The community of Vilamoura is a perfect destination for tourists looking for a true cosmopolitan resort experience on the Algarvel. Having an area of about 2,000 hectares it is one of the largest resorts in Europe that offers everything from picturesque beaches, beautiful golf courses and lavish accommodations to a busy commercial centre and a vibrant nightlife.
Vilamoura defines a large area in the Loulé municipality where private developments have flourished into what is now a distinguished tourism centre. At the heart of the resort is the Marina, a large harbor lined with hundreds of luxurious boats. Most of the top establishments are found here and the surrounding areas. If you walk around during the day you will see numerous shops that not only sell souvenir items but also the trendiest products. You can buy anything from your basic holiday needs to designer clothes, accessories and perfume.
Several cafés and restaurants can also be found around the area. The offerings are fairly diverse which include Chinese, Mexican, Irish, Swiss, Italian, and of course Portuguese cooking. Since you are in a coastal area don’t miss a chance to have some fresh seafood such as those served in places like Ostra D’Ouro Grill at the waterfront.
The Marina is also the best place to go to if you are looking for an adventure. Boats like the Condor de Vilamoura offer trips around the coast and can take you to see hidden coves and other sights. Big game fishing is another activity that a lot of visitors typically try out.
Of course no Algarve holiday is complete without a trip to the beach. You can either enjoy the sun and sand on Vilamoura beach or the nearby beaches of Falésia and Olhos de Agua. Falésia is a particularly pretty beach with tall red cliffs serving as its backdrop, while Olhos de Agua is surrounded by cliffs forested with pine trees.
Vilamoura is also popular for its golf courses. Players can choose from four courses: the Old Course, Laguna, Pinhal, and the Millenium.
Because it has so much to offer Vilamoura is really a 24-hour holiday spot where bustling days transition seamlessly into lively nights. After dinner there are numerous bars you can visit including typical Irish sports bars, karaoke bars, discos and striptease clubs. Among the popular haunts is the Jazz Club that hosts live music and a relaxed atmosphere. At the centre of all the nighttime fun, however, is the international casino patronized by the jet-set crowd where there is live entertainment in addition to gambling and games. A lot of the establishments in Vilamoura stay open as late as 7 in the morning.
The resort offers a good selection of places to stay, ranging from 3-star to 5-star hotels like the Hotel Tivola Marina Vilamoura, which boasts of 30, 000 square metres of exquisite landscaping and direct access to a private beach. Another notable place is the Estalagem da Cegonha, a former nobleman’s estate-turned-inn, tucked in a peaceful location that is still very close to the commercial centre. There are also private villas that can be found further inland.
Vilamoura likewise has a museum and archeological site in Cerro da Vila, where graves from the Bronze Age, as well as traces of Roman, Visigoth and Moorish settlements have been found.