The Algarve is to Portugal what the Côte d’Azur is to France; a vibrant region consisting of Albufeira, Vilamoura, Lagos, and Praia da Rocha, as well as smaller, humble villages. The most exclusive areas are Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo, and the gateway city of Faro.

These are peppered with restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and diverse beaches, ranging from romantic coves to stretches of golden sand. The Algarve is popular in July and August, but May, June, and September may be ideal for some visitors, because not only are there fewer tourists, it isn’t quite so hot.

The only thing that could make your stay in The Algarve more special, is pairing it with a customized itinerary tailored by a local contact who knows the region intimately. Are you passionate about horseback riding and visiting stables? Do you love to play golf, which the region is known for? Would you like to have a wine tasting arranged in your villa, along with a fantastic seafood dinner crafted by your own chef, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients? Whether you’re royalty, a head of state, or just a regular person eager to get away after a catastrophic year, the sky is the limit.

If you want the local eating experience, check out one of the tascas (small bistros), where you’ll find patrons enjoying a late lunch or dinner. Meals are brought to the table in cataplanas– copper cooking pots that are designed to seal in flavor. If the casual vibe isn’t your style, there are several Michelin- starred restaurants within short driving distance, offering the very best in Portuguese cuisine. Your local contact can make restaurant recommendations if you need them, and offer valuable information to make your stay memorable.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are five beautiful villas in The Algarve for your next vacation.

1. Sunset Villa


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Perhaps the crowning feature of Sunset Villa is the fabulous view. The sea below appears like a watercolor painting, suffused with a rich blend of turquoise, cerulean, and mint green waves breaking gently on the sand. What better spot could there be for an early morning stroll?

The villa’s interiors inspire similar awe: the comfortable living area, the sleek, well- fitted kitchen, the elevated dining room. Settle in for the night in one of the three bedrooms, all with private terraces, and en-suite bathrooms.

Even if you travel in the height of summer, you don’t have to worry about getting hot, between the air conditioning and the cool sea breezes you can enjoy from the terraces and poolside.

The caves of Benagil are natural wonders of the region, and you can see the rocks that house the m from the villa. On request, your friendly local contact can arrange for a boat hire so that you can enjoy the caves up close.

2. Villa Mari

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If you’re looking for a chic property that affords privacy, but is just a short drive from town and the beach, Villa Mari can accommodate a group of eight. It has a crisp, white and blue palette, a well manicured lawn, and tasteful communal areas.

This is a great option for families with children. When they’ve nearly exhausted themselves in the swimming pools (yes, there are two!) they can use the Playstation.  And when they’ve finally gone to sleep, their parents can gather on the rooftop terrace to sip wine and reminisce about the day.

The villa comes with housekeeping and the option to add other staff.


3. Algarve Golf Houses

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What could be better for a golf lover than access to the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club, voted one of the best in The Algarve?

The Algarve Golf Houses are semi-detached homes with earthy colors and terracotta roofs. Stylistically, each house has similar interiors: a living, dining, and kitchen area, with one, two, or three bedrooms/bathrooms.

The swimming pool, tennis court, and other facilities (spa, restaurants, gym, and country club) are shared with other guests on the estate. So if you’re the kind of person who likes to strike up conversation with new people, this layout is perfect.

The beaches are a 15-minute drive away, as is the Spanish border, allowing for day trips.



4. Villa Salema

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If you’re traveling with a large group (a mix of friends and family, perhaps) Villa Salema with six bedrooms would be a great option. If you need more space, you can rent the villa with four bedrooms next door.

The property is beachy and sophisticated, and a great deal of thought went into the decor. It offers uninterrupted views of the coast, and from certain angles, the infinity edge pool appears to meld with the sea.

The multiple levels are accessed by stairs, and if a guest requires an accessible bedroom, there’s a charming one with a king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom at entry level.

There’s maid service included, as well as air conditioning, Wi-Fi and luxury toiletries.



5. The Fishermen's Cottage

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Quaint and unpretentious are apt descriptors for The Fishermen’s Cottage, which has been remodeled to suit the needs of the modern traveler. It’s just right for a guest on a solo retreat, two couples, or four friends.

Interior features include a living, dining, and kitchen area, a terrace, two bedrooms with matrimonial sized beds and two bathrooms. Conveniently, there’s an elevator installed as well, and a welcome package awaits on arrival, courtesy of the owner.

There’s no pool here, but who needs one when you can walk right onto the sandy beach, set up your lounge chair, and pass the day away with a good book?