The best places to seek out Algarve villas

You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a holiday villa in the Algarve. In the southernmost, sunniest region of Portugal, it's hardly a surprise that there are countless rentals from which to choose. Some pepper the cliff tops, just a stone's throw from wave-washed beaches and shimmering yellow sands. Others hide in traditional villages, with sea-scented restaurants right next door. Places with swimming pools and self-catering kitchens also abound here, which means it's a top option for holidaying families or larger groups, too.

Villa rentals near Algarve beaches

You certainly won't be short of villa rentals near the famous beaches of the Algarve. There are plenty of options that promise to put you right next to the glimmering sand stretches that keep sun seekers coming back to the region, year after year. Options range from sprawling family homes, with big gardens and sweeping sea views, to cosy boltholes that really help to crank up the romance.

Family villas in Albufeira

There are plenty of reasons why holiday villas in Albufeira reign as some of the most popular pads for families eager for sun beside the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the "Gateway to the Algarve", the town is a lovable mix of tavernas and seafood grills, winding cobbled lanes and historic fishing quays. At night, the vibrant Strip takes over, while days are usually devoted to sunbathing sessions on Praia dos Pescadores and Praia do Peneco.

Villas by the sea in Carvoeiro

Picture a stunning wisp of whitewashed cottages and apartments, strung along sheer-cut cliffs atop a cobalt sea. That's what awaits in Carvoeiro, a spot of undisputed beauty that sits just east of Lagos. If you're keen to be right by the waves, you could search for Algarve villas that stud the cliffs around Benagil village, or look to the places near Praia do Carvalho, a postcard-worthy inlet just outside of town.

Put beaches on the doorstep in Gale

Algarve villas are plentiful in Gale, which is great news for travellers who like to seek out pristine Blue Flag beaches – there are 2 within walking distance of the centre. Sandy highlights include Praia da Gale Leste, with its craggy beach boulders and sky-blue seas, and Praia da Gale Oeste, where the sardine-grilling eateries cling to the sides of boardwalks.

Live the high life in luxury villas Algarve

Pining for a splash of luxury? That shouldn't be a problem in this southern corner of Portugal. Between the rolling hills, the cliff-backed coves and salt-scented fishing villages, there are plenty of chic and swish holiday rentals to consider:

Cranking up the class in Vilamoura

If visions of bobbing yachts and chic designer stores are the sort of thing you like to encounter as you stroll to the beach in the morning, then the well-developed resort of Vilamoura could be the perfect place to seek out luxury Algarve villas. It's laden with golf courses and epicurean restaurants, all of which spill down to the stunning Praia de Vilamoura beach, where palms and scintillating sands mix with a happening marina.

Calling golfers to Vale do Lobo

Holiday villas in Vale do Lobo are the place to be if you're keen to hit a round of 18 while sunning yourself in the Algarve. There are 2 fully-fledged championship-regulation golf courses in the town itself, including the acclaimed Royal Golf Course, where the Rocky Roquemore-designed holes are riven by stunning cliffs.

Finding style in Quarteira

Jetsetters will feel right at home in the vibrant town of Quarteira. It's joined at the hip to elegant Vilamoura and its long beaches, but also comes fringed by the Avenida Infante de Sagres promenade – a stretch of breezy cafés, fish restaurants and pretty walking paths topped with royal palms. Luxury Algarve villas are plentiful here, with designer interiors and sprawling patios just some of the features you can expect to find.

Villas in Algarve with private pools

If you're looking to have your very own pool to roll into each morning, then Algarve villas can oblige. You might be better off heading inland or to the cities, where more rentals tend to put swimming spots on the menu because they're further from the beaches and Atlantic waves.

Choose Faro for wild nature by the poolside

A little more off-the-beaten-path than the major seaside resorts around Albufeira, the city of Faro spills down to meet the winding wetlands and islands of the Ria Formosa. That's a veritable paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers, offering plenty of secluded beaches along Tavira Island and glimpses of elegant migrating birds between its salt-washed fishing shacks.

Algarve villas near the culture of Lagos

Picking a pool-ready villa in the region around Lagos means putting one of the Algarve's most evocative towns right on your doorstep. Between relaxing swims, you can wander cobbled lanes and wonder at gorgeous Baroque churches. Or, you can swap the poolside for the coast, because this one's also close to rugged stretches of shore such as that of Ponta da Piedade.

Heading to the hills of Bensafrim

If you prefer rolling countryside, scrub-topped hills and rustic farms to be your holiday backdrop, then the Algarve villas that dot the landscapes around Bensafrim might be up your street. Between the inland ridges and olive groves, they are further from the beaches, but also often come with shimmering pools to balance that out.