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Vilamoura - Sights and activities, things to do and see
Vilamoura is a stylish resort town that is situated in the heart of the beautiful Algarve coastline. The town is centred around an exclusive marina complex, which boasts world-class hotels, fine dining and fashionable nightlife. To the south of the marina are pristine beaches and within the sprawling developments of Vilamoura are five championship-grade golf courses.
Vilamoura makes for a fantastic holiday destination and has so much more to offer than just stunning beaches and a glorious climate. This guide will detail the most popular sights, activities and things to do for a holiday to Vilamoura.
Golf – Vilamoura things to do
The Algarve is famed for its golf courses, and Vilamoura is the focal point of the golfing scene, with five outstanding courses and facilities that match the quality of the courses. Popular golf courses within the Vilamoura region include, Millenium, the Old Course, Vila Sol, Pinhal and Victori.
In the marina complex are golfing agencies who can organise transport to all of the major courses, provide club hire and advice on prices or availability. If your primary reason to visit the Algarve is for a golfing holiday, then there is no better destination than Vilamoura. More information about the golf courses can be found on the Dom Pedro Golf websites:
Vilamoura's golf courses are world class
The beaches – Sights Vilamoura
Vilamoura is at the eastern edge of one of the largest beaches of the central Algarve, the 6km long Praia da Falésia while to the east of the Marina is the beautiful Praia de Vilamoura. The beaches around Vilamoura provide soft golden sands and crystal-clear waters, which are clean and safe for children to swim in.
On the beach parasols and sun loungers (10€ per day) can be hired along with all of the typical beach water sports, including paragliding, banana boats and inflatables.
Related articles: Vilamoura beaches
Water Parks – Vilamoura activities
Vilamoura is a holiday destination for the whole family and one of the best activities to entertain teenagers (and adults!) is a trip to one of the insane water parks. These vast water parks offer gravity-defying flumes, colossal rubber ring rides and near vertical slides – all perfect for the adrenaline junkie.
The only downside are the overly inflated entrance fees of around €29/€19 (adult/child), which may dampen the bill payer’s spirits. There are three major water parks within the central Algarve; Slide and Splash, Aqualand and Aquashow and all provide transport from Vilamoura. Links to the English websites are:
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Boat trips, tours and fishing trips – Vilamoura things to do
Departing from the marina are an assortment of different boat trips, which include tours of the coastline, dolphin spotting and deep-sea fishing. For the more adventurous are speedboat tours, jet boats or jet-skis, while for a total indulge charter a private yacht for a sunset cruise. Typical cost are:
• 3 hour caves/coastline tour €26/€17 (adult/child)
• 2 hour Dolphin tour €35/€25 (adult/child)
• 3 hour deep sea fishing (20-30m) for snapper, mackerel, grouper €35/€25 (adult/child)
A section of the better activities, as found by GetYourGuide, include:
Day Trip to Loule
Loule is a charming and traditional Portuguese market town that makes for an enjoyable day trip from Vilamoura. Loule has a pretty daily market (except Sunday) that is housed in a North African inspired covered market, while the pretty cobbled backstreets are filled with quaint house and small workshops.
Loule has a distinctively Portuguese ambience, with locals socialising in open air cafes, women gossiping in doorways and old men sat all day on the same bench. Loule is wholly different from Vilamoura and is connected by a regular and inexpensive bus service.
Related articles: Loule guide
The nightlife of Vilamoura is varied, with an ecliptic mix of bars ranging from themed to uber-chic and trendy. One of the most popular venues is Vilamoura casino which has nightly shows and a great atmosphere.
For a big night head to Bliss nightclub, where you can party under the night stars to banging music and big-name DJs, Bliss’s listings are shown on Facebook:
For more stylish beach parties head to NoSoloÁgua, for their legendary sunset parties. This day time restaurants changes into an uber cool location when the sun sets and is located on the beautiful Praia da Falésia, full listings can be seen on their website:
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Zoomarine – Vilamoura sights
Zoomarine is a wonderful marine park that specialises in dolphins, marine life and tropical birds. In the marine park, there is a diverse selection of activities including dolphin shows, aquariums, and a good water park with slides, wave pools and rapids. The animals of Zoomarine are kept in modern facilities, and all are well cared for. The variety of attractions means Zoomarine is ideal for both families and young couples but again has a steep entrance fee of €29/ €19 (adult/child). More information can be seen on their website:
Eating and drinking – Things to do
The marina is surrounded by designer restaurants and uber-chic bars, which serve fine cuisine and glamorous cocktails; there is no better location for an evening meal of freshly caught fish than the marina. As a holiday destination Vilamoura tends for the more discerning visitor but with over 200 different eat and drinking establishments every cuisine, taste and preference is catered for.
Vilamoura is an ideal location to try local and traditional Portuguese cuisines. One dish to try is Cataplana, a seafood rice stew, that is both cooked and served in a large copper dish that resembles the key ingredient, clams. Cataplana is designed to be shared, with the copper dish being placed in the centre of the table. Locally produced wines are the perfect accompaniment for any meal!
Day trip to Faro
Faro is the largest city of the Algarve and is a surprisingly fascinating destination, ideal for a day trip from Vilamoura. Within the ancient walled section of Faro is a fortified cathedral, castle ruins and Baroque city hall, while the pedestrianised shopping streets of central Faro are lined with open-air cafes.
Faro is the gateway to the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a series of saltwater lagoons and waterways that are a haven for migratory birds and marine life. There is a direct bus service from Vilamoura to Faro.
Related articles: Faro guide - Day trip to Faro
There is an excellent go-karting circuit at Almancil Karting, whose course is a scaled-down version of the F1 course in Rio. The karts are fast (390cc or 200cc) , the track is good and the whole experience is great fun. Prices are €25 (10 minutes - 390cc) or €25 (10min - 200cc). More information can be found on their website:
The go karts in Vilamoura are fast!
A Bit of history - the Cerro da Vila Roman Vila
The Cerro da Vila is a 1st century Roman Villa that is on the edge of the marina complex and contains an interesting museum. Few of the ruins are much higher than ground level, with most being excavated, but there are still beautiful mosaics patterns and images, mainly of fish. The entrance fee is only €3.