Algarve


Albufeira and Vilamoura

Albufeira


Nowadays the area of Albufeira assumes itself as one of the main touristic centres of the country. It offers around 30 km of coast line and more than 20 beaches, all different in terms of natural framing and as far as touristic offer and occupation is concerned. Although the touristic equipment as well as the nightlife are the most famous in Algarve, they coexist with another reality: one of quiet villages, where manual arts as glazed tiles, carved copper or esparto’s tapestry still prevail, surrounded by upland orchards with flowering almond-trees and colourful orange groves.

Being a great international centre, Albufeira owns a rich and diversified cookery. The great variety of restaurants offers you regional dishes as well as the most elegant specialties from the French, Italian or German cuisine. Tightly connected to the ocean, the sea-food and fish make their way in the gastronomy of the region.

For those who appreciate natural atmospheres, nothing better than a good walk and the possibility of being surprised with the peculiarity of certain places of extreme beauty. Besides the excellent weather conditions, especially at the end of the winter and throughout the spring, Albufeira offers you several sceneries for a walk: beach, cliff, pine wood and a mountainous alike atmosphere.

During the months of January and February, the flowering almond-trees invite for a walk in the parishes of Paderne, Guia and Olhos D'água, where you can enjoy the beauty of the happening. During high water, the sea also invites you for an excellent walk through the beach. At Falésia's beach you can walk in the sand or at the top of the cliff, always having the sea as scenery.

From Ponta da Baleeira to Salgado's beach you can also find an interesting place to go for a walk, a place where some interesting rock formation prevail. At Salgado's the existence of a lagoon with the same name will please those who like bird-watching. Salgado’s lagoon establishes a unique ecosystem in the area attended by several species of birds, some of them which are rare and nest there.

During spring Paderne’s tilled plain riverside invites you to discover its valley and foot-paths and enjoy three pedestrian tracks. The routes are signalized according to the norms of the Portuguese Camping Federation and can be performed all year round. You only need to gather your friends and choose the route (you can leave from João Campos-Paderne's stadium).

Flyers and maps of the routes are available at the local touristic information poles. You can find more information here: http://albufeira.pt/artigos/albufeira_3

In 2012 Algarve was considered:

National Reserve for the Quality of Life.
Best Golf Destination of Europe by the World Travel Awards 2012.
Best European beach destiny by the World Travel Awards 2012


Vilamoura


Vilamoura is the largest luxury touristic compound in Europe. It disposes a marina, golf academy, 6 golf courses, casino, several discos, tennis club, diving club, other leisure accommodation and a large beach. Started during the sixties, Vilamoura has a total area of 1600 hectare. The architectonic project evolved around the marina and includes hundreds of villas distributed along the residential area and other enterprises almost exclusively dedicated to tourism.

In 2012 it was considered:
National Reserve for the Quality of Life;
Best Golf Destination of Europe by the World Travel Awards 2012
Best European beach destiny by the World Travel Awards 2012

Cosmopolitan, modern, attractive, dynamic! Here is Vilamoura's statement as being the destiny of election for both Portuguese and foreigners travellers that look forward to live intensively 24 hours per day, 12 months of the year. Vilamoura offers sunshine mornings at the beach and afternoons of sports and sociability.

What about the sunset? Nightfall by the sea brings again vibrant moments with parties and gatherings where music and enthusiasm are constant. In the evening the temperature stays warm and invites all to enjoy the streets as a place of pleasure and freedom.

Even during the low season Vilamoura is still attractive. There are a number of restaurants, pubs and leisure places, as well as several events that allow totally unforgettable experiences.

Vilamoura also offers the possibility of going to the casino to play or have dinner at the same time as you attend great variety of music shows with renowned artists. If you prefer to dance and continue the social contact with all your friends, exuberantly throughout dawn, Vilamoura suggests open air discos or inner spaces sophisticatedly decorated. Famous DJs, charm and glamour put Vilamoura on the track of the most popular and trendy night environments.

You can find at short distance from the villas the following facilities:
Several beaches (the closest ones is 200 meters distant);
Marina of Vilamoura (100 meters);
6 golf courses (the closest is 3 km distant);
Tennis club;
Diving club;
Equestrian centre;
Shooting club;
Flying — field;
Casino;
Discos and pubs;
Restaurants;
Supermarkets;
Art galleries;
Golf courses.

There are also a number of paths and tracks that invite you to a walk or a bike ride.

Beaches

Enjoying its sunny geographic situation, Vilamoura's climate invites to jump into the blue water of the Atlantic Ocean. The beaches are cosmopolitan, vibrant, cheerful and trustful, verified for its environmental quality. The 3 kms of golden sand can only be compared to the clear water where one can dive for many months through the year.

Algarve Golf Courses

Enjoy the renowned golf courses that Vilamoura has to offer. There are six courses, with different characteristics as well as different difficulty levels. A total of 117 holes, from the emblematic “The Old Course” to the newest “Victoria”, designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer (retired American professional golfer). Vilamoura elevates Algarve’s name internationally by becoming, according to the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), the “Best Golf Destination”.

Vilasol golf course;
Oceânico Laguno;
Millenium golf course;
Oceânico Pinhal Course;
Oceânico Old Course;
Oceânico Victória.

To get to know the rest of the golf courses visit: http://www.portugalgolf.pt/algarveC.htm

Did you know that?

Being considered one of the most important European golf tournaments, the Masters will be held once again on this course for the sixth consecutive year and offers a prize of 2.2 million euros.

"Public Bikes"

Having a pleasant climate and a flat topography makes Vilamoura the ideal place to use a bike during your tours. Vilamoura’s Public bike system allows people to used shared bikes all around Vilamoura's area to go shopping, visit any cultural or touristic spot or to go for a ride and keep a healthy and active style of life.

These bikes specially created for Vilamoura are conceived out of raw materials with high levels of security and demand. They were created to be easily and comfortably handled. The network covers the entire area of Vilamoura in trade/touristic areas as well as residential areas and the system is designed so that each user may return or rent a bike at any post, avoiding people to go on purpose to a unique place to rent it or to return it.

Try this healthy and practical alternative.

Places to visit:

Environmental park of Vilamoura;
Benémola fountain;
Cerro da Vila;
Municipal market of Loulé;
Almancil;
Alte;
Marina.


Main photo attribution

"Faro Algarve Portugal ilha barreta" by Animaris. Its use is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
original image link (Wikimedia)