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Portimao Mini Guide
Why Should I Visit Portimao?
Portimao is the second largest city on the Algarve
and has a vibrant atmosphere with many architecturally significant buildings, especially in the old town. The city was primarily a fishing centre and the locally cooked sardines are a speciality of the city. Many people go there for the nearby beaches, enabling them to spend the day on Praia da Rocha
or the smaller but more attractive Praia do Vau. In the evenings they are then in the heart of the city for stunning restaurants serving delicious food and attractive chic bars where the local ‘in crowd’ are found.
How do I get to Portimao?
Portimao has its own little airport nearby but only accepts private planes so unless you are incredibly wealthy, you’ll need to fly into Faro Airport about 45 miles away. Faro takes flights from all over Europe including several airports in the UK
with routes operated by scheduled or charter companies. There’s a train link from the airport that stops in Portimao but the journey is very slow and the scenery not always that picturesque. You can hire a car from the airport or once you are in the city and this will help you reach the best of the local beaches independently.
What is There to See and Do in Portimao?
Near Portimao is the small town of Silves with its imposing Moorish castle. Silves was once the capital of Moorish Algarve and the castle has a small museum chronicling their influence in the area. If you’ve gone to Portimao for the beaches you have the choice of Praia da Rocha, a thirty minute walk away – the walk is fantastic, passing over the top of the big sea cliffs there, or you have Praia do Vau which is much quieter but nonetheless a fabulous place to spend a day in the sun.
What Should I buy in Portimao?
The city has great shopping and, if you fancy a day away from the beach, you can wander through the main street where you’ll find an excellent range of outlets. The main bargains to be found in the city are shoes of which many are made locally. There are even a few cobblers willing to make shoes from scratch for you.
What Should I eat in Portimao?
The city is famed for its sardines and they are served, freshly caught from the sea, in many different ways. The traditional way is to have them grilled or baked in tomatoes and onions and served with crusty local bread and a beer.
What is the Entertainment Like in Portimao?
As with many Portuguese cities, even those attracting tourists, many people prefer a quiet drink with friends rather than a rowdy night out. Pull up a chair, grab a beer or a drop of port and put the world to rights. Chances are it won’t be too long before you’re joined by others and a party has begun!
Portimao is situated on the southern coast of Portugal and comes under the district of Faro. It is probably best known for its sporting events as the Lisbon to Dakar Rally passes through the area and also during the summertime there is a well known beach soccer tournament called the Mundialito de Futebol de Praia ('Little World Cup').
It is also a great place to enjoy watersports such as sailing, surfing, powerboating and kitesurfing. Make sure you take full advantage of all these fun and thrilling activities by having your Portimao car hire on hand to take you to wherever you want to go.