Western Algarve resort surfs up a treat away from the golf course!

Resorts in the central and western Algarve are famous for world-class golf, but head west and one resort is making a name around the world for another activity – surfing.

The 100-acre Martinhal Beach Resort in Sagres is the first 5-star surf destination in Portugal. Surrounded by the Costa Vicentina National Park, it has been recognized as a surf hot spot in Europe, even in the winter months thanks to the Algarve’s balmy year-round climate.

Sagres is becoming recognized as one of the best surf spots, offering both south and west-facing coastlines and providing fine surf conditions for all surfer levels, regardless of the swell and wind direction. There are 22 beaches within a 30-minute drive from the resort. For beginners, the best beaches are Castelejo, Amado, Carrapateira and Arrifana, while more experienced surfers can enjoy beaches at Ponta Ruiva, Cordoama and Vale Figueiras.

Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel offers surf adventures for all the family. Experienced surfer instructors provide surf lessons on a daily basis for different ages and skills, keeping everyone focused on catching the best wave. During the lessons, kids and adults will learn about surf safety information, ocean awareness and different surf techniques needed to stand on the board. All the necessary equipment is included.

The resort features a 37 bedroom 5-star hotel and a selection of more than 150 spacious 1 to 5 bedroom Villages, 4 heated pools, gym, Spa with Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna, tennis courts, kids clubs, 3 restaurants and a family surf bar.

For residents or owners of property on the Algarve, learning to surf at Martinhal could make an exciting break away from the golf course.

Portugal’s Golden Visa going from strength to strength in 2014

Portugal’s appeal to foreign investors is continuing to grow, after reports in July confirmed that the country’s Golden Visa investment scheme has earned Portugal more in revenue during the first six months of 2014 than it did during the whole of last year.

According to Portugal’s SEF immigration office, by June the amount of funds brought into the country by Golden Visa candidates had reached €417 million, €100 million more than the €307 million generated by the scheme during the whole of 2013. A total of 670 new Golden Visas were issued during the first six months of 2014. This is good news for the mid to high end of the property market in Portugal, which in includes luxury villas in the Algarve.

The Golden Visa scheme gives foreign investors from outside the EU who invest in private property or a company in Portugal the right to live in the country. Successful candidates are also free to travel around the EU, thanks to the Schengen Agreement, and after six years they can apply for Portuguese citizenship.

To qualify for the Golden Visa scheme, candidates have the choice of investing €1 million in a public or private company or fund, setting up a business and creating 10 new jobs or buying property, which can be any type commercial, residential or land for a minimum value of €500,000.

Property can be owned jointly and loans can be obtained to finance properties over and above the €500,000 equity stake. An applicant can apply to bring his or her spouse and his under age children as well as those who are students, who do not have to be in full time education as long as they are attending a recognised course. Dependent parents (ie, those who are over retirement age) may also join the applicant.