Quinta do Lago was founded in 1971 by the Polish-Brazilian property developer André Jordan (born André Franz Spitzman Jordan), three years after the end of the Salazar's rule.
The original 550 hectare site, "Quinta dos Ramalhos" (Ramalhos Estate) contained the ruins of an old farmhouse (today "Casa Velha", having been rebuilt as a restaurant in 1972) and a stone pine forest adjacent to both the Ria Formosa and the growing resort of Vale do Lobo which had been founded eight years earlier. Jordan’s company, Planal, acquired the property on the 20th December 1971. The large beach-lined estate had been previously owned by the Pinto de Magalhães family for more than 300 years. Within three years, a bridge to the beach had been built to the beach, the lake was created over the salty sands, and 27 holes of golf designed by architect William F. Mitchell had been completed.
The Ria Formosa is a designated Natural Park of over 170 km² and a stopping place for hundreds of different birds during the spring and autumn migratory periods.
The most important cities near the Ria Formosa are Tavira, Faro and Olhão. There are also some towns in this area, whose names are: Fuzeta (which belongs to the municipality of Olhão), Santa Luzia, Cabanas de Tavira (these last two belonging to Tavira) and Cacela Velha (which belongs to Vila Real de Santo António).