"We love to explore, adventure and dream big. We want to break boundaries and build bonds. We aim to inform other travelers on a bewildering array of locations throughout the world, from continent to continent, through our own experiences."
Well this is locate rate for you whose philosophy is very similar to ours. So it was all but natural to collaborate with them on a guest post. This one is an amazing adventure and a piece that reveals a new facet of Vilamoura!
My Portugal travel diary is incomplete without sharing an amazing experience I had at Vilamoura. I am a guy whose trips are all about activities, adventure and rush so I was excited to experience a different type of travel when going to Vilamoura situated in Central Algarve – a more relaxed beach holiday! From what I’d heard, Vilamoura was a very rich area built around a marina and so I assumed our days would be spent swimming, eating ice cream and wandering around. But I could not have been more wrong. There were so many activities available that it would have been extremely hard to squeeze them all in, so we settled on three – renting jet skis, taking part in dolphin emotions and a jet boat ride. And that last one is absolutely crazy!!!
Jet Ski….an experience like none other
The jet ski experience is almost like a ‘two for one’ deal and as far as getting to the jet ski is concerned, you need to take a speed boat out into the ocean. I must give you a little tip here- hold on tight because the guys that take you out will not only try to scare you by going super fast but also by warning you about the sharks. Don’t worry, we saw only five! In all honesty, the guys that take you are so friendly and well trained that you don’t have to worry about a thing. They take you through the safety regulations and how it works it and they stay in the boat while you’re driving it so if you have any questions or something goes wrong, they are right there to help you out. They provide you with an obstacle course that lets you fully exert your need for speed. If you want a bit of thrill on your holiday, jet skiing is the way to go!
Man’s second best friend? Sure!
Dolphin emotions is probably one of the most amazing things I have ever done. It is hosted by Zoomarine in the Algarve and offers you the opportunity to learn about dolphins and swim with them. It is a little costly at around 170 euro with normal entry into the park at around 30 euro, but it is worth every cent of yours. Your ticket price includes normal park entry so you have access to all the areas until closing time however the dolphin experience itself lasts for about 90 minutes but you will leave wishing you had hours more to spend with them. They are such playful animals and I can guarantee that you won’t stop smiling the entire time. Before getting to meet the dolphins, the instructors give a detailed presentation on the animal and how to treat it with respect and answer any concerns you may have in order to keep both the dolphin and you safe.
Have you heard about Fungie?
During our presentation at Dolphin emotions, the instructor asked if anyone was from Ireland so I raised my hand and he asked me “have you ever heard of fungie?” To which I replied “do you mean the mushroom?” I realized after everyone burst out laughing that he meant the dolphin and not ‘fungi’ like I had thought. Whoops.
Anyways, after the presentation we were taken down to the dolphin pools and finally allowed to meet our new friends. They swam right up to us, splashing and giving kisses before the instructors showed us how do to certain motions with them. I don’t want to go into too much detail and ruin the surprise for you but it is an experience that is hard to put into words. It might sound a bit crazy but you experience such intimacy with the dolphins but so much fun at the same time, that it makes sense why it is called ‘dolphin emotions’… you feel each and every one possible! Getting to spend 90 minutes with these majestic creatures is a truly unforgettable experience and will stay with you forever.
Finally - The Insane part ….
Ah, the jet boat ride. I’m not even sure how to explain this one apart from saying it is completely insane. “Excitement, freedom and adrenaline” are how it is described on its advertisements and that could not be more accurate. This boat is specially designed to do tricks in the ocean, and when I say tricks I don’t mean going fast or turning corners quickly. I mean full 360 degree turns to the left and right, duck dives, power brakes, you name it and this boat can do it. You bump across sea waves, slide across entire rows of seats because there are no seat belts and get absolutely drenched! Every second on these boats is spectacular.
I will say though that this experience is not for everyone. It is more of an adrenaline junkie’s sport as there is a chance you could get hurt especially with the power brakes. Don’t get me wrong, the driver and all the staff involved are very caring and well trained with regards to your safety so if you follow their instructions then you will be absolutely fine. However, silly me wasn’t paying attention when we were told to put our heads down for the power brake as I had my go pro out trying to get cool shots so I was hit full force in the face with water which sent my sunglasses flying into the sea and made me think I had a nose bleed. It was entirely my fault though and was actually pretty funny so it didn’t affect me too much! Though I made sure I listened to every instruction from then on. All in all, the jet boat ride is something very different that you won’t get to experience everywhere because specialty boats are required. So if I were you, I would jump on the chance to take this crazy ride of a lifetime.
And there is always a sun soaked Marina!
Apart from the activities, the marina itself is beautiful especially when the sun is setting and you have a mango ice-cream in your hand. It has a very relaxed atmosphere with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops to keep you entertained. We actually took two day trips to Quarteira and Albufeira as well. We spent most of our time on Quarteira shopping along the promenade surrounded by palm trees and with a stunning view of the ocean, it was very similar to Vilamoura with its chilled out vibe. Albufeira on the other hand was a lot more upbeat and lively with plenty to do like its inflatable obstacle course in the ocean, jet skis, segways, henna tattoos, bar crawls and well, the list goes on……
The Algarve turned out to be the opposite of what I expected. I went thinking it would be spent lounging on the beach picking up some rays, and whilst it was relaxing and I got a killer tan (big one ticked off the list!), the activities made it a trip of a lifetime. Push yourself to experience something different when you’re traveling, something you might not get to do anywhere else and you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable time. Just like I did!
How to Reach:
By Air: Nearest airport is Faro which is about 18 miles from Vilamoura. From Faro to Vilamoura there are plenty of buses and taxis available. However, there are some time and day constraints so it is better to check beforehand. To take bus or train, you will have to reach the station by buses that are available from the Airport arrivals.
Book your flight on a click at cheapest rates to Faro today!
Car Rentals: Your hired car can be picked right at Faro Airport. You can then either take A22 motorway or N125 road. You can book best of car rentals here!
From Lisbon (Capital City):
If you are in Lisbon, then you can reach here either by Bus or Train.
By Bus: Hail a taxi from Airport to get to Gare Do Oriente which serves both as train as well as bus station. Buy tickets for Renex buses that will take you to your destination in 3.5 hours.
By Train: If you wish to take a train then buy ticket till Loule and take a taxi till Vilamoure.
Our top picks for stays!
Of course, you can take a look at other awesome options for stays here.
So this was an amazing travel diary of an amazing place. For more such stories visit our blog and if you want them right in your inbox then just subscribe! Before you venture out on your next trip, make sure all your travel related needs have been met. If not, then visit our SUPER STORE!