Portimão is the second-largest city in Portugal’s Algarve region, known for its fresh seafood and beautiful beaches. Its former fishing docks are now a palm-fringed promenade filled with waterfront restaurants and whitewashed houses.
Portimão’s main draw is Praia da Rocha, famous for its nightlife and distinctive limestone rock formations spread along the sand. You’ll find many beachfront bars and restaurants serving cocktails and fresh seafood. It’s a popular beach for families looking to wade in the clear water, but if water sports are your thing, you can try surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing and more. The area behind the beach comes alive at sunset when clubs like NoSoloÁgua host parties featuring guest DJs until the early hours of the morning. A popular alternative is Praia do Vau, which features scenic caves and sheltered bays.
You can expect to eat very well in a city that thrives on fishing, with Portimão’s grilled sardines being the number one dish to try. Other tasty regional delicacies include clam stew and black pork made from native Iberian pigs.
The best shopping options in Portimão are in its historic centre, where you’ll find all sorts of goods like clothes, jewellery and souvenirs like local wine, honey and pottery. If you want to explore the city’s heritage as a key fishing port, head over to the Museu de Portimão. Housed in a former fish can factory, it also features an archaeological exhibition on the area’s human evolution dating back to Neolithic times.