The Verdelago resort brings sustainable luxury to ...

The Verdelago resort brings sustainable luxury to the eastern Algarve 

Verdelago Resort - 2

By: Maria Simiris   

Sustainable sophistication 

Between Praia Verde and Altura, in Castro Marim, lies an 86-hectare estate (of which 70ha are protected green area) where the Verdelago Resort is being developed.

Representing an investment of around €270 million, the project includes a holiday village, a five-star hotel and a nature reserve. Although the initial project by company Verdelago – Sociedade Imobiliária dates back to 2001, it was fund manager Oxy Capital that took over asset management in 2015, and the resort began to take shape in 2020. 

In total, the development will boast 2,020 beds, with 340 units ranging from apartments to villas of different typologies – 102 of which are expected to be completed this summer – while construction of a five-star hotel by the Marriott group’s Westin brand is due to start soon and will feature a total of 197 rooms.

Surrounding the entire perimeter is the nature reserve that was originally planned as a golf course. “Our main concern is sustainability and reducing water consumption, which is why we decided to scrap the golf course, and instead are giving our patrons the chance to enjoy 35 hectares of green space,” explains Paulo Monteiro, the resort’s general manager. 

Divided into six phases, Verdelago will soon finalise the first stage of the project, which includes the 102 tourist accommodation units, the village club, the kids club and a range of facilities, from swimming pools to the sports complex with tennis and padel courts. Four kilometres of boardwalks and footpaths within the reserve and along the dunes have also been completed. 

The initial operation began in the summer of 2023 with the first 50 units and, according to the general manager, sales have been a success. “More than 80% of sales were to Portuguese buyers who visit the area regularly. We sold everything before the end of last summer. In other words, the 102 units we are opening this summer have all been sold since last year.” 

The construction and sale of the next two phases is currently underway. “We decided to combine them since the first stage went so well,” explains Paulo Monteiro. A further 109 units have been put on the market, ranging from €450,000 to €1.5 million, with close to 50% sold but which will only be delivered next year. “This phase is also going well and we have noticed a higher number of foreigners, such as Americans, Brazilians, Brits and some Asians, closing the deal,” says the general manager. 

Construction work is also due to start soon on the hotel, which will be located on elevated land and will have a top-floor entrance through Praia Verde. The south-facing rooms will enjoy sea views and there are plans for a congress centre with meeting rooms, a spa with sauna, Turkish baths, jacuzzi and wellness treatments, a gym, four restaurants, and three outdoor swimming pools.

“On the top floor, we’ll have the suites, all with spectacular views. The ground floor will be more family-orientated with private gardens, and outside, in the highest area, we’ll have wooden bungalows with sea views, which are prime flat units. We will offer a diversified, high-end tourist experience. This is clearly going to be the highest-quality development in the eastern Algarve,” says Paulo Monteiro. 

Something else that makes Verdelago stand out is the focus on sustainability, which has been a priority from the planning stage right through to construction, and which has been approved by the Green Globe sustainable tourism certification, making this the first tourist resort in the country to receive it.

This area is truly a gem and our main strategy has always been to enhance its surroundings,” Paulo Monteiro points out. That is why most of the resort is dedicated to the nature reserve, on the seafront, consisting of a lake, recreational and leisure park, and where more than 110 species of animals have already been identified, from birds to foxes. In the future, there are plans to create an Animal Protection and Interpretation Centre and the whole area will include several kilometres of boardwalks for walking and cycling without directly interfering with nature. 

The resort is also expected to have a major impact on the eastern Algarve, not least because the municipality will see a return of €12 million, involving projects such as upgrading road infrastructure, building a roundabout and implementing a submarine outfall in the Altura area to prevent flooding. 

“The impact on the local area is enormous. In terms of tourism, there is no other project like this one, and we are going to generate 500 jobs. We have been working with the local council and various local players, such as the University of the Algarve, to attract and train human resources and we are developing a project to build housing for our employees. It will be a six-hectare mini resort with flats, villas, swimming pools and sports grounds, located four kilometres from Verdelago,” adds the general manager. 

Although the project’s progress will be dictated by the pace of sales, Paulo Monteiro estimates that the entire resort will be up and running in the next seven to 10 years.  


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