Villas in the Algarve

The Algarve, in Portugal, is an ideal destination for a holiday with the family or a group of friends. With beautiful beaches around every corner, charming coastal towns and sparkling blue ocean, it’s the perfect retreat.

At Oliver’s Travels, we have destination experts who know the region well, and know the best locations - ideal insider knowledge when they were handpicking our villas in the Algarve. So you can be comfortable in the knowledge that wherever you stay with us, we’ll have you in a great spot.

The majority of our villas in the Algarve have pools, so you can soak up the sunshine in the privacy of your own space. Our villas are a mix of completely private as well as some that are in gated resorts. But no matter which one you choose, our experts have also made sure that almost all of the Algarve villas in our collection are located near a beach – so you can experience the beauty of the coastline without having to venture too far. Perfect for the whole family!

Read the Algarve Travel Guide

Why stay with us?

Style and character are everything at Oliver’s Travels, and our collection of handpicked villas in the Algarve have this in spades.

We have destination experts who know the ins and outs of all our regions, picking villas that aren’t only unique, but also in the best locations. What's more, our villas are 100% family-friendly, and have the ‘wow’ factor.

Our helpful concierge team are on-hand to make your stay extra special. Whether you want a fully-stocked fridge, a local in-house chef to cook your meals, housekeeping or any other extra service – consider them your holiday genie, who will happily grant your wishes.

Why visit?

  • The Algarve is a sun-soaked region almost all year, making it an ideal destination for a holiday outside of the busy summer months.
  • It offers a breath-taking coastline of dramatic cliffs, caves, secluded swimming bays and beautiful beach coves.
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Luxury Villas in the Algarve: Our Top Picks

Why visit

Just under three hours’ flight from the grey skies of ‘Blighty’ sits a sunny, relaxed, and utterly gorgeous destination.

The Algarve, in Portugal, is one of Europe’s top hotspots for family-friendly holidays, and it’s no wonder. From dazzling beaches to forest hikes and waterparks for the kids, it has everything you want for the perfect holiday with mates, family, or a loved one.

Because the region is so well geared towards tourism, you’ll find plenty of superb accommodation, from luxury villas to holiday resorts that have everything you need for total relaxation.

Algarve, Portugal

Getting to the Algarve

Flights to the Algarve are available from most major and regional airports across the UK, so it’s an ideal destination for that impulsive, last-minute short break.

Flights land at Faro Airport, and then a network of buses and taxis can take you to the various destinations along the coast.

Top attractions

Famous for its food, natural beauty, astonishingly good surfing and golf, the Algarve is the ideal blend of old and new, commercial and quaint, vibrant culture and family-friendly lifestyle.

The food and drink scene is exceptional (you’re probably already familiar with one of their most famous dishes, Piri Piri chicken), but you’ll also get to taste the freshest seafood you’ve ever had – try the grilled sardines on the west of Carvoeiro.

The region’s mouth-watering dried fruit sweets are bound to be a hit with the kids, too. Wash everything down with the local plum brandy, which’ll blow your socks off!

If you want more information, check the Algarve Travel Guide in our blog.

What Oliver loves

How easy is it to get to our villas in this region, as the furthest airport is less than an hour from all of the resorts.

Best time to go

  • The best time to visit is either March to June, or September to November, when the average temperatures are the mid-20s and the sea is still warm.
  • July and August are the peak season months and temperatures climb to 30-35°C.
  • The only months when it might rain is from December to February.
  • Time your visit for Easter and you’ll get good weather and plenty of carnivals. Look out for the Flower Torches festival on Easter Sunday.
  • October is a great month to visit too, with the Santa Iria Fair in Faro and the AgroExpo in Vila do Bispo.

Top tips

  • Tipping: Add a tip of 10% in restaurants, and a couple of euros for bellhops in hotels.
  • Adjust your internal clock: Entertainment starts late in the evening in Portugal, so it’s normal to stay out until the early hours of the morning.

Where to go

We could go on for days about all the reasons why we’re so passionate about the Algarve here at Oliver’s Travels. The list would include everything from wonderful weather to delicious seafood, and at the very top you’d find our luxury holiday villas on the coast.

Our portfolio includes fabulous properties at all our best resorts in the Algarve, because we believe each one has something unique to offer, and this handy guide to the top resorts should help you decide which one is the right one for you.

So take a closer look at what makes them so special, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our concierge team if you want to learn more.

Western Algarve

Located at the western tip of the Algarve, Sagres is the main surfing destination in this area, but for those more keen to relax on the beach, beaches here are also top-notch.

Salema and its picturesque surroundings are full of hidden gems. This endlessly charming little fishing village offers locally sourced seafood, kid-friendly beaches and a fabulous location just outside the National Park of Southwest Alentejo.

Carvoeiro has always been known for its beautiful coastline, adorned with cliffs, coves and incredible sandy beaches stretching all the way along to Albufeira. These days, however, there is a lot more going on in this charming town than just waves hitting the sand.

Central Algarve

Boliqueime is a quaint little village with a historical feel just a short drive from Olhos d’Agua where you can retreat in absolute stillness and make day trips to surrounding towns and attractions.

This resort is located a quick fifteen minutes from Albufeira, so it's perfect those who like a good game while still staying close to town. Not far from here we have the Praia dos Pescadores, Praia de São Rafael & Praia da Oura.

A charismatic beach town with an energetic and busy vibe where every type of holidaymaker can find something to enjoy. Not only is it family friendly and bursting with great activities for kids and teens, there's also a buzzing nightlife scene.

Olhos d’Agua offers the best of both worlds when it comes to holidaying in the Algarve. This low-key little fishing village has all the charm and relaxing vibes of a sleepy town by the seaside, combined with the lively buzz of its neighbouring resort towns like Albufeira.

Pine Cliffs Resort is an award-winning family and luxury resort, and one of Olhos d’Agua’s prime gems. It’s known as one of the best resorts in Europe, with five-star services, great sports facilities and self-catered luxury villas of unrivalled quality.

For those looking to get a little bit extra out of their Albufeira stay, Vidamar Resort in the Salgados area offers all the perks of staying in a self-catered villa plus the amenities of a luxury resort. Not far from there you’ll also come across the beachy Sao Rafael as well as Galé.

Golden Triangle

Quinta do Lago has a well-earned five-star reputation thanks to the luxurious facilities, activities, sports and dining the resort keeps tucked away in the lush Ria Formosa nature reserve. In these surroundings, families can enjoy everything from biking to kayaking and fishing.

Vilamoura has been a glamorous town ever since Roman time. Its rich history is still palpable as you walk its streets, coming upon Roman Baths and ancient murals all around town. It is still a high-class destination although it has certainly kept up with the times.

Vale do Lobo is an expansive, one-of-a-kind resort where all holidaymakers, from couples and friends to families with children, can enjoy the luxury experience of a self-catered holiday villa year-round. As a guest of the resort you’ll have access to its tow-kilometre private strip of beach.

East Algarve

This is the crown atop the Algarve golf-kingdom. Its claim to fame is, of course, the brilliant Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course which is Portugal’s number one golf course with an absolutely unique layout and exceptional facilities.

Estoi is a fascinating little town hidden away a few kilometres from the Algarve coastline. It makes for a perfect home base while exploring the region. It's simple and picturesque, with cobbled streets, whitewashed houses and terracotta roofs.

Family friendly

Because it’s relatively close to the UK, taking young children on holiday to the Algarve isn’t too taxing. The entire region is geared towards families, so you’ll find villas in the Algarve usually come with child-friendly extras such as high-chairs for tots, and games.

If you’re staying in a resort then there's kid's clubs to keep the little ones happy, and babysitting facilities so mum and dad can have a break while the kids are looked after. But there is more! You can contact our concierge team and they will make your life easier by organizing catering, cleaning and any extra service you might need.

Fun in the sun

The region delivers plenty of family-friendly attractions. From some of Europe’s biggest and best water parks, to golden sandy beaches that are just perfect for making sandcastles, you’ve got the fun in the sun part of your holiday sorted.

Want to sneak a little bit of ‘learning’ under the radar? A visit to the Children’s Life Science Centres in Lagos is a wonderful way to spend a day, with plenty of buttons to push, levers to pull, and a great interactive experience for everyone. It’s low-priced too – perfect if you’re on a budget.

From tot-friendly food to water parks that’ll encourage your teenagers to leave their phones alone for an hour or two (an almost impossible task), holidays in Portugal are a great choice for families.

Discover more information about things to do with family in the Algarve or the top beaches for kids in our blog.

Kids in the Algarve

Should I stay in a resort?

Our experts have picked some gated villas within resorts, because not everyone appreciates a completely independent holiday – especially if they’ve got kids.

Benefits of staying in a resort on your family holiday span from facilities like kids’ clubs and babysitting services to communal pool areas, entertainment and spa’s. The main draw being the ease in which you can meet other like-minded families, and your kids can make friends.

Why it’s perfect for families

  • Good for babies: Our properties in the Algarve usually come with child-friendly extras such as high-chairs for tots, and games. Check out our villas for families with babies.
  • Good for kids: The water parks, activities and those amazing sandy beaches are a paradise for active kids, who’ll tire themselves out every single day having fun. Discover our villas ideal for kids.
  • Good for teens: The water parks have plenty of white-knuckle rides that’ll keep teens squealing all the way to the bottom, as well as teen-only clubs where they can meet new friends. These are our villas for teens.

Top tips

  • Hit the water parks of Aqualand, Slide and Splash, or Aquashow and cool off while having some serious fun.
  • Take a boat trip on a glass-bottomed boat and show your little water babies the wonders of the ocean.
  • Look out for the sand-sculpting competitions on the beaches, and see how creative the kids can get.

Best beaches in the Algarve

If you want golden sands and warm water that sparkles in the sun, but you don’t want to go all the way to the Caribbean to find it, then the Algarve has some of the finest beaches in Europe.

From sand sculpture competitions to wild dolphin watching tours (don’t worry, you won’t be impacting on the dolphins in any way, as the tours operate responsibly), there’s so much to see and do along the Algarve coastline.

And because the coast is one of the main attractions in the Algarve, we have made sure we have villas near the beaches. Some properties are even a walking distance to the coast, so you don't have to go far to dig your toes into soft, warm sand.

Quite a few of them also have fabulous ocean views. Wake up to the sound of the Atlantic, take a coffee out onto your villa balcony and watch the local fishing boats bobbing offshore as they catch sardines. With so many amazing beaches to choose from, you can come back again and again, and have a different beach holiday experience every time.

Check out our blog posts on some of the best family friendly beaches or the best spots to surf in Portugal.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Praia da Ursa, Sintra: This is the place to go if you want to escape the crowds. It’s not easy to get to, and you’ll need to tackle quite a steep path, but it’s well worth it. Because it’s so secluded, it’s popular with nudists, so bear that in mind if you’ve got the kids with you.

Praia da Ursa, Sintra

Slap-bang in the middle of the busy resort of Albufeira, this is your fun in the sun beach, with water-sports galore, lots of facilities, and safe, clean water for the kids to splash about in.

Just 4km out of Albufeira is this charming spot, where you can escape the crowds. Surprisingly underdeveloped, it’s also close to some excellent golf courses, if you fancy a break from lazing on the sands.

A great family beach and one that is particularly popular at Christmas, with a real party atmosphere, lots to do, and some pretty awesome beach BBQs. A charming little fishing village and a sweep of clean, golden sand.

A stunning beach that’s also home to one of the best selections of luxury villas in the Algarve; Salema is one of the most private and tranquil spots in the region. Great if you want to get away from the crowds.

Just over 6km from Albufeira, this gorgeous beach isn’t just the usual arc of golden sand - it has secret coves and hidden spots where you can find some peace. Facilities are good, and the water is calm and tranquil.

Welldeveloped and catering to tourists, this is an excellent beach for facilities, water-sports, and bars where you can grab a cool beer in between sunbathing sessions. Plenty of character makes it a real favourite with families.

Things to do

The Algarve is famous for its beaches, family attractions, and excellent food and drink, so you’ve pretty much got all the bases covered if you’re here with the whole family. You have a chance to experience an inviting lifestyle; you’ll find that life on the Algarve is laid-back, relaxed, and very friendly.

Festivals and food

The Portuguese love to celebrate, so no matter when you book your holiday, there’s a good chance you’ll be swept off your feet and into the joys of a carnival. During the autumn months you’ll find food festivals all over the region.

You’ll find authentic Piri Piri chicken on offer (and no, we don’t know what spices they use either!), freshly grilled sardines and even wild boar. Wash everything down with Medronho, a traditional fruit brandy that’s potent, to say the least! If this is of interest, check out places to stay close to restaurants.

Get back to nature

Away from those amazing beaches you’ve got some of the best hiking and walking trails in Europe. Alternatively, get into a kayak and see the coast from a very different perspective.

Take a trip to the caves of Ponta da Piedade

Dramatic, awe-inspiring (especially when the waves burst between the stacks and almost reach the top), and a proper ‘Kodak moment’, this is a place to bring your family and your camera for a glimpse of the real beauty of the Portuguese coast.

Ponta da Piedade

Ponta da Piedade

Hit the water parks

If you’re here with the kids then you’ve got some top water parks to choose from, including Aqualand, one of the country’s biggest attractions and packed full of age-appropriate rides, slides, and general shenanigans for all ages. If you’re brave, take on the 95m-high Kamikaze.


Portugal is famous for its golf courses, and you’ll find many golf villas or places to stay that are just a short drive away from championship-standard greens, fairways, and sand traps. Check out the Laguna Golf course if you like a challenge, or the Quinta do Lago South course, which hosts matches for the European Tour.

Quad bike adventures

If you don’t fancy walking or cycling, then jump on a quad bike and take a guided tour of the region. Head off-road along gravel tracks, stopping along the way to see the best of the Portuguese countryside.

Oliver's Hidden Gem

Nazaré beach: If you want to see men and women taking on nature at its most ferocious, head to Nazaré beach, where some of the world’s greatest big-wave surfers tackle waves that are bigger than a three-storey house.

Nazaré beach

Towns and villages

From tiny, rural villages to thriving resorts, the towns of the Algarve are varied, fascinating, and diverse. You’ll find water parks and Roman ruins, exclusive restaurants and beachside shacks, sleepy hamlets and pumping nightlife. What you experience will very much depend on where you go, and when. But if you want to be close to the main towns, discover these villas close to villages.

During the summer it gets crowded along the main tourist hotspots, so if you want to get away from the crush, head a little inland and explore the hiking trails and vineyards of the interior. You’re never that far from the coast in Portugal anyway, so if you have an overwhelming desire to lay on a beach it’s not too far.

Villas in the Algarve are usually clustered around the main tourist areas, although there are plenty to discover that are a nestled inland, where you can find a little slice of peace and quiet.

Roads and transport links are excellent in this part of the country, so our advice is to hire a car and explore the region.

Oliver’s Hidden Gem

Tavira: 28km east of Faro is this utterly unspoilt, charming town where you’ll get a glimpse of the true spirit of the Algarve. Whitewashed houses and cobbled streets sit next to the Gilao River, with amazing views of the Atlantic ocean.

Tavira Algarve

This is the region’s major tourist centre. It’s home to several fabulous beaches, some of the best villas in the Algarve, and close to all the water parks and attractions. The nightlife is vibrant, the food is excellent, and there’s lots to see and do all year round. Head here in the spring or autumn when the crowds are thinner.

Sleepy, tranquil, and a world away from the usual Algarve hotspots, this charming village sits within the Nature Park of the Southwest Alentejo and Vincentine Coast. This makes it a perfect spot if you’re more interested in hiking along the trails than sitting on a beach all day. It’s a tiny village, so you’re well off-the-beaten-track here.

A pretty little fishing village that is now the home of one of the most popular beaches in the Algarve, Praia de Benagil. It’s also just a stone’s throw from the iconic Marinha Beach, probably one of the best beaches in Europe. It’s a magnet for lovers of water-sports, diving and kayaking, and the beach is perfect for the whole family.

Historically important and full of cultural gems, Évora is a must for culture vultures. From Roman ruins to the astonishing Almendres Cromlech megalithic complex, the history of this spot stretches back for thousands of years. The centre of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and if you’re looking for an authentic shopping experience then head to the pedestrianised Rua 5 de Outubro.

This elegant town has always been popular with the rich and famous, so it’s no surprise that it’s home to some of the best luxury villas in Portugal. It’s a great winter destination, when the weather is still warm and the crowds much thinner. Make sure you try the local clams, known locally as ‘conquilhas’, usually served in a creamy sauce.

The home of Piri Piri Chicken (allegedly), it’s also got the excellent Zoomarine theme park and plenty of bars, clubs and nightlife. Originally one of the most agricultural parts of Portugal, today its almond trees and vineyards are still there, but the main shift is towards tourism. It’s home to some of the best luxury villas in Portugal.

Getting there and around

Your holiday starts the moment you land in Faro. Everything is relatively close by in the Algarve, so getting to and from your villa is quick and easy. If you’re planning self-catering holidays in the Algarve, then our top tip is to hire a car and stop off at the local village market to pick up some fresh produce along the way.

Flights from the UK

These land at Faro Airport, and take around three hours from London. Because Algarve is so popular, you’ll find that most regional airports fly to Faro from early in the season. If you want to get here out of season then you may need to go to a larger UK airport such as Birmingham or Manchester.

The road network

This is very good, although be aware that some of the more ‘rural’ roads are more track-like than proper roads. The A22 (IP1) motorway goes all the way from Bensafrim in the west to Monte Francisco on the border. Remember to drive on the right!

Public transport

If you prefer to use public transport then all the towns and villages are connected by buses. However, the best way to get around is using the Algarve railway service, which connects Lagos all the way to Vila Real de Santo Antonio on the Spanish border. It’s a fun way to see the region, and train tickets are cheap.

Boat links to the Algarve

There’s a ferry that runs between Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Ayamonte in Spain, and is popular with tourists. The Guadiana International Bridge is the main route into the Algarve from Spain. If you want to go island hopping over to Gran Canaria then there is a ferry to Portimao from Madeira, but be warned, it only runs a couple of times a month.

Top tips

  • Great for last-minute trips: With dozens of flights every week from all over the UK and at bargain prices, Algarve villa holidays make a great last-minute choice.
  • Portugal is in the same time zone as GMT, so you won’t need to change your watch.

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