Things to do in Portimão
Portimão is one of the most popular tourist spots in the Algarve, and for good reason. The town is situated on the estuary of the river Arade where it made a place for itself as a fishing and ship-building village. It is now one of the largest areas in the western Algarve and very popular for water sports.
Distance from Quinta do Rosal: 14 km (25 minute's drive)
Located right on the banks of the Arade River, and spreading along the south coast of Portugal, Portimão is bordered by water and ideally situated for water sports. Kitesurfing, windsurfing, ordinary surfing and yachting are all enjoyed in the area. Jet skiing takes place on the river and powerboating is a big one as the town was home to one of the stages of the World Match Racing Championships. If you have the right licensing there are good opportunities for powerboat hire here.
If you fancy something a little more relaxing scuba diving and snorkelling can be enjoyed off the coast in the clear waters. There are diving schools and lessons available if you want to learn or improve your skills and equipment is available to hire if you haven't got your own. A guide will be able to show you all of the underwater life and interesting wrecks that lurk below the surface.
Perhaps the water isn't quite for you and that is fine too. There is a popular yearly football tournament right on the beach which is always fun to watch, or for something a little more thrilling the Autodromo international Racing Circuit is perfect. Located in the hills slightly to the north of Portimão this is a great place to enjoy a range of sports from go-karting to super car experiences and track days.
Praia da Rocha is Portimão's main beach, located just at the mouth of the Arada River. The beach is long and wide, meaning there is always plenty of space for everyone. It is nice and accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs and there is a good amount of water sports available. In the summer months it is possible to rent awnings and shades, and the presence of a life guard makes this a safe one for youngsters.
Slightly further round the coast is the Praia dos Tres Castelos (the Beach of the Three Castles) and this is still within walking distance of Portimão. There are a number of rocky outcrops in the sea and the beach derives its name from the three largest of these. You could easily spend a day here as there are a couple of beach bars, sun beds for hire and extra facilities located on the Avenida running along the cliff above.
The Praia de Vau is a smaller, more secluded beach that is tucked into a bay and provides a more peaceful sun spot. The large, protective cliffs form a number of mini bays and the waters are calm. The beach is relatively accessible and there are sunbeds and shades available to hire.
Portimão has become an excellent town for shopping opportunities, so if a touch of retail therapy is in order, this is a great place to be. There is a good amount of parking for the larger retail centres: Aqua Portimão Shopping Centre and Portimão Retail Centre are both located on the outskirts, and there are a number of others in the surrounding area too.
Within the town itself you will find an eclectic mix of smaller independent shops that will keep you occupied with a range of goods including leather, fashion, perfume, trinkets and holiday gifts. You can make use of Portimão's underground car park which will provide access to the whole town.