Portimão is one of the largest cities in the Algarve and there are a huge amount of things to do in Portimão, with everything from historical visits, cultural entertainment, festivals and fairs and activities on the sea and the beach to take advantage of in Portimão.
Portimão sits on the banks of the River Arade which then continues on into the Atlantic ocean and the city great thanks to its maritime links and waterfront location. In the past, Portimão was home to an enormous sardine industry and this is marked in the recently opened Portimão Museum which is located along the waterfront and has a permanent exhibition paying homage to the people who helped to build Portimão into the success it is today.
Sardine canning may not be booming any more but the people of Portimão continue to adore their sardines and if you want things to do in Portimão then be sure to be in the city during the summer for the annual Sardine festival which takes place along the waterfront and cooks up thousands of these succulent fish for visitors while they enjoy live entertainment.
The old central town of Portimão is home to cobbled streets and boutique shops, this is a great place to come and site with a coffee and a cake and watch the world go by and has a very continental street café culture feel to it while also being a place to buy clothes, shoes and pretty much anything else you can think of.
Portimão has many large shopping centres and retail parks including Aqua Portimão with its enormous Primark and the nearby retail parks with the largest branch of Worten, a massive Decathlon sports shop and all the biggest names in Portugal to meet the needs of every shopper in the Algarve.
If you are looking for things to do in Portimão on the water then you can choose to set sail from the waterfront on a boat trip along the coast, or head off from the marina to go and look for dolphins in the wild. There are also sailing schools in Portimão or you can even learn how to surf off the beach in Praia da Rocha.
Make Portimão your first choice when you are looking for things to do in the Algarve!
Portimão Marina is located on the western side of Portimão and offers not only a safe haven for sailors, but also a lively and fun spot to spend sunny summer days or to watch the waves in the winter.
Portimão Marina is a glamorous destination in the Algarve, next to the holiday hotspot of Praia da Rocha on one side of the river and overlooking the quaint fishing village of Ferragudo on the other side.
You can access the marina by boat, car, public transport or by walking from Praia da Rocha along the golden sands of the beach until you reach the main marina area.
If you are travelling by car then you need to make sure you cross the River Arade first if you are on the Lagoa side of the river and from Portimão the marina is well sign posted and offers lots of parking when you arrive.
If you are on the Lagoa side of the river and don’t fancy the long drive around then there are water taxis available, if you would like to know more about this service then give us a call and we can make all the arrangements to ensure that you arrive in style at Portimão marina!
Boat lover will be suitably impressed by the vessels in the marina, which was designed specifically for super yachts up to 50 metres and there are usually a fair few bobbing quietly in the waters to have a look at.
The Portimão Marina hosts a number of top sailing and water sport events which in the past have included the Portimão global Ocean race, the Audi Med Cup and the powerboat competitions.
If you feel inspired by the boats and the events and fancy giving sailing a try yourself, then there is a dedicated sailing school located at the marina and lessons can be organised for sailors of all levels and ages. There are also a number of boat trips that set sail from the marina and a member of the team can let you know all about your options if you give us a call.
Away from the boats and the sailing there is still plenty to do at the Portimão marina, which is also home to an exclusive beach and ocean front swimming pool that you can visit for the day to enjoy a taste of the high life!
There are a number of great restaurants and bars along the marina front, making this a top night spot, especially during the summer months when open air parties and beach night clubs open up.
The Nosolo Agua Club is home to the pool area and is a popular people watching spot while enjoying a cocktail but if you prefer something a little more traditional then you can head down to the famous Dockside restaurant for some great seafood or pop into one of the other good restaurants along the way.
The marina also has a number of different shops to appeal to all ages and the wide promenades make this a great place for a stroll at any time of the year.
Portimão marina has a really luxurious feel to it, especially in the summer and during the evenings the cosmopolitan parties and crowd help to make this one of the top Algarve attractions, especially for those looking for a night of fun and glamour.
Sardine Festival Portimão
Sardines are synonymous with the Algarve and the long and delicious history and traditions of these salty morsels is celebrated each year with the Sardine Festival Portimão held every August in the historic city. This year’s event will be held on.
When you think of sardines, images of tins being brought out from the back of the cupboard tend to spring to mind but here in the Algarve they know their sardines and more importantly, they know how to cook them to perfection making the Sardine Festival Portimão a must for sardine fans and those keen to try the real thing!
The Sardine Festival Portimão is held along the waterfront area of Portimão, close to the old bridge in the city. There is plenty of parking usually in this area of Portimão but because the festival draws crowds from across the region and beyond, it can be hard to find a space so it is best to either arrive in the late afternoon to find a spot or to consider parking on the other side of the river in Parchal and either walking across the bridge or taking a taxi in to save parking stress.
You can smell the sardines cooking on the enormous barbecues along the waterfront from miles away and you want to make sure you are not downwind of the smoke as they cook!
The highlight of the Sardine Festival Portimão is of course the sardines themselves, which are served almost constantly throughout the evening. If you are in a group then it is worth while having a plan of action and to send a couple off to queue for the food while the rest reserve a table because although there are over 2,000 seats available you can be sure that when it comes to sitting down once you have your food there won’t be a seat in sight, so by planning ahead you will not only make sure you all get to sit and eat together but you will also look like a pro!
Pile your plate high with sardines and enjoy them the Portuguese way by placing each fish on your piece of bread to peel off the skin and once all the fish are finished, enjoy the sardine soaked bread to complete the meal.
If you are not a fan and we are unable to convince you to give the sardines a try then don’t worry, there are other food options available but you do have to seek them out.
Once you have filled up on the sardines then it is time to walk off some of the fish with a stroll to look at the many stalls dotted along the waterfront selling local handicrafts and goods, there are also street artists about to provide further entertainment.
Most of the visitors to the Sardine Festival Portimão come for the food but lots also are drawn by the live music each evening, featuring big names from the Portuguese music scene and even if you are not familiar with the work of the artists the atmosphere will have you dancing along in no time.
The Sardine Festival Portimão is one of the biggest events held each year in the city and a must for anyone keen to experience traditional food from the Algarve in a fun filled environment.