Best Things To Do In Vilamoura
July 24, 2023
Nestled within the sun-soaked Algarve region, Vilamoura is an upscale resort town which captivates visitors with its allure and charm. Only a 30-minute drive from Faro airport, and centred around a magnificent marina and palm-bordered esplanade, Vilamoura offers a wealth of experiences to indulge in. From golden-sand beaches and fascinating Roman ruins, to championship golf courses, luxury resorts, and a vibrant array of shops, clubs, and Michelin Star restaurants, this luxurious destination has it all.
Let’s dive into the top attractions and experiences that make this lively coastal town a must-visit holiday destination. Here are the best things to do in Vilamoura.
Explore the Marina
Vilamoura Marina is not only the beating heart of the town but also one of the Algarve’s liveliest hotspots, beloved by both locals and visitors alike. Day or night, there’s always a vibrant atmosphere, and you might even find yourself rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. Known as the ‘capital of world sailing’, it proudly stands as the Algarve’s largest and most revered marina, drawing in admirers from far and wide.
Renowned for its opulence, Vilamoura Marina boasts an array of high-end yachts and luxury boats, making it a sought-after destination for both boat owners and dreamers. The marina’s allure extends beyond the realm of boats, as it is packed with a delightful selection of bars and restaurants. Whether you’re seeking a quick snack or a leisurely three-course meal, the marina caters to all tastes and preferences. From family-friendly eateries to romantic settings, you’ll find an enticing variety of options. The marina is also home to some of the finest seafood restaurants in the Algarve, where you can relish the freshest catch of the day. Opt for an outside table, and as you dine, savour the panoramic views over the shimmering waters, creating an unforgettable dining experience. When it comes to drinks, the marina leaves no stone unturned. Cosy pubs, intimate wine bars, and trendy cocktail spots beckon, offering refreshing beverages to suit every preference.
No visit to Vilamoura Marina is complete without venturing onto the sea. Charter a boat and set sail to explore the stunning coastline, or try your hand at big game fishing, scuba diving, water skiing, or windsurfing in the calm waters.
Vilamoura is a golfer’s paradise, boasting an impressive collection of world-class golf courses that cater to every skill level. With several top-class courses surrounding the area, including the renowned Dom Pedro Golf Collection, Vale do Lobo, and Quinta do Lago, Vilamoura offers an unrivalled golfing experience.
Test your skills at the world-famous Old Course, which offers a fun challenge for players of all levels. For a more relaxed round, the Arnold Palmer-designed Victoria Course, home of the Portugal Masters, provides an idyllic setting amidst the stunning Algarve scenery. With 5/6 tees per hole, wide and undulating fairways, extensive water obstacles and well positioned bunkers, this course is an unforgettable experience for every player.
Other notable courses include the picturesque Millennium Golf Course, offering incredible parkland-style holes and a standout par 3 6th hole. Take in breathtaking views as you navigate the beautifully maintained San Lorenzo Golf Course, nestled within a pine forest in the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve.
San Lorenzo Golf Course
Visit the Roman Ruins of Cerro da Vila
Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Vilamoura by exploring the fascinating Roman ruins at Cerro da Vila. This ancient archaeological site offers a glimpse into the rich past of the region. As you wander through the remains of a Roman villa, a bathhouse, and a fish-salting complex, you’ll be transported back in time to the days of the Roman Empire. Admire the intricate mosaics, marvel at the well-preserved structures, and imagine life in this once-thriving Roman settlement. The Roman ruins serve as a testament to Vilamoura’s historical significance and provide a unique cultural experience for history buffs and curious visitors alike.
Hit the Beach
Whether you’re seeking a tranquil escape or an active day under the sun, Vilamoura offers a diverse range of beaches that cater to all preferences and all ages.
Praia da Falésia, extending along the coastline, is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and picturesque beaches in Vilamoura. Known for its stunning red cliffs and golden sands stretching as far as the eye can see, this beach offers a truly breathtaking backdrop for a day of relaxation. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, dip your toes into the refreshing Atlantic waters, or simply bask in the sun while admiring the dramatic cliffs that frame this postcard-perfect beach.
For those seeking a livelier atmosphere, Praia de Vilamoura is the place to be. Located adjacent to the marina, this beach is not only easily accessible but also offers an array of water sports activities to satisfy adventure enthusiasts. From jet skiing and parasailing to paddle-boarding and kayaking, there’s no shortage of thrilling experiences to enjoy. After an exhilarating day on the water, unwind at one of the beachfront bars or indulge in a delicious meal at the nearby restaurants, where you can savour fresh seafood while gazing at ocean views.
If seclusion and tranquillity are what you seek, head to Praia da Rocha Baixinha. Tucked away amidst a peaceful natural setting, this hidden gem is perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more intimate beach experience. The pristine sands, framed by dunes and rugged cliffs, provide a serene backdrop for sunbathing and long walks along the shore.
Read more in our dedicated blog about the Best Vilamoura Beaches.
Try Water Sports
The wide range of water sports activities available in Vilamoura ensures that there is something for everyone seeking an exhilarating aquatic adventure. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a beginner looking to try something new, Vilamoura offers a variety of options to get your adrenaline pumping.
From jet skiing and parasailing to paddle-boarding and kayaking, the possibilities are endless. Explore the stunning coastline on a high-speed jet ski, feeling the rush as you zip through the waves. Take to the skies while parasailing and enjoy panoramic views of Vilamoura’s breathtaking landscapes. Paddleboard along the calm waters, immersing yourself in the tranquillity of the sea, or embark on a kayaking excursion to discover hidden coves and secluded beaches.
With professional instructors and well-equipped water sports centres, Vilamoura provides a safe and thrilling environment for visitors of all ages to experience the excitement of water sports.
Take a Boat Tour
Exploring Vilamoura’s stunning coastline and the sparkling waters of the Algarve is an absolute must, and what better way to do so than by taking a boat tour? Vilamoura offers plenty of boat tours that allow you to experience the beauty of the region from a unique perspective. Hop aboard a comfortable and well-equipped boat, and set sail on an unforgettable adventure.
One popular option is a scenic coastal cruise that takes you along the picturesque cliffs, hidden caves such as Benagil cave, and golden beaches that line Vilamoura’s shoreline. As you cruise along, marvel at the dramatic rock formations and the crystal-clear waters that change hues from turquoise to deep blue. The knowledgeable guides on board provide fascinating insights into the area’s history, geology, and marine life, enriching your journey with interesting facts and stories.
For those seeking a more interactive experience, there are fishing charters available in Vilamoura. Join a fishing excursion and try your hand at catching some of the region’s abundant marine species. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the experienced crew will provide guidance and assistance, ensuring an enjoyable and rewarding fishing experience.
If you’re looking to add a touch of luxury to your boat tour, consider booking a private yacht charter. Set sail on a luxurious yacht, complete with attentive crew members who cater to your every need. Relax on the sun-kissed deck, savouring refreshing drinks and delicious snacks, while taking in the breathtaking views of the coastline. Customise your itinerary to include stops at secluded beaches, snorkelling spots, or even a romantic sunset cruise.
Take a Day Trip
When visiting Vilamoura, you’ll find yourself conveniently situated in the heart of the Algarve, making it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding towns and attractions. Embarking on a day trip to nearby towns allows you to delve into the diverse cultural and historical offerings of the region.
Just a short drive inland from Vilamoura lies the charming town of Loulé. Known for its vibrant markets, including the bustling Loulé Market, this town offers a glimpse into traditional Portuguese life. Stroll through the narrow streets, admire the Moorish architecture, and visit the striking Loulé Castle. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample local delicacies and experience the lively atmosphere of the market.
As the capital of the Algarve, Faro is a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Explore the picturesque Old Town, enclosed within ancient walls, and discover its historic landmarks such as Faro Cathedral and the Arco da Vila. Take a leisurely walk along the Marina and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. For nature enthusiasts, the Ria Formosa Natural Park, with its diverse ecosystem of lagoons and wetlands, is a must-visit.
Known for its lively nightlife and beautiful beaches, Albufeira is a popular destination for tourists. Take a stroll along the vibrant streets of the Old Town, lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Visit the iconic Fisherman’s Beach, soak up the sun on the golden sands, and enjoy the inviting waters of the Atlantic Ocean. For a touch of history, explore the remnants of Albufeira’s Moorish past at the Castle Wall Ruins.
A bit further west from Vilamoura, Lagos is a captivating town known for its rich history and stunning beaches. Discover the fascinating maritime history at the Lagos Maritime Museum, walk along the picturesque promenade, and explore the narrow streets of the Old Town. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the dramatic Ponta da Piedade, a series of striking cliffs and rock formations that create a breathtaking coastal landscape.
Dig into Local Cuisine
One of the highlights of Vilamoura’s dining scene is its fresh seafood. Being a coastal town, you can expect to find an abundance of delicious fish and shellfish dishes on the menus. From grilled sardines to succulent prawns and delectable octopus, the seafood options are truly mouthwatering. Be sure to try the traditional cataplana, a seafood stew cooked in a copper clam-shaped pot, which is a local specialty.
Aside from seafood, Vilamoura offers a wide range of international cuisines to satisfy any palate. Whether you’re craving Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, or Brazilian flavours, you’ll find restaurants serving an array of international dishes with top-notch quality and flavours. Many of these establishments are run by talented chefs who bring their own unique twist to traditional recipes.
For those seeking an authentic taste of Portugal, Vilamoura also boasts several restaurants specialising in traditional Portuguese cuisine. From hearty stews and grilled meats to flavourful rice dishes and regional specialties (including Piri Piri Chicken!), you can indulge in the rich flavours and culinary traditions of the country. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous Portuguese custard tarts, known as pastéis de nata, for a sweet and satisfying treat.
Read more in our dedicated blog about the Best Restaurants in Vilamoura.
Dance the Night Away
When the sun sets in Vilamoura, the town comes alive with a vibrant and exciting nightlife that offers a range of entertainment options for visitors of all tastes and preferences. Vilamoura’s nightlife scene is renowned for its energy, sophistication, and variety, making it a popular destination for those seeking a memorable evening out.
One of the main hubs for nightlife in Vilamoura is the marina area. Here, you’ll find an array of stylish bars and lounges where you can relax with a cocktail or enjoy a glass of wine while overlooking the shimmering yachts and waterfront views. These establishments often feature live music, DJs, and themed nights, creating a lively and upbeat atmosphere.
For those looking to dance the night away, Vilamoura boasts several nightclubs that cater to different music genres and tastes. Whether you prefer electronic dance music, hip-hop, or a mix of chart-topping hits, you’ll find clubs that offer energetic vibes and spacious dance floors. Some of these clubs also host renowned DJs and special events, so expect an unforgettable night of dancing.
If you’re in the mood for a more laid-back evening, Vilamoura has a variety of cosy pubs and wine bars where you can unwind with friends or loved ones. These venues often offer a wide selection of local and international beers, wines, and spirits, allowing you to savour the flavours of the region while enjoying a relaxed and convivial atmosphere. Some pubs also feature live sports broadcasts, making them an ideal spot to catch your favourite games.
In addition to bars and clubs, Vilamoura also offers entertainment venues that host live shows, concerts, and performances. From live bands playing popular tunes to captivating theatrical productions and comedy shows, there’s always something happening to keep you entertained throughout the night.
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Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any of these businesses. This information is gathered from client and staff experiences and feedback and we are happy to share as a helpful guide. We do not vouch for or recommend any service or establishment.