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The 11 must-do things to do in Vilamoura

Are you going to visit the Algarve for your holidays? Here is our list of the 11 must-do things to do in Vilamoura!

In the far south of Portugal, the Algarve region is renowned for its year-round mild climate, enchanting beaches and glowing cliffs that line the Atlantic Ocean. The region is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe!

In the center of the Algarve, Vilamoura is one of the largest seaside resorts on the coast. It is also one of the most sophisticated. It was built in the 80s to be a meeting place for golfers.

Sometimes nicknamed “the Portuguese Monaco”, Vilamoura is best known for its golf courses and its large marina. It welcomes a wealthy clientele in search of relaxation and sun. Whether you are planning a road trip or a sedentary stay in this beautiful region of Portugal, discover the 11 essential things to do in Vilamoura!

1. Bathe in the beaches of Vilamoura

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The Algarve coastline is full of long sandy beaches and idyllic bays. The region has won the World Travel Award (WTA) as “ Europe’s best beach destination“.

Considered one of the most important seaside resorts in the region, Vilamoura has two beautiful beaches. The Praia de Vilamoura, to the east, extends to Quarteira, a meeting place for fishermen.

The immense Praia da Falésia beach is at the foot of imposing ocher cliffs and extends for more than five kilometers west of Vilamoura. Larger and less crowded than Praia Vilamoura, this beach as far as the eye can see is ideal for swimming and long walks with your feet in the water.

2. Golf courses

Portuguese Golf

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A paradise for golfers for more than five decades, the Algarve has more than thirty golf courses, most of them located in protected areas, with exceptional panoramas.

Vilamoura is a popular destination for amateur and professional golfers, its incomparable golf courses are known worldwide! Indeed, the Victoria hosts 6 courses every year: the Portugal Masters, the Millenium, the Laguna, the Pinhal, the Vila Sol and The Old Course, which wind along impressive pine trees.

The Family Golf Club, on the other hand, is a super mini golf course consisting of two 18-hole courses designed especially for families, with a 10,000 m² garden with more than 200 species of plants and shrubs.

Whether you want to improve your skills or initiate yourself to this sport of skill, you will be spoiled for choice!

3. Cerro da Vila Roman Ruins

Must-see Vilamoura: Roman Ruins of Cerro da Vila

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Located near the marina, the Roman ruins of Cerro da Vila are among the must-see places to visit during a stay in Vilamoura. In Roman times, it was a villa bordered by the sea.

Inside the villa you will discover mosaics, funerary monuments and public and private baths. You can also visit the small museum which exhibits mosaics and ceramic objects. A family trip through 5,000 years of history!

4. Explore the Ria Formosa Natural Park

Ria Formosa Natural Park

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Marcin Krzyzak

Known for its sublime beaches, the Algarve also has a natural paradise, which you will not fail to visit if you spend several days in Vilamoura!

Considered one of the seven wonders of Portugal, the Ria Formosa Natural Park is made up of dunes, salt marshes and picturesque islands where many fishermen live. It is home to an impressive diversity of fauna and flora. On foot or by bike, trails will take you through marshes, pine forests and salt marshes, to meet emblematic species such as the pink flamingo, the sultana hen or the chameleon.

You can also take a guided walk or a boat trip in this park which stretches for 60km and covers more than 18,000 hectares.

5. Aquashow Water Park

Visit Vilamoura: Aquashow Water Park

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Fancy a family getaway, both fun and exotic? Head to Aquashow where you can fill up on adrenaline! This giant water park located 6km from Vilamoura is the largest in Portugal.

You will hurtle down the slopes of huge slides, where you will feel like you are literally flying through the air and shiver on the water roller coaster. The less adventurous will bask in the lazy river, jacuzzi or wave pool. As for the youngest, they can splash around in the Aqualandia area.

6. Zoomarine


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20 minutes from Vilamoura, the Zoomarine park is a key attraction in the Algarve and an ideal excursion for the family. Known for its acrobatic shows of dolphins, seals and sea lions, it offers various activities suitable for all ages.

You can discover the mysteries of marine life, watch the journey of sea turtles during a surprising 4D projection, or even swim with dolphins… This unique experience undeniably contributes to the success of the park!

7. Watch the dolphins

Visit Vilamoura: Watch the dolphins

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The waters of the Algarve are a natural environment for many marine animals, such as dolphins, sharks, whales, and turtles. To discover dolphins in their natural habitat, board a boat that will take you up close to these most famous cetaceans in the Algarve.

If you are lucky, you may see the dolphins jumping, just a few meters away from your boat. Take advantage of this sea trip to admire the landscapes, reliefs of the coast, the caves and the beaches that make the reputation of the coast. An unforgettable experience to share with the family!

8. Visit the village of Olhao

Village of Olhão

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This small fishing town located 15 minutes from Faro and 35 minutes from Vilamoura is an essential stopover if you plan to visit the Algarve. Here, fishing remains the main activity. Stroll through the fishermen’s quarter dotted with small white houses and immerse yourself in the colorful atmosphere of the market, where they sell fish fresh from the sea.

Olhao is a starting point for an excursion to the islands of Culatra and Armona. If you are a seafood lover and plan to visit the village in August, you will not miss the Seafood Festival which takes place in mid-August.

For 6 days, you can treat yourself to seafood specialities, regional products and applaud nationally and internationally renowned artists during live concerts.

9. Take a trip to the casino

Visit Vilamoura: the casino

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Alexandre Rotenberg

Want to have fun for an evening? Push the door of the Casino and dare to play money! Located in one of the largest entertainment centers in the Algarve, the Casino de Vilamoura is home to over 500 slot machines and a games room with twenty tables, including Blackjack, American Roulette, French Roulette, and Poker.

10. Enjoy the nightlife

Night life

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Nightlife lovers will be delighted by visiting Vilamoura. Indeed, the city has many trendy clubs and nightclubs. The most popular nightclub: Lick, is located 10 minutes from the marina. Located inside the Vilamoura Casino, the Balckjack is another nightclub open every night in summer.

On the bar side, Sete Cafe is a hip sports bar owned by superstar footballer Luis Figo. Other trendy places are the Irish pubs with live music O’Neills Bar and O’Shea’s Irish Pub and Ruis’s Carvery bar. The 19th Hole and the Atlantic Pinao Bar are also favorite places for night owls.

11. Faro


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Finally, it is impossible to visit Vilamoura without going through Faro, the capital of the Algarve. Its charming historic center (The Cidade Velha) is surrounded by medieval ramparts and has pretty cobbled streets and authentic little squares.

Take the time to visit the Fé cathedral with its Gothic bell tower, built in the 12th century. Inside, you will discover a wide variety of architectural styles ranging from Romanesque, to Gothic, to Baroque.

Do not hesitate to climb the tower to enjoy the magnificent view of the walled city and the Ria Formosa Natural Park. In terms of gastronomy, sit down at one of the small restaurants to taste Faro’s most famous dish, the Cataplana, a mixture of fish and seafood.

Different means of transport allow you to come and visit the Algarve. Vilamoura is 30 km from Faro International Airport. There are direct flights from Paris, Bordeaux, Nantes and Marseille.

Count 2 hours 40 between Paris and Faro. You can also choose to make a stopover in Lisbon. To find a flight, do not hesitate to consult a flight comparator such as Skyscanner, to find the offer that corresponds to your criteria and your desires.

Where to stay in Vilamoura?

If you are planning to visit Vilamoura, you will find a wide variety of vacation rentals and upscale hotels, some of which even have a golf course! This hotel comparator will guide you in your selection. To make your choice, you can also consult the Airbnb site.

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