Portimao is a big town in the western Algarve, renowned for its magnificent cliffs and coastline. It stands on the banks of River Arade, facing Ferragudo on the opposite bank. The older part of the town is a combination of nineteenth and twentieth century buildings, and high rise apartment blocks. The town has been an important port in this region since ancient times due to its location where the river Arade flows into the Atlantic ocean.
Today it is a busy provincial town and a commercial fishing port, where most of its inhabitants make a living from tourism and sardine fishing.
During summer, the quay on the town side of the river is lined with boats offering game-fishing trips, and coastal and river cruises.
Coast of Portimao, Portugal
A Little Bit of History
The origin of this town as a port dates back to the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians. Moors call it Porcimunt during their reign.
The view of Portimao
It was under King Afonso V (1463) that modern Portimao came into being. It was recognized as a town in 1504 and got the name of Vila Nova de Portimao. It was then that a ring of defensive walls were built around the town, and the family of Castelo Branco ruled it well into the 1600s.
Due to its ideal position, the port town enjoyed the fruits of booming international trade, which was stimulated by the Portuguese voyages of discovery. It prospered as a haven for ships plying the African coast.
Fortress of Sao Joao de Arade near Ferragudo, Algarve
The 1755 earthquake destroyed most the town and prompted an economic decline that was set right only in the nineteenth century by the export of dried fruit, fishing and fish-canning industry, and milling.
Portimao was made a city in 1924 and tourism has become its major source of income.
The town center is perfect for people who love to shop. It is full of shops selling clothes, gifts, souvenirs, household items, bargain leather goods and electrical goods.
Portimao Sardine Festival is a popular affair that takes place in August with live music and fireworks, apart from the sardines.
New Years Eve is also celebrated with live bands and dancing on the river front, and a fantastic fireworks display.
Other than this, the river estuary is the scene for various water sport competitions.
Where is Portimao?
- 41.3 miles/ 66.5 km from Faro, Portugal
- 172.7 miles/ 278 km from Lisbon, Portugal
- 157.2 miles/ 253 km from Seville, Spain
- 341.1 miles/ 549 km from Oporto, Portugal
- 484.6 miles/ 780 km from Madrid, Spain
- 41 miles/ 66 km from Faro Airport, Portugal
- 162.7 miles/ 262 km from Seville Airport, Spain
- 170.8 miles/ 275 km from Lisbon Portela Airport, Portugal
Things to See
- Alvor Boardwalk
- The Church
- Fortaleza de Santa Catarina
- Jesuit College Church
- The Marina
- Parquet Zoologico de Lagos
- Praia Da Rocha
- Praia dos Tres Castelos
- Praia do Amado
- Jeep Safari
The coast of Portimao is a popular tourist resort, and it is a real paradise that offers splendid views.
The town is famous for its fresh fish restaurants, especially sardine dishes, natural landscapes and gorgeous beaches.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!