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Vilamoura 1 week itinerary and tour
Vilamoura is a stylish and enjoyable holiday destination that is in the heart of the buzzing central Algarve. Within this region there is a wide variety of activities, sights and day trips that will entertain visitors of all types, whether that is for a family holiday, cultural tour or just a relaxing break. This guide will provide a suggested itinerary for a one-week holiday detailing the major attractions of the Vilamoura region.
Quick overview for 7days in Vilamoura
• Day 1 – Relaxing day on the beach and a wander around the marina
• Day 2 – Day trip to Faro and night out (ending in Bliss nightclub)
• Day 3 – Day trip to Quarteira or a trip to a water-park (evening meal in Quarteir
• Day 4 – Day trip to Zoomarine or a round of golf (evening in the casino)
• Day 5 – Day trip to Loulé and a big night out (ending in NoSoloÁgua)
• Day 6 – Boat tour of coastline, dolphin watching trip or deep-sea fishing
• Day 7 – Day trip to Albufeira or Olhas da Agua
The remainder of this article will explain in depth each of the days along with links to further information.
Day 1 Relaxing day on the beach
Vilamoura is located on a beautiful coastline of soft sandy beaches and crystal-clear seawaters, and for the first day it is suggested to have a relaxing day on the beach. The Praia de Vilamoura is the most convenient beach located close to many of the major hotels, but this does make it extremely popular in the summer season.
To the west of the marina is the Praia da Rocha Baixinha Nascente, which extends for 5km and transitions into the Praia da Falésia, one of the most famous beaches of the Algarve. Falésia is an idyllic beach surrounded by steep red sandstone cliffs and pine groves while the sheer size means it is possible to escape the summertime crowds. For those who prefer a bit of excitement on the beach, Praia de Vilamoura offers banana boat rides, ringos and para-sailing.
For the evening head to the marina complex with its extensive selection of fine dining establishments and continue late into the night at one of the stylish lounge bars or themed bars.
Related articles: Vilamoura beach guide – Activities of Vilamoura
Day 2 - Day trip to Faro
Faro is a historic city that is bursting with Portuguese charm and character, which makes for an enjoyable day trip from Vilamoura. Faro has a delightful historic centre that is encircled by ancient city walls and contains a gothic cathedral, the ruins of the castle and traditional cobbled streets.
Faro is the best location from which to explore the Ria Formosa nature park, a series of saltwater lagoons which are a haven for bird and marine life and tours routinely depart from the harbour. There is a direct bus service from Vilamoura to Faro.
Related articles: Faro introduction.
Day 3 - Day trip to Quarteira or visit a water-park
Quarteira is just to the east of Vilamoura and is famed for its fresh seafood and beautiful beach. Vilamoura is separated from Quarteira by a large fishing harbour, and from here freshly caught fish is served up in one of the many excellent seafood restaurants. Quarteira has a distinctly Portuguese atmosphere and has a wide sandy beach that extends along the length of town front.
As an alternative activity is to visit one of the Algarve’s famed water parks. There are three major water parks; Aqualand, Aquashow and Slide and Splash, each filled with massive flumes, near vertical slides and other adrenaline-inducing rides. The closest water park to Vilamoura is Aquashow, which is just to the north of Quarteira, more information can be found on their website:
Related articles: Quarteira introduction
Day 4 – Day trip to Zoomarine or a round of golf (evening in the casino)
Zoomarine is an outstanding tourist attraction and is part marine life centre and part water park. Zoomarine has a lot of offer including dolphin shows, an artificial beach, exotic bird displays and flume park. The animals are housed in modern facilities and are well cared for while the entire park is professionally operated.
Vilamoura was purpose-built to be a world class golfing centre and is famed for its five championship grade golf courses. Within the marina there are golfing agencies who can arrange golf club hire, transport and provide details of the latest offers and prices.
For the evening head to Vilamoura’s Casino for the glitz and glamour of the route tables and slot machines, even if gambling isn’t your thing there are nightly live performances and drink prices are some of the most reasonable in Vilamoura.
Day 5 – Day trip to Loulé
Loulé is a bustling Portuguese market town that has a selection of interesting tourist attractions. The town has a daily market (closed Sunday) housed in a North African inspired market, with stalls selling local produce, handicrafts and fresh fish. Loulé offers some of the best shopping in the Algarve, while the small cobbled backstreets are home to small family business and workshops.
Loulé is quaint and traditional, and provides a chance to experience normal Portuguese daily life. On Saturdays, there is a large gypsy market held on the western side of the town and is the best day to visit.
Related articles: Loulé introduction
Day 6 – Boat tour or Fishing trip
The Western Algarve has a dramatic coastline of steep sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches and uniquely weathered rock formations, and there is no better method to discover them, than via a boat tour. The standout out natural feature is Benagil cave. These half or full day tours depart from Vilamoura marina and are a relaxing and scenic way to view them.
Other boat tours include watching dolphins in their natural environment, and though sightings are not guaranteed, can be a magical experience especially for children. For keen fishers, there are tour boats which head out to fish for bass, mackerel, grouper or deep sea fishing for Swordfish, Tuna or Dorado.
For a blast of exhilaration take a ride on the jet boat while for those on more of a luxurious holiday could charter a stylish yacht for the day.
Day 7 – Day trip to Albufeira or Olhas da Agua
Albufeira is the largest resort town of the Algarve, boasting a beautiful beach and an old town crammed full with countless restaurants, bars and shops. Albufeira is a buzzing and hectic town during the summer and has a very different atmosphere to the much sophisticated Vilamoura. There is a direct bus from Vilamoura to Albufeira.
Olhas da Agua is a relaxed fishing village, where fishing boats are still pulled onto the sands and fishermen’s huts line the beach. From Olhas da Agua it is just a short walk to the stunning beach of Falésia, which is regarded as one of the best beaches of the central Algarve. The pristine beach is backed by steep red and white cliffs which lead onto pine groves and exclusive developments.
Related articles: Olhas da Agua – Albufeira guide