The Big Six: Beach retreats in Portugal

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The Independent Travel

Martinhal Beach Resort, Sagres

Opening on Monday, this resort is bringing tropical style to the Algarve. Set in the Costa Vicenta Natural Park in the serene western Algarve, the resort's rooms and apartments are spread between the main building and a scattering of timber-clad houses and stone villas. Restaurants, a market, sports activities, spa and kids club complete the package.

Martinhal Beach Resort, Apartado 54, Sagres, Algarve (00 351 28 262 0026; Doubles start at €153, including breakfast.

Herdade do Touril de Baixo, Odemira

This rustic retreat is on the deserted western coast of the Alentejo region. Herdade do Touril de Baixo is a working farm that offers homely accommodation in restored whitewashed manor buildings. Breakfast of home-made bread, jams, yoghurt and fresh juices are followed by a scramble down the rocks to the deserted sweep of Tonel beach or a bike ride then a snooze beside the saltwater pool.

Herdade do Touril de Baixo, Zambujeira do Mar, Odemira, Alentejo (00 351 28 395 0080; Doubles start at €80, including breakfast.

The Oitavos, Cascais

Cascais is to Lisbon what Brighton is to London. This former fishing village, 30km west of the Portuguese capital near the Tagus estuary, now harbours polished yachts, golf courses and smart hotels. Joining the set will be The Oitavos, a luxury hotel set to open in the upscale Quinta da Marinha resort on the western periphery of Cascais in late August. The chic, modern rooms will maximise the coastal views with floor-to-ceiling windows. Meanwhile, the striking glass and steel building will be supplemented by a destination spa, seawater pool, several restaurants and bars and, naturally, the requisite golf course.

The Oitavos, rua de Oitavos, Quinta da Marinha, Cascais, (00 351 21 486 0020; Doubles start at €375, room only.

Memmo Baleeira, Sagres

White is the predominant colour at this design-driven resort, but textured rugs, chocolate and plum furnishings and subtle contemporary murals steer it clear of monotony. As well as the obligatory spa, restaurant and golf course, there's also a surf school, dolphin-watching trips and diving opportunities.

Memmo Baleeira, Sitio da Baleeira, Sagres, Algarve (00 351 28 262 4212; Doubles start at €88, including breakfast.

Vila Monte Resort, Moncarapacho

Vila Monte offers a different take on the Algarve. Surrounded by well-tended gardens (which yield produce for the restaurant), the country resort is still just 10 minutes from the beaches of the Rio Formosa Natural Park. Rooms are in villas whose design borrows from Andalucia and Marrakech.

Vila Monte Resort, Sitio dos Calicos, Moncarapacho, Algarve (00 351 28 979 0799; Doubles start at €139, including breakfast.

Farol Design Hotel, Cascais

The name of this hotel suggests something entirely modern, but it is in fact based in an 1890 mansion. A contemporary extension houses chic interiors including suites created by Portuguese fashion designers. There's also yoga, a spa, seaside lounge and sushi bar.

Farol Design Hotel, 7 Avenida Rei Humberto II de Italia, Cascais (00 351 21 482 3490; Doubles start at €190, including breakfast.