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Vilamoura is the largest luxury tourist complex in Europe, covering some 20 km² of land. It is is a purpose-built resort and marina which was started from scratch in 1974 and is still expanding outwards from the marina center. The resort is favorite for many Portuguese holiday makers as well as foreign tourists.
At the heart of Vilamoura is the marina which is surrounded by large hotels and luxury holiday homes as well as a large casino and numerous restaurants and vibrant bars.
At the far corner of the marina, it is possible to charter boats for big game fishing. There are also facilities for jet skiing and parascending. Close by there are also a number of sports clubs, a shooting range and many night clubs.
Golf is one of Vilamoura's year round activities, thanks to the almost constant blue skies and mild temperatures. Vilamoura is the biggest golf destination in the Algarve with five top courses: Pinhal, Old Course, Laguna, Millennium and Victoria.
The Portugal Masters has been held in Vilamoura for the past few years at the Victoria Golf Course.
Tourism in Vilamoura is extensive and well-developed, with many different types of accomodation with ratings from three to five stars. This is a substantially higher average than the surrounding areas, which have ratings varying from two to four. As a consequence of being mostly privately owned, the town is very opulently designed.
For the avid historians there is a preserved Roman site and museum providing an insight to the area's past. Originally a Roman fishing town, the ruins include baths in which the mariners used to bathe.
The marina was awarded 'the best marina in Portugal' and Vilamoura was certified in 2000 as a 'green globe destination'