The biggest town in the Western Algarve, Portimão is packed with shops, appealing restaurants and cafés, and a handful of historic sites and attractions. Explore the city streets on foot and absorb the laid-back atmosphere, then hit the beach just south of town for a fix of sun, sea and sand.
Up until the 1980s, Portimão’s docks would have been packed with fishing boats, with the town serving as a center for sardine fishing and processing. Today, however, the fishing industry has been overtaken by tourism and retail, and the town draws visitors who want to shop and dine amid pleasant surrounds.
Start by strolling around the historic center of town, where much of the architecture dates back to the 19th and 20th centuries. Look for historic religious buildings such as the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição, parts of which date back to the 15th century. Venture inside to inspect the hand-painted azulejo tiles up close.
Find out more about the town’s fishing heritage at the award-winning Museu de Portimão. Set in the building that once served as the town’s fish cannery, the museum tells the story of the town’s fishing industry as well as documenting the human history of the region from prehistoric times to the modern day.
If you need somewhere to rest, stop for a break in the Jardim Visconde Bivar on the riverfront. Many restaurants along the riverfront Ribeirinha serve delicious fresh seafood. Grilled sardines are considered a local specialty.
Just south of town is Praia da Rocha, one of the most well-known beach resorts in the Algarve. Spend days on the golden-sand beaches, sunning and swimming, then experience the resort’s nightlife in its many bars and clubs.
The nearest commercial airport to Portimão is in Faro, about 43 miles (70 kilometers) away. Trains and buses connect Faro to Portimão. Portimão itself is walkable, with the beach of Praia da Rocha just a 30-minute stroll or a short bus ride from town.
Beaches, Family-Friendly and Romantic
Backed by golden-red cliffs and met by the white-flecked waves of the Atlantic, this spectacular beach is one of the Algarve’s most popular.
Kitesurf, head out on the water on a paddleboat or kayak around the surrounding coastline at this Blue Flag-awarded beach.
Acclaimed beaches and a pair of historic fortresses are part of this haven for super-sized yachts. Its orange and red buildings contain shops, bars and restaurants.
Cross the Spanish border and discover Andalusia’s capital—Seville. Spend a day exploring one of the most elegant cities in Spain. From historic quarters and culturally rich districts to immaculate regal gardens and iconic landmarks, be amazed by the splendor of this province.
Discover the magic of the wild Algarve countryside. See the Castle of Silves, built between the 8th and 13th centuries, catch magnificent views from the highest point in the region at the top of Fóia, and marvel at the cliffs near the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse.
Explore the charming historical town of Lagos and the picturesque fishing village of Sagres in this half-day tour from the Algarve. Discover museums, chapels, and beautiful coastal scenery as your guide tells you all about the history of these fascinating towns.
Venture into the heart of the Algarve and explore the hidden beauty of the country side on this full-day guided tour. Drive through rural Portuguese landscapes, uncover charming villages, and witness the traditional ways of country life.
The East is still the picturesque side of the Algarve! Venture into charming villages, see ancient buildings that hold many historic stories and admire various architectural landmarks. Away from the typical developed tourist towns, this full-day tour takes you to Sotavento, or eastern Algarve.
Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product Pass By: Museu de Portimao, Rua D. Carlos I Zona Ribeirinha, Portimao 8500-607 Portugal Meeting Point Pass By: 8400 Ferragudo, Portugal Overlooking the fishing village.