The biggest luxury resort in Europe, Vilamoura, is a delightful destination for those seeking pure, unadulterated refinement. People come from all over the world to enjoy a slice of this Portuguese paradise in the Algarve. Miles of golden sandy beaches line the shores, while inland you'll find a landscape of fragrant pine trees. Stay in the finest hotels, many of which are attached to some of the world's best golf courses, or try your luck in the top local casinos. Vilamoura holidays bring a glamour and sophistication that will capture every visitor’s heart.
The best time to visit is considered to be between May and September, when the resort is bathed in constant sunshine for long hours each day. However, balmy temperatures in the winter mean it's also popular during December and January as a winter destination for those looking to escape the frost.
Most popular hotels in Vilamoura
Tivoli Marina Vilamoura
Blue and Green The Lake Spa and Resort
Vila Gale Ampalius Hotel
Vilamoura Golf Hotel
As Cascatas Golf Resort and Spa
Dom Pedro Vilamoura Resort
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Portuguese
- Time Zone: GMT +0
- Average flight time: 3h 5m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
As a premier resort destination in Portugal, Vilamoura provides all that visitors have come to expect from the Algarve, and much more. This includes the many wonderful beaches found here, each showing a distinct character.
Holidays to Vilamoura are full of adventure and give you with the freedom to do whatever you want. There are many nearby villages that you can spend days exploring, as well as secluded beaches to discover and make your own. A local transport system connects all the villages, but hiring a car is the best option for getting around as the roads are rarely busy.
The nearby Ria Formosa natural park attracts nature lovers from far and wide, and offers visitors a chance to explore the outstanding flora and fauna encountered here, on the very southern tip of Portugal. Day trips can easily be arranged to the Fonte Benemola natural park, which is a little bit further away. This stunning patch of forest is an ideal place to go trekking, and hopefully spot some of the Algarve's unique wildlife.
Popular as a golfing holiday destination, Vilamoura attracts many visitors to its lush green fairways and scenic courses. Of course, there is plenty more to enjoy here than putting on the green. The resort holds seafood festivals, carnivals, theme parks and scenic tours, which are just some of the array of activities the whole family can enjoy.
Wine and Dine
Portugal is a favoured destination for foodies and connoisseurs, who come here to indulge in the deliciously varied cuisine found throughout the country. Vilamoura is no exception.
Enjoy a late night dinner at one of the many popular tapas bars, and order several small dishes to share around the table. From goat’s cheese topped with caramelized onions, to local grilled chorizo served with garlic, a large variety of delicious dishes provide you with a mouth watering experience. All of this is best enjoyed with a delicious glass of local wine, which the Portuguese proudly claim to be amongst the best in the world. For a local speciality, try a glass of vino verde; a refreshing kind of white wine with a slightly green colour.
Cured meat and locally produced cheese are also specialities the Portuguese pride themselves in. Meander through local markets to find the best ones, and don't be shy to ask the stall owners for a sample
Vilamoura is a family friendly destination, offering parents quality time alone, and the kids a chance to go on adventures they'll never forget!
Why not book your whole family in for a whale watching trip? Catching a glimpse of, and being so close to the world's largest mammals is a goose-bump inducing experience unlike any other! If you're lucky, you'll also encounter some dolphins on your way!
Another activity the whole family is bound to enjoy is renting a boat and spending a day out at sea. It’s a wonderful way to explore the Algarve coastline and all the fascinating rock formations and cliff faces along it. If you don't feel safe taking a boat out onto the Atlantic Ocean on your own, you'll easily find a captain willing to drive you around for the day.
The Tivoli Marina Vilamoura is certainly worth a look for an affordable and family friendly place to stay during your holiday in Vilamoura. This luxury 5 star hotel provides families with spacious rooms, an outdoor pool plus access to the beach, as well a spa and wellness centre and plenty of on-site activities such as table tennis and mini golf to keep guests entertained both day and night.
Action and Adventure
Start off your Vilamoura holiday by renting a scooter to zoom around on, and explore the beautiful scenery on display here in the south of Portugal. It's a cheap transport option, but also allows you to make full use of the fabulous weather, whilst also avoiding being stuck in traffic!
Spend some time in the sun and make use of the incredible water sports facilities found on most of the major beaches. Anything from water-skiing and wake-boarding to paddle boarding and kite surfing is available. For those who can't get enough of the excitement, jet ski rental is also available.
Trekking opportunities can be found in the three national parks located nearby. The Ria Formosa is the largest, and is located along the southern coast, making it easily accessible from Vilamoura. Rocha da Pena and Fonte Benemola are located further away north of Vilamoura, but offer equally as exciting trekking and hiking opportunities which take you through forests and streams.
Life's a Beach
No holiday to Vilamoura would be complete without paying a visit to its beautiful stretches of sand along the coast. Visit Praia de Quarteira to find ideal sunbathing and swimming conditions. The breakwaters installed at this beach mean the water is safe for children and swimmers of all ages. This beach is lined with shady palm trees, as well as some fantastic shops and restaurants you can explore when your tanning session is over.
Be sure not to miss out on Praia de Falesia; lined by a high cliff whose deep colours range from red to white, this is surely one of Portugal's most stunning beaches.
The huge marina provides a great place to wander around as the sun sets. There are over 1,000 lavish boats berthed in the dockyard; a truly spectacular sight to witness. If you want to get out onto the water, there are also plenty of adventures available. Take your pick from a luxury boat charter, dolphin spotting tours and even cave exploration.
With its vibrant nightlife, Vilamoura has a lot more to offer in this respect than most areas of the Algarve. Choose what kind of night you want, from the flashing lights of the popular nightclub the Kadoc on Estrada de Vilamoura, to the range of restaurants serving up a sizzling array of gastronomically diverse delights.
Should you feel lucky, a visit to Casino Vilamoura can test your mettle. The complex houses over 20 tables where you can choose your game, from Blackjack to Portuguese Dice. The casino also provides some top-notch entertainment each evening with everything from smoky-voiced singers to exciting cabaret shows; just remember to dress your best, as the casino has a strict dress code.
Couples on holiday to Vilamoura will find any kind of holiday they're looking for. Central Vilamoura is a fine place to stay, with some of the most prestigious resorts located in this area. Here, you can find modern apartments and lavish all inclusive hotels, kitted out with all the amenities you could ever need. Aldeia Do Mar is another central location worth considering. This area has a selection of divine restaurants, plenty of shops, and is within walking distance of the sun-kissed beach.
If you and your significant other are seeking a little more seclusion on your holiday to Vilamoura, you can head out of the resort and stay in the range of accommodation north of Falesia Beach. Located a short distance away from Vilamoura, this area allows you to walk to the beach and unwind in privacy.
Remnants of the Roman past can be found all over Vianoura but particularly in the ruins just near the Marina. You can find remains of Roman baths here and villas with intact mosaics and examples of Roman architecture. The Cerra da Vila museum is an excellent place to learn about the history of the area and the Contemporary Art Gallery Centre shows local artists up to the present day.
There are lots of religious festivals that are celebrated in Vilamoura the biggest being the carnival which is held on Mardi Gras at the end of Feburary. Expect processions and floats as well as lots of feasting and drinking. There is also a Fisherman’s Festical at the end of May that celebrates and honours the trade of the area. The sardine festival is also something special in Vilamoura, sardines being the biggest export of this region.