***All ATP and WTA professional tennis is currently suspended through July 13, 2020. ***
We enjoyed a full month playing tennis Algarve, Portugal and had a wonderful time exploring several clubs, academies and camps in this region known for resort life and tennis. We stayed about 20 minutes from Faro Airport and focused our time in Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lobo and Vilamoura, playing at Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy, Vilamoura Tennis Academy, The Campus and Algarve Tennis and Fitness.
Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy
My friend and I spent most of our time attending the weekly adult camp at Vale do Lobo and really enjoyed our 15+ hours of tennis per week. The head pro, Eurico, keeps the mornings moving well, with lots of great tips, a variety of drills, lots of hitting, insightful doubles and singles strategies and match play. The camp is 9-11am daily with match play Monday and Friday afternoons, plus a weekly lunch or dinner for all the participants, usually on Wednesday.
Additionally, Vale do Lobo offers video analysis with a pro for those really ready to take their game to the next level. We spent all of May here and the weather was near perfect every day. I suspect some of our British friends found some of the days too hot, but as Americans, we found it just lovely and ideal tennis weather. The ballpark price per week was around $230 per person for the adult camp, and there is the option to buy private lessons at a very reasonable rate
More Info: https://www.tietennis.com/valedolobo
Vale do Lobo offers 10 hard courts and 4 synthetic grass courts. The on site Tennis Cafe offers a nice menu of omelettes, salads, sandwiches, burgers, coffee and more and is very reasonably priced. The facility has a pool, gym, small pro shop, padel courts and the ladies at reception are so nice and helpful. Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy is highly recommended!
Vilamoura Tennis Academy
Vilamoura is the sister academy to Vale do Lobo and I only played here a couple of times during their weekly Saturday social doubles mixer, which cost 10 euros per person. The mixer was very well organized, where everyone played almost everyone and we played the full three hours with no downtime or waiting for games. After the games, most people sat around at the cafe, had some coffee and socialized. The crowd is mostly retired ex-pats (gotta love the lob and slice game), many of whom live in the area full time and they were super welcoming and friendly. Vilamoura offers 9 tennis courts, 4 padel courts, 4 mini tennis courts, a Pro-shop and restaurant.
More Info: https://www.tietennis.com/premiersports
The Campus Tennis, Quinta do Lago
Quinta do Lago is the creme de la creme of the Algarve when it comes to resort style living with acres upon acres of golf, tennis, pools, restaurants and shopping. Their newest addition is THE CAMPUS, a state of the art multi-sport complex with tennis, padel, high performance gym, training, pools, therapies and so much more. They have a full weekly schedule of adult and kids tennis training highlighting shots of the week, doubles strategy, coaching, socials and more.
More Info: https://www.quintadolago.com/en/the-campus/weekly
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Where to Stay When Playing Tennis in The Algarve
There is no shortage of resorts, hotels, apartments, vacation rentals and AirBnbs in The Algarve. You might also consider renting a car, although one could get around on bicycle or with Uber if not on a tight schedule or going too far daily. The complex in which we stayed was called Dunas Douradas Villas (not to be confused with the Dunas Douradas Beach Club, as they are totally different properties). We chose it because it is a 10 minute walk to Vale do Lobo and was very reasonably priced. Our villa is nice and looks just like the photos online and the complex offers a gorgeous pool, tennis courts (for a fee), breakfast shop and mini mart. Unfortunately, the on site restaurant, Xenia, is terrible (like, the worst!), but more on that later.
Tennis in the Algarve Portugal Map
If you want to be near at least three great places to play, offering a variety of camps, clinics, socials, lessons and pros for adults and kids, then this is the area in which you want to stay. Both Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago are major resort areas that have hotels, private apartments, villas and other types of places to stay, so be check all the major sites for options. We found AirBnb to be far pricier than the local vacation rental companies. They make neighborhoods, cities and addresses VERY confusing in the Algarve, so it’s hard to understand what is where. But, in general, you’ll want to look at Quarteira and the neighborhoods mentioned above. Some of the other guests we met found their rentals through these options:
Dunas Douradas Villas
Dunas Douradas provided a lovely home for the month of May, along with the common pool, tennis courts, breakfast bakery and mini market. The only downside is the horrible on site restaurant, Xenia, which attracts a very low-class, obnoxious and loud crowd, ruining the vibe of the rest of the resort. People are often drunk watching sports on weekend days and spilling over into the pool area, which may or may not affect your chill or family vibe. They have also blasted their music well past 11pm on weeknights, which sounds as loud in your villa as it does in the actual restaurant. You may expect to be shoved or have drinks thrown at you, which is encouraged by the Xenia owners, as they are quite obnoxious about how their business affects resort guests. It’s unfortunate this is allowed, but just be aware if considering Dunas Douradas that this restaurant could ruin your stay.
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