Marina de Vilamoura
Vilamoura, with its interesting archaeological ruins, was once an important Roman fishing centre. Today, tourists flock to the area thanks to the sandy beaches and year-round sunny weather. But Vilamoura also pulls in the yachting set and the marina here is the largest in Portugal.
Vilamoura Marina was inaugurated in 1974 and is capable of berthing more than 1000 boats. Unlike the majority of Portugal's other marinas, Vilamoura is known for its glitz rather than seaside charm. This makes it the popular choice for the super-rich looking for a place to berth their yachts when visiting the Portuguese coast. On average, hotels here are more upmarket compared to the rest of the Algarve, and there is an abundance of 4 or 5 star options for those looking for a little luxury.
The marina is a centre for nightlife, and is overlooked by many large hotels, bars, restaurants, and a casino. Tourists are well catered for with a choice of activities available. Boats can be hired for fishing trips; there are four golf courses in the immediate area, a pine forest, and a water park. A museum can be found next to the Roman ruins, giving visitors an insight into the history of the area.
There are long, sandy beaches found either side of the marina which are suitable for bathing. Praia de Falesia beach, to the west of the marina, has a popular surfing school which caters for all levels of ability.
The marina is currently being expanded with a development project named Cidade Lacustre. The land on which it is planned to create a new series of lakes, hotels, and apartments was purchased for a price of 200 million Euros.