A port city located at the Algarve Region, Portimao is well known for its many resort towns, nearby golden sand beaches, bustling marinas, and the old quarter. It is a year-round destination that offers a wide array of activities to anyone who wishes to visit. You’ll find here many historical landmarks, beautiful churches, archaeological sites, interesting museums, and a lot more. Also, this city boasts many entertainment and food establishments such as high-end restaurants, themed bars, amusement parks, etc. In case you’re looking for more reasons to visit Portimao, read on and discover our list of the best things to do in Portimao, Portugal, and have the best holiday ahead in the area.
1. Visit the Fort of Santa Catarina
Located in the civil parish of Portimão, Fort of Santa Catarina is a medieval fortress built to protect the peninsula from pirates and military intrusions. The fortress is the last of Philippine military plans in the region and one of the best examples of Alexandre Massai’s works, a military engineer who reinforced many fortifications along the coast of Algarve. Now, the remains of the fort is a major attraction in the city, and when you climb it, you’ll have a spectacular view of the sunset and the sea.
Fort of Santa Catarina
Address: Av. Tomás Cabreira 4, 8500-802 Portimão, Portugal
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
2. Walk along Alvor Boardwalk
Alvor Boardwalk is 3 km (1.9 mi) long and begins at the little harbor and stretches along with the fisher-folks’ huts. It passes through farmland, coastal estuaries, marshes, dunes, salt lakes, and lagoon, giving you spectacular sceneries. It is great for walking, biking, and bird watching, and you get to watch people fishing. The boardwalk is connected to a 2.2-km (1.4-mi) trail, composed of dirt and gravel, which will direct you to a few traditional restaurants where you can get refreshments or anything to keep you energized for the day.
Address: Praia de Alvor, Alvor, Portimao 8501-906, Portugal
Website: Alvor Boardwalk
Opening hours: 12am - 11:59pm (daily)
3. Stroll around Marina de Portimão
A safe place to dock your expensive yacht on the way to the Mediterranean, Marina de Portimão is located at the center of the city. It is modern, luxurious, and caters to the needs of world-class and most advanced yachts. If you’ll be traveling with a yacht, this place is the best option you have, for it is inexpensive and has excellent facilities and amenities. Tourists can also visit the marina and see numerous boats lining the area. You can have your photo taken here and have the yachts as a background; it will make an excellent social media photo.
Marina de Portimão
Address: Edifício Administrativo - Ponta da Areia, 8500-345 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Marina de Portimão
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
4. Sunbathe at Vau Beach
One of the most popular beaches in Portimao, Vau Beach was once a private beach frequented by well-off Portuguese families during the summer holidays. It features a long stretch of golden sand and turquoise waters that are backed by rocky cliffs. The cliffs make the beach more sheltered because it shields it from the wind. Also, it contains coves that have unique cliffs, which every high tide gives it the illusion of separate beaches. Another attraction here is the majestic Algarve rock formations on a headland located on the western part of the beach. Additionally, aside from swimming and sunbathing, it is an excellent spot for snorkeling.
Address: Coral do Vau, do, TB, Portugal
5. Swim at Praia da Rocha
Another famous beach town in Portimao, Praia da Rocha is one of a kind for its fantastic and climactic limestone rock formations that rise along the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. If it’s culture and history you’re after, this is not the place for you. But if it’s nightlife and lounging at the beach, then you’re in the right place. This beach town is vibrant and lively. It features a long stretch of golden sand beaches, streets full of themed bars and night clubs, and a wide array of restaurants that are perfect for the whole family, making it a well-rounded summer spot for everyone. Other activities and attractions you can do here include dolphin watching, swimming at waterparks, shopping, and visiting the Zoomarine, a marine-themed park.
Praia da Rocha
Address: Avenida Tomas Cabreira, Praia da Rocha, Portimao 8500-802, Portugal
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
6. Watch a game of football at Estádio Municipal de Portimão
Located at the center of Portimao, Estádio Municipal de Portimão is a premier sports stadium that is a must-visit for football fans. It is the current home stadium of Portimonense FC, who play at the Primera Ligue in Portugal. The stadium can hold up to 9,544 people and it has the most exciting football games in Portimao, so make sure you visit and watch a game here when in the area.
Estádio Municipal de Portimão
Address: 8500-512 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Estádio Municipal de Portimão
7. Bring your family to Praia de Alvor
If you want a laid-back beach experience, one that is not as crowded as Praia da Rocha, then Praia de Alvor is an ideal summer destination for you. It has a distinction of a Blue Flag beach and is awarded Gold Quality, which attests to the environmental condition of the area and its amenities and facilities. The sandy beach is only one of its charms, for it also has other beautiful and natural wonders like the sandbars that make an inshore lagoon which contains marsh areas that are rich in plant and marine life as well as migrating water birds. Don’t forget to drop by the beach for a relaxing and nature-friendly holiday ahead.
8. Catch a show at Teatro Municipal de Portimão
Another major attraction in the heart of Portimao, TEMPO - Teatro Municipal de Portimão, is a small auditorium that features 165 seats and another 50 seats in a room called the Black-Box. It is a popular venue for concerts as well as a place for meetings, seminars, conferences, and other business functions in the city. But aside from being a venue, it also features a rehearsal room and a terrace. Additionally, there is an on-site cafe, where lots of artists and writers meet to talk about their arts and other mundane things.
TEMPO - Teatro Municipal de Portimão
Address: Largo 1º de Dezembro 34, 8500-802 Portimão, Portugal
9. Shop at Centro Comercial Continente Portimão
Até ao próximo dia 31 de Julho, o cinema Cineplace do Centro Comercial Continente de Portimão bem como o cinema do...Posted by Portimão.Notícias on Thursday, 10 July 2014
If the word shopping instantly puts a smile on your face, then even this small shopping center will delight you. Centro Comercial Continente is a local shopping mall in the city, that offers numerous retail stores and dining options as well as a cinema. Another feature of the mall is its supermarket, which has almost everything you need, from fresh produce to canned goods and home essentials. Moreover, everything is fairly priced compared to smaller shops, and the food is affordable.
Centro Comercial Continente Portimão
Address: Av V6 1, 8500-510 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Centro Comercial Continente Portimão
Opening hours: 8:30am - 11pm (daily)
10. Feed your sweet tooth at A Casa da Isabel
A tea and pastry establishment located at the center of the city, A Casa da Isabel has the ambiance of your grandmother’s home, with its period-like furnishing and the aroma of freshly baked goodies. The menu here consists of pies, cookies, cakes, and other sweet treats. It has a variety of coffees and teas that compliments most of their pastries. Also, the atmosphere in the cafe is conducive for intimate chitchats over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. Additionally, the bestsellers here include olive oil cookies, Algarve Trilogy, Royal Aljezur cake, and other traditional baked delights.
A Casa da Isabel
Address: R. Direita 61, 8500-626 Portimão, Portugal
Website: A Casa da Isabel
Opening hours: Mon - Sun: 9am - 11pm (closed on Wed)
11. Marvel at the beauty of Nossa Senhora da Conceição
The main parish church of Portimao, Nossa Senhora da Conceição, is a historic 15th-century structure that features a Portuguese Gothic architectural style and a vibrant white exterior. The church is modeled after the Monastery of Batalha. On the inside, you’ll find a gilded, baroque tabernacle, several marble statues like St Peter the Apostle, which dates back to the 17th century; crucifixes made of ivory and lignum vitae, and other fascinating things. Additionally, the parish is well-loved by the locals and plays an important role in shaping the local community.
Nossa Senhora da Conceição
Address: Rua da Alfândega 108, 1100-585 Lisboa, Portugal
Website: Nossa Senhora da Conceição
12. Admire the beautiful rock formations at Tres Irmaos Beach
Located on the eastern end of Alvor Beach, Tres Irmaos Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of Portimao. Its name means three brothers, which comes from the stack of rocks you’ll see at the beach when you visit. It is famous for the many unique rock formations, little coves backed by limestone cliffs, and caves you can explore. Also, this beach is very popular with families as well as with people who want to snorkel, as the water is almost transparent. Just a warning, the waves are wild sometimes, so you should look after your children, and you should wear water shoes for there are sharp rocks in the water that can hurt you. Additionally, you’ll find a seasonal lifeguard, restrooms, and numerous restaurants.
13. Order fresh seafood at Carvi Marisqueira
A traditional restaurant in Portimao, Carvi Marisqueira, serves delectable seafood dishes as well as meat variants. According to many locals as well as tourists, this is the best fish restaurant in town. If you opt for a quiet and more intimate setting, this is not the place for you. But, if you’re up for fresh and quality food served by friendly and accommodating staff, then you are in the right place. Apart from the food, the establishment has a good location and it is very easy to reach, for it is in the city center in one of its main streets.
Address: R. Direita 34, 8500-492 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Carvi Marisqueira
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 12pm - 12am (closed on Tue)
14. Be amazed by the artifacts at the Alcalar Megalithic Site
Are you one of those people who love learning about the past and going to places that you only read in history books? Then visiting the Alcalar Megalithic Site is an ideal activity for you when in Portimao. It is an archeological museum that showcases the life of the pre-historic community in Alcalar, 5,000 or more years ago. You’ll have a glimpse of the community’s way of life through the artifacts, the settlement on the hill, and the megalithic tombs. If you want to learn more about the megalithic monuments of Alcalar, make sure to visit the site.
Alcalar Megalithic Site
Address: 8500-120 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Alcalar Megalithic Site
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 1pm, 2pm - 4:30pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: 2 USD to 2.23 USD
15. Let your kids play at Castle of Alvor
The Castle of Alvor is another historical site not to be missed when you visit Portimao. It was built during the 7th-century when the Muslims lived on the Iberian Peninsula. The castle was greatly damaged during the war between the Christians and the Moors and was later on reconstructed through the mandate of King D. Denis. Now, what you’ll see of the castle are only ruins, which will give you a glimpse of its historical value. Also, the castle features a kid’s playground that has swings, slides, and more, which will surely delight your children.
Castle of Alvor
Address: Tv. do Castelo, 2500-003 Portimão, Portugal
Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)
16. Swim in the crystal-clear waters of Praia do Alemão
Portimao doesn’t run out of beautiful beaches to visit, one of the many is Praia do Alemão. Like other beaches in the city, it is also backed by ochre-colored limestone cliffs and characterized by crystal clear waters and golden sands. Another interesting find here is the several unique rock formations and wondrous caves waiting to be explored. If you opt for a quieter beach than Praia da Rocha, then you’ll be happy with the ample crowd you’ll find here. Additionally, the name of the beach means German’s beach, because the first house ever built in the area is owned by a German.
17. Buy fresh produce at Portimão Market
Mercado Municipal de Portimao, chciałbym mieć taki market w pobliżu mojego miejsca zamieszkaniaPosted by Emil Łyszczyński on Sunday, 1 September 2019
Located between the Modelo and Aqua shopping centers, Portimão Municipal Market is a great place to shop for your supplies. It has everything you need for a very affordable price, including fresh produce, cooking wares, local crafts, ready-to-eat food, and more. It is also considered as the largest market in the city. You might find it different from the small traditional market, but it is where many local restaurants get their ingredients. It is also a hole-in-the-wall for foodies, so make sure you visit to know why.
Address: Av. São João de Deus, 8500-508 Portimão, Portugal
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 7am - 2pm, 5pm - 8pm; Sat: 7am - 2pm (closed on Sun)
18. Light a candle at Igreja do Colégio
Another stunning church at Portimao, Igreja do Colégio was built from the donation of D. Diogo Gonçalves, a businessman who gained his fortune from the Orient. And for exchange, the businessman wished to be buried in the church, and up to this day, his remains are still in the chancel. The church has baroque-style architecture, just like the other churches in the city, and the interior has a typical Jesuit aesthetic. Additionally, it is close to a few attractions such as Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Conceição and Museu de Portimão.
Igreja do Colégio
Address: Praça da República, 8500-594 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Igreja do Colégio
A trip to Portimao wouldn’t be complete without exploring not just its many beaches but also its spectacular caves. And the best way to do it is by availing the Benagil Caves tour offered by Get Your Guide. The tour will last for two hours and will start from Cais Vasco da Gama and pass through the sights of the Fort of Santa Catarina, the small fishing village of Fort of Santa Catarina, Ferragudo Castle, and the small fishing village of Ferragudo, and its castle. Apart from the majestic Benagil Cave, you’ll also visit the beaches of the Algarve Coast.
Benagil Caves 1.5-Hour Boat Tour from Portimão
Duration: 2 hour
20. Learn about the life of Gomes at Casa Manuel Teixeira Gomes
A museum worth visiting in the city of Portimao, Casa Manuel Teixeira Gomes will take you to the time of the notable politician and writer, Manuel Teixeira Gomes. In this very home, he was born and raised. Gomes also became the president of the National Republic. You’ll see rooms that have exhibits about his life and works. Additionally, the museum serves as a venue for gatherings and recitals.
Casa Manuel Teixeira Gomes
Address: R. Júdice Biker 1, 8500-531 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Casa Manuel Teixeira Gomes
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
21. Spend an afternoon at Jardim 1º de Dezembro
A lovely park, Jardim 1º de Dezembro, contains a small garden with many flower beds and several trees. At the entrance, you’ll find a beautiful pair of chandeliers. You can walk to the typical Portuguese sidewalks, where you’ll see many unique benches. Also, you’ll see tiles that show historical scenes. It is a relaxing location where you can sit and just be while learning about the city’s past.
Jardim 1º de Dezembro
Address: Largo 1º de Dezembro 8500, Portimão
Website: Jardim 1º de Dezembro
22. Let your kids play at Youth Park
If you’re looking for a place to visit in Portimao that will surely be enjoyed by your kids, then you need to visit Youth Park. It is an outdoor green space with a lake and home to several animals. It also offers activities and amenities for everyone, including a children’s playground, multipurpose sports court, zigzaggy mountain bike course, and an open bar, where the family can get refreshments and bond.
Address: Urbanização Alto Pacheco LA, 8500-510 Portimão, Portugal
Opening hours: 9am - 12am (daily)
23. Stroll around Jardim Visconde Bivar
Another park in the city, Jardim Visconde Bivar is a sprawling park that is an extension of Plaza Manuel Teixeira Gomez. It is located along River Arade and is named after a famous politician, Bivar Coelho, who is known to be a supporter of the city’s improvement works. At the center of the park, you’ll find a plaza with the bust of the former politician as well as other contemporary stone sculptures. The park is shaded by many trees, making strolling a breeze and relaxing here.
Jardim Visconde Bivar
Address: Praça Visconde Bivar 8500, Portimão
Website: Jardim Visconde Bivar
24. Have a game night at Bowling Praia da Rocha
Located a little farther away from the area where a lot of nightspots are in Praia da Rocha, Bowling Praia da Rocha is a four-lane bowling alley that has pool tables and a foosball table. It is usually where a lot of groups go to start their night before they head on to the bars of the resort town. Aside from friends, it is also a family-friendly attraction, where kids can play a friendly game of bowling.
Bowling Praia da Rocha
Address: 8500-801 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Bowling Praia da Rocha
Opening hours: 2pm - 1am (daily)
25. Shop at Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre
Another delightful treat to shopping-crazy tourists, Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre is a must-visit establishment for all your retail needs. The mall offers numerous local brands as well as international brands like Bershka, ALDO, H&M, and many more. Also, they won’t only feed your retail cravings but also your stomach with the many dining options available, including Fourchette, Al-Sultan Doner Kebab, Mamma Mia, Mcdonald, etc. Additionally, it also has plenty of shops offering different services such as 1920 Barber Shop, MultiOpticas, Max Pay, and others.
Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre
Address: R. de São Pedro 72, 8500-524 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 12am; Sat - Sun: 9am - 11pm
26. Have date nights at NoSoloÁgua Portimão
A well-renowned restuarant located at Praia da Rocha, NoSoloÁgua Portimão is an exotic and at the same time casual restaurant with an orient-like atmosphere. Here, you can chill along the beach or by the opulent saltwater swimming pool while feasting on delectable foods available on site. The menu is composed of Japanese, Italian, French, Portuguese, and Mexican cuisines. Aside from the restaurant, the place is also a popular nightspot and concert venue. Additionally, the area has one of the best sunset views.
Address: Marina de Portimão, Bloco 4, Loja 1, Portimão, Portugal
Website: NoSoloÁgua Portimão
Opening hours: Mon: 10am - 12am; Tue - Sun: 10am - 2am
27. Try caipirinhas at Bolan Bar
A popular nightspot located at one of Portimao’s main streets, Bolan Bar is an excellent place to party with your friends in the city. It is a Reggae bar which you will notice in its design, colors, and decor. It is also known for playing great music, its lively atmosphere, and the wide selection of liquor available. One of the bestseller cocktails here is caipirinhas, which is described as summer in a glass, with its sweet, Brazilian flavor. Though the primary music here is Reggae, they also play soul, salsa, and funk.
Address: Rua Poeta Joao de Deus, Alvor, Portimao 8500-026, Portugal
Website: Bolan Bar
28. Enjoy a meal at Fogo de Chão Portimão
Another must-visit restaurant in the resort town of Praia da Rocha, Fogo de Chão Portimão, is an upscale food establishment that features elegant furnishing and offers delectable Brazillian cuisines. If you’re looking to impress a special someone, this is the right place to bring him/her. It is part of a chain of restaurants that has the same, so you can only expect quality service and food. Their bestseller here includes carvery of meats, like Picanha and traditional carvery. Additionally, it offers an extensive salad bar, which will delight the health-conscious guests.
Fogo de Chão Portimão
Address: Av. Tomás Cabreira 1, 8500-510 Portimão, Portugal
Website: Fogo de Chão Portimão
Opening hours: 12pm - 3pm, 7pm - 12am (daily)
Museu de Portimão is an interactive museum located at the riverfront in the former São Francisco sardine and mackerel canning factory. The museum exhibits the history of the city’s sardine fishing history and its canning culture as well as an interactive exhibit of the production and the daily life in the factory during its early days. The atmosphere of the museum is made more realistic by the sound effects and original videos played in the restored place. You’ll surely learn a lot about the canning and sardines industry in the district when you drop by.
Portimão & Carvoeiro: Fishing Industry Tour
Duration: 6 hour
A charming city with lots of surprises in store for everyone, Portimao will surely dazzle you with its many sandy beaches with crystal clear waters backed by picturesque limestone cliffs. But aside from the beaches, the city also possesses many interesting attractions, cultural heritage, historical artifacts, and more. Make sure you check out our list of the best things to visit in Portimao, Portugal, as your guide to exploring this port city.
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