Portimão, the second largest town in the Algarve, is the thriving commercial and residential support to the resorts of Praia da Rocha and Alvôr. It is a town that has had to reinvent itself several times throughout its history. It’s more recent incarnations include the fishing and canning centre of the 1960’s and the hot spot for mass tourism in the 70’s and 80’s. In recent years Portimão has become a vibrant, cosmopolitan town with excellent facilities for tourists and residents alike.
Check out the shopping along the pedestrianised streets of the town centre, or at the retail park on the outskirts of town. The Portimão Arena regularly hosts excellent concerts and sporting events. The recently inaugurated Museum and Theatre promise to add immensely to Portimão’s cultural agenda which features music programmes that run the gamut from opera to avant garde jazz, from fado to rock.
The heart of Portimão is perhaps to be found along the riverfront. Here you can find visitors and residents alike enjoying a coffee in the sunshine and a stroll along the waterfront. The town museum is here, offering a fascinating insight into the vital role played by the sardine industry in the area. We strongly recommend a visit.
There are numerous boats docked by the marina. You can take a cruise upriver towards the old Moorish town of Silves or out to sea for some big game fishing or dolphin spotting. Also along the riverfront you can find the famous Sardine Restaurants. Portimão is considered the sardine capital of the Algarve and you can choose from a great selection of restaurants looking out over the water. In August the town hosts the annual Sardine Festival which attracts thousands.
Portimão takes full advantage of it excellent location to offer a very complete sporting agenda throughout the year including the famous Dakar rally, Formula 1 speed boats, International show jumping, kite surfing, windsurfing and yachting. With a special mention for the new Algarve Motor Park which has brought the superbikes World Championship to the Algarve. Formula 1 teams such as Mclaren use the track for training and each year the track hosts some fantastic motor events.
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"I see my path, but I don't know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it" - Rosalia de Castro