Vilamoura is the largest luxury tourist complex in Europe, covering some 20 km² of land. It is located in the municipality of Loulé, in the Algarve, Portugal. Its boundaries lie within the parish of Quarteira. Vilamoura is a purpose-built resort and marina which was started from scratch by Cupertino de Miranda, a wealthy banker from Porto, in 1974 and is still expanding outwards from the marine center. The resort is located 23 km west along the coast from Faro and is at 266 kilometers south of Lisbon. The nearest airport is at Faro.
The area previously hosted the annual Almond Blossom Cross Country competition between 1996 and 2003, and the same course was selected as the venue for the 2000 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
At the heart of Vilamoura is the marina which has the capacity to berth over 1,000 vessels. The marina is surrounded by large hotels and luxury holiday homes as well as a large casino and numerous restaurants and vibrant bars. At the far corner of the marina, it is possible to charter boats for big game fishing. There are also facilities for jet skiing and parascending. Close by there are also a number of sports clubs, a shooting range and many night clubs. Tourism in Vilamoura is extensive and well-developed, with many different resorts with ratings from three to five stars. This is a substantially higher average than the surrounding areas, which have ratings varying from two to four. As a consequence of being mostly privately owned, the town is very opulently designed. The town and marina have an extensive variety of activities which are usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays and at weekends, including touring the local caves along the coastline (which are nearer to Albufeira than they are to Vilamoura). This cave tour is usually done on tour boats. The area also has two companies which operate trains-on-wheels for travel between resorts.
For the avid historians there is a preserved Roman site and museum providing an insight to the area's past. Originally a Roman fishing town, the ruins include baths in which the mariners used to bathe.
- Photos of Vilamoura
- Vilamoura Essential Guide
- Vilamoura Photos
- Vilamoura Map
- Panoramic Virtual Tour of Vilamoura Marina