Almancil, the perfect stay for exclusive golf holidays in the Golden Triangle of the Algarve with the prestigious golf & holiday resorts Vale do Lobo & Quinta do Lago: golf courses, beaches, nightlife, international gastronomy, shopping, …
- District: Faro > Municipality: Loulé > Parish: Almancil
- Population: 11.136
- Distances: Faro Airport 15 km, Lisbon Airport 269 km
- Tourist Info: Posto do Turismo de Almancil
Almancil is a parish (freguesia) in the municipality (concelho) of Loulé in the district of Faro (Algarve). This village has evolved into an important support centre for the two nearby top golf and holiday resorts Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.
Location and Traffic Connection
Getting to Almancil
Almancil is situated on the western border of the nature reserve Parque Natural da Ria Formosa in the so called “Golden Triangle” of the Algarve. The national road EN125 between Faro and Albufeira leads around Almancil, located only a few minutes by car from Faro International Airport. The motorway A22 also passes close by. Almancil is connected to the local public transport system via the network of the EVA Transportes buses and the one lane railway Linha do Algarve.
Hotels in Almancil and surroundings
The range of top hotels, exclusive holiday villas and luxurious holiday apartments is extraordinary in the so called “Golden Triangle” of the Algarve. It is focused on the two world class golf and holiday resorts Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo. For many years the Hotel Quinta do Lago, a “Leading Hotel of the World”, and the Dona Filipa Hotel in Vale do Lobo, both situated on the coast and surrounded by great golf courses, were the flagships among the top hotels. The inauguration of Conrad Algarve near the Quinta Shopping centre has added a new star to the firmament of local gastronomy.
The two hotels of the Ria group, Ria Park Hotel & Spa and Ria Garden Hotel as well as our personal preference, the Formosa Park apartment hotel, all located in Vale do Garrão between Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, are also very sought after. The beach Praia do Garrão is within walking distance, and golfers can choose between 7 nearby great golf courses – another seven courses are only a few minutes away in neighbouring Vilamoura.
Quinta do Lago
One of the most desired addresses in Europe
The famous golf and holiday resort is one of the most exclusive destinations of its kind not only in Portugal but in Europe, located on the border of the nature reserve of the Ria Formosa. The name is derived from the small lake (port. lago), surrounded by elegant holiday villas.
The resort includes various developments with mansions, apartments and holiday villas. The 5star hotel Quinta do Lago, one of the „Leading Hotels of the World“, overlooks the lagoon separating the resort from the beach behind the dunes.
The golf courses Quinta do Lago North and South have already been the venue for international golf tournaments on a number of occasions. In 2009 a third great PGA course Laranjal was added. The nearby courses of Pinheiros Altos and San Lourenzo are completing this spectacular array of courses.
The endless sandy beach on the Peninsula de Ancão, also known as Ilha de Faro, not only invites you for a swim in the crystal clear water during the summer season, but also for a long walk all year round. The landmark of the area is the wooden bridge crossing the lagoon to access the beach from the mainland.
Vale do Lobo
The largest luxury resort of its kind in Portugal.
Vale do Lobo situated on the Atlantic coast between Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura is said to be one of the best golf and holiday resorts in the entire country. It comprises two great PGA golf courses, a tennis academy with 14 courts, a luxurious Spa and many other facilities, offering ideal opportunities for a visit enjoying all the activities available or perfect beach holiday.
You have the choice between holiday apartments of various sizes and categories and luxurious holiday villas with pool, garden and daily service. The 5star hotel Dona Filipa on the beach completes the accommodation facilities.
The long golden sandy beach, set against the backdrop of red sandstone cliffs, offers a perfect infrastructure, awarded the Blue Flag of the FEE for its quality. The adjacent restaurants, bars and shops are the social centre of Vale do Lobo, providing entertainment at day and night.
During recent years Vale do Lobo has also achieved an excellent reputation as a venue for social and cultural events. In and around the club house concerts, art exhibitions, gala diners and a Christmas market take place.
Sports and leisure
The area around Almancil and the neighbouring city of Quarteira is a paradise for golfers: Quinta do Lago, Vale do Lobo and Vilamoura have 13 great golf courses, several of them have already been venues for international tournaments in the past, such as the Portuguese Open and the Portuguese Masters.
Endless sandy beaches, set against the backdrop of the dunes of the Ria Formosa and sandstone cliffs shaped by erosion, stretch along the coast between Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo.
Along the lagoon of the Ria Formosa long trekking trails beckon you to walk, to observe the various bird species and to explore the traditional sea salt harvesting in this unique protected landscape.
The go-cart track Karting Almancil situated on the western exit was inaugurated in 1992, by Ayrton Senna, who had a holiday home in Quinta do Lago. The popular water park AquaShow between Almancil and Quarteira is the largest of its kind in the whole of Portugal.
Shopping and gastronomy
Eating out and shopping in Almancil
Due to the high expectations of the owners in the holiday resorts in Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo and their guests you will find a large selection of exclusive shops, e.g. fashion, interior design and regional specialties, in the shopping mall Quinta Shopping at the entrance to Quinta do Lago.
Gourmets will find a huge variety of restaurants offering international as well as regional specialties, and the super market Apolonia is the one stop shop for culinary delicacies from all over the world.
The markets in Loulé and Quarteira are the best places to buy fresh fish and seafood. Each Saturday farmers from the area and the nearby Alentejo offer their regional produce - an ideal opportunity to learn more about the country and the people.
The name Almancil dates back to the Moorish period
Traces of the Roman period can be found along the Ria Formosa south of the golf course of San Lourenzo - the foundations of tanks used to produce and store the famous „garum“, a spicy sauce used to flavor various dishes. Due to its strong smell the tanks used to be located away from living areas. A large Roman settlement was excavated on the eastern border of Vilamoura. The archeological station Cerro da Vila includes a small museum.
The name Almancil (or „Almansil“) is of Arabian origin and dates back to the Moorish period on the Iberian peninsula.
In 1863 Almancil became an independent parish (“freguesia”) within the municipality of Loulé and was elevated to a village („vila“) in 1986. As a service hub in the centre of the so called „Golden Triangle“ of the Algarve the town has taken advantage of the evolution of the tourism in the region.