Monday, 27 April 2015

Top 10 Algarve Country Retreats - ideal homes portugal

For most people, the idea of a holiday or relocation home in the Algarve is sun, sea and sand, which is why the highest concentration of properties is found in the coastal regions. However, as the Algarve is only 30 miles wide, you are never more than half an hour or so from the coast, so here atIdeal Homes Portugal we have put together a Top 10 of properties which are more inland, for those of you wishing to turn your back on the tourist resorts and retreat to the peace, solitude and exceptional beauty of the Algarvian countryside.
This beautiful villa is as private and scenic as they come. Nestled in the hills of the central Algarve, this villa has 2 private lakes and a total plot size of 30,600 m2. The only sound you can hear is the birds singing and, occasionally, the tinkling of bells as the local shepherd passes by with his goats! Beautiful, peaceful, tranquil but still only a 5 minute drive from the nearest town. This slice of paradise is on the market for only €670,000 (£482,400)

This lovely, new villa is set in open countryside and is lovely and peaceful, whilst at the same time being only a 10 minute drive from the main resort of Albufeira and the biggest shopping centre in the Algarve. A great combination of peace and convenience for just €325,000 (£234,000)

This tastefully renovated farmhouse, formerly a thriving Bed and Breakfast, in set in picturesque countryside close to the historic city of Silves. Whether you wish to run it as a business or use it as a fabulous family home, it is a bargain at only €595,000 (£428,400)

This lovely little villa actually has all the living area on one level, the lower ground level is a large garage/storey area with great potential for conversion to a cinema/games room or additional guest accommodation. There is a large orchard sloping down the valley and an additional plot of land across the road. It is 10 minutes drive from the City of Silves and the market town of Messines. A lot of land for your money at just €254,000 (£182,880)

This wonderful villa is set in 12 acres of land, which includes the pool, barbecue and dining area and tennis court, and still only 10 minutes drive from the historic city of Lagos. It comprises a main house of 4 bedrooms and a separate 2 bedroom annex. A Private oasis of tranquillity for just €975,000 (£702,000)
This lovely, recently renovated country cottage is just 10 minutes from the town of Loule. It has a large roof terrace with beautiful views over the surrounding countryside. An absolute bargain at only €169,000 (£121,680)
This fully enclosed private cottage has beautifully manicured gardens and views over the surrounding hills. It is perfectly located near the main routes to Faro and Loule and only 2 mins drive to Sao Bras De Alportel. With a separate 1 bedroom annex also on site it’s a great opportunity at just €285,000 (£205,200)
This very individual property in the countryside above Lagos is perfect for those wishing to have “The Good Life”. It has its own artists studio and a huge plot of land to keep animals or grow your own produce, it even has it’s own well! An opportunity to be self sufficient for only €365,000 (£262,8000)
This traditional country villa near Tavira has a 1 bedroom cottage extension which can be used as part of the main house or a separate annex. It has mature gardens with fruit trees and a solar heated pool. This jewel of the east is on the market for just €380,000 (£273,600)
This 10 bedroom villa located near Estoi is perfectly set up for either a large family retreat or a guesthouse. Set in nearly 1.5 acres of landscaped gardens with a pool it is a true oasis of tranquillity. Recently reduced this property is now available for only €770,000 (£554,400)
For more information on these, and many other, fantastic properties for sale in the Algarve please contact the Ideal Homes Portugal Team on 0800 133 7644, email or visit
(All sterling conversion were calculated at a rate of £0.72/€ )

Homes Fit For A Princess - ideal homes portugal

Homes Fit For A Princess

With speculation rife that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting the arrival of a little princess on 25 April, despite the official party line being that the new baby’s gender is unknown, the world is watching and waiting for the patter of tiny Royal feet at some point this month.
Princess Due
The new princess (or prince, if the rumours and the bookies turn out to be wrong) will reside with her parents and older brother Prince George in the ten bedroom Anmer Hall, close to the Queen’s residence at Sandringham in Norfolk.
The luxury homes of the British Royal family are part of the country’s heritage, but you don’t have to be blue blooded in order to live in sumptuous surroundings. In Surrey, which is home to some of the most exclusive properties that England has to offer, £3.5 million is sufficient to purchase an eight bedroom, four bathroom Ascot house, from Surrey’s leading estate agency Barton Wyatt. The tastefully restored, unique Victorian home boasts a cinema, pool and gym, as well as a large sunny garden for making the most of the British summertime.
PropertyFor Sale In Ascot
On the nearby Wentworth Estate, a brand new Georgian style five bedroom, five reception room home set in an acre of grounds costs a cool £4.6 million. Arranged over three storeys, the house is perfect for a family looking to house their little princes and princesses in style. For those with a nanny in tow, the Wentworth Estate offers a fantastic contemporary home with annex, for £4.95 million. The six bedroom detached home is ideal for those looking to accommodate a nanny on site, while the extensive gardens and ‘secret clearing’ in the woodland would be fantastic for older children.
 Property In Wentworth
But it is not just the UK that is attracting buyers of luxury homes, as Chris White, founding director of boutique estate agency Ideal Homes Portugal, comments,
“Many British families are taking advantage of the current excellent exchange rate to purchase a palatial second home overseas and Portugal is one of Europe’s best destinations when it comes to luxury homes that don’t cost the earth. A south facing seven bedroom villa with sea views and pool, with under-floor heating, Jacuzzi and tennis court will set you back just €1.75 million, which really is incredible value.”
Sea View properties Algarve
Martin Dell, director of leading Spanish property portal,, which lists more than 200,000 homes from 3,000 estate agents, has noticed that prestigious Spanish homes are also attracting the interest of buyers from the UK. He comments,

“Both high end city apartments and luxury coastal villas are piquing the interest of international buyers right now. Spain has a lot to offer those looking for peace and serenity in luxurious surroundings. For €1.2 million you can pick up a five bedroom, four bathroom villa with pool on the coast near Barcelona. Terraces and a summer veranda enjoy stunning sea views, while the basement provides a gym and home cinema for those rare days when the Spanish weather doesn’t oblige.”
 Property In Barcelona
For buyers who want to preserve the environment for the future, as well as provide the perfect home for their family in the present, Istanbul offers some fantastic eco homes, such as Oceanic Bay View from prime property agency Universal 21. An exquisite family home spread across three floors on the outskirts of Istanbul, the detached villa with pool combines eco friendly building materials with features such as reclaimed rainwater and solar power. Contemporary features such as earthquake resistance, ergonomic design and a smart house system complete this stunning dwelling.
 Property In Istanbul
Whether it’s a palace at home or abroad that your family needs, the right home is out there, just waiting for your little princes and princesses to make it their own.

For more information please contact:

Barton Wyatt: 01344 843000 or

Ideal Homes Portugal: +44 800 133 7644 or +351 289 513 434 or

Universal 21: 0203 287 8700 or

Top Ten Algarve Attractions with chris white ideal homes portugal

Top Ten Algarve Attractions

Logo New
The demand for investment properties, and the number of holiday home owners renting out their properties when they’re not using them, is booming in the Algarve. The number of foreign tourists increased by 19.2% in 2014 compared to the year before, according to INE, the National Institute of Statistics, increasing rental yields and encouraging more people to invest their savings or pensions inAlgarve properties. But what makes the Algarve such a popular tourist destination? The climate helps, of course, with on average 300 days of sunshine per year its difficult to match within Europe, but what else brings people flocking in their droves to this small, south westerly corner of Europe?
1, Zoomarine
Zoomarine Algarve
Zoomarine Algarve
Zoomarine is a marine life theme park located in Guia, just to the west of Albufeira which is famous for its dolphin shows. There is, however, so much more to see and do. In the last couple of years Zoomarine has incorporated a beach and a dinosaur exhibit to sit alongside the existing attractions of the sealion shows, exotic birds and birds of prey, aquarium and funfair. What goes on behind the scenes is just as important though. Sea creatures of all descriptions, from turtles to dolphins, who have been injured by boats or caught in fishing nets, are brought to Zoomarine to be treated and rehabilitated before being released back into the wild. They also have an ongoing study into various types of marine ecosystems to try and understand, and ultimately preserve, the environments of all marine life. The parish of Gale is only 5 mins drive from Zoomarine and is a hotspot for tourists looking for villa holidays. This beautiful, luxury villa is a great example of the property currently available in this area with fantastic rental potential.
2, Aquashow
Aquashow is one of 3 great waterparks in the Algarve, the others being Slide and Splash in Lagoa and Aqualand in Alcantarilha. Situated right in the centre of the Algarve, near the Vila Sol golf course in Semino, Quarteira, Aquashow has rides to suit all ages, as well as Portugal’s highest rollercoaster and the biggest wave pool in Europe. It’s not all about the slides though, they also have birds of prey shows and a Museum of Portuguese History including waxworks and animatronix. There are restaurants and gift shops on site and, for something completely different, there is now the opportunity to swim with the resident sealions! Properties on the Vila Sol resort will rent out all summer to families and also, in the winter season, to couples and groups who come to play golf.
3, Beaches
Lagos beach 2
The Algarve is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Along with the sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, shining all shades of turquoise under the Algarvian sun, there are also some stunning caves and rock formations along the southern coastline. For those who enjoying basking in the sun in privacy, there are some beautiful cove style beaches, predominantly in the areas of Gale, Carvoeiro and Lagos, some of which can only be accessed by boat. Watersports are also available on most of the larger beaches, with para-sailing and dolphin spotting on jet boats proving very popular! Over on the west and south-west coasts, where the wind blows off the Atlantic Ocean, the main attractions are surfing and windsurfing, with world class competitions held every year, and some of the biggest waves in the world being found off the coast of the Costa Vincentina. Lagos is a resort which is popular with tourists of all nationalities all year round. The most rentable, exclusive properties are to be found over the Porto De Mos Beach.
4, Crazy World
krazy world
If Zoomarine is for girls with its dolphins and pretty birds, then Krazy World is definitely for boys with its snakes and crocodiles! Based just outside of Algoz in the central Algarve it is more of a petting farm than a theme park with llamas, goats and all variety of animals you can pet and feed, including a huge tortoise! There is crazy golf, go-karts, swimming pools with a big slide and all manner of not so fluffy creatures to see! From the gorgeous lemurs to the giant snakes and crocs, there is something to thrill and surprise around every corner! The friendly, knowledgeable staff give talks twice a day and there are opportunities to get up close and personal with creatures that will test your stamina and nerves. Not to be missed! Algoz is a traditional Portuguese village which is always popular with tourists. There are homes available with separate rental apartments attached.
vdl golf
The Algarve region boasts 35 golf courses, many of which are championship standard, so it’s no wonder that golf tourism is so popular. During the peak season for golf, October to March, it’s hard to go anywhere without bumping into crowds of golfers either on their way to a round, or getting a round in afterwards! There are a wide range of courses to choose from, depending on your golfing prowess, from the academies and 9 hole courses for the less proficient to the likes of the Royal Ocean Course and Victoria Course for those with the best handicaps. The influx of golfers over the winter months fills the gap left by the sun seeking summer tourists making the Algarve a 12 month rental resort. Golf properties are always popular for rentals, resorts like Vila Sol will attract not only golfers, but due to the facilities provided, families in the summer season also.
sand sculptures
Fiesa, the sand city, is a fantastic attraction in Pera, central Algarve, which is held between May and October every year. The sculptures are crafted by hundreds of sculptors of various nationalities, and is considered the largest event of it’s kind in the world. Covering an area of 15,000 m2, the sculptors use over 40,000 tonnes of sand and some of the sculptures stand over 12m high! This year will be the 13th International Fiesa Exhibition, and it’s theme is world music, with sculptures ranging from Michael Jackson and Bono to  Mozart and childrens musicals. The best time to visit is early evening so you can walk round in the daylight then, after a drink or a walk round the stalls, you can go round again when night has fallen and the whole site is lit up with multi-coloured floodlights, it’s magical. Pera is a small village with all the facilities needed for rental potential. It sits in close proximity to the beach, the nature reserve and Salgados golf course. There are currently some beautiful villas with great views under construction.
7, Lagos Zoo
Lagos Zoo
The Lagos Zoo was opened in 2000 and has 120 different species of animal and 200 botanical species. The animals are allowed to roam in big open enclosures, and some actually roam free. There is also a petting farm so it’s perfect for smaller children. There are a great variety of monkey species as well as meerkats, lemurs, prarie dogs and a host of other creatures. For bird lovers there is a great selection of both tropical birds and birds of prey. The watch words of Lagos Zoo are conservation, preservation and education and one of the many facilities provided onsite is a library so children can learn all about the birds, animals and reptiles they are watching. A great family day out that won’t break the bank. Apartments in Lagos always rent well throughout the year, with yields, in some cases, reaching more than 12% its a great investment.
8, History
Silves Castle
For history buffs the Algarve is a veritable treasure trove. With a rich history which can be traced back to the earliest inhabitants in the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, there are historical sites to be explored the length and breadth of the region. Superb Roman ruins can be found in Milreu and, although it sounds unlikely, the popular tourist resort of Vilamoura. There is a spectacular Moorish castle and museum in the city of Silves, and Lagos, in the Western Algarve, has a plethora of historical sites to fascinate you, from Europe’s first Slave Market to the Old Fort and beautiful church of Saint Anthony. Coach loads of tourists visit these fantastic sites on a daily basis and it really is a shame to visit this beautiful region and experience nothing more than a sunbed! Silves is a beautiful county, perfect for country lovers and tourists who prefer nature to nightlife. There is a wide range of property that is perfect for investment in this area.
9, Rooster Quad Tours
Rooster Quad Tours
Having recently experienced this fantastic activity ourselves, we believe it deserves a place in the top 10! It is the best way to discover the raw beauty of the inland areas of the Algarve. Up and down mountains, in and out of rivers, all under the watchful eyes of Mark and Johnny, whose expert guidance will keep you firmly on track. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of exhilaration (and at times sheer terror) experience on this highly recommended day out. For adults and families with older children it is, in our opinion, the best way to spend an afternoon! Loule has always been popular for villa holidays, giving the area great investment potential.
10, Dolphin Spotting
dolphin spotting
During the summer months pods of dolphins are seen daily along the coast of the Algarve. Dolphins are very friendly, interactive creatures and seem to enjoy the attention of the boats of tourists who go to sea at all times of the day to see them. The rigid inflatable boats are in constant contact with the local fishermen, who advise them when the dolphins are around, and once the spot is reached, the dolphins swim and jump along beside the boats putting on a great display for those who have come to see them. Whilst waiting for the dolphins, the pilots of the boats also take you into some of the spectacular caves in this stretch of the Algarve coastline and, on the return journey to the harbour, will bounce along on the crest of the waves making it a truly exciting experience! Most dolphin trips set out from Albufeira marina. The beach next to the marina is Sao Rafael which is a magnet for holidaymakers.
These are just a few examples of the things that bring 5 million tourists to the Algarve every year. Ideal homes provides a fantastic service that not only helps you to find your property, but will then undertake the rental management of it for you, making everything as easy and stress free as possible.
For more information about investment properties and rental rental management, please contact our fantastic team on freephone 0800 133 7644, email, or visit our websites and