The Algarve is a popular holiday destination for many reasons – it’s beautiful beaches, glorious coastline, high-quality golf courses and year-round sunshine. If you’re planning to stay in a villa during your time in Portugal, check out the following three destinations.

Praia da Luz

Come here if you want a lazy beach break.

Praia da Luz is actually the name of the beach that lines the seashore near the fishing village of Luz. It’s quite an undeveloped, sleepy spot, which makes it perfect if all you want from your villa holiday is to relax and unwind in peace and quiet.

The beach itself is a long strip of golden sand, which is backed by towering cliffs. Families will love this part of coastline, as there’s plenty to keep kids of all ages occupied. Young children can splash in the calm sea and build sandcastles, while teenagers may want to have a go at horse riding or a selection of water sports, including windsurfing.

Amenities such as showers, toilets, cafes and restaurants are all close to the beach, while you can rent a sun shade if you want to make your day at the seaside a little more comfortable.

Just inland from this beautiful beach is the Boavista golf course, one of the Algarve’s many fairways that should keep golfing enthusiasts happy.

Vilamoura

Come here if you want plenty to see and do nearby.

Should sunning yourself on one of the Algarve’s beaches not be active or cultural enough for your holiday, consider Vilamoura as your base instead. This is one of the region’s busiest resorts and, as a result, it’s home to all manner of attractions.

For some chic dining in the sun, head to the marina, where luxury yachts are moored up in their dozens. Along the waterfront, you’ll find a selection of high-end bars, cafes and restaurants where you can while away a few pleasant hours in the sun with a cocktail or two.

If you’re keen to inject some culture into your getaway, pay a visit to the ruins of the Cerro da Villa – a Roman archaeological site. There is a museum here where you can browse artefacts that have been uncovered in the area. It is believed the region was inhabited not only by the Romans, but also the Visigoths and Arabs between the 1st century BC and the 11th century AD.

Gale

Come here if you’re after an active holiday.

Gale is not an overly-developed resort in the Algarve, but if you stay in one of the villas in the area, you won’t be short of things to do. The region is a great place for walking, with many footpaths running along the cliff tops and providing stunning views as you stroll. Going for a wander is also an excellent way to discover some of the secluded coves that dot this stretch of coastline.

At the local beach (Praia da Gale) you can try your hand at water sports such as windsurfing or sailing, as well as diving into the clear, blue sea for a swim if you need to cool off from the Algarve sunshine!

Families who want a day out can visit the Slide and Splash waterpark, which is around a 30 minute drive from Gale. Among its many attractions are the thrilling Tornado waterslide, Jacuzzi pools, the Blue Hole ride and even falconry and parrot shows.