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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’s now been over five years since the FT announced the Golden Triangle’s price recovery after the financial crisis, and things have only been looking better and better ever since. Foreign buyers have been flocking to the area, thanks to a host of benefits awarded to them by the Portuguese government – that and the spectacular sights and activities offered too.

First off, when it comes to living in and paying tax in Portugal, the country offers some exceptional deals for overseas residents. The country’s non-habitual resident (NHR) scheme gives special tax benefits to new arrivals for up to ten years. This rivals most other countries on the continent. It was introduced back in 2009 with the aim of attracting more people to the country by offering them great financial incentives for becoming a resident.

For instance, if you work in Portugal then you will pay a low-income tax rate, or, if you receive investment or pension income in the country from abroad it will be tax free. That’s a huge win for people retiring.

You’ll even be able to pass on your wealth without needing to pay any gift or inheritance taxes. This super generous tax scheme has made the Golden Triangle such a highly desirable place for people wanting retiring abroad or those simply looking for holiday homes and investment opportunities.

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Quinta do Lago has one of the most diverse landscapes in the area

The Mapro Real Estate team also note that “buyers are predominately British, although over recent years the majority percentage has dropped, opening up to more European buyers such as the Irish, Central and Northern European buyers.

“Historically, the buyer profile was a more mature, career established, individual looking for quality lifestyle with lots of sunshine! But more recently, the typical buyer is a younger family looking to raise their family here as the Algarve has developed tremendously in terms medical facilities, educational system offering more International Schools and not to mention the sought-after lifestyle.”

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 haven down on 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.

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.

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Quinta do Lago has some of the most luxurious properties too

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. 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.

NOW READ: First Look: the Lorenzo Villa at Quinta do Lago

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.

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It won’t take long to walk to the sea for a spot of surfing

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 25 kilometres from Faro Airport, you’ll find this 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 gawk at celebrities dotting about the many bars and restaurants. In the area, you’ll also get to participate in a 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.

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Luxury villas don’t have to be all modern either – image courtesy of Mapro Real Estate

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. Let the active holiday lovers run away to the gold course or the other outdoor activities while you live in nothing but luxury me-time.

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. This is the largest of the luxury resorts in the Golden Triangle so amenities are aplenty. You won’t go wanting here.

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