Tourist’s guide to Portimao, a beach town of Portugal

Portimão (Portugal) is one of the largest cities in the Algarve – the sunniest and warmest region of the country. It is located at the mouth of the Aradu River, near the city of Faro, the administrative center of the region. It is separated from the main city of Lisbon by 215 km, which can be overcome in just 3-4 hours.

Portimao, Portugal

About 36 thousand people live here, but during the tourist season its population increases several times.

Previously, Portimau was considered the center of shipbuilding and fishing, and at the end of the last century, it changed its scope of activity from industrial to resort. Today, numerous hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs have been rebuilt here, which made this place the center of tourist life.

In addition to the actively developed entertainment destination, Portimau is attractive for tourists with historical monuments of the Middle Ages, among which are fragments of city walls, ancient monasteries, churches and chapels.

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A beach holiday in Portimão is not limited to just swimming in the ocean. Here you can have fun, doing various water sports.
Here you can engage in yachting and windsurfing, kayaking and jet skiing, as well as deep sea fishing.

Diving in Portimao

The resort has centers where you can rent the necessary equipment, and beginners will learn the basics of this water sport from the best surfers. The local beaches are great for surfing and kitesurfing, and everyone will find a wave here for their level.

Future Surfing Briefing

In addition to water activities, you can also participate in golf tournaments in Portimão. The fields for the game, which are located here, have the highest ratings. At Penina Golf Caurse Golf Center you can not only play a game, but also spend time in the bar and on the cozy terraces for relaxing.

Tourists can spend time in Zoomarine Park, located in the village of Gulya, where, in addition to areas with animals, there is also a dolphinarium, attractions, a cafe and a cinema.
Water park Aqualand Algarve will please fans of extreme pastime on slides of various heights and shapes.

Aqualand Algarve Waterpark
Aqualand algarve

A 15-minute drive from Portimão – and you are in Portugal’s largest water park Slide & Splash, where not only adults are interested. There is also a large children’s area.


Despite the fact that the earthquake in 1755 destroyed most of the historical buildings, now Portimao has something to see.
First of all, it is worth taking a walk along the narrow streets of the old city, considering the architecture of the settlement.

Church of Our Lady
Church of the Virgin Mary of Portimao
Church of the Virgin Mary

On the main square of the city you will see the Catholic Church of Our Lady. It was built in the 15th century, but later the temple was destroyed by the aforementioned earthquake. After the building was reconstructed several times.

Today, only the massive entrance doors remain original. Inside the church is a gilded altar decorated with carvings. The main sculpture of the attraction is the statue of the Apostle Peter.

Jesuit College Church
Jesuit College College Church in the center of Portimão

Here, on Republic Square, is the Jesuit College Church, which is considered the largest in the Algarve region.

Inside the temple has one nave. Altars are made of wood and decorated with gilding look artfully. Also in the church there are many icons that represent not only religious, but also artistic value.

Fortress Santa Katarina
Fortress Santa Katarina

At the end of Praia da Rocha beach near the pier there is another attraction of Portimão – the fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar. The exact date of construction of the fort is unknown. Some historians claim that construction took place in the 15th century, while others indicate the 30s of the 17th century.

The fortress, carved into the rock, has a trapezoidal shape. From the highest point there is a good view of the entire beach, city and ocean – this is one of the best places for panoramic photos.

Address: Av. Tomás Cabreira 4, 8500-802 Portimão, Portugal.

Observation deck on the waterfront
Observation deck and view from it

All along the Av. Tomás Cabreira has many viewing points, fenced with wooden railing. It is definitely worth a walk for all vacationers in Portimão. One site, at the very beginning of the street is paved with paving stones, equipped with benches and a concrete fence for safety. It offers the best views of the beaches of Praia da Rocha and Três Castelos (Three Castles).


In addition to the original architecture and local attractions, local sandy beaches are also attractive for tourists. They look exactly like the beaches depict on the avenues for tourists. There are small streams, clean golden sand, and huge rocks in the water – you can see such views by looking at a photo of Portimão in Portugal.

Praia da Rocha (Praia da Rocha)
Praia da Rocha Beach

The best beach of Portimao in Portugal is Praia da Rocha. It has gained popularity among tourists due to its huge size and amazing landscape.

The beach has good infrastructure. Lifeguard towers are equipped on its territory, you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas (2 sun loungers + an umbrella of about 10 €), there is the opportunity to go in for water sports. There are several cafes on the beach where you can have lunch or a drink, as well as take a shower.

The ebbs and flows on the entire coast of Portimão are noticeable. In this case, you can swim at any time. Families with young children should take into account that the waves here are almost always big, and sometimes even adults can get into the water.

Praia do três castelos
Praia do três castelo

The beach of the Three Castles is separated from Praia da Rocha by only one rock and, in fact, is a continuation of it. You can go from one beach to another through a hole in the said rock. This is even a kind of entertainment for tourists, since the “transition” is quite low and you still need to look for it.

There is also a cafe, you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas. There is a cafe and you can take a shower. In size Praia do Três Castelos is significantly inferior to the huge beach of Rocha, but it is less popular.

Praia do vau

Praia do Vau is located west of Portimão in Portugal in a cozy sandy lagoon, somewhat protected from the winds. Nearby are mini-hotels and resort guest houses. This place is popular with all midnight lovers. And in the daytime there is a great place for a beach holiday. In the beach area there are numerous catering establishments, so necessary for visitors.

Beach Praia do Vau

The sand is medium sized, yellowish. The beach is regularly cleaned, in general, it is clean, but still you can occasionally meet cigarette butts.

Praia do barranco das canas
Beach Praia do Barranco das Canas

A few steps from Praia do Vau is Praia do Barranco das Canas beach. It is located in a natural tributary in the western part of Portimao. The beach area is reliably protected by natural mountain ranges. For the convenience of tourists there is a parking lot near the beach, establishments selling soft drinks, rental areas for sunbeds and umbrellas.

Infrastructure and prices

Airport Aerodromo de Portimão
Aerodromo de portimão

Portimão resort in Portugal is considered one of the most progressive in the Algarve. Here is the local airport Aerodromo de Portimão.

An international class airport is located in the administrative center of the region – the city of Faro.


Travelers in Portimao have the opportunity to choose the most varied accommodation options. It can be like ordinary apartments or guesthouses, apartments and hostels, as well as premium hotels.

Hotel room at Hotel Made Inn
Hotel made inn

The budget hotel in Portimao in June can accommodate for 30 euros. If you get discount offers on booking sites, you can choose a room at a price of up to 25 euros per day.
Hotels located in the central part of the city offer apartments at a price of 40 euros.

The price of apartments starts from 45-50 euros, and a room in a high-class SPA hotel, located on the first line, will cost you 350 euros per night.

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Restaurants and Cafes

Most restaurants are located in Portimão right on the waterfront. Food prices – quite affordable when compared with other European sea resorts.
The most popular local restaurants are fish dishes served with salad, vegetables or potatoes. The portions are quite large in size, so you can safely take one dish for two.

Fish at Cafe Mata Porcos Portimao
Mata Porcos Portimao
  • Soups – 3-4 €.
  • Fish and seafood – 11-17 € per dish.
  • Meat dishes – 12-15 €.
  • Burgers 3-8 €.
  • Pizza – 9-11 €. In the menu you can find pizza for 6 € (Margarita) and for 14, but the average price is almost everywhere about 10 €.
  • Beer 0.5 – 2.5 €. Often, “big beer” is not 0.5 liters, as we are used to, but 0.4 liters, and small – 0.2 liters. You need to be prepared for this.
  • Menu of the day – 11 €. If everything is in order with your appetite, it makes sense to order the “Menu of the day.” It includes 2-3 dishes: soup or salad + second (fish or meat) + dessert. For each position, there are several options to choose from. Drinks are paid separately. Price – 10.90 or 11.90 €.
  • Breakfast The most popular breakfasts among the Portuguese are espresso + pâtel de nata. The cost of both coffee and cake for 1 €. Often there are special offers: coffee + pastel together 1.2-1.5 €. English breakfast – 4-5 €.
  • The average cost of a dinner for two people, consisting of 3 dishes and 2 glasses of wine, can be about 30-40 euros.
  • A light snack in the form of a couple of cups of coffee and desserts is about 5 euros.

Keep in mind that the menu in Portimao and other cities of the Algarve is not in Russian. Offered in 4 European: English, German, French and Portuguese, sometimes in Spanish. But quite often there are Russian-speaking waiters – there are a lot of “ours” in Portugal.

The shops

Closer to Praia da Rocha Beach are small Spar supermarkets.

The choice here is not big, but everything you need is on the shelves. Spar is designed for tourists, so prices are on average 10 percent higher than in other places. Opening hours of shops are 8:00 – 20:00.

There are also several other grocery stores in the beach area.

Pingo Dose Supermarket.

Large supermarket near the center of the old city. The assortment is quite wide: different types of meat and fish, vegetables and fruits, alcoholic beverages, household chemicals. In general, a standard set … Also inside there is a small cafe with its own bakery. Prices in Pingo Dose are average for the city.

Shopping center Aqua Portimao.

Supermarket Jumbo

Aqua Portimao is a large shopping center in Portimao. It occupies 3 floors. On the first floor are cosmetics, clothing stores and a grocery hypermarket Jumbo, it presents Auchan products and the structure of the hall itself, as in Auchan. There is a large wine department and, accordingly, a wide selection of local wines. If you want to bring home souvenirs in the form of a bottle of port or Madeira, head to Jumbo.

Weather and climate

Climate in Portimao

The climate in Portimão is very reminiscent of the southern part of the coastal Spanish areas, as well as the southwestern Australian coast. In the summer, solar activity in the resort pleases guests about 12 hours a day.

Summer in Portimão is not very hot, but dry. In June, the town has optimal weather for both beach and sightseeing holidays. Despite the fact that the sun shines almost half the day, the heat is quite comfortable and not exhausting.

The air temperature in summer reaches + 27-28˚С. Precipitation is extremely rare. If you plan to relax at the resort in August, consider that it can be very cool in the evening, so a jacket or a light jacket will not be superfluous.

Water Temperature in Portimao

In the fall, the tourist season in the resort of Portimão in Portugal continues. The air temperature most often does not exceed + 25-26˚С. Many visitors to the resort are advised to visit these places in the autumn period, especially if you are planning a vacation with children. In the first month of autumn, ocean water is still quite warm – the temperature is about + 22-23 ° C.

The swimming season at the resort officially closes in October, but the sun is still enough to sunbathe well.

In winter, the weather in Portimão is very unstable – partly cloudy and cold winds are replaced by rains. For a month, the number of rainy days can reach 10.

The air temperature is quite comfortable. During the day it reaches + 15-17 ° C, at night it drops to + 9-10 ° C. Portimao does not have frost and snow.

The most unpredictable is the February weather in Portimao. If you decide to go to the resort during this period, be sure to protect yourself with an umbrella and waterproof shoes.

Number of rainy days

Starting in the second half of February, spring arrives in Portimao. The air begins to warm up to + 18-20˚С. Almost until April, the resort constantly rains, and starting in May, stable sunny weather is established. The thermometer column rises to + 22 +С. During this period, you can safely go to the beach to sunbathe, but swimming in the sea can be pretty cool – the water temperature reaches only + 18 ° C.

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How to get to Portimao

Most often, travelers who want to relax in Portimão arrive in Portugal by air at the Lisbon airport. Further, there are several ways to get to the resort.

By train

The Aeroporto metro station is located right at the airport exit. From this place there is a direct connection to the Oriente station, where the railway station and the bus station are located. C Lisboa Oriente travels to cities in the Algarve region, including Portimão.

The trains leave 5 times a day from 8:22 a.m. to 18:23 p.m. Travel time is 3.5 hours. The fare is 22-29 euros, depending on the class of car.

Train schedule Lisbon-Portimao

Check the relevance of the timetable and the cost of tickets on the Portuguese railway website Here you can buy tickets online.

By bus
Oriente train station in Lisbon
Oriente Station in Lisbon

Buses from Lisboa Oriente Station leave 8-12 times a day from 5:45 a.m. to 01:00 a.m. The number of flights depends on the season. Travel time is 3.5-4 hours. Ticket price – 19 €.

More often, buses travel from Lisbon’s other station, Sete Rios, which can also be reached by metro.

You can find out the exact timetable and purchase travel documents online on the carrier’s website

All prices on the page are for the season 2018.

Portimao looks like from the air, its architecture and the beach conveys this video well. Quality and installation on top – be sure to look!

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