Portimao, Algarve, Portugal Travel Guide

Portimao is a traditional fishing port and harbour on the River Arcade estuary on the south Algarve coast. Located close to the popular beach resort of Praia da Rocha, Portimao is just 40 miles from Faro. If you are looking for a traditional Portuguese holiday this is the place to visit.


Everything in Portimao revolves around its riverside and harbour, main square and gardens, and restaurants. Add the towns shops, markets and boutiques and you have a town that gives you a real taste of Portugal. Local crafts including lace, jewellery, copperware and ceramics are on offer here at very reasonable prices. Portimao is well known for its traditional restaurants where you can sample the towns famous charcoal-grilled sardines and fresh seafood. Most of the restaurants and bars are found along the riverside and around the harbour giving you excellent views whilst enjoying a quiet relaxing meal. The town holds a sardine festival every year in August. Nearby Praia da Rocha is much livelier than Portimao in the evenings, offering restaurants and bars with live music, nightclubs and a casino.

The coastline around Portimao has clifftop walks, sandy coves, caves and fascinating eroded rocks. The town is within easy reach of some great beaches. Praia da Rocha beach is regarded as one of the best beaches in the whole of the Algarve.

Praia da Rocha beach

Just a couple of miles from Portimao is the sandy Praia dos Tres Irmaos beach. Popular with divers are the dark golden sands of Tres Irmaos. The popular beach and fishing harbour at Ferragudo are just a couple of miles away on the eastern side of the river. There are lots of lovely sandy beaches between Praia da Rocha and Alvor, especially Praia do Vau. Diving, snorkelling and swimming are favourite pastimes here with some really good dive sites along the coast.

There is lots to do and see around Portimao. Visit the old villages of Alvor and Carvoeiro, and the historic sites of Cape St Vincent, Lagos and Silves Castle. Enjoy a great family day out at the Quinta da Rocha nature reserve.


Another great family day out is an excursion to the Monchique Mountains where you can explore the amazing forests, valleys and fragrant orange groves. For sports fans there is golf, deep sea fishing and horseriding. Deep sea fishing is a popular sport here in Portimao, take a trip from the harbour and try to catch shark, conger and bass along the coastline.

Portimao offers great cruise trips for you to enjoy on your bargain holidays to Portugal. Experience a romantic dinner on a trip along the coast, enjoy some drinks and show your moves on a dance cruise or just take a relaxing dolphin spotting boat trip.

Portugal not only has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe but also boasts that it is one of the sunniest locations. Portimao enjoys more than 3000 hours of sunshine a year with summer temperatures often exceding 30C. The climate together with the many cheap holidays that are on offer to Portugal make it an ideal choice for your cheap holidays at any time of the year.


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