Portimão is a vibrant city that has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Algarve. In addition to beautiful beaches, good access to golf courses and a full range of facilities and entertainment, Portimão also boasts the beauty of the Alvor estuary. This is a place for fun-loving visitors who would like to discover the city’s nightlife and entertainment. But also for nature lovers who want to spend their days watching the migratory birds in the beautiful, unspoiled landscape of the protected Alvor Ria.

Spectacular beaches have transformed Portimão into the inviting, vibrant city it is today. Beaches of fine, golden sand, framed by naturally formed cliffs in the natural landscape of this coastline, offer endless long, sunny days and a choice of water sports. Sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving and deep sea fishing facilities complement the boat trips that allow you to explore the natural caves and tunnels. You can also sail up the river Arade, up to the historic town of Silves.

To the east of Portimão lie the calm waters, swamps and sand dunes of the protected Alvor estuary, a game reserve for all kinds of migratory birds. There is a serene atmosphere of natural beauty that is best explored by boat. In addition to wildlife, the Ria also provides a wonderful opportunity to observe the techniques of the local workers who continue their daily activities quietly, including salt mining and shellfish farming and fishing in the estuary waters.

Beach Portimao

After a day in the warm sun, the city of Portimão offers plenty of entertainment and things to do. The quayside restaurants are ideal for sampling the local snack: meaty sardines served on homemade bread. Or try a full meal consisting of the local soup, followed by a bean and sea snail stew, rice with scallops or fried squid. The traditional pastries and desserts, the “morgados”, “bolas de ovo” (egg balls) and “figos cheios” (stuffed figs) are all based on the local produce of the region, figs and almonds. The waterfront area is ideal for a leisurely stroll and the exclusive boat club there has a fantastic restaurant with views over the harbor.

There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Portimão. In the narrow streets of the old center for local handicrafts, in the modern shopping centers or in the shopping center in the outskirts of Portimão. A visit to the shops in the old town is of course a lot more picturesque and is ideal for buying woven baskets, lace and embroidery, pottery and copper pots and pans. The trendy boutiques around Praia da Rocha are also very popular for the must-haves during your holiday.

As in most other towns and villages on the Algarve coast, the devastating earthquake of 1755 left little of Portimão’s former splendor. All that remains of the original 15th-century Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is the Gothic doorway, a gargoyle and buttresses. The remains were rebuilt in the 18th and 19th centuries. The strict mix of Jesuit college styles is also the result of several restoration work over the centuries, but it now houses the Algarve’s largest church and is well worth a visit. Further inland you will find many interesting historical sites that indicate the presence of the former inhabitants of the Algarve. At the archaeological site of Abicada you will find the remains of Roman villas from the 1st and 4th centuries. There is an important Neolothic / Chalcolithic burial site in Alcalar and the Moorish architecture of the Mohammedan burial temples of John and Peter in Alvor show the holy places where Muslims buried their religious ascetics, the Marabus.


Golf enthusiasts have several courses at their disposal, including the Alto Golf Country Club, the Morgado and the championship courses of Penina.

In Portimão you always have something to do. If the sun and beaches aren’t enough, there are plenty of alternatives elsewhere.