Villa Mariana Do Sol

Porches & Armacao de Pera - The Algarve & Portugal

Villa Marianna Do Sol is located just outside the picturesque town of Porches where many Restaurants and Bars are located for those long summer evenings. The town and beaches of Armcao De Pera is just a few minutes away by car towards the coast road.

The picture-postcard village of Porches lies just off the N125 main road, midway between Alcantarilha and Lagoa. The area is noted for its classic white regional-style houses punctuated with striking decorated chimneys.

Miles of gorgeous, golden, sandy beaches, calm clear waters and bays interspersed with rugged cliffs and enchanting grottoes; the Algarve is amongst the top European holiday destinations. The South of Portugal was the last place to gain independence from the Moors in 1292, conquered by the King Dom Afonso III and even today traces of the Moorish presence are visible in the unique terraces, chimneys and whitewashed villas. Despite the obvious influence of tourism, a short drive inland reveals the true Algarve where life goes on much as it has for many centuries. This brightly coloured region with orange groves, almond trees in blossom and fragrant pines is also the most verdant and fertile. Sports enthusiasts will find ideal conditions and top class facilities; the golf courses and tennis establishments have a highly prized reputation. Above all, the Algarve is a children's haven; several exciting water parks, surfing in Praia da Luz, horse riding near Lagos and, of course, plenty of chicken and chips! Whatever your preference; a secluded hideaway in the hills, a converted cottage in a traditional fishing village or a magnificent mansion in a sophisticated resort, we are certain that you will find your personal paradise in the Algarve.


The Algarve - Portugal

Think of the Algarve and you think of sunshine breaks and relaxing holidays. You imagine golden beaches on the coast of calm sea waters, sun-kissed tourists relaxing and sampling the delights that this wonderful region of Portugal has to offer.

Everywhere you go, you are surrounded by bright colours, from the golden sands, to the crystal clear waters, the clear blue skies, the vivid green grass, and the white-washed walls of the buildings in the Algarve's old towns.

There is no one best way to explore this region of Portugal. The seemingly endless coastline includes some of the world's most beutiful beaches, but by venturing just a few miles inland, you can lose yourself in the heritage and history of the Algarve.

Fancy a more action-packed holiday? The Algarve caters for all holiday makers... with every watersport available for all tourists.
The Algarve is also home to some of the world's most famous golf courses, where players of all ability are welcome. You can also try your hand at a nice relaxing game of bowling, or tennis, with the Algarve's fantastic views and sights providing the perfect backdrop.

Albufeira. The tourist capital of the Algarve. If you're looking to make the most of your trip to the Algarve, then Albufeira has to be visited. Albufeira boasts golden beaches, luxury holiday resorts, golf courses, great restaurants and a lively nightlife. Albufeira is the town of the Algarve.

The Algarve really is a European paradise, and for that reason you want to make sure you get to know it properly. Let us show you around.


Golfing Pardice!

THE KING OF THE CLUBS
ATLANTIC VIEWS, PERFECT WEATHER, THE BEST COURSES IN EUROPE... YOU CAN'T BEAT THE ALGARVE FOR GOLF
WORDS BY MARTIN KLIPP

The 147th Open Championship may be behind us, with a victorious Padraig Harrington just seeing out Sergio Garcia to take the grand prize, but that doesn't mean it's time to lock up your clubs and store them back in the shed until next year, when the sun decides to shine. Playing golf all year round has never been easier.
Portugal's Algarve region is filled with jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery, a relaxed atmosphere and a temperate climate that promises 340 days of sunshine a year. With a collection of over 30 pristine golf courses, showing off some of the finest course layouts to be found in all of Europe, it is more than a good excuse to dust off the Callaways and hit the green.
Visiting a golfing Mecca doesn't have to be the main element of your holiday, when visiting the Algarve. There is a fantastic array of restaurants, from international haute cuisine to uniquely modest local eateries that showcase the full spectrum of delectable local and regional dishes. Night owls are also catered for; those eager to discover the rich culture of this part of Portugal can visit the Fado bars and live music venues that herald Portugal's famously melancholic poetic wonders. Meanwhile, culture vultures can cap off a truly varied trip by exploring an array of historic towns and villages just waiting to be uncovered. And all of this framed by the lure of the fairway.
Where to Play:
One look at Golf World Magazine's most recent ranking of Portugal's courses shows that the Algarve is in a class of its own, with eight of the country's top twelve ranked courses. Three of these are also listed among the very best in Europe, all built within an area offering the perfect year-round golfing climate where the coolest winter temperatures seldom drop below the about 15[02da]C and even at the peak of summer, never climb above 25[02da]C. Even more convenient, is that all of these courses are located close to each other, often within a ten-minute drive and never more than 30 minutes away.
• Quinta do Lago:
For more than 30 years, this wonderful enclave has remained one of golf's most sought-after locations in Europe. Initially conceived as an ultra-exclusive residential community for the rich and famous, Quinta do Lago has now matured into an elegant golf resort. Set within a 2,000-acre, private estate and incorporating a portion of the famed Ria Formosa National Park and Bird Sanctuary, with stunning views of the Atlantic, the site also comprises a pair of top-notch courses—the South Course,and the North Course:
SOUTH COURSE: Selected as host to the European Tour's Portuguese Open on no less than eight occasions, Quinta do Lago's South Course is a serious golf test that caters for the scratch golfer hitting from the back tees and also for intermediates that hit from the front.
It is also the handiwork of William Mitchell, the first ever American to design a course in the Algarve. The opening hole, a forgiving par-four, eases you into the round with a generously wide fairway and no intrusive dangers en route to the large green. A tougher second, hits in with a long, 547-yard par five. Followed by a finger-shaped water hazard hidden by a rising fairway on the third that protects the green. Using your head on this course is every bit as important as picking the right set of clubs. Quinta do Lago's South Course is also fabulous to look at with a number of picturesque holes. The most memorable is the par-three, 15th, requiring a chilling 219-yard carry over nothing but water to the front edge of a green, surrounded by encroaching umbrella pines. It's an imposing hole, not well suited to the feint of heart, but make par here and you will never forget it.
• Pestana Golf Resort:
Situated in the western Algarve, Pestana offers 3 demanding 18 hole courses: Gramacho (the new 9 holes, designed by ex-Open champion Nick Price) , Pinta ( ranked in Golf World's top 100 European courses) and the recently opened Silves Golf. A challenge to any golfer!
• Palmares:
Situated close to the resort town of Lagos, overlooking the Bay, this might be the most attractive layout in the entire country, combining handsome good looks with the variety created by its unique combination of links and woodland challenges.
• Salgados:
The course, a 6080 meters links with many water hazards, requires much skill in the approach to the greens, the drive is also essential to achieve good results, making the course pleasant especially for skilled golfers.
• Castro Marim:
The superb site enjoys breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean, the River Guadiana and neighbouring Reserva Natural do Sapal, a 5,000 acre nature reserve, The Atlantic Course is the first of two championship layouts planned for the resort.
• Quinta do Vale:
Enjoys a unique location, overlooking the Guadiana River. With spectacular views across the river in one direction and the Atlantic Ocean to the other, Ballesteros has produced an eye-dazzler of a layout, opening in October 2007
• San Lorenzo:
San Lorenzo was ranked as Portugal's best course only a few years ago. This crown has since been surrendered to one of its younger siblings but the course still delivers a stern challenge. The varied layout contains every difficulty in the book and will prove a hefty test for even the lowest handicappers.

• Vale do Lobo (Royal Course):
Play this course for the 16th and stay for the rest. The 16th, a 224 yard, par-3, is the most photographed hole in all of Portugal and demands a daring cliff-top tee-shot that must carry over two ravines, tumbling to the beach below, then over a good-sized bunker. It is also an Anglo-American accomplishment; the original design came from Henry Cotton with more recent course modifications by the expert American Rocky Roquemore.
• Oceânico Old Course:
This classic course, lending much to great British parkland courses where mature trees are frequently in play, was opened in 1969, and designed exlusively by Frank Pennink.
• Oceânico Victoria:
Opened in 2005, the Victoria course is the newest member of the Vilamoura family and host to the WGC World Golf Championships. It is now considered the top course in Portugal and hosts the Portugal Masters (18th-21st October), with a prize money of Ð3million.
• Vila Sol:
Without doubt one of Europe's top-ten golf resorts in 2006, this luxurious property boasts a state-ofthe-art Health Spa and 27 holes from English master architect, Donald Steel. It has twice hosted The Portuguese Open, and is a course that caters for a whole range of players, with the back tees reserved for the big hitters.
• Penina:
This magnificent, five-star property and its two championship courses started it all. Conceived by the great English designer and three-time British Open Champion, Sir Henry Cotton, Penina holds its head high as the worthy pioneer of golf on the Algarve, and has a demanding layout www.visitalgarve.pt


Holidays in Algarve!

Holidays in the Algarve - just picture this! Sun dappled beaches tucked behind every headland, sandy, clean and punctuated with astonishing rock formations. Expertly designed golf courses combining challenges galore and superb views. Sleepy towns and villages, where holiday visitors melt into local life. Seaside resorts brimming with good restaurants and good cheer. And great shopping at local markets and modern malls. It's no surprise then the Algarve remains top of many people's list for their summer holidays.
Whether you're booking a last minute holiday to the Algarve, or splashing out on an all inclusive break, you'll need to check out the right resort. Take Albufeira for example. With seven beaches and plenty of energy, it makes a great choice for those looking for sun by day and a party at night. Families hoping for a good night's sleep may prefer quiet Carvoeiro, or the tempting sands at Praia Da Rocha. Whilst if luxury is firmly on your agenda, you might choose the style and polish of Vilamoura.
Wherever you go, you can choose a bargain holiday or something more extravagant to suit your budget, and, thanks to the gentle climate, when you holiday in the Algarve, you can be pretty sure that the sun will shine!


GUIDE TO THE ALGARVE

'Beaches, beaches and more beaches. From great brushstrokes of sand to cute cosy coves, this coastline is one of the best. But the Algarve's charms don't end there...'
Brits have been singing the praises of the Algarve for years now - the honey sands, the hideaway bays, the great striding rocks marching to the sea. In fact, the mere mention of its name and you can almost feel the Atlantic waves splashing over your shins and imagine escaping into a book by a quiet dune. No wonder we keep coming back for more. But stray off the sun-kissed beaches and you'll find another side to the Algarve. Cue elegant towns and tiny Moorish villages. Great flocks of water birds wading through the wetlands. And mountains where you can picnic in shady pine forests. And it's this variety which makes the Algarve such a great-for-all place - young or old, party animals or peace-loving softies. If you like to wake up at night to dance into the wee hours, resorts like Albufeira know just how to show you a good time. If you're travelling with children then you've really hit gold with splash-tastic water parks and restaurants where children are spoilt rotten. Praia Da Rocha, in particular, is great if you've got the kids in tow. Prefer to tuck yourself away from the hurly-burly of holiday hotspots? No problem. There are any number of unspoilt towns like Lagos and Carvoeiro where you can potter around local markets and slope off to blissful beaches untouched by jet skis and neon bars. Read on, and we think you'll agree that the Algarve can be whatever you want it to be, whoever you are.
Away from the coast, sleepy towns and villages punctuate lush hillsides and offer a fascinating insight into Portuguese life and culture while the developed seafront resorts brim with bars, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and shops. The Algarve basks in glorious summer temperatures, often moderated by refreshing Atlantic breezes. Head for the high cliffs in the west and watch the breakers crashing on the rocky headlands. Look out too for majestic clifftop forts that once guarded the coast, and isolated lighthouses that still guide ships safely on their way.


Holidays in Porches!

This quaint little treasure perfectly captures the Algarve's traditional side. Largely untouched, it's packed full of the same old-worldly charm heading into the 21st century. The houses are still whitewashed. The roofs are still red. And the bougainvillea still has a mind of its own. But that's not all there is to this place - far from it. Porches is well known for producing some of the best pottery in the Algarve. Many a day-tripper heads up to the pottery factory to splash some Euros on the distinctive blue, green and turquoise pots. If you're lucky, you'll see the craftsmen at work and they may even take a special request. These pots are great buys, but don't forget that once you've bought one, you've got to carry it. Man made beauty aside, make sure you check out some of the natural sights. There's a 19th century church built on a 16th century site, of which the chapel still remains. Then you've got the Hermitage of Nossa Senhora da Rocha, or 'Our Lady of the Rock' to me and you. It's a narrow tongue of rock that extends into the sea, surrounded by the remains of an old coastal defence port, destroyed by an earthquake in 1755. Also worth a look is an old Roman Village, Porches Velhos. Keep an eye out for the famous villa with a chimney that stands over two stories high. And how could we talk about natural beauty without mentioning the seafront? The jagged rock faces are typical of the Algarve, as are the powder soft sands and deep blue seas. And with glorious year-round sunshine it's the ideal place to lie back and not think of England.