Praia Grande - Large family beach at the mouth of the Rio Arade river
Just a few metres behind the two jetties that separate the marina at Portimão from the open sea is a spacious sandy beach known as Praia Grande. It lies in a sheltered location on the east bank of the Rio Arade river which empties into the Atlantic here.
On the opposite side of the beach, the town of Portimão, one of the big tourist centres of the western Algarve, is silhouetted against the sky. The beach itself, however, is in a very natural environment: immediately behind the sand rises a small, steep, crumbly cliff of rocks with a yellowish shimmer, which is covered with plants in places.
Praia Grande is four and a half kilometres from Portimão town centre and is easy to get to by car. On the way you will pass the little fishing village of Ferragudo, with its shops, restaurants and cafés. You should be able to find somewhere to park your car, either on the short access road or in the large car park at the adjacent beach of Praia da Angrinha. On the steps leading down to the beach you will find showers, toilets and a restaurant with a terrace and a large menu.
Even in summer, when it can be quite busy, Praia Grande is never overcrowded and provides a chance to relax in a laid-back atmosphere. Parts of the beach are equipped with sun loungers and umbrellas. Among the rocks that protrude from the sand in the northern part of the beach you will find some shady spots. That section of the beach connects with a separate bay in front of the Fort of São João do Arade, which is even quieter and more peaceful.
Praia Grande is particularly popular with local people, and you will encounter a great many local families here. There is a playground for children and the presence of a pedal boat hire operator guarantees plenty of action on the water. Children can quite safely splash about in the water because the harbour jetties provide shelter from the wind and currents, and there are lifeguards to ensure safety on the beach.
You can book kayak tours at a small kiosk right on the sand. In addition to the restaurants on the steps, two small bars and a restaurant with a beach lounge have set up on the beach, both of which have tasteful decor and an inviting ambience. One which particularly deserves a mention is the Kalu Beachbar, with its pleasant garden, laid out right against the cliffs, where you can find a shady spot to sip cocktails.