We have been going to Portimão for a few years now as we have friends there, and to tell you the truth up until recently when we had our son, our visits to Portimão included very little of sun and beach and quite a lot of nightlife and bars.
Portimão is one of the most known places to go out at night, only matched in Algarve by Albufeira, Lagos or Faro. Praia da Rocha is a favourite amongst the youth and you can find bars and disco’s near the beach promenade working until late at night.
The locals seem to retreat to the city centre for a drink and I must say I enjoyed the nightlife lately more in the historic centre. We went to Marginália a live music rock style bar and Porta Velha and it was surprisingly fun and a change from the crazy pace of Praia da Rocha, more authentic and local.
How safe is it at night?
We have never had any issues but you do see the occasional altercation and there is a strong police presence at night so I would consider it pretty safe.
The reason Portimão is packed full during the summer months is obvious, you will find some of the best beaches in Algarve here with crazy and beautiful rock formations. We strongly recommend taking the hiking route that goes from Praia da Rocha to Alvor I promise you it’s well worth taking a day for this route. Do take water with you and a camera because there are so many photo opportunities that you will take twice as long to complete the route.
Some of the best beaches in Portimão and Algarve are on the stretch of coast including, Praia da Rocha, Praia dos três irmãos, Praia dos três castelos, Praia do Alemão, Praia do Vau and Alvor.
Things to do in Portimão
- Walk along the beaches from Praia da Rocha until Alvor, it’s just stunning.
- Boat tour. There are many to choose from but the view of the rock formations from the sea is magnificent. Benagil is quite popular because of the unusual blowhole but it’s also crowded.
- Skydiving. There is a small aerodrome in Portimão from where you can skydive and I guarantee jumping near the ocean is a must.
- If you are not so brave then try paragliding, if so contact Ramiro Spinedi and we promise you will have a blast and pictures to wow your friends.
- Scuba diving. There is a diving school from where you can get information about courses, although we didn’t try it yet it’s surely on our shortlist.
- Visiting the city centre is well worth it. We recommend going mid-afternoon to walk around and then finding a place to eat from the many extraordinary restaurants.
We have been to quite a few restaurants, especially in the area of Praia da Rocha and the truth is for the most part, although the online reviews don’t quite reflect it they are of poor quality and expensive. The exception might be the restaurant Rocha Azul in the beach of três castelos, not overly expensive, super quality and beach view. If you are looking for good food you will have a better time in Alvor where there are many good places to eat. There are some ok places to eat Italian food or sushi, but mostly it’s overpriced low-quality places. Please let us know if you found a gem in this area.
Weather in Portimão
In most of Algarve, the weather is not a concern for locals, the temperatures are not either hot or cold during winter and summer, averaging around 15º in winter and 27º in summer. In summer the nights can get a little fresh so I always take a windbreaker type of jacket with me and that’s enough.
There are some places to go shopping although I wouldn’t call Portimão a shopping mecca. You’ll find a shopping centre called Aqua a retail centre and a few streets in the centre alongside the many street vendors during the summer months, especially around Praia da Rocha with a promenade full of street markets.
Where to stay?
Plenty of options in Portimão, check out some of the most popular ones on booking here or get in touch as we know some people that have private acomodations with beach views.