Good beach, Good food
doesn't offer much of a night life
i loved the place and people, 18 degrees in winter too!!
It's a good idea to take a boat and follow the coast, watching the marvelous caves and natural sculptures made by sea and wind. We made it from Portimão, and we had a great day, with a sardine barbecue in a beach only accessible from the sea. We strongly recommend it. But Portimão is not my favorite area in Algarve. The link to AlgarveSol trips is...more
Protected by the breakwater of Portimão this beach is perfect for children. Going a little further, after the breakwater there a smaller beach also calm and protected by the cape. Crossing it, the open sea has a few beaches, some of them with private concession and with many people, some other harder to reach and almost empty. Lots of choice as an...more
My first experience in Algarve was camping in a free campground just behind the beach (Oh, those good days with lots of free space in Algarve...). We couldn't support the heat (and the absence of toilets) and alternated, one day there and another in a hostel, leaving the tent in place. I enjoyed the beach - small, secluded, safe, nice.Many years...more
This majestic building was constructed on the orders of Diogo Gonçalves who was a nobleman that made his fortune in the Far East and is buried in a Marble tomb inside the church. The Construction work continued from 1660 to 1707 and then the Earthquake of 1755 left the church needing major repairs. The facade is made up of three sections; The...more
Although most of the Older building were destroyed in the Earthquake of 1755, this Historic building was rebuilt after the earthquake retaining an excellent manueline door from the original 14c building. The interior is quite impressive with walls coverd in Azulejos from the 17th c.more
I got an awesome deal (40 euros a night for a four star) for through expedia to stay here in...more
Great balcony overlooking the grounds and ocean. Three storey 1 or 2 bedroom apartment hotel with...more
Making a booking I was totally aware that this hotel was 3 star rated but I must say, I expected...more
The food here is excellent, but beware that you'll pay for it. The price per head for this meal, with only a few starters shared between us, a main meal, a few bottles of wine and no dessert came to over 30 euros.Excellent service too though and a great shaded courtyard to eat out in. Some beautiful 19th century, Moorish revival architecture to...more
Taking up most of one side of the square this large establishment is made up of seperate units and has A Patisserie were cakes and other local sweets can be purchased to take away (said by some to be the best on the Algarve) as well as eat in, a restaurant and large bar area. Fantastic place for people watching.more
This Kiosk is on Praca Manuel Teixeira Gomes opposite Casa Inglaise, so close that the chairs and tables appear at first to be part of Casa Inglaise's. The drinks are cheaper here, the service friendlier and they do not mind you buying cakes or other food from somewhere else and eating it while you have your drink.more
There are many outside restaurants specializing in regional seafood dishes close to the town end of the old iron road bridge spanning the river.there with a gorgeous view of rio arade and its refreshing air you enjoy the almost main dish in these and others alongside restaurants. grilled sardines with a letuce/tomatoe salade and the all favorite...more
Due to Portimao's location, fresh seafood is widely available.Along the riverside and under the bridge there are numerous seafood restaurants all offering similar fare. Sardines are the regional speciality.Prices here tend to be higher than in the centre of town as the restaurants cash in on their favourable location, but are still reasonable.These...more
.when on vacation in portimao at nite everybody goes to ...(praia da) rocha.but an evening program in the center of the city, it is a great option also.several restaurants, and "esplanadas", all along the path side by side with the river, and on summer time, a lot of entertainment offers for a perfect end of the day.more
being a huge destination summer resort itselt, the town of Portimão has to offer a million, enjoy, party and fun nite. starting late evening people with their suntans glowing, stroll and gatter all along praia da rocha magnificent and full of light path and seek out for a nite to remember all kinds from swimsuit to black tiemore
This fortress located in Portimao district of Praia da Rocha is a must if you're visiting the area. In english its name is Fortress of St. Catherine de Ribamar.On one of the strips of sand known as the Praia da Rocha, this fortress represented, along with the Fort of São João de Arade, on the other side of the river(in Ferragudo), the defense of...more
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...more
The second time I went to Alvor, in November, on my last day I was taken to a huge Gypsy Market in Portimao. I think that it is held on the first Saturday of each month(?). This place was amazing, you could buy absolutely anything - clothes, watches, car CD players, fishing rods and microphones to name but a few...Unfortunately I had no money left...more
Market tables loaded with cotton sweaters are set outside this historic landmark. Sift through and find the sweater sizes and colours that suit you. Great gifts for family and friends. Cardigan, pullover or button crewneck types. Can't recall exactly but for far less than in Canada.more
290 Reviews and Opinions
Portimao traces its origins back to a small trading port of the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians. Some historians have indicated that the place was originally the famous Portus Hannibalis named by the famous Roman general, Hannibal Barca. During the following Moorish occupation they renamed the place “Burj Munt”. Located at the mouth of the...more
I know the photos of the actual Praia da Rocha look great in brochures. The beach is actualy very good, altough if you´re like me and absolutely hate overcrowded beaches don´t even think of coming here in the full summer.
The photos of Praia da Rocha may look great, but what they don´t show you is the absolute architectonical chaos behind the touristic very thought out picked angles for the photos you get to see.
Praia da Rocha is a trully ugly place, right after you leave the beach. Architectonical errors, buildings built not respecting anything you could even consider construction rules and expensive Hotels, wich are fine if you stay in your room or don´t go anywhere besides the beach. If you´re a person who likes to stay in a pleasent surroundings, forget Praia da Rocha.
Praia da Rocha is the perfect example of what more than 25 years of corrupt construction policies can make to a place wich had everything to be a paradise and is now almost ruined by the so called "progress", based on turism.
Unique Suggestions: Avoid anything that appears in brochures. Look for a nice rented room, outside of Praia da Rocha, or rent a summer apartment in Portimão, wich is much cheaper and it´s only about 2km from the ocean.
If you want to be near the water, look for a place in Praia do Vau, (1km from Rocha) or in the coastside small hotels bettween Vau and Alvor, (avoid Torralta).
The idea is to get away from what the brochures recomend. Believe me you can find some great accomodations sometimes right just beside you. Don´t be dazzled by what the turistic operators recomend.
Fun Alternatives: I would recomend leaving the Praia da Rocha/Portimão area and head for the Lagos area. The Lagos town is one of the good turistic places you can find in the western Algarve. Good Nights if you´re into those, and the prices are much more diverse than in "oficial" turism places like Praia da Rocha.
But i would recomend go even further behind Lagos, and explore the coastal traditional beach towns between Lagos and Sagres. There you´ll find plenty of variety in landscapes, prices and accomodations. Overall , my advice, is explore the whole Lagos/Sagres region. It´s everything Praia da Rocha promissed to be but it isn´t.
Believe me. I live in Portimão/Praia da Rocha.
This Beach Praia do vau, is an excellent beach, as it offers privacy and a very pleasnt scenary, between the orage sea coves and cliffs. The beach praia do vau has various areas, the gay beach is not part of the main beach, where all families go. To reach this area of the beach, one has to cut off from the main road into a dirt road that leads to...more
Praia do Vau is a an off the beaten track beachcove, you'll drive about 20 minutes west of Portimao, park the car and then trek 10 minutes through a nature reserve. Once there, you'll notice that all the sunbathers are male though... This is basically a gay beach. So nude sunbathing allowed. Some cruising goes on so not a place to bring children.A...more
Altough this is not exactely a hidden beach, at sunset time, even in the peak of Summer it becomes an excelent quiet place to end a day. And actualy is the starting point for those who like to walk to go and explore, because nearby there are some great hidden beaches waiting for those who want to avoid the summer crowded places.more
Favorite thing: I enjoy seeing a good map to get my bearings about a new area and I thought you might like to see one also.