique Hotel embraces myriad faciliti
- Casa Do Lasco, Algarve (from €1250.00)
Welcome to Casa Do Lasco, your Algarvian home from home. Set in an elevated position in between Almancil and the old market town of Loule. This elevated position affords stunning sea views, appreciate
- Casa Erica (from €480.00)
This delightful family town house has recently been totally refurbished and equipped to a very high standard. Located just 200 metres from Vale do Lobo beach and the beach front square with its selec