Portimão – 3 nice beaches visited

Portimão – Several beaches

The mouth of Arade river offers a natural harbor, several kilometers long, sheltering many recreational and fishing ships.

Maybe because of that, Portimão challenges Nazaré as the best places in the world to eat sardines.

However, this city, though staying a little inland, is also the hub to access some of the best beaches of Algarve.

​Rocha beach

Visiting Portimão
Rocha beach

The main beach in Portimão is very beautiful… to see from the top of the cliffs.

I must confess that it didn’t convince me too much, because it is hard to walk to and from the sea – distant and steep.

PS – If you find a wedding ring in the water, phone me – it may be mine…

​Vau beach

Vau beach

My first experience in Algarve was camping in a free campground just behind the beach (Oh, those good days with lots of free space in Algarve…).

We couldn’t support the heat (and the absence of toilets) and alternated, one day there and another in a hostel, leaving the tent in place. I enjoyed the beach – small, secluded, safe, nice.

Many years later I went there with my family. No more free campgrounds, lots of construction, but the same nice beach easily accessed. The problem, that time, was an attack of thousands of black small insects from north Africa (not mosquitoes) that forced us to abandon the beach early than planned.

​I will let you know about my third time in this nice beach, a couple of kilometers west of Portimão.


f1020086 resize 2

Protected by the breakwater of Portimão, this beach is perfect for children.

Going a little further, after the breakwater there a smaller beach also calm and protected by the cape. Crossing it, the open sea has a few beaches, some of them with private concession and with many people, some other harder to reach and almost empty.

​Lots of choice as an alternative to the wide, steep and crowded Praia da Rocha.


img707 resize 2

Portimão is not only a town, but the background of several beaches, each one of them with its own village or tourist structure.

​One of the best beaches is Alvor, with a wide sandy coast, and good infrastructures, not far from the city.

Coastal trip


It’s a good idea to take a boat and follow the coast, watching the marvelous caves and natural sculptures made by sea and wind. We made it from Portimão, and we had a great day, with a sardine barbecue in a beach only accessible from the sea.

Memories of Portimão
Memories of Portimão – Coastal trip

​We strongly recommend it. But Portimão is not my favorite area in Algarve.

The link to AlgarveSol trips is not working anymore: I don’t know if they suspended the cruises, concentrating only in the hotels or just cancelled advertising in the net. Anyway, there are other companies that you may try.

Website: Cruzeiros

Camping in 1972

Camping in Vau

Boat tours

Boat tours

The coast around Portimão is beautiful, but the best spots (excluding Ponta da Piedade) are only reachable from the sea.There are several solutions to rent a boat, but the best are the day trips with a sardine barbecue in a beach.

​We did it as guests of a local operator and enjoyed the day.

Website: Santa Bernarda