The tiny boutiques and stalls at Praia da Rocha sell mostly holiday essentials and gifts. Try and catch the market on the first Monday of the month as it’s packed of vendors selling lots of local handicrafts and wood carvings. For more commercial shopping, Portimão is 20 minutes’ walk away.
Falésia beach stretches more than six kilometres between Vilamoura and Albufeira. The area closest to Vilamoura has beach clubs with cabanas and loungers for hire - they're popular with lively hen and stag parties. There’s plenty of room further down the beach for families, with friendly bars and restaurants to cool off in.
If waterparks are your thing then the Slide and Splash in nearby Lagoa has it all. Brave the Kamikaze or the Black Hole, or race your friends on the Bonzai speed lanes. There’s an Olympic sized pool if you want to work on your stroke, and a fun kid’s area with a water spitting dragon and elephant slides.
Decked out over the lake, The Shack in Quinta do Lago is a relaxed bar and a favourite with locals. The drink and cocktail menu is far more extensive than the food menu with eight varieties of Champagne, but they serve some classic American-style bar snacks such as fish tacos and beef sliders that are great to share.
My 'spin the pin' go stopped on Algarve which is perfect as we absolutely LOVE Vilamoura in Portugal. We won with the competition last year but never claimed in time so hoping we can be as lucky this time!