We arrived in Vilamoura early yesterday morning and – like any good tourists – we headed straight to the beach! The Vilamoura Beach or ‘Praia de Marina’ as Billy likes to call it (he’s trying to learn Portuguese) was an amazing place to start our day; we lazed about on the soft sand for about half an hour, then went for a dip in the sea! There were lifeguards on duty, so we felt pretty safe going for a good swim in the warm Atlantic Ocean. Once we were suitably puffed out, we let the sun dry us off, as we sat on the beach again and enjoyed a cocktail from a beach bar. This was already looking like it was going to be a great day!
To the town
Once we’d had some breakfast, we headed up to the town itself. We knew we had to visit the Marina, as we got the idea to come to Vilamoura after seeing the rich and famous harbouring their boats at the beautiful docks on telly! After a lovely walk over, the bay was huge, luxurious and beautiful - no wonder it’s known as the ‘Portuguese Riviera’. We started off by strolling past all of the boats in a hunt for the biggest (as you do), then we had a look around a few designer shops. I’m obsessed with clothes, and wasn’t left disappointed after seeing the range that was on offer in the Marina’s shops, though I think Billy may have been! I’d definitely recommend seeing the Marina in the morning, as it gets quite excitable at night, and feels much more authentically Portuguese when everyone’s a little calmer in the day time.
And now for something active...
Billy and I have been quad biking before back in the UK, but it didn’t compare with our experience in Vilamoura! We booked with Quinta Quads before we went, as we were eager to get out of the tourist centre and experience a bit of the Portuguese countryside. The quads were very well kept, and we felt really safe with our instructor, which was especially a relief to me, as I sometimes get a bit anxious doing scary things abroad. The tour was a unique and exciting experience, as our guide took us across rural, exciting trails, as well as over rolling hills and through rivers!
For our evening meal we wanted something that was authentically Portuguese, as well as delicious. After a lot of deliberationwe decided on Oliveira Dourada; the staff were friendly and attentive, and the food was insane! The restaurant was a little bit out of the way, but definitely worth it, with a great homely and out of the way feel - we’d recommend it to anyone! We ordered our mains and wine and discovered that starters and puddings were included in the price, which made it very reasonable. The meal started with some bread, soup and fried cheese – lovely! For our mains, I had a T-bone steak which was succulent and tender and Billy betrayed the Portuguese theme by having Moroccan chicken. To be fair to him, a waiter walked past with a plate of it and I nearly went for it as well! We were given two desserts which we shared, these were just as homemade and delicious as the other courses.
Ending the day in style
After finishing the meal with a drink, we decided that we fancied a few more! Pure Bar is yet another Vilamoura location that we will be returning to; we had cocktails and they were really good, I had a Pina Colada and Billy was brave and strayed away from beer for once, going for a margarita. We got chatting to the bar owner, and was warm and welcoming, it was really nice to hear that he wanted us to get the best that we could out of our trip. After a couple more drinks, we moseyed over to the Praia De Marina and had another sit on the beach before we went to sleep, feeling very satisfied. What a way to spend 24 hours!