Vilamoura / Boliqueime

"Where the past and present rub shoulders and luxury beach and golf getaways reign supreme." - Reviewed by Lisa

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Think rolling hills, tiny white villages, old stone walls and twisty narrow farm tracks flanged with heavily laden orange and pomegranate trees and you have chipped the surface of the Boliqueime / Vilamoura area’s beauty. Add to that scene deep red earth surrendering to the manicured lawns and groomed flower beds of luxey homes flanking old tumbled down farmhouses and quaint rattling village properties, and you are getting closer to the essence of this Algarve beauty spot.

As the hilly topography eases into the coastal plains, the landscape fills with lush green pine trees, palms and exotic marshland, and we enter the realm of world-class golf courses, commercial centres, low-density living, a marina, shopping and nightlife. Literally, something to please everybody within a 20-minute radius!

This area is definitely a golfers’ paradise. With over a dozen golf courses on the doorstep, it’s impossible to miss out on a great fairway.

Nature lovers, too, can romp across acres of virgin landscape with rich flora and fauna that is perfect for bird watching, or go in search of sea life above and below the surface. Walking and hiking adventures are also great pastimes.

And, for those who love the beach, you’ll find plenty of splendid, sandy spots upon which to stake your beach towel. With 6 beaches between Faro and Albufeira there is no reason to go home without a tan!

When it comes to our faithful foodies, looped throughout the hills and lowlands are dozens of shopping centres or old villages and hamlets that all offer a variety of restaurants and amenities. “Gastros” in search of authentic Portuguese cuisine can indulge in local specialties like Chicken Piri Piri, suckling pig and freshly caught fish while “sophisticos” can order the finest sushi rolls, Asian delicacies and food from pretty much all over the world!

In short, the past and the present all seem to live together very harmoniously here. From a marina full of multi-million-dollar yachts to an oceanside casino all only minutes away from hilly interiors full of old-world charm, donkeys and agriculture. The modern-day visitor can experience whatever he or she chooses to take away from this beautiful part of south-central Portugal.

LOCATION

  • 30 min to Faro International Airport
  • 20 min to Albufeira
  • About 2.5 hours from Lisbon

EXPERIENCES IN VILAMOURA / BOLIQUEIME

  • Beaches – 6 sandy beaches from Faro to Albufeira
  • Water sports – The area offers just about every water sport imaginable: jet ski, parasailing, flyboard, diving, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, fishing and sailing.
  • Boat trips – Book one of the many boat cruises offered in the area and see some spectacular scenery. Explore caves and grottoes, feast your eyes on the rugged coastline, or head out and watch the dolphins as they frolic about in the beautiful bays.
  • Fishing –All types of fishing expeditions can be enjoyed here: reef fishing, deep sea fishing and more. The fishing village of Olhos de Água is a good place to start.
  • Gastronomy – Cuisine here is strongly influenced by the Mediterranean. Fish and seafood dishes are readily available on the Algarve coast, while recipes featuring poultry and pork, along with fresh vegetables, are the main ingredients as you go inland.
  • Golf – Dozens of courses to choose from and sunny days most of the year, the Algarve is a top-notch golf destination.
  • History – Roman ruins in Cerro da Vila (Vilamoura) and impressive cathedrals such as the Sé in Faro.