It’s great to go on holiday to a place where you can find everything you need and want located in the same place. One resort that does this superbly is Vilamoura on the Algarve in Portugal.
It’s a purpose built resort that has a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets and different approaches to holidaying. There are luxury hotels, private villas and apartments, situated both on golf course complexes and close to the marina.
The place for action is Vilamoura Marina, where you’ll find a huge array of shops, restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to wander around in the daytime, and it has a lively nightlife after dark.
The marina has berths for a thousand yachts, so you get a lot of yachtsmen visiting Vilamoura, but it also attracts golfers because of the superb courses that are located there. There are also plenty of places to join boat trips, if you don’t have your own with you, and walking and cycling trails.
There are also some stunning beaches in Vilamoura. To the east of the marina, there’s Praia da Marina and Praia da Falésia lies to the west. You can walk for miles along the beaches.
For something different in the evening, you could try out you luck at the Vilamoura Casino, where you’ll also find cabaret and other entertainment going on. Holidays to Vilamoura are never likely to be dull – there’s always plenty going on, but you can choose to just chill out and relax on the beach as well.
The resort is well-placed for trips to other towns in the Algarve. You can easily travel to Loulé where there’s a thirteenth centry castle and a great daily market. On Saturday’s there’s a gyspy market to visit.
To see something of the traditional Algarve, visit Alte, a typical village with the church as its centrepoint. Narrow cobbled streets lead up the hillside and all the houses are whitewashed. There’s even a small waterfall at one end of the village – always a hit with the kids!
The port of Faro is also an interesting city to visit. In the central square, Largo de Sé, you’ll find the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace. Faro has a small marina and the town behind is made up of cobbled streets and squares, where you can wander round plenty of shops.
Not too far away is the Ria Formosa – a network of lagoons and marshland. You can take a boat trip there from Faro to one of the offshore island beaches like Culatra or Deserta.
For many people, Vilamoura offers the best of all worlds in a holiday. You can take as much time as you like exploring the area around you, or simply soak up the sun in the resort. There are some great activities to take part in, and the nightlife is lively but not overdone.
For anyone who hasn’t stayed on the Algarve before, Vilamoura is a great resort to use as a base to explore this fascinating region of Portugal.