Portimão is the biggest town in the western Algarve and sits on the bank of the Arade river facing Ferragudo on the opposite bank. Portimão's atlantic beach of Praia da Rocha has, over the years, become a resort in it's own right with lots of hotels and apartments, restaurants and bars, discos and clubs and shops.
Portimão is a mix of late 19th, early 20th century buildings in the older part of the town, and apartment blocks in various pastel shades of blue, pink and coral around it. The town center is simply perfect for those who love to shop! It is jam packed full of shops, offering a wide choice of clothes, gifts, souvenirs, electrical goods and general household items. You’ll see brands you see at home, such as Mango for the ladies and plenty of traditional shops selling bargain leather goods, such as handbags and belts.
To see the more relaxed side of Portimão, wander down to the river front, where the 'Manuel Bivar' gardens are, and have an ice-cream or a coffee at one of the cafe's along the front. You will also find Portimão's famous fish restaurants at the end of the waterfront near the bridge - just follow the aroma of sardines barbecuing!
The Portimão shopping scene has got better and better and it is probably one of the best towns for shopping in the Algarve with retail parks and shopping malls galore! Coming into Portimão from the west is a large Intermarché supermarket, which opened in 2009. A short distance down the road is Portimão retail park with amongst others a large Worten (electrical goods) and Casa (everything for the home). Nearby is the newest of the shopping malls, Aqua Portimão, with a large Jumbo supermarket and a really good selection of shops. There are 2 floors of shops and a top floor with various restaurants and fast food outlets.
On the main dual carriageway around the town heading towards Praia da Rocha is a large Continente supermarket on the left hand side. Although not obvious from the outside there are also lots of other shops in the mall (shoes, clothes, accessories, electrical, sports goods etc) as well as a small food hall and cinema.
As well as shopping, there are also Portimão Events throughout the year to be enjoyed, like powerboat racing or jet-skiing on the river, fantastic fireworks and live music to celebrate the New Year, and various exhibitions and sports events at the Expo-Arade center.
The most popular place for events in Portimão has become the Autodromo do Algarve, the motor racing circuit for which Portimão (and the western Algarve) is now famous for!
Portimão Marina you simply have to see with your own eyes, because you’ll never have seen colours like it! Only a place in the Algarve could carry off ochre and terracotta! The marina is at the eastern end of Praia da Rocha at the entrance to the river and includes the Tivoli Arade and Nikki beach resort. There are shops as well as a selection of restaurants and bars to occupy your time!
There are plenty of things to do in Portimão whatever your age - there are boat trips for fishing, trips to the caves, dolphin watching trips or a trip up the Arade river to Silves from the river front. There are several golf courses nearby and at Portimão municipal aerodrome near Alvor various pursuits like parachuting for the more adventurous! Lagos zoo is just a short distance away to the west and Zoomarine at Guia is just a short distance to the east - both great family days out - or for those that prefer to keep cool, then Slide and Splash Water Park at Lagoa is nearby as well.