Portimão What to discover and how to enjoy your visit
The Municipality of Portimão is divided into the following parishes: Alvor; Mexilhoeira Grande; Portimão
Municipal Holiday: 11th December
Inhabitantes: around 55,600
Area: 182 km²
After Faro, Portimão is the most important commercial and residential centre in the Algarve. The original settlement is believed to date from Neolithic times, from the evidence of remains of a necropolis discovered in nearby Alcalar, dating from that era. Monuments of interest to visit are the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição (Our Lady of the Conception) and the Jesuit College.
One entry into the Portimão is by crossing the River Arade, into the principal centre for sport fishing and boat trips in the Algarve. The itineraries for cruises include the entire coast from east to west, for visitors to get to know the spectacular cliffs, caves and grottos from the sea.
We highlight Praia da Rocha from amongst the excellent local beaches, as its national and international fame proclaim it as one of, if not the best, beach of the region.
On Portimão’s dockside can be found the freshest fish, principally the traditional sardine, by reputation “the best” in the Algarve. Restaurants on the River Arade quayside await fans of grilled sardines, with hot charcoal at the ready, so customers only wait a few minutes for their delicious fish. One event, which attracts many lovers of good traditional Algarvean food, is the Festival de Gastronomia, held in May. In the same month the River Arade is the stage for the Portuguese Formula One Powerboat Grand Prix.
The Alvor river estuary, between Portimão and Lagos, is a protected area and an excellent place for observing birds, such as the stilt, cormorant, European stork and many others. From this estuary come various types of clams and razor shells, along with other seafood which can be savoured in the old fishing hamlet of Alvor.
An area much appreciated by golfers, Portimão has Penina, Palmares and Alto Golf, three golf courses set in magnificent landscapes.
Since 2009, the modern circuit at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve hosts many important motorsports events like FIA GT, LeMans series, WTTC, Superbikes, etc.
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