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Vale do Lobo: Travel Guide

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Vale do Lobo is a luxury beach and golf resort in the Central Algarve, around 25 minutes’ drive from Faro. A part of the “Golden Triangle” that comprises of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, Vilamoura, and Almancil, the resort is known for its luxury hotels, stylish homes, and fine dining restaurants.

Vale do Lobo attracts wealthy holidaymakers, particularly those interested in golf. Over the years a number of celebrities have stayed here including David Becham, Hugh Grant, Cristiano Ronaldo, and José Mourinho.

People playing golf vale do lobo

Home to two 18-hole championship golf courses, Ocean and the incredibly famous Royal Golf Course, this is a golfer’s paradise – so much so that it even hosted the Portuguese Open, a part of the PGA European Tour, in 2002 and 2003.

next tee signpost vale do lobo

Of course, there’s more to Vale do Lobo than just golf. Other facilities include a tennis academy, boutique shops, spa and wellness centre, art gallery, bars, and Praia de Vale do Lobo (Vale do Lobo Beach).

Handpicked accommodation in Vale de Lobo

  • Vale do Lobo Resort – Choose from a range of accommodation options at Vale do Lobo resort including apartments, villas, and studios.
  • Dunas Douradas Beach Club – Featuring a number of outdoor swimming pools, sauna, and hot tub, this hotel is ideal for those planning a relaxing trip to the Algarve.
  • Dona Filipa Hotel – Located just 200 m from Vale do Lobo Beach, this hotel offers a range of facilities to guests including spa and massage services, tennis courts, and an outdoor swimming pool with views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Want more options? Check out the handpicked list of the best hotels in Vale do Lobo (as well as a few apartments and other accommodation options as well). 

Golf Courses Vale de Lobo

Vale do Lobo is home to two golf courses: Ocean and Royal.

Royal

Royal is one of the most photographed golf courses in Europe, particularly the 16th hole which features a clifftop carryover. The course was designed by top American golf architect Rocky Roquemore and is based on the drawings of Sir Henry Cotton who designed the Ocean Course.

Ocean

Although Ocean hasn’t had the same amount of photo publicity that Royal has had, it’s still a very prestigious golf course and one of the most popular places to play a round on the Algarve. As the name suggests, Ocean Golf Course offers fantastic views of the coast.

Other facilities at Vale do Lobo

As well as the two 18-hole golf courses, other facilities at Vale do Lobo include: 

  • Beach – Two kilometres of white, golden sands with beautiful red, sandy cliffs as the backdrop.
  • Swimming Pools – A selection of adult and children’s pools with facilities and amenities that include lockers, changing facilities, and a poolside bar.
  • Spa – The Royal Spa at Vale do Lobo offers a wide range of facial and hydro treatments as well as massage and holistic therapies.
  • Restaurants – With more than 10 different restaurants offering everything from Portuguese to Japanese food, there’s always a new restaurant to try out.
  • Bars – A wide selection of bars, from traditional pubs to cocktail bars, means there’s something for everybody.
  • Boutique shops – Vale do Lobo is home to a wide range of boutique and brand name stores: the perfect place to a little holiday retail therapy.
  • Tennis Academy – Vale do Lobo is one of the largest tennis facilities in Portugal with 10 hard courts, 4 synthetic grass courts, a mini-tennis court, and a paddle tennis court.
  • Art Gallery – A diverse range of artwork and sculptures for Portuguese and international artists.

Getting to Vale do Lobo

Rental Car

Although you will have everything that you need on the Vale do Lobo resort, including restaurants, a beach, bars, and more, you will need some form of transportation if you want to take day trips to any of the nearby towns or beaches.

Taxis are one option, but hiring a car will give you a lot more flexibility. You can either rent a car at Faro Airport or, if you only plan to use the car for a day or two, it’s also possible to rent cars from suppliers based in Vale do Lobo.

Airport Transfer

Several Airport transfer companies, including Welcome Pickups, operate at Faro Airport and offer transfers to Vale do Lobo with a journey time of around 21 minutes.

Taxis (and Ubers)

Taxis and Ubers are available from outside of Faro Airport. These are typically more expensive than a pre-booked airport transfer but may be more convenient for those that don’t want to book anything in advance.

Restaurants and hotels in Vale do Lobo will happily phone you a taxi if you need one. Otherwise Uber is available in Vale do Lobo and is usually more affordable than local taxis.

Public Transport

There is very little public transport to and from Vale do Lobo with the exception Eva Bus service that connects Loulé with Almancil, Vale do Lobo, and Quinta do Lago.

There is a Vale do Lobo resort shuttle bus service that takes guests to 11 stops around the whole of the resort including a stop at the beach. The bus is available to Vale do Lobo Card holders (Resort Members, Family, Guest and Welcome card holders).

Last updated in June 2019.
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