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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Portugal > Vilamoura beaches

About Vilamoura beaches

Vilamoura stretches out over 20 sq km (8 square miles) and offers a self-contained world of sandy beaches, upmarket hotels and deluxe apartments. The resort also boasts a wealth of restaurants, shops, bars and clubs that keep visitors happy from dawn until dusk. One of the greatest pleasures of holidaying in Vilamoura is getting active in or on inviting Atlantic waters, with luxurious yacht charters, sailing schools and boat excursions operating alongside a smorgasbord of watersports. Back on land meanwhile a handful of golf courses, a riding school, tennis courts and even a shooting club are on hand for those who prefer their fun taken dry. So for a holiday destination that has something to offer everyone look no further than one of Europe’s largest resorts.

Beach:

Vilamoura’s main beach is located on the doorstep of the resort’s waterfront hotels. Here crystal-clear Atlantic waters caress golden sands and a gentle sea breeze ensures that it never gets too hot. Myriad watersports (everything from banana boat rides to parascending and jet ski hire) are available.

Beyond the beach:

Get close to Atlantic Ocean wildlife on a dolphin-watching cruise with Polvo Watersports (www.marina-sports.com). Adrenaline junkies can combine the thrill of dolphin spotting with a high-speed rib ride. Explore the Algarve coastline at a more leisurely pace on board a yacht cruise, or enjoy the adventure of big game fishing. Water-based excursions leave from Vilamoura Marina. For those who want to keep their feet on terra firma a relaxing round of golf beckons.

Family fun:

Vilamoura is perfect for families. In addition to kilometres of soft golden sand and ocean-based watersports, the resort offers children crazy golf, tennis and horse riding, not to mention easy access to Alcantarilha’s water park Aqualand Algarve (www.aqualand.pt). Vilamoura’s golf courses and spas, meanwhile, keep big kids happy.

Exploring further:

The Algarve’s main settlement, Faro, is seriously underrated, with thousands of tourists simply passing through this charming city enroute to the region’s bustling resorts. The chief attraction is the old town with its medieval walls, whitewashed houses (a legacy of the city’s Moorish occupation) and handsome architecture.

Splashing out:

To impress that special someone, head for Willie’s Restaurante (www.willies-restaurante.com) near the Pinhal Golf Course. Chef Willie Wurger is held in high esteem by local regulars and returning holidaymakers, who come to enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner. The international menu at this Michelin-starred restaurant features the likes of homemade seafood ravioli and fresh from the boat seafood.