Rest assured, there’s a whole lot more to the Algarve than just amazing surf spots, historically-fascinating Roman artefacts/remains, countless stunning beaches, the world’s largest sand sculpture event, an array of marine life, a staggering choice of menus and some of the best holiday nightlife in Europe. We mean, just who would find anything remotely interesting to do with their Portuguese holiday if these were the only options available to them, right? Anyway, let’s not dwell on the negatives (nor the bigger Algarve picture here and now), and instead focus our attentions on a very popular holiday destination called Portimao, specifically. Referred to by many as the ‘gateway’ to what’s considered to be up there amongst the Algarve’s finest beaches, the city of Portimao is geographically situated a mere stone’s throw from Praia da Rocha; which itself notably lords it up - from its impressive natural vantage point - over the azure waters of the Rio Arade. Are we painting a vivid enough canvas for you yet?
We hope so, as with one of our cheap holidays you could explore this vibrant city which is perched on a beautiful waterfront location, framed by a succession of welcoming cafes, inviting restaurants and enticing bars; all of which habitually attract tourists to this part of the city. In fact, it’s fair to say that Portimao comes into its own when visitors first acquaint themselves with the recognised old quarter, which is home to many of these aforementioned traveller-friendly establishments. Where at pretty much every turn you’re greeted by ancient architecture, almost secret backstreets and hidden alleyways; all adding to the history-observing ambience conjured up by this part of the city. And while legions of visitors are drawn to Portimao annually, seemingly magnetised by the sublime beaches, local seafood delicacies or indeed, the noted culture on offer, many more are taken in (and in numerous cases, return) courtesy of the clement weather readily discovered in this famous stretch of Portugal. All in all, the perfect get-away is forecast whenever you opt to explore all that Portimao holidays can entice you with.
Portimao at a glance
Discover the best beaches
You’re in luck! Some of the Algarve’s best beaches are here like Praia da Rocha, Praia do Vau & Praia dos Três Castelos
Try the local wine
The Algarve knows its wine, so visiting a wine cellar while in Portimao is a no-brainer
Sample the local food
Portimao’s speciality? Sardines. Try them roasted with a side of batatas a murro (roasted potatoes bathing in garlic & olive oil)
Head up for some skydiving or keep it more down-to-earth with karting
Fun water parks
Keep the kids happy with a trip to Slide & Splash waterpark
Perfect for watersports
Jet ski, surfing, stand up paddle tours, kayaking, sailing cruises – what will it be?
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Things to do in Portimao
Besides the obvious draws associated with the raft of popular tourist attractions which trip off the tongue and are broadly documented within this paragraph, let’s not forget that one of the predominant reasons why Portimao holidays tick thousands of British tourists’ get-away checklists year on year is simply because it can all but guarantee something that Bognor, Brighton and Bridlington, sadly, can’t. And that’s wall-to-wall sunshine and temperature which bring colour to your cheeks in a good way. With balmy temperatures acknowledged throughout the year, it’s the summer which understandably offers the hottest weather, with temperatures averaging around 30C. Yet the spring and autumn can easily throw up temperature of around 20C, while the winter still offers averages of 15C.
Not that Portimao stops providing an array of things to do and places to see should the sun refuse to put his hat on and come out to play. Steeped in a rich and diverse history as already hinted at, the city proffers much on a cultural front, chief amongst which (especially for any budding Indiana Jones’ out there) is the Museu de Portimao. It’s within its four walls where the Portimao holidaymaker will catch more than a glimpse of a host of treasures which envelop Roman relics and Islamic artefacts. And if it’s old stuff which floats your boat – and by that we don’t necessarily mean antiques shops – then we can always recommend the 14th Century Igreja Matriz gothic church, which is positioned in the city’s old quarter. It’s around there that visitors to Portimao will also get up all close and personal with an eclectic selection of craft emporiums; including manufacturers and purveyors of lace, jewellery and ceramic products. Naturally, if your normally preference of retail therapy is characterized by clothing shops, then the city amply caters for these tastes too; thanks to the pedestrianised Rue de Sao Jose and Rua Diogo Tome, and therein Portimao’s homage to more familiar high street shopping pursuits.
If there’s one thing (but trust us, they amount to more than double figures) which Portimao holidays represent to the avid tourist then it’s beaches. Lying a mere 3km from the city is Praia da Rocha beach, which is found in one of the most picturesque bays you could imagine and lined with a choice of bars and restaurants. A little closer to your holiday base, and Alvor beach offers a more convenient sandy alternative for those not wanting to venture too far. But that’s the thing you see. Unlike many resorts, Portimao is within easy striking distance of a selection of beaches; so you can get your fill of beach life whenever and indeed, wherever.
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