Relaxing resort just 20 minutes from Faro airport
Encosta do Lago is a popular holiday destination within the Quinta do Lago estate. The resort consists of high quality two and three bed villas as well as a good selection of luxury detached villas with their own private pools.
One of the main attractions in Encosta do Lago, is the large palm-fringed swimming pool. There is also a bar and the popular ‘Tuscano’s’ restaurant within the resort. Leisure facilities include tennis courts, a gym, sauna and beauty treatments.
Located 20 minutes from Faro airport, it is within walking distance to Quinta do Lago beach where you will find miles of golden sand and ‘Gigi’s’ beachside restaurant.
Just a short walk from the Encosta do Lago resort is the Lago Watersports Centre. It provides a host of water sports suitable for all ages and incorporates a concession at nearby Quinta do Lago beach. Activities on offer include canoeing, wind surfing, sailing and water bikes.
Also at the lake is the popular Casa do Lago restaurant. Enjoying a beautiful vista over the lake from the terrace, this restaurant also features a swimming pool and fire pit.
At the entrance to the lake is the newest addition to Quinta do Lago, The Shack. Already a big hit with the locals, it offers a selection of drinks and snacks in a relaxed environment.
Dining & DrinkingSnack Bar/Pool Bar
The resort restaurant Tuscano's opens for lunch and dinner with a large range of Algarvian cusine on offer.
The well equipped gym is located beside the pool. One to one personal training is available. The resort has two tennis courts and a range of coaching options on offer.
For those that like be pampered on holidays, the resort has massage therapists and hydro-therapy treatments.
Quinta do Lago Lake
The Lago WaterSports Centre provides equipment hire and training on both Quinta do Lago lake and the nearby Atlantic beach. In this section we'll address the many lakeside activities. You'll find information about the beach below.
On the lake there are no fast, polluting speedboats or jet skis. People here really believe in preserving the pristine and rare environment of the lake for everyone, including the wildlife, which means you and the kids can also enjoy a safe time on the water. Families often rent a pedalo (in the shape of a giant swan, no less), to head out on the water with gentle grace and in a certain style. Then there are classes and courses available for people of all ages and stages in water sports ranging from canoeing, kayaking, sailing (in small boats and catamarans), or windsurfing. The centre hires out carefully maintained equipment, wetsuits and buoyancy aids, and issues certificates to people who successfully complete one of their short courses.
For the less adventurous, sunbeds and shades are available so you can while away the hours in a beautiful setting, or keep an eye on the kids in comfort. Alternatively, the adjacent Fishing Centre hires out fishing gear, and can advise on the best places to catch the lake's various resident fish, including sole, bream and even eel.
Finally, the WaterSports Centre offers Eco Tours of the area on foot or bicycle, with knowledgeable guides to help you understand this unique environment. Many different kinds of migrating birds use this area as a rest point in their travels to and from Europe and Africa, for example. The more you discover about the Quinta do Lago and Ria Formosa area in particular, and the Golden Triangle in general, the more amazed you will be!
We mentioned the land-based Eco Tours which are available at the Quinta do Lago lake-side water sports centre, but the team at the Beach-side centre also offer an extensive range of powerboat tours, enabling you to fully appreciate the stunningly beautiful coastline of the Ria Formosa Natural Park area from the ocean, or to enjoy a secret desert island beach picnic, go sea fishing or snorkelling away from the beach.
On the beach, which is 3km of gorgeous golden-white sand backed by low dunes and the lovely environment, there is an even wider range of water sports provided by the same highly-qualified team. Here you will find: jet skis, ringo and banana rides, powerboating, water-skiing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, body-boarding and surfing, pedal-boating, kayaking and canoeing, sailing and scuba diving, as well as deep sea fishing and snorkelling. Truly something for everyone!
Power sports are carefully kept separate from the more sedate pursuits such as swimming or snorkelling, and in the summer months there are lifeguards constantly available during daylight hours.
As with the lake-side centre, fully qualified instruction and equipment hire are available for any activities which require you to have some skill or experience. Real newbies might prefer to learn something like kayaking on the still water of the lake and then transfer their new skills to the ocean; it just depends on your confidence level and experience.
Kitesurfing is a particular feature of the water sports scene in this area because of the highly suitable blend of gentle Atlantic breezes and small waves on which to work. Windsurfers and sailors too will appreciate this combination, seemingly made for small craft of all kinds.
The beach at Quinta do Lago has been the recipient of a highly prestigious European Gold Flag award for having consistently impeccable cleanliness and suitability for swimming and other water-based activities over a period of five years. This is a testament to the work that the resort and local people have done in working to preserve the natural environment here.
On the golden sand itself there are highly comfortable loungers and sun-shades available to hire, and you can expect sunshine on more days of the year than most, if not all, places in Europe. Which all adds up to a picture of sheer beach-side bliss!
Jimmy Stewart Tennis Academy
The Jim Stewart Tennis Academy is the perfect home away from home in the Algarve for tennis players of all ages. The climate of the Golden Triangle is as suitable for playing tennis as it is for golf, although we'd recommend booking in the evening during the height of summer as it does get hot in the day. Jim Stewart's Tennis Academy has over ten courts which feature different surfaces to play on, including hard courts, astro-turf and clay.
Recently they have also added the new American tennis-derived varient Pickelball, which we're told is a slightly less strenuous version of the regular game. What you'll especially notice though is the extra-friendly welcome and helpful attitude of the staff here. Nothing seems to be too much trouble, from advice on racquet string tension to top-level coaching to help you improve your game. There is an extensive daily kids and schools programme for budding players, and a court-side cafe where the irrepressible Stewart serves up a storm (sorry, we couldn't resist that one!).
Quinta do Lago Plaza
During your stay at Quinta do Lago, it seems likely that you will either need to pick up a few everyday provisions or perhaps might fancy a little retail therapy. Quinta do Lago caters for both needs with two separate facilities which are very close to each other, and can be found at the entrance to the resort.
If it's designer items like clothes, sunglasses, jewellery, shoes, perfumes, homewares or gifts that you require (or simply the chance to while away some time with luxury shopping), then head for Quinta Shopping, the resort's boutique mall. Here you will find many luxury international and local brands in a comfortable and clean open air mall. There are also restaurants and cafes here, two hairdressers and a range of other services, including an estate agent and an excellent pharmacy (should you need it).
For more day to day shopping, head to the Buganvilla Plaza, on the other side of the car park from Quinta Shopping. The Buganvilla Plaza features a newsagent, supermarket, bank, more estate agents, and some other useful shops including places to buy quality linen, clothes and children's clothes.
Here you will also find a number of eateries, including the Tsuru Japanese-European restaurant which is part of T Clube, the resort's stylish and justifiably famous nightclub. The food here is excellent, as is the friendly welcome. T Clube is popular with the beautiful and famous of Portugal, and is large enough to accommodate a stylish Piano bar for cocktails and conversation, and a large palm-tree dotted lounge garden which is available for private parties. T Clube is open every day during July and August, and at weekends from 11pm-6am during the rest of the year, so you can truly dance the beautiful Algarve night away here.
The three world class championship golf courses at Quinta do Lago all have different visual and playing characteristics, but each is beautifully maintained, stunning to play on, and each offers a true challenge to the golfer at every level. Each course also makes use of and enhances its local natural environment. Adjacent to the Ria Formosa National Park and close to the Atlantic ocean, the weather at these golf courses is excellent for golf pretty much year round, with sunshine around 300 days of the year. Since golf is one of the hearts of the Quinta do Lago experience, you will find attention to detail everywhere here; in the design of the courses, in the welcome, in the grass which enables year round playing, to the facilities at the course which include pro-shops, clubhouses, practice greens, buggies for hire (with GPS), a TaylorMade Performance Centre, and the nearby exclusive training academy run by 2014 Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley.
Golf at Quinta do Lago is an unforgettable experience!Read on for more information about the individual style of each course.
Quinta do Lago North
Re-opened on 1st October 2014 after an extensive revamp, which was carried out under the watchful eye of Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley and American designer Beau Welling, the North course is a challenge, but not an overwhelming one. The emphasis of the redesign has been to enhance the playability and general appeal of the course, while still maintaining its stunning undulating landscape and unique atmosphere. Golfers will find that there are several approaches to each green on this new course, making it suitable for all levels and types of player. Winner of the World Golf Awards prize for the Best New Golf Course in Europe 2014, the North course at Quinta do Lago will not disappoint you.
Quinta do Lago South
The South course, designed by William Mitchell and opened in 1974, is justly famous for its beautiful landscaping and challenging play. Host to the Portuguese Open on numerous occasions, the South Course at Quinta do Lago won the prestigious World Golf Award as the best golf course in Portugal in 2014 and is still a feature on the European tour circuit.
Responding to the natural features of the Ria Formosa National Park, which it borders, the immaculate South course is lined with umbrella pines and wild flowers, and makes extensive use of water features as part of its challenge, particularly at the famous Par 3 15th hole, where the water of a lake replaces the fairway. If you have regularly read any Golfing magazine in Europe, it's likely that Quinta do Lago South is already on you dream golfing destination list. Book a visit! You won't regret it!
Laranjal, the newest golf course in the Quinta do Lago stable, opened in 2009 and is situated about 2km east of the main resort. Here you will find a more open landscape and broader vistas than at the North and South courses. As with the other two courses though, water still appears regularly as a feature on the Laranjal course, and there are also fearsome networks of linked bunkers on many holes to trap the unwary. Having said that, the greens run good and true and you will be playing in a former orange grove with orange trees still in evidence everywhere, so it's not too much of a hardship to play here! The staff at Laranjal are very friendly and always on hand to help you with any of your golfing needs. A golfing trip to Quinto do Lago is not complete without at least one round at Laranjal, perhaps more.