Portimão guide

Portimao guide - Praia da Rocha

Being the largest town in the western part of the Algarve, the town of Portimao, Portugal is located on the bank of the Arade river and faces Ferragudo on the opposite bank. What used to be the town’s beach on the Atlantic, Praia da Rocha, developed so much that it became pretty much a resort in its own right, featuring a plethora of accommodation options, restaurants and everything else that you might expect from a seaside resort town. However we won’t spend time talking about that here, instead we’ll try to offer you a basic Portimao guide, so that you know what you can expect.

The majority of the town is made up of late 19th and early 20th century buildings, when we’re talking about the older part of town, while the rest of Portimao is made up of modern apartment blocks in a variety of colors, hues and shades. It is interesting to note however that most settlements in the region have much longer histories, Portimao is a rather young place that managed to develop despite being surrounded by older towns. You can quickly get here by using some Portimao transfers from Faro Airport.

Because of its age, Portimao offers a special type of holiday experience, a more modern take on it. The shopping opportunities abound, especially in the centre, which is jam-packed with shops offering everything from clothes, gifts, souvenirs and electrical goods to general household items and whatever else you might expect to find in any town on the globe.

Of course entertainment is never far from the spectrum of shopping so there are also a lot of bars, restaurants and cafes where you can have yourself a sit and a rest while enjoying a snack or a nice refreshing beverage, be it hot or cold. The town is not exactly a resort town, so it can get rather busy in the center and the residential areas, however if you’re interested in seeing the more relaxed side of Portimao all you have to do is to head down to the river front.

Alongside the river front you’ll find the ‘Manuel Bivar’ gardens as well as some very famous regional fish restaurants situated near the end of the waterfront – all you have to do to get there is to follow the wonderful smell of barbecuing sardines.

Those who have employed some Portimao car hire services will quickly notice that the roads in and around Portimao can be a bit confusing, and more than just a bit congested because on some of the narrow streets you’ll find cars parked on both sides of the road. This happens even though car parking spots exist all around the town and there’s a very large free car park on the waterfront.

Portimao - Praia da rocha

Portimao - Praia da rocha

While in Portimao you will simply have to visit the Portimao Marina, the colors that you’ll see there are quite unexpected to say the least. This is possibly the only place where you can see ochre and terracotta together; you can find the marina at the eastern end of the Praia da Rocha, this is also where you’ll find the Tivoli Arade and Nikki beach resorts.

As far as Portimao activities go, there are a plethora of things that one can get involved with, for instance boat trips. Not only boat trips but actually pirate ship trips which take you visiting the caves in old boats.

There are a couple of museums and art galleries to keep the culture vultures occupied and interested and a port built in the 17 century to protect the mouth of the river Arade. Located at the end of Tomas Cabreira avenue, this makes a great observation point to see across Ferragudo, Praia da Rocha and the marina.

Other activities that you can partake in are visiting the Zoo Lagos, located on the outskirts of Lagos however, so you’ll need a ride there, or go to the the Zoomarine at Guia, a vehicle of sorts will also be ideal for this destination.

This has only been a very short and quick description of what you should expect from Portimao, once there you’ll obviously find more things to see and do, even if it’s just strolling around the place taking in the atmosphere, rest assured that you won’t get bored, how could you with the beach in such close proximity.