Portimao Honeymoon Guide

Although Portimao is probably best known for the gorgeous beaches of nearby Praia da Rocha and Praia dos Tres Irmaos, the town also offers several other attractions for honeymoon couples.

Best beaches in Portimao

Choose from several golden-sand beaches that surrounded Portimao just just a short drive away from Albufeira, including…

Praia da Rocha

Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on one of Portugal’s finest beaches – a scenic, 200m-wide, golden-sand beach nestled beneath dramatic red-ochre cliffs and facing the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Go bodysurfing, swimming or snorkelling around soaring offshore rock formations. Join a game of beach football or volleyball and explore the neighbouring beaches of Praia do Vau and Praia do Alemão – accessed through an eroded tunnel in the cliffs at the west end of the beach.

A wooden boardwalk runs the length of this kilometre-long beach, providing access to a choice of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, oceanfront hotels and the 16th century Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar.

Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, lifeguards, toilets and showers. Water sports include banana boats, jet skis and pedalos. Beachside bars and restaurants nestle beneath the cliffs.

Be pampered at the luxurious Algarve Hotel Casino Hotel or the sea-facing Hotel Bela Vista, a former 19th century Moorish-style mansion situated on the cliffs overlooking the beach.

Praia da Rocha is located in Portugal's southern Algarve region, around 40km west of Albufeira.

Praia Grande

(Ferragudo) – Unwind on this broad expanse of pale golden sand that sits on the eastern side of the River Arade opposite Praia da Rocha.

Protected by twin breakwaters, the water here is always calm, making it one of the safest swimming beaches in the Algarve and perfect for small children.

Facilities on this 800m-long beach include parasols and sun loungers for hire, toilets and showers. Beachside bars and restaurants nestle beneath tree-topped cliffs.

At the northern end of the beach sits the impressive 17th century Fort of São João do Arade.

Praia Grande sits in the town of Ferragudo, opposite Praia da Rocha, around 38km west of Albufeira.

What to do and see in Portimao

Wander colourful gardens and stroll the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Quarter around Largo da Barca.

Don't miss the impressive Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Conceição (church), with its interior covered in stunning 17th century azulejos (tiles).

Admire the impressive 17th century Fort of São João do Arade, which sits on the sand banks of the Arade River opposite Portimão, separating the golden beaches of Praia da Angrinha and Praia Grande. Browse friendly shops selling lace, ceramics and pottery.

Savour a range of fine dining seafood restaurants and relax at a choice of outdoor cafes serving excellent Portuguese wine – especially those along the riverfront quays and the adjacent squares surrounding pretty fountains.

Hire a boat for a sea trip to explore coastal grottos or head up the Rio Arade to the beautiful town of Silves.

Discover the picture-perfect village of Monchique, set in the forested 458m-high Serra de Monchique, just 24km (15mi) north of Portimão and 55km (34mi) northeast of Albufeira.

Wander the cobblestoned streets and visit several 16th and 17th century churches including the Igreja Matriz and the Igre de Sao Sebastiao.

On foot or bike, explore the surrounding countryside of mountainous woodland covered with eucalyptus, chestnut, pine and cork trees scattered with occasional open moorland.

Hike up to the peak of Fóia (902m), the highest point in the Serra de Monchique. Visit the Caldas de Monchique, a hot, natural spring water spa that dates back to Roman times.

At the wildlife sanctuary at Omega Park Jardim Zoológico, get close to rare and endangered species such as lemurs, macaques, red pandas and cheetahs.

Best time to visit Portimao

Anytime is good to visit Portimao (and the Algarve) – the coast sees little rain and lots of sunny days throughout the year including winter – but for the best weather, visit Portimao between June and September.

The peak holiday season on the Algarve is July and August; these are also the hottest months of the year, with the temperature averaging 28°C (82°F) and but often reaching the high 30°Cs.

The months of spring (March to May) and autumn (October and November) are typically warm and while perhaps too chilly for swimming are excellent for sailing and land-based activities such as golf.

More information on weather in Portimao

How to get to Portimao

Portimao is around 8km (5mi) east of Lagos, 40km (24mi) west of Albufeira and 70km (43mi) west of Faro.

The most convenient route to Portimao is by air to Faro International Airport (FAO), also known as Algarve Airport, located 82km (51mi) east of Portimao.

Taxis and hire cars are available at the airport. By car, Faro International Airport to Portimão is around 45 minutes; by bus, around 1 hour 20 minutes, three times daily.

A bus service also operates every 30 minutes from the airport to Faro train station at Largo da Estação. From there, trains on the Algarve Line run frequently throughout the day to Portimao taking around 1 hour 25 minutes.

From Lisbon, an express bus takes 3 hours 30 minutes.

More information on how to get to Portimao

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Latest update: Portimao: 29 November, 2022