The best guide to Vilamoura
Vilamoura is a sophisticated and refined holiday destination that is situated on a wonderful coastline of glorious sandy beaches. There are two main beaches of Vilamoura, the Praia de Vilamoura to the east and the Praia da Falésia to the west, with the marina estuary and the Ribeira de Quarteira river separating them.
This article will provide a guide to both beaches, general beach advice and some beautiful images get you excited for your holiday!
The Praia de Vilamoura beach (GPS: 37.071352, -8.116978) is located between the mouth of the Vilamoura marina and the fishing port of Quarteira. This beautiful beach offers soft golden sands, clean sea waters and outstanding tourist’s facilities. As the beach is the closest beach to the many of hotel complexes, it can get very busy in the summer season.
The Praia de Vilamoura is semi-sheltered from the powerful waves and currents of the Atlantic Ocean by a sea groyne that extends from the harbour mouth. Therefore, the waters are calm, safe and suitable for children to bath and splash around in - but always follow the advice of the lifeguards.
On the beach, sun loungers and parasols can be hired for €15 per day. For a truly-uber-chic experience spend the day lounging in the Purobeach complex (Beach Daybed €40/€15 (high/low season), more info can be found on their website:
Car Parking is very limited close to the Praia de Vilamoura, so it is advisable to walk or catch a taxi/Uber.
The Praia da Falésia is regarded as one of the finest beaches in the Algarve, with a beautiful 5km shoreline extending from Vilamoura to Olhos de Água in the west. The western side of the Falesia beach has surprisingly little tourist development and is surrounded by distinctive red sandstone cliffs. The red sandstone cliffs for which the Praia da Falésia is known for, begin about 1km west from Vilamoura (GPS: 37.076607, -8.136154).
The eastern end of the Praia da Falésia (closest to Vilamoura) has low rise side dunes, and is referred to as the Praia da Rocha Baixinha Nascente.
The Praia da Rocha Baixinha Nascente is much more exposed to the westerly waves of the Atlantic Ocean than the Praia de Vilamoura and the waves can be suitable for surfing and body boarding. Families and children must always swim in the areas which are supervised by lifeguards, and this tends to be the section closest to Vilamoura. Surf equipment can be hired from CIMAV Surfschool (€35 surfboard & wetsuit per day), more information can be found on their website:
The huge size of the Praia da Falésia beach means, that if your willing to walk, there can always be a quieter section of the beach to be found, even in the peak summer months. The western side of Falésia is the destination to lose the summertime crowds and discover the true beauty of the Algarve.
There is a large paid car park to the rear of the Praia da Rocha Baixinha Nascente, (GPS: 37.07691, -8.12809). On the beachfront are four eating venues; NoSoloÁgua (also a trendy nightclub), Gomes na Praia, AL.MAR (part of the Hilton hotel) and Thai Beach Club.
It is an enjoyable two-hour return walk along Falésia beach to Olhos de Água, and for the return there is a path along the tops of the cliffs. For detailed maps of the paths please see Openstreetmap.org::
The Praia de Quarteira is the beach that extends along the coastline in front of the town of Quarteira. The beach is on the eastern side of the Quarteira fishing harbour (beyond the Praia de Vilamoura) and is about a 1.5km walk from the Tivoli hotel.
The Praia de Quarteira is similar to Praia de Vilamoura, with a large expanse of sand and clean sea waters, and is again very popular due to the close vicinity of the town and hotels. Quarteira is a pleasant beach promenade which follows the entire length of the beach and makes for another enjoyable walk. Quarteira is popular with Portuguese tourists and the town has a range of excellent seafood restaurants.
Related articles: Quarteira introduction
It’s all good us providing using flowery language to describe the beaches, but often all that is what from a beach guide is the confirmation that the beaches of Vilamoura are as good or better than the other resort towns in the Algarve.
The simple answer is Vilamoura’s beaches are some of the best of the Algarve and will be fantastic for your beach-based holiday. The main issue with Vilamoura beaches is that they can get very busy in the summer, but to compensate there is the massive Praia da Falésia if space and seclusion is desired.
The sea temperature of the Algarve and Vilamoura is always surprisingly cold, especially for people new to the region. This cool temperature, which only reaches 20C in the summer, is due to the waters being fed from the Atlantic Ocean, instead of the much warmer Mediterranean Sea. If you are planning to spend an extended period in the sea (eg surfing), then a wetsuit is a must.
The weather is suitable for spending time on the beach from May until the end of September. The Algarve does not have beach weather during the winter.
On the beach parasols, can be hired for the overly inflated price of €15 per day but these are essential when out under the intense summer sun. Vilamoura has a range of adrenaline inflatable or boat rides including banana boats, ringos and para-sailing, these are booked and depart from the marina.
The beaches of Vilamoura are suitable for children, and during the summer season, the beach is supervised by lifeguards. Both beaches of Vilamoura are low-lying, with no slopes or stairs to navigate, which means they are suitable for visitors with limited mobility.