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Long golden beaches surrounded by dramatic cliffs, sensational food and almost perpetually good weather make the Golden Triangle one of the best destinations in Europe.

It has now been over five years since the Golden Triangle’s price recovery following the financial crisis was confirmed, and things have only been looking better and better ever since – even with the pandemic hitting property markets hard all over the globe.

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Hidden gems like this are all over the Algarve.

The average sale price of residential property in Portugal grew by 17.4% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period as last year, according to the national property market analysis report. The report also indicates that the number of properties for sale increased by some 87.8 per cent.

Moreover, foreign buyers have been flocking to the Algarve, thanks to a host of benefits awarded to them by the Portuguese government – that and the spectacular sights and activities offered, too.

And, even though the government has made changes to the Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) Scheme and the Golden Visa programme, there are still many reasons to move to or invest in the area.

You will now have to pay 10 percent tax on your pension (before, this was all free of tax), but you still get a good competitive deal. Especially as the cost of living here is so much lower than that in the UK.

But life down here isn’t all about numbers. Long golden beaches surrounded by dramatic cliffs, sensational food, award-winning wine and almost perpetually good weather also make this one of the best destinations in Europe. It’s hard not to fall in love with the haven that is the south coast of Portugal. There are countless natural wonders and historical gems to explore.

That’s why we’ve put together this little guide to the main parts of the Golden Triangle, helping those who are thinking about buying into the luxury Algarve lifestyle make the right choice.

Quinta do Lago

Think of Quinta do Lago as the Mayfair of the Algarve. Millionaires and billionaires roam the resort throughout the year, indulging in all the luxuries money can buy.

Quinta do Lago is at the start of the Ria Formosa Natural Park (just a 20-minute drive from Faro Airport), an area of lakes, lagoons, wetlands and barrier islands that stretch along the Atlantic Ocean towards the Spanish border. It’s insanely beautiful. The resort itself is also just as visually impressive. The Quinta do Lago resort is surrounded by pine trees, rolling hills, a selection of rare plant and animal life, and plenty of lush greenery.

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Golf courses, long private beaches and all the ammenities you could dream of can be found at Quinta do Lago.

In addition, you’ll find over two miles of sandy Blue Flag beaches and an Instagrammable network of sand dunes which are made for long walks and days of sun tanning. Not convinced yet? The exclusive nature of Quinta do Lago has seen it become home to celebrities. It is one of the most expensive places to buy Central Algarve property.

Townhouses cost from around €300,000 and detached villas with gardens from €650,000. And those searching for the crème de la crème of luxury villas should expect to pay upwards of €6 million. These high-end properties look much like Villa Reverie (left), come with all the latest technology, and are paired with elegant modern design.

And it’s all about the views here – with this property overlooking the resort’s golf course and many lakes. We can very easily see ourselves living in a place like this.

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Beaches here are made for all kinds of hobbies

Vilamoura

If you picture the international home-owning lifestyle in Portugal, you’re probably thinking of the central Algarve – with Vilamoura being the quintessential version. Just 25km from Faro Airport, you’ll find this a land of bling, spas, golf, Michelin-starred restaurants and hyper-luxurious villas. It has an impressive reputation as one of the top resorts in Europe.

The most-loved feature of Vilamoura is the gorgeous marina, where you can spend the entire day admiring luxury yachts and gawking at celebrities dotted about the many bars and restaurants. You’ll also find an extensive array of outdoor sports and leisure activities. Play tennis, go horse riding and make a fool of yourself with water sports before hitting some of the five Championship golf courses and the glamorous casino.

And the resort has big plans for expansion, meaning more properties will be popping up over the next few years, in new and untouched parts.

Vale do Lobo

Vale do Lobo, about 20 minutes away from Faro too, is made up of some of the most exclusive residences in the Algarve – with countless celebrities continuing to flock to new and old properties scattered about the Central Algarve resort. Here you will find luxury villas, an impressive beach and a world-renowned golf resort – of course.

These folks are obsessed with golf. And these are some of the very best in the Golden Triangle. Some of the courses are even built on cliff tops overlooking the clear blue waters.

But, for those who prefer relaxation and pampering to a day on the golf course, there is the Royal Spa. Here, you can indulge in a wide variety of spa treatments and therapies on the regular.

Shoppers are catered for as well, thanks to the massive Quinta Shopping Mall located between Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago. It is home to series of luxury fashion, home and sporting labels. Pick up some pro golfing equipment while there to help improve your round. This is the largest of the luxury resorts in the Golden Triangle so amenities are aplenty. You won’t go wanting here.

Quinta Verde

For a unique investment opportunity in the glamorous confines of a smaller, more exclusive resort, just on the edge of Quinta do Lago, Quinta Verde offers an exciting version of the Algarve luxury villa experience. Just moments from the area’s main social and shopping hub, yet secluded from the busier side of coastal developments, this small but perfectly formed resort development contains everything you could ever need from resort living, while ensuring the premium of complete privacy and the very best in security services.

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Villa Tuscany: located in the smaller private resort of Quinta Verde. Listed by ONE Select Properties.

Properties within the resort are built to the highest standards and feature every luxury convenience you would expect of a quality villa in this area.

Take the below property for example. ONE Select Properties is selling the luxury five-bedroom villa right now, offering up some traditional design with all the best modern amenities. Built on large plots, the four or five bedroom houses in the area, each with their own pool, enjoy generous areas, stunning fittings, fixtures and finishes, and have been designed to make the very most out of living in the Algarve.

Investment opportunities currently include finished properties and plots for turnkey villas, in which investors can be fully involved in the design and build process.

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