- Food And Wine
- Learn Portuguese
- Moving To Portugal
There are so many different location options when it comes to moving to Portugal that it can be hard to narrow it down to where you might want to base yourself and your family so we are creating location guides to help give more information about various destinations with this week looking at Vilamoura.
Below you will find information about all the important features of Vilamoura and what makes it a great place to live in and visit. If you have ever wanted to know about local facilities, beaches, activities and shopping centres then all the information you need can be found here in one easy to use guide.
Every week we will be bringing you details about a new destination so let us know where you would like to know more about and we will do our best to get all the information you need.
The heart of Vilamoura has to be the beautiful marina, a favourite as much with the rich and famous as it is with international holiday makers and residents of all nationalities.
Vilamoura is the largest tourist complex in all of Europe and covers around 20 square kilometres of land but while it has been designed for holiday makers there is still a vibrant community of residents that live and work in the resort all year round.
Vilamoura is located between Faro and Albufeira and is only a short 20 minute drive from Faro airport. If travelling along the Algarve you can exit the A22 where it is signposted for Vilamoura and then travel the rest of the way along the EN125 until you reach the entrance to Vilamoura which is well signposted. The main entrance to Vilamoura leads you right into the centre of the resort and also gives you access to developments on the outskirts and to the golf courses.
Praia da Marina is known locally as Vilamoura beach and it is situated to the east side of the marina. It is here that in the summer months you can laze the days away on luxurious beach sofas and beds at Purobeach or if you are feeling a little more energetic then you can talk a walk along the beach all the way to the neighbouring town of Quarteira.
To the west of the marina there is the stunning Praia da Falésia which runs all the way along to the town of Olhos d´Água.
Vilamoura is own of the resort towns in the Algarve that boasts its own casino and this can be a great night out for anyone either wanting to try their luck on the tables. the casino is also a great place to go for a night out to watch a show with professional performances taking place throughout the year and the opportunity to be able to have a meal while you watch the entertainment on stage.
The main nightclub in Vilamoura is BlackJacks and this is located in the basement of the casino. Open throughout the summer and at the weekends it is known for its weekly ladies night and foam parties in the summer. If it is not a promotional night though the drinks can tend to be on the expensive side.
Most people heading out in Vilamoura aim straight for the marina and it is here where you can find the majority of bars and restaurants with something to suit almost every taste and budget but when talking about the marina you always have to mention Bar Sete, the bar owned by former footballer Luis Figo – and he is known to visit frequently.
Many of the hotels in the area also offer nightclub experiences in the summer as well as different restaurants, bars and nights of entertainment – these are open to the public normally and you just have to check the reception first to find out what is on and when.
For the family there is a miniature golf course located just outside the main marina area of Vilamoura and on the outskirts of Vilamoura there is the very popular Aquashow water park that also has entertainment during the winter months when you don’t want to be walking around in a bikini!
In and around the marina there are plenty of small shops and boutiques including some very high end shops located right on the marina front.
There is no large supermarket in Vilamoura but there are several small supermarkets mainly because most of the people coming to Vilamoura are staying in hotels and don’t need to do a large food shop. If you want to go to a larger supermarket then you can head to Almancil to the Apolonia supermarket or for a shopping centre experience there is either Forum Algarve in Faro (approx 20 minutes away) or Algarve shopping in Guia (approx 20 minutes away). In both of the shopping centres there are large supermarkets where you can buy pretty much everything you need.
Because Vilamoura is a resort it has a management company that runs everything within it and this company is Lusort.
Lusort works with local police and local government to be able to provide all the necessary services that the town needs so while there is a GNR police station within the resort there is also private security that patrols certain areas.
There are private medical options available in Vilamoura but generally if you need anything you can always head to neighbouring Quarteira or to Loulé to be able to deal with paperwork and other official matters.
Because Vilamoura is essentially a tourist complex it does lack some of the more official services but the management company Lusort can provide details of everything you may need if you live in Vilmamoura.
Vilamoura is classed by many as being part of the Golden Triangle and while it isn’t actually located within this prestigious area of the Algarve the prices of property here are often in line with those in the Golden triangle.
Any property based on a golf course will come with a premium price tag as will any properties that have sea and beach views.
The marina area of Vilamoura may be very busy in the summer but to be able to afford a room with a view of the marina can be very costly.
Generally the cheaper properties in Vilamoura can be found further away from the marina in some of the older developments but you will need to shop around for the best deals.
There are many multimillion euro properties to be bought in Vilamoura but you can also pick up a property for around 300,000 euros for a villa if you are prepared to do some leg work.
It is best to actually visit some of the local estate agents in Vilamoura to be able to get a real feel for what is on the market and to find out exactly what you can get for your money in this area.
The main two reasons why people choose Vilmoura is down to the golf and the marina.
The marina in Vilamoura has around 825 berths and is known for being the home of some of the most luxurious boats in the area. You don’t have to own your own private yacht to be able to enjoy the marina as it forms the heart of Vilamoura and anyone can walk around the marina and soak up the atmosphere. Alternatively you can book yourself onto one of the many boat trips leaving from the marina each day during the summer.
When it comes to golf, anyone in Vilmaoura is spoilt for choice. Within the resort there are six golf courses. The Oceânico Millenium, Oceânico Victoria (home of the Portugal Masters), Oceânico Old Course, Oceânico Laguna, Oceânico Pinhal and the Pestana Vila Sol course.
Vilmoura is a golfers paradise and it sees thousands of golfers coming to make the most of trhe greens anf fairways each year as well as the numerous venues that double up as the 19th hole!
THE BEST AND THE WORST BITS
Despite being a pretty glamorous destination the prices here don’t always reflect this and there are plenty of places where you can get a great value meal and drink, even on the marina itself.
The resort has a very polished feel and is generally very well maintained but some of the areas on the outskirts are a little dated.
A lot of the resort is geared towards golfers which is great if you are one, but may not suit everyone while there are also a number of quite visible adult only venues that can be off putting.
There is often no better place in the summer to be than in Vilamoura as it is one of the most vibrant and exciting places to be located but in the winter months there really aren’t very many people about and it can seem a little quiet for some.