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Portugal - Something ‘old’, something ‘new’ and something ‘blue’

8th October 2008 Print
Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort villas Portugal The last strip of European landmass before it tumbles into Atlantic waters, Portugal provides a close-to-home property investment option for Northern Europeans tempted to warmer climes. And, with three distinct coastal regions to choose from, Portugal really does offer something ‘old’, something ‘new’ and something ‘blue’…

The ‘old’, the stalwart of Portugal’s coastal empire, is of course the Algarve. Discovered by the international holidaymaker back in the 1960s it now lures 5.5 million tourists via Faro Airport each year on the promise of clear skies, bewitching beaches and of course wall-to-wall golf, some 36 at last count. Occupying Portugal’s nether regions, several household name resorts punctuate the coastline from Faro to Albufeira, Lagos to Vilamoura, each with their own personality.

For a snapshot of Algarve luxury, the two residential projects of Vilamoura Golf & Garden Resort and Amendoeria Golf Resort are two to watch. The first at the heart of chic Vilamoura is fortunate to have the creative skills of celebrity garden designer, Diarmuid Gavin, to lay out its extensive landscaped gardens. A purchase within Vilamoura Golf & Garden Resort does not entitle you to membership of just one golf course, but an incredible seven. Five are almost on the doorstep whilst the all-new Faldo Course (opened on 1 September 2008) and the O’Connor Junior Course (on 1 October 2008) are a brief 25-minute drive away in picturesque Silves. On-site all owners can avail themselves of a restaurant, bar, gymnasium, outdoor swimming pool, children’s play areas and club and a convenience store. Prices start from 515,000 euros for a two bedroom apartment with four bedroom villas starting from 1,015,000 euros.

Meanwhile Amendoeira Golf Resort in Silves is set in verdant valleys of almond, olive and carob trees with the magnificent backdrop of the Monchique Mountains. Home to the Faldo and O’Connor Junior Courses with Clubhouse and urban golf and sporting lounge to include state of the art simulation facilities, Amendoeira also has a complete sporting club with tennis, football, pitch and putt and children’s adventure playground, amongst others. Prices start from 495,000 euros for a two bedroom apartment and 895,000 euros for a three bedroom villa.

The ‘new’ is the Silver Coast, a stretch of untainted often cliff-backed shoreline stretching some 300km from the capital Lisbon northwards to Porto. A secret amongst sophisticats keen to escape the bustle and crowds of the Algarve to enjoy the freedom, space and comfortable climate on offer, the Silver Coast is about to have its cover blown. Amongst the Medieval towns, fishing ports and outstanding natural beauty, golf courses and residential resorts are gradually creeping in – although strict building regulations will stand this newbie in good stead for the future.

Next to the Medieval town of Óbidos and overlooking the Lagoa de Óbidos, the largest lagoon in Portugal and a renowned centre for watersports, Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort has a Severiano Ballesteros-designed 18-hole golf course with Clubhouse as its centrepiece. The properties themselves range from two and three bedroom apartments with communal swimming pools up to three and four bedroom villas enjoying their own private pools. The resort will also encompass a five star condominium hotel and Spa with suites and apartments available to purchasers. Additional facilities for residents include several restaurants, a gymnasium, sports area, tennis courts, children’s playgrounds, conference centre and a commercial area. Prices start from 395,000 euros for a two bedroom apartment and from 745,000 euros for a two bedroom villa.

Finally to the ‘blue’. Once known as plain Lisbon Coast, the symphony of cobalt skies and turquoise ocean backed by pine forest has earned this swath of coastline running south of the capital a name change to the ‘Blue Coast’. And, recent confirmation that Lisbon’s newest airport is to be sited in Alcochete, some 19 km south of the River Tagus, as opposed to initially rumoured Ota to the north, will only rouse further interest.

On the edge of the Arrábida Mountains some 40km south of Lisbon, Palmela Village has its own 18-hole golf course as well as easy access to a further 18 courses, all playable year round thanks to the long hours of sunshine. Properties, designed by renowned Portuguese architect Tomás Taveira, skirt around the pines and water features with many offering uninterrupted golf views. Villas with private pools and apartments with communal examples boast a quirky modern appearance with simple clean lines and accents of colour whilst everything from a restaurant, tennis courts and launderette to gardeners, house cleaners and pool maintenance is on-site at your fingertips. Prices start from as little as 122,181 euros for a studio apartment and three bedroom villas from 347,317 euros.

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Royal Obidos Spa & Golf Resort villas Portugal Amendoeria Golf Resort Portugal Vilamoura Golf & Garden Resort Apartments Portugal Palmela Village red villa Blue Coast