As is true in much of the Algarve, life in Vilamoura revolves around the waterfront. There is no shortage of ocean-based fun on offer here—from dolphin-spotting excursions to jet ski rentals and speedboat tours. While many travelers use Vilamoura as a base, others visit the resort town as part of multi-day tours of the Algarve. These tours typically make stops at Vilamoura as well as other cities and resorts—from Faro and Albufeira to the beach-ringed Tavira Island in Ria Formosa Natural Park (Parque Natural da Ria Formosa).
Things to know before you go
- Vilamoura is a must for luxury-seeking travelers, with lots of upmarket amenities available.
- The area is family-friendly with water sports, crazy golf, and nearby water parks; as well as hotels with kids’ clubs.
- The beach offers restrooms and sun lounger rentals.
How to get there
Vilamoura is about a 30-minute drive from Faro airport. The #16 bus connects Faro airport to Faro bus station, from where Vilamoura Marina-bound buses depart. Check the timetable in advance as scheduled services can be sparse, particularly on weekends.
When to get there
Peak season in Vilamoura falls in July and August. Go in May, late September, or early October for a more laid-back experience. In winter, Vilamoura is wonderfully tranquil, though the sea is usually too cold for swimming, nights can be chilly, and some attractions close. Vilamoura Marina is liveliest at night as vacationers crowd into the restaurants, though the vibe is still relaxed.
Day Trips from Vilamoura
Vilamoura makes the perfect jumping-off point for exploring the Algarve. From here, it’s a mere stroll to the neighboring seaside town of Quarteira, where you can buy fresh fish from the daily market. The well-preserved old town of the city of Faro is just a 30-minute drive away, as is the Ria Formosa Natural Park—known for its pristine marshlands and lagoons teeming with birdlife.
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