Holidays to Portimao
This port town, on the banks of the River Arade, is the largest city in the western Algarve, and its chilled-out, residential vibe makes it a popular retreat from the busy beaches of Praia da Rocha, around 1.5km to the south.
Culture vultures will enjoy the maze of cobbled streets found in Portimão’s Old Quarter, which is brimming with ancient buildings, colourful canopies, and ornate doors. Largo da Barca Square, near the Ponto Velha (Old Bridge), is home to many of the town’s best restaurants and bars, which serve Algarve specialities like fried sardines and bean stew, washed down with local wine.
The town’s main monuments include the chalk-white churches of Colégio dos Jesuitas, the hilltop Church of Our Lady of Conception, and Palácio Bívar, a 13th-century manor, which now houses the town hall. Look out for Portugal’s famous painted tiles or azulejos around town too, which are sure to pop off on your Insta.
Walk along the pretty riverfront from the first-class Museum of Portimão to Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square and the Gardens of Visconde Bivar, a shady oasis with tree-lined paths. Portimão’s whopping marina attracts superyachts and sailboats from far and wide – pause for petiscos (similar to tapas) at one of the nearby restaurants to sit and people-watch as boats sail up the Arade into dock.
Looking for an authentic Algarve getaway? For pretty streets, historic buildings, and plenty of local colour, you can’t beat a holiday in Portimão.
Praia da Rocha
Praia dos Tres Irmaos
Church of our Lady of Conception
Taberna de Portimão Restaurant
Restaurant Dona Barca
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