The award, from The Yacht Harbour Association, with the support of the British Marine Federation, resulted from votes by boat owners who assessed marinas from all around the world.

Vilamoura Marina, the first of its kind to be created in Portugal, first started operating in 1974 and is currently a reference in the national recreational nautical panorama, being the largest in the country, with 825 berths, a shipyard and a fully equipped competition sailing training centre.

During 2021 Vilamoura Marina received vessels from 29 countries. The surroundings of Vilamoura Marina are occupied by a commercial area with around 100 restaurants, terraces and a varied selection of shops that all helped to attract more than four million visitors.

“The distinction of The Yacht Harbour Association reflects the great quality of the infrastructure that the Vilamoura Marina makes available to those who visit us, not only for the vessels and their occupants, but also for the set of services that are available at maintenance level”, said Isolete Correia, head of Vilamoura Marina and manager of Vilamoura World.

“The Vilamoura Marina also has a sporting vocation as a result of the partnership with Vilamoura Sailing, a training centre which attracts sailors from all over the world and having, in 2021, organised international regattas and qualifications for the Olympic Games,” she added.

In 2008, Vilamoura Marina joined the Gold Award Scheme, a programme promoted by The Yacht Harbour Association, which assigns 2 to 5 anchors to marinas, depending on the level of service and quality of infrastructure. During the same year the marina was awarded the maximum rating of 5 Golden Anchors.

Between 2015 and 2017, Vilamoura Marina was elected, among all marinas classified with 5 anchors, the best international marina of the year (a category that includes all marinas outside the UK). For being awarded for three consecutive years, in 2017 it was awarded the respective distinction: “International Marina of Distinction 2015-2017” award. In 2019, it was once again distinguished with the award for best international marina of the year.