The coast near Portimão is beautiful, but the best spots are only reachable from the sea. There are several solutions to rent a boat, but the best are the day trips with a sardine barbecue in a beach.
We did it as guests of a local operator and enjoyed the day.
The coast near Portimão is beautiful, but the best spots are only reachable from the sea. There are several solutions to rent a boat, but the best are the day trips with a sardine barbecue in a beach. We did it as guests of a local operator and enjoyed the day.
The cruise dock is about 1/2 mile from the city centre. I don't know if taxis meet the cruise ships (hardly worth it for such a short distance I would have thought) but buses and taxis are readily available in the city centre at the Largo do Dique.
It's about 10 miles direct from Portimao to Silves. A taxi will cost you maybe 20 - 25 Euros each way and take maybe 20 minutes. Undoubtedly the most efficient but costly.
There are buses from Portimao (Av Guarane, by the Repsol gas station) to Silves at these times:
0730, 0830, 1045 taking 45 minutes. Buses are for S B Messines; Silves is en route.
Return journeys Silves - Portimao at 1500, 1630 and 1810 (last one)
One way fare is 2.45 Euro.
I can't recommend the train, as the train station in Portimao is about 1 mile from the cruise dock and the station at Silves is also about a mile from town with a very steep hill to negotiate on the way back!
However for the record there are morning trains Portimao - Silves at 0713, 0849 and 1055, journey is 15 - 20 minutes but don't forget the 1 mile walk at Silves! You do get a nice view over the town as you come down the hill.
Return afternoon trains Silves - Portimao at 1410, 1723 and 1834. You could take a taxi Silves - Station and Portimao Station to ship of course.
Hope that helps; enjoy your short stay here in the Algarve.
I have the current train timetable on my website at www.algarvebus.info/006.htm
This is in operation "until further notice".
Be aware that in all cases it is necessary to change trains at Faro. I have therefore two timetables; one for the trains east of Faro (eg at Tavira) and one for the trains west of Faro eg at Portimao.
My site also contains the bus timetables for the Algarve region.
When we stayed at Praia da Rocha we walked to Portimâo everyday to get the bus to bring us to towns like Lagos, Silves, Praia da Rocha, etcetera... the service at the office where the tickets were sold wasn't that great, and there is no central bus station, every day we had to walk to another road to get the bus to the place we wanted, so that was a bit strange. Make sure you look at the times buses leave beforehand, they do not go that often!
Frequent trains connect Portimao with other towns and tourist centres along the Algarve coast.
If arriving at Faro international airport, then Portimao can be reached via a taxi to Faro train station and then a 1 hour 20 minute train journey to Portimao.
Other significant stops on the Algarve train route are Lagos, Albufeira, Silves and, on the Spanish border, Vila Real do Santo Antonio.
Fares are incredibly cheap (compared to the UK at least!!). A one-way trip to Faro costs only 4.80 Euros, while a return ticket to Lagos costs only 2.20 Euros (prices correct as at June 2004).
The easiest way of getting to Portimao is by plane. Airport in Faro is 60km away. But getting around Portimao is very easy by busses, tickets are cheep and there are daily lines for all mayor portuguese cities. And of course, the best option is renting a car, which is not expensive at all.