Vilamoura - Excursions and Places of interest
Information updated 19 Mar 2015
Boat trips and dolphin watching
Don’t miss a chance to explore the Algarve’s stunning coastline from the water at least once during your stay. There are short dolphin-watching trips that can also include a visit to the area’s dramatic caves, or venture further afield with a full day cruise aboard a beautiful yacht or catamaran, breaking for lunch on a secluded beach with time to cool off in the gloriously clear water.
Natural areas of beauty
Rio Formosa Nature Reserve
The 170 square kilometres of saltwater lagoons, islands and marshes of the Ria Formosa estuary is a breathtakingly beautiful area, teeming with migrating birds, dozens of species of fish and unique flora and fauna. Less than 45 minutes’ drive from Vilamoura and encompassing the Quinta do Lago resort within its boundaries, the reserve’s easily accessible pathways and boardwalks make this a fabulous place for walking, cycling and birdwatching and there are numerous guided boat trips on offer. You can even hire a kayak and paddle your way around the canals and lagoons. Viewing points and bird hides are strategically placed to make the most of the views and to spot rare birds in their natural habitat. You could spend several days here but be sure to include at least one visit during your stay.
One of several great waterparks along the Algarve, Aquashow is part of a larger theme park complex just 15 minutes’ drive from Vilamoura. A memorable day out for all the family, the park boasts the largest wave pool in Portugal, water slides of all shapes and sizes and several exhilarating rides to delight even the most demanding of thrill-seekers. There’s a huge shallow pool providing lots of fun for little ones and you can round off your day with a gentle float down the Lazy River on inflatable tubes. Aquashow is open daily during the summer months.
7 Seven Spa
Renowned throughout the world for its innovative treatments and exquisite, aqua-themed surroundings, a day at the 7 Seven Spa is a treat not to be overlooked. Located within the Hilton Vilamoura, Portugal’s largest spa facility comprises an astonishing array of sensory experiences designed to soothe, stimulate and leave you thoroughly rejuvenated. Why not book yourself a luxurious facial or a hot stone massage and make the most of the centre’s exceptional thermal pools, saunas and Jacuzzis.
Deep Sea Fishing
With warm Mediterranean currents meeting the cooler Atlantic waters, the Algarve is regarded as one of the world’s best big game fishing locations, attracting blue and white marlin, swordfish, tuna, dourados and various species of shark. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced enthusiast, it’s well worth joining one of the deep sea fishing day trips for a chance to reel in a big catch. Whole day family fishing trips are also available.
Archaeological enthusiasts and history buffs will be captivated by the superbly preserved Roman ruins discovered right beside Vilamoura Marina and dating from the 1st century AD. A nobleman’s villa, public spa and the foundations of a burial tower are among the excavated features visible at Cerro da Vila. The museum here also houses a sizable collection of valuable artefacts collected from the site and presents a fascinating view of the impact the Roman presence has had on the region.
Other Places of interest
Vilamoura’s vast marina is the hub of this exclusive resort, fringed by sophisticated waterside restaurants serving everything from rustic Portuguese seafood dishes to exquisite, Michelin-star cuisine. Gleaming yachts of all shapes and sizes bob contentedly alongside luxury motorboats and racing dinghies while glass-bottom boat tours, day cruises and fishing charters also operate from here. Among the designer boutiques and chic cafés are an assortment of cocktail bars, sports bars and pubs giving the place a vibrant buzz, especially on a balmy summer evening.