Born in the confluence of the sea and the river Arade, Portimão is located in the Western part of the Algarve. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs sailed up the river and left their imprint. In its recent history, this town has had a rapid growth and today is a burgeoning center both for both shopping, cultural and sports events, where development is based on a combination of quality and progress.
Portimão Algarve became a popular holiday destination mainly due to the famous large beach of Praia da Rocha and is also considered as a city with great potential for lovers of big game fishing (e.g. swordfish), among other water sports like jet skiing, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving or deep sea fishing. Portimão Algarve has a harbor, a well-equipped Youth Park for extreme sports, a multipurpose sports centre, an auto modeling track, outdoor exercise circuits and a children’s park. The Marina of Portimão is the ultimate symbol of modernity, located in the safest harbour of the country and surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches of Europe.
Portimão today is a city of reference in the Algarve. Pole anchor to the western Algarve, it’s distinguished by its tourism and its lively dynamics, offering a variety of activities that makes this town an essential, thriving centre, marked by a rhythm that is maintained throughout the year. The highlights of Portimão Algarve are:
Year-round international competitions and events are staged in Portimão, such as:
World Press Photo, F1 Speedboat Racing World Championship, the World Cup Surf ski, the World Cup of Rhythmic Gymnastics, International Golf events, to name a few.
TEMPO Municipal Theatre of Portimão Algarve– An excellent facility with a busy agenda throughout the year; it hosts seminars, conferences, educational workshops, film-clubbing activity and artistic creation; temporary exhibitions, theatre, classical and contemporary music performances.
The Praia da Rocha strip – It’s the Portimão jewel, a bustling holiday resort in its own right. The avenue runs along the top of the beach itself, and is full of restaurants, cafes, and shops and a feverish nightlife, which boosts significantly during the summer and is much preferred by younger people.
The Municipal Museum of Portimao Algarve- Housed in an old restored sardine canning factory, here regular exhibitions are held that cover art, history, and general culture, all of a local and national content.
The Algarve International Race Circuit (Autódromo Internacional do Algarve), just outside Portimao Algarve – Stages major races in the world motor racing and motorcycling championships, such as the World Superbike Championship and the World Endurance Championship.
The shores of Portimão are some of the most beautiful in Algarve, and are an important tourist attraction. The beauty of its coastline and its pretty, sculpted cliffs can be found on several beaches, such as:
- Praia da Rocha – An extensive stretch of sand sheltered by cliffs, it’s one of the most famous in the Algarve, if not the entire country. Every year during the summer, the beach filled with tourists from all over the world and, despite its large size, it is rare not to get crowded. In recent years, has received Mundialito Beach Soccer, played in a stadium built for that purpose and has capacity for 3,000 people.
- Praia dos Três Castelos – This beach has great natural beauty. Its name literally means the ‘Three Castles’ which refers to the three imposing rock structures that can be found past its waterline.
- Praia do Vau – With a nice sandy area, surrounded by smooth cliffs, this is a beach preferred by families for its tranquillity and for the healthy waters and the mud from the red cliffs.
- Praia Barranco das Canas – Cut along the cliffs of reddish colour, offers the vacationer a quaint sandy area, although not very large. Better known nowadays as Praia do Alemão.
- Prainha – “Small beach” in Portuguese, is a cute beach located in between golden cliffs of great beauty. With access via a carved stairway or elevator. Good conditions for Surf and Windsurf.
Activities & Events Portimao
Portimão Algarve became the new international tourist destination for leisure and excitement, modern luxuries beach resorts, fishing ports, commercial centers and tourist attractions, whilst surrounded by astounding natural settings. In the last decade, Portimão also became known for its sporting events, e.g., beach soccer tournament called the Mundialito de Futebol de Praia (‘Little World Cup’). Other examples are:
- Sailing and other water sports
- Deep sea fishing
- Power boating
- Motor sports
- Horse-back riding
- Pedagogical farm (theme park)
- Boat trips and ship cruises
- Dolphin seafaris
- Surfing and kite surfing
- Wine tasting
As the second biggest city of the Algarve, this cosmopolitan centre presents an array of activities, celebrations and festivals, especially from mid-April through to October, ensuring the visitors the best of holidays in the sun.
Restaurants & Bars Portimao
Walking up along side the river, past the old bridge you will see a row of fresh fish and seafood restaurants; all are great and reasonably priced, with a gorgeous view of rio Arade and its refreshing air. Eating out is one of the greatest pleasures when on holiday in Portimão, Algarve. The variety of fresh seafood and locally grown fruit and vegetables is available in abundance. There are several restaurants in Portimão’s old town centre, as well as on Praia da Rocha Avenue and on the beach, all offering friendly, homely ambiances and superb cuisine.
Should you prefer meat, then chicken, pork, lamb, kid and rabbit are generally better choices than beef.
For nightlife lovers, the lively atmosphere of Praia da Rocha in Portimão, Algarve will be ideal for you. Portimão’s nightlife is mostly centred on this strip facing the ocean: crammed with numerous glitzy bars and the trendiest of nightclubs, if you’re looking for some action this is the perfect place for it. Here are some suggestions for some good fun and entertainment: Katedral Disco, O Outro Bar, Diagonal Bar, Cheer’s Beach Pub, On The Rocks Disco B, Nicho Disco Bar, Praia da Rocha Casino, Pé de Vento Disco Bar, Moonlight Bar, etc. .
The village of Alvor is a popular holiday centre with great beaches located between Portimão and Lagos on the lagoon of the Ria do Alvor. The surrounding area is characterised by the lagoon landscape of the Ria do Alvor with spacious flat sandy beaches opening onto the sea. Alvor is now a very popular holiday location the enclosed narrow streets have kept development to a minimum. Many of these streets now boast bars with live music and different types of restaurants. Leading off from these streets there are still memories of the older fishing village. In the area are a number of holiday resorts from which the tourists enjoy visiting the town and its attractions. The famous golf courses of Penina, Palmares and Alto Golf are situated in the hinterland.
Algarve Housing rent villas in the Algarve, from luxury villas with private pool, tennis court till rustic windmill and cottages, most with private pool and gardens. Please check our west Algarve and central Algarve section to find a nice holiday villa near Portimao Algarve.