You’ll probably recognise the beautiful marina at Vilamoura from pictures in celebrity magazines, in which sports stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo stroll down the waterfront in the sunshine. Renowned as the playground of the rich and famous, Portugal’s leading costal resort oozes glitz and glamour and, unsurprisingly, boasts a raft of high-end entertainment and facilities to amuse its well-heeled clientele.
Although it’s probably most famous for its world-class golf courses, there are plenty of other activities on offer in the resort. From casinos and nightclubs to champagne cruises and people- and yacht-watching in the Marina, here are my suggestions for a celeb-style itinerary in Vilamoura.
Glamorous Golf at the Oceanico
Whether you’re impressing clients or just relaxing with friends, there’s no better way to start your day in Vilamoura than with a round of golf on the excellent Oceanico Old Course, one of the oldest courses on the Algarve. The well-established Oceanico offers an excellent challenge to beginners and more experienced golfers alike.
Designed by course expert Frank Pennink, this 18-hole, 72-par course sprawls across 6,254m of stunning coastal landscape. Working its way through beautiful parkland and surrounded by verdant pine trees, this is one of the Algarve’s most picturesque courses.
A Luxurious Lunch
A good round of golf always works up an appetite, so what better way to celebrate your swing than by heading to Vilamoura’s famous Marina for a spot of lunch and celeb spotting? There are several excellent eateries along the waterfront, so you’ll have a great variety to choose from, each catering to a range of different budgets.
After a lunch on one of the terraces overlooking the Marina, it’s worth getting a coffee and just spending an hour or so watching the glamorous folk pass by. Keep your eyes peeled and you just might spot some of the celebs who regularly hang out here in the summer months. A walk down to the waterfront is like stepping into the world of the rich and famous, and it’s fun just to stare at the super-yachts jostling for space and the most prominent position in the exclusive Marina.
A Champagne Cruise
If you find that you’ve acquired a taste for the good life during your morning in Vilamoura, why not spend the afternoon living it large on a champagne cruise? Wow colleagues or clients with a private charter of your own yacht for up to ten people.
Take a luxe power cruiser out on the water and enjoy champagne on tap as you explore the Algarve from the luxury of your own boat. Stop off for swimming or snorkelling, a light snack and even a cave tour of the coastline. Extras include jet skis, paddle boards and even a photographer to capture your exclusive champagne cruise experience for posterity.
Dinner With a View
For an appropriately elegant way to end your indulgent day in Vilamoura, try the refined dining room with a view at the Anatara Hotel. EMO (an abbreviation for ‘emotions’) is a stylish restaurant set on the top floor of this resort hotel, boasting stunning views of its well-manicured golf course. At this perfect vantage point for enjoying the Vilamoura sunset, you can eat out on the marbled terrace or in the elegant dining room, complete with cool contemporary design and stunning FLOS chandeliers. The food here is a celebration of traditional Portuguese cuisine, which has been given a modern twist and is complemented by an extensive wine list that’s overseen by the ever-helpful head sommelier.
A Night at the Casino
Regardless of whether gambling is your thing, it is well worth rounding your night off with a visit to the renowned Casino Vilamoura. The casino is not just for gaming, but is also an exclusive entertainment centre, offering everything from bars and restaurants to live shows featuring international artists and one of the resort’s most well-established nightclubs. Begin your night at the Big Bar, the Casino’s central bar, and then work your way through the various venues throughout the night. Many a great night at Vilamoura has ended in the Blackjack Disco, whose sophisticated party crowd is a guaranteed scene setter.
How to Get to Vilamoura
Regular flights from the UK to Faro Airport take just over two and a half hours and are offered by a good range of premium and budget airlines. If you want to kick off your luxury-style getaway at the airport, you should book a premium private car transfer with Shuttle Direct online before you leave home. When you arrive, a smartly dressed driver will be waiting for you at the terminal, and you can enjoy your journey in comfort in a high-end car.
Where to Stay
Tivoli Marina Vilamoura – Enjoy the five-star treatment at the Tivoli Marina Vilamoura. Set on the beach with views across the Marina, each room features floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of its Atlantic Ocean views. There are also extensive grounds to explore (or to glance at from the comfort of your sun lounger). Unwind at the end of a hard day of indulgent luxury in the world-class spa.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of airport transfers in Europe and North Africa. Impress colleagues and clients alike with Shuttle Direct’s smart executive or premium transfer services with experienced drivers and unbranded, executive cars, ready to meet you whenever and wherever you land.