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Holidays in Vilamoura
A huge marina, long sandy beaches and top-class golf courses have helped put Vilamoura on the holiday map. Nestled between fishing village resorts and the medieval town of Loulé, it was purpose-built for leisure. So you’ll find all sorts to do, lots of places to eat and drink, and a laid-back atmosphere made for relaxing in the Portuguese sunshine. Choose a hotel overlooking the marina and you’ll be right at the heart of it all.
July and August are the hottest, driest months.
2 hours 45 minutes
Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, 25km east of Vilamoura.
Explore the restaurants, shops and bars of Portugal’s biggest marina and try your luck at the casino: book your holiday to Vilamoura with Thomas Cook.
What is included ?
Vilamoura Marina is a hub of activity day and night. There are cosmopolitan bars, restaurants and shops, posh yachts and bustling people to watch, and a dynamic night scene. Chill out with some live jazz, or spend the evening amongst the glamorous attractions of the casino. As well as the games, it hosts a programme of glitzy entertainment and a nightclub. After a big night out, spend the day unwinding with your feet in the sand or play a leisurely round of golf. If that’s not quite your thing, there are all kinds of other things to do in Vilamoura, from horse riding and sailing to visiting Roman ruins.
It’s very easy to find both the main beaches, two of the most popular places to go in Vilamoura. Only a few steps from the marina, the golden expanse of Praia de Vilamoura (aka Praia da Marina) is perfect for sunbathing, games and watersports. Follow it to its very end and you’ll reach the sandy beach at Quarteira, a traditional fishing village turned holiday resort. In the other direction, sandy Praia da Falésia is framed by ochre-hued cliffs, making it a picturesque place to unwind. It’s the first in a chain of beaches leading to the pretty little resort of Olhos de Água, which is 10km away by road.
You don’t have to stick close to Vilamoura Marina to have a memorable holiday. Get a glimpse of life in a Roman villa at the Cerro do Vila Archaeological Centre and Museum. Explore Loulé’s winding medieval streets in search of the old castle walls hidden amongst the houses. Get a different view of the Algarve with a hike through the nature reserve around Fonte Benemola spring, around 25km from Vilamoura. Or, if you’re looking for more exciting things for kids to do in Vilamoura, tackle the water rollercoaster, wave pool and waterslides at the AquaShow Family Fun Park.
Don’t forget to pack your clubs – golf is top of the many activities in Vilamoura. Common hazards on the five courses include towering palm trees, sparkling waterways and wildlife-filled lakes. The oldest, Oceânico Old Course, is famed for its parkland design, while you’ll be challenged by the narrow fairways at the Oceânico Millennium Golf Course. Take your swing a little less seriously at Family Golf Park. Its two mini-golf courses are themed on the Cerro da Vila Roman ruins next door. You could also explore the coast on a boat trip, perhaps into the cool caves in the cliffs or to a secluded beach for a barbecue.
What is included ?
Families: Explore caves and spot dolphins on a boat trip. See who’s best at mini-golf. And play on golden beaches.
Golfers: There’s an array of testing courses all around Vilamoura. It’s one of the Algarve’s top destinations for golfing holidays.
Social butterflies: Play the tables at the casino, catch a concert or magic show, then dance until the early hours.
Language: The language spoken in Vilamoura is Portuguese
Currency: The currency used in Vilamoura is the euro (€)
Local time: Vilamoura is in the same time zone as GMT/UK time
Fly to: Faro Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, 25km east of Vilamoura.
Flight time from UK: Approximately 2 hours 45 minutes
Tourist Information: Further Vilamoura tourist information can be found at www.visitportugal.com
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/portugal for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Vilamoura.
Temperature: Average highs of 28 in peak summer, down to 16 in December-February (°C).
Best time to visit: July and August are the hottest, driest months.
The glorious summer weather in Vilamoura brings hot sunshine, warm seas and long sunbathing days from May to September. April, October and November are warm and sunny too, but with a little more rainfall, while December to March tends to be cooler (especially in the evenings) and wetter.
On foot: Most of Vilamoura’s attractions and entertainment are on or near the marina so you won’t need to rely on public transport, and you could also walk to neighbouring Quarteira (about 4km).
By tourist train: A handy way to get between town and the Family Golf Park, or to Quarteira and Praia da Falésia beach.
By coach or rail: There’s a great network of services around the Algarve if you want to explore further afield. The nearest railway stations are at Boliqueime and Loulé (11km and 17km away), while EVA and Rede Expressos are the companies to book coach travel with.
Colourful festivities: Join Carnival in the run-up to Shrove Tuesday (February/March). It’s celebrated across the Algarve but the nearby town of Loulé is particularly famous for its exuberant parade and flower fights.
Surf and turf: Come to Vilamoura in February to feel the buzz around the Algarve International Sailing Tournament, or in December for the Vilamoura Grand Golf Trophy. Showjumping competitions are also big news here.
Celebrate summer: June brings a multicultural rainbow of food, music, art and theatre to Loulé’s winding streets for Festival Med.
Jazz festivals: If you’re here in July, head over to Loulé’s International Jazz Festival, one of several around the jazz-loving Algarve.