Vilamoura is Europe’s biggest tourist complex:
Along the coastal stretch, between Lagos and Faro, is a strip of luxury resorts, villa complexes and high-rise hotels. Vilamoura sits between these two towns and is a key example of the types of rapid tourist developments that have sprung up in the Algarve.
Vilamoura commands pride of place on the Algarve coast and has in fact become Europe’s biggest private tourist complex, with an area covering 1,600 hectares. In Vilamoura you’ll find all types of sprawling resorts, hotels, villas and apartments, five golf courses and indoor and outdoor sports complexes. The resorts and hotels have their own fine-dining restaurants, shopping arcades and sports facilities. When planning any holidays in the Algarve or on any package holidays, it’s quite likely that you’ll find your accommodation in Vilamoura, as we did.
The centrepoint of Vilamoura is its large marina which provides mooring for large numbers of powerboats and yachts. Around the marina are huge hotel complexes like the Tivoli Marina, many restaurants, open-air cafes, bars, ice-cream parlours and shops, including some tacky ones. There’s also a casino on the eastern side of the marina.
The marina bustles all year round with many visitors, golfers, sailors and Lisbon’s jet set. On sunny winter days, it’s still warm enough to enjoy the marina’s outdoor cafes.
Walk along the U-shaped path around the marina, you’ll see families with children enjoying a promenade, eating ice-cream or checking out the shops.
The marina is generally a place to come out for a stroll, have a relaxing drink or meal and enjoy some of the entertainment. Most of the large resorts have free shuttle services that will allow their guests to come out here for something different to do.
There’s nothing of interest from a sightseeing perspective.