We booked this as a last minute deal a few weeks before the Easter hols. When we arrived we had to find 10A holiday letting agency but there are four or five offices all beside each other so it was easy enough to find our office. The Lady was very welcoming and provided us with a map of the old village and Vilamoura and took us to our apartment.
The apartment itself was a wee bit shabby but in a quiet spot near the dolphin pool away from the pub cafe area so I was happy enough with the location. The furniture was a bit tired looking and the kitchen cupboard doors were a bit rickety but other than that the old village was the ideal location to explore Vilamoura, Albufeira and Quartiera. The old village area itself was lovely with beautiful gardens and a little supermarket that was handy to buy breakfast food. As far as I know the apartments are all privately owned and are decorated to different standards but we paid for a cheap holiday so were happy enough we also had a little garden area right beside the dolphin pool.
To access the pool area we had to pay a 20 euro deposit for a key but it was a bit to cool for that so just left it. We did have to ask for fresh towels twice and the office was closed on the sunday but when I went back on the Monday a cleaner was round quite quickly to replace the towels and mop the tiled floor and take the rubbish.
I would definately recommend this place if you would like a quieter break Easter is ideal to go there are still tourists but not as busy as the summer so we heard. The marina restaurants are lovely but also proper restaurant prices we paid anything from 35 euros to 70 euros for our meals but had three courses and I drank a wine. We did not spend money on anything else so happy to eat there it was a 25 minute walk from the old village to the marina area so we sometimes paid 5 euros to get a taxi back up the road. Recommend the italian at the Marina Capricia and the Mayflower restaurant. We were told by a few people that there were cheaper restaurants along in Quarteira and we could walk to along the beach around 10 minutes away from vilamoura to get there but went along during the day and not in the evening when we chose to eat out so did not eat there.
The beaches are beautiful with very nice yellow sand with lovely shells - we caught the bus to albufeira one day for 4 euros for a single ticket and walked along the beach and the shells came in with the waves and there were lots of pretty shells that some people were picking up. Albufeira is the main resort in the area for pubs and clubs but we wanted to have a quite break so chose not to stay there the beach is more sheltered by a cliff where the hotels are sitting and more people were on the beach sun bathing it was more breezy at Vilamoura and Quarteira for proper sunbathing but still lovely to sit at the beach front and have a drink and a cake. The cakes are amazing I love my cakes and there are a selection of little cake shops we found a nice one at a hotel at the beach front in Quarteira we went to a couple of times and the cakes were a euro each so very affordable and tasty!
We had a very enjoyable week just walking around and eating out and would like to go back again. We paid 500 to go for both of us and spent 500 when we were away for both of us but that was flying from Edinburgh and included our transfers. The European Triathon was on when we were there and we saw that in Quarteira on the Saturday but missed the rally cars in Vilamoura as they were there for the opening ceremony the day after we came home but saw some rally staff walking around before we left. We do not play golf but there are a few courses in Vilamoura and a family golf place too. Out of 10 I would score it an 8 and a half!