A Guide To Portugal's Golden Triangle For Families

Best restaurants in the Algarve Golden triangle

The Algarve is a popular holiday destination for families. It’s safe, sunny, and there’s so much to see and do for adults and kids alike. The Golden Triangle of Vilamoura, Almancil, and the gated Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo communities is the heart of Algarve family tourism. This area of approximately 30 square miles is home to fantastic family friendly restaurants, theme parks, beautiful beaches, and tons of unique things to do in the Algarve. We’re experts in all things Algarve — so here are our favourite places for families to stay and visit in the Golden Triangle



Vilamoura is the number one destination in the Algarve Golden Triangle. Overlooking the marina, it’s the perfect place to while away an afternoon, a day, or your whole holiday.

Where to stay

Screenshot 2022-10-29 at 22.47.09

While there are plenty of attractive hotels in the area, Vilamoura is known for its beautiful private villas. These are well-suited to families — there’s plenty of space for relaxing, playing, and swimming, so you’ll never feel like you’re getting on top of each other. Here are some of our favourite Vilamoura-based villas for families: 

Villa Elisa  — a spacious private pool, outdoor dining, and four separate bedrooms. What more could you ask for?

Flor Da Rosa  — home to a stunning terrace and private pool, and just a few minutes’ walk from the beach 

Villa Jewel  — with an Instagrammable infinity pool, table tennis, barbecue, and bar, teenagers and older kids will love this villa.

What to do


The marina is where you’ll find most of the action in Vilamoura. Just set back is the Family Golf Park, where you can play a few holes of mini golf, then hop on the tourist train to take you to Marina or Falésia beach (or both!). Kids of all ages love the beach, and these beautiful sandy beaches are ideal for a spot of surfing, bodyboarding, or sandcastle building. Lots of boat trips and excursions also leave from Vilamoura marina.

If you fancy heading out on a dolphin spotting trip, or taking a boat ride down the coast to explore the caves of Benagil, book these online, or directly with vendors along the marina. If you book your accommodation through Unique Luxury Holidays, we can also help you with arranging activities.



The northernmost point of the Golden Triangle, Almancil is sometimes overlooked as a place to stay. But if you’re looking for a slightly quieter locale that’s still close to fun trips and activities, Almancil could be the ideal base for a family vacation.

Where to stay

Screenshot 2022-10-29 at 22.55.32

Many families choose to stay at the Aquashow Park Hotel. Attached to the largest theme park in Portugal, it’s easy to see why this would be a popular choice for kids. There are also lots of beautiful villas nearby if you want a little more luxury than the hotel experience offers. Multiple families can holiday together in the sprawling 9-bedroom Antonia villa, while Villa Eden offers a peaceful space that’s also handy for local restaurants.

What to do


The Aquashow theme park is the biggest draw in Almancil. With massive water slides and even a watercoaster, Aquashow is an awesome day out for thrillseekers. But there are also activities for those who want to take it a little easier — the Lazy River and large jacuzzi are perfect for relaxing. Almancil is also home to MAR Algarve, a shopping centre that offers the largest collection of designer outlet stores in the region. So if you’re looking for a bargain on luxury clothes — or just a few hours out of the blazing sun — this is a great place to stop by. Find out more about shopping in the Algarve.

Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo


The gated communities of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo are highly sought after. Close to the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve — as well as Quinta do Lago beach — it’s the ideal spot for active families who want to experience the natural Algarve.

Where to stay


There are plenty of resorts around here, so if you want a more sociable vibe where you can meet other families or take advantage of kids’ clubs, this may be the spot for you. The Vale do Lobo resort has a kids’ club, on-site restaurants, and even two golf courses. Encosta do Lago, meanwhile, offers a children’s swimming pool, horse riding tours, a Turkish bath, and tennis courts — so there’s something for everyone.

What to do

Visit the nearby Ria Formosa Nature Reserve to see the Algarve’s local flora and fauna up close. Stand-up paddleboarding is a popular way to see the Ria Formosa, especially with kids. You’ll also find a watersports academy based on the lake, where you can try your hand at sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, and more. It’s ideal for families with older children and teenagers. The Campus is a sports club where kids can spend the day playing tennis, going swimming, or even training for a triathlon — which is also perfect for parents who want to snatch a few quiet hours for themselves

Find your ideal family holiday villa in the Algarve Golden Triangle

Screenshot 2022-04-29 at 01.19.42

There’s so much to see and do in the Golden Triangle. When you know where you’re staying, you can start to map out your dream family holiday. We specialise in providing fully serviced private villas in the Algarve  — but we can also help you book activities, find childcare, and even arrange a private chef to make sure you’re all well-fed. Browse our range of accommodation, then get in touch to book.