Top Ten Algarve Attractions
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our websites www.idealhomesportugal.com and www.idealhomesportugalrentals.com