It is probably the unique scenery that makes the Algarve the most popular holiday destination in Portugal. Apart from the many dream beaches, there are also spectacular steep cliffs, bizarre rock formations and rolling fine sandy dunes, together with the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. This coastal area stretches westwards from the Spanish border for over 100 kilometres and beach-lovers have an incredibly vast choice of beach destinations here. Whether you are a party fan, or looking for a surfing hotspot, or simply want some peace and quiet surrounded by nature, you will find all this in Portimão, just under three-quarters of an hour by car from the airport of Faro.
These days Portimão is the largest town in the western Algarve. It is situated on the river Arada, has 55,000 inhabitants and a large choice of hotels and resorts in every price range, but what characterises Portimão most is the enormous number of very attractive beaches. Each one is special in its own way because of the typical rock formations in this region. Some of the beaches of Portimão have even grown into individual holiday resorts in themselves with hotels, restaurants and water-sports facilities. One of these is Praia da Rocha which has been a destination for tourists from all over the world for over a century. In 1910 one of the first casinos of the Algarve was opened here and the “Beach of Rocks” became a popular holiday resort for the European aristocracy. A touch of this exclusivity still remains today at Portimão and Praia da Rocha, the best-known beach of the Algarve. Ships of the large cruise holiday companies dock regularly at the harbour here and the Spanish company of Naviera Armas offers ferry journeys to Madeira and the Canary Islands.
Portimão together with its surrounding area and its various beaches is really the ultimate holiday destination for everyone who loves sunshine and the sea. The beaches range from the enormous beach of Praia da Rocha, where you can always find a space even in the high season, to the very small beach of Praia da Angrinha which is a favourite among the locals. At the harbour in the town of Portimão is Praia da Marina which is a great beach for party-lovers and it is not just at night that it is lively here. Praia dos Três Irmãos is a typical Algarve beach which is popular with families, but at the same time has everything needed for a perfect day's water-sports. If you are looking for a more remote natural beach, then Praia de João de Arens is the one to go to, while not far from Lagoa, Praia dos Caneiros is ideal for some exclusive flair. Finally we can recommend a boat trip on the Santa Bernarda, as from the sea you will have a great view of the numerous different kinds of beaches in the unique cliff setting of the Algarve.
"Fun-filled floating obstacle course at the marina"
"A real highlight for energetic holidaymakers!"
"Family beach with a nearby fort, harbour and cliffs"
"For explorers of all ages"
"Small family bay with fantastic cliffs as a backdrop"
"Relax and feast at one of the region's best known beaches"
"Varied programme in a beautiful rocky setting"
"Small sandy bay with impressive rock formations"
"Caves and rock arches in a craggy coastal landscape"
"A little beach with a lot to offer"
"Secluded bay in idyllic rocky landscape"
"High-class gastronomy in a stylish sandy bay"
"Picturesque rock formations in the sand"
"Relax in front of shimmering red cliffs"
"Play hide and seek in the hollows by the water"
"A piece of paradise in Carvoeiro"
"Small river beach opposite the harbour of Portimão"