Vilamoura is a purpose built resort town within the Algarve region of southern Portugal. The town was founded in 1974 by a wealthy banker from Lisbon after he ventured to the region and decided it was a perfect spot for a new marina - so he arranged for it to be built from scratch. The marina now has the facilities to house over 1000 vessels and the town its self is increasing in size and is now one of the largest beach resorts in Europe.
Vilamoura sits 266km from Lisbon and west along the coast from Faro, so conditions here are pretty similar to Faro, and it is slightly warmer in Vilamoura than in Lisbon. Its Mediterranean climate is characterised by long, hot summers and shorter, mild winters. The summer months are perfect for enjoying the huge amount of activities that are run along the coast by the various resorts and hotels. The area is particularly well-known for its vast array of golf courses and the warm weather is perfect for teeing off in. Even in winter, the temperatures never fall too low, making Vilamoura the ideal place to soak up a bit of winter sun.
In summer, you can enjoy the hot, sunny days by cruising along the ocean on a jetski, taking in the views when parasailing, or taking part in a variety of beach side sports. The months of July and August each have an average daily temperature of 24°C - keeping in mind this average takes into account the cooler evenings when the cooling sea breeze comes in, so daily temperatures are frequently above 30 °C, meaning you should come prepared with sunscreen and light clothing. Don’t forget your bathing suit either, as you will be spending much of your time lazing by the beach. If visiting in the summer months, be sure to book ahead to secure your spot as many of the resorts and hotels book up well in advance.
The winter months of December to February see average daily temperatures of about 12°C to 14°C, so fairly mild. Daily hours of sunshine during this time are down considerably from summer which sees 12 hours of sunshine in the months of June and July. November to January, on average, will witness just 6 hours of daily sunshine, whereas August, September, and October will see between 11, 9, and 7 hours of sunshine per day respectively, and March, April, and May get 7, 8, and 10 hours of daily sunshine.
As the town is a bustling beach side resort town, it definitely has its down season in the winter months, and many businesses may close or have decreased opening hours. This is also the wettest time of the year, with December seeing 94 mm of rainfall - considerably more than the 1mm of rainfall that is recorded in July! The summer months see hardly any rainfall, with an average of 8mm falling in June, 1mm in July, and 8mm in August. Heading into September, October, and November, the rainfall increases significantly, with monthly averages jumping from 14mm in September to 67mm and 86mm in October and November. January and February see around 78mm and 72mm of rainfall respectively, whilst March, April and May begin to get dryer with averages of 39mm, 38mm, and 21mm.
Spring, from March to May, is a very pleasant time to visit Vilamoura as the weather has begun to warm up but there aren’t as many tourists, so you won’t be paying as much for accommodation or fighting for tables at restaurants. Daily temperatures sit at around 15°C to 17°C during these months, and the sea temperatures are beginning to rise – warming up to around 16°C and 17°C.
The summer months see the highest sea temperatures, with the waters reaching around 19°C to 21°C. In winter, the sea is cooler at around 15°C to 16°C, and there is a chilly sea breeze coming off the Atlantic making the waves choppy at times – not great for the casual swimmer, but fine for watersports enthusiasts who can warm up in a wetsuit.
The autumn months from September to November see temperatures begin to cool off the back of summer, but they remain a great time to visit Vilamoura for blue skies, warm sunshine, and cooler evenings. The average daily temperature at this time of year is between 15°C and 22°C, with the evenings cooling off even more – so be sure to pack a warm jumper for after dark. However, even in October the mercury can hit 35°C and upward, so slip in some suncream and a hat as well.
If swimming and tanning isn’t quite to your fancy, then you can spend your days game fishing, as there is a busy game fishing business that runs out of the town with boats leaving from the local marina, checking out the local historic sites, or trying your hand at golf. Vilamoura is a great holiday spot - not only is it busy and bustling with a large casino, countless beautiful hotels and cafes, and a vibrant nightlife, but it also boasts a pretty much flawless Mediterranean climate.