Why choose a cruise to Portimão?
Pretty Portimão has all the attractions and amenities of a city, but the relaxed atmosphere of somewhere much smaller. The harbour and fishing docks have been transformed into a scenic promenade, and there’s a picturesque Old Town.
A Portimão cruise offers plenty of opportunity to hit the beach. We recommend nearby Praia da Rocha, a stretch of golden sand bordered by sandstone cliffs.
A guide to Portimão’s hotspots
Once a former fishing village, Portimão is still all about the sea. Saunter down the Ribeirinha, a waterfront promenade, which is lined with bars and delicious seafood restaurants. You’ll reach the award-winning Portimão Museum, housed inside a 19th century cannery, where you can learn all about life in the region, going back to prehistoric times.
Wander inland to the Old Town, a beautiful area of cobbled streets, tree-lined squares and brightly-painted houses. Here you’ll find plenty of contemporary boutiques and more traditional shops, alongside fascinating architecture. Near the main square, Praça da República, is the ornate 14th century church of Our Lady of the Conception. The interior is decorated with the traditional blue and white azulejo tiles.
If you’re on a Portimão cruise, you’re bound to end up on the beach. Praia da Rocha comes highly recommended, and so too is Praia do Vau, just a short stroll away. This secluded cove, with white-gold sand and turquoise waters, is the perfect place to spread your towel.
Half an hour’s drive away is the city of Lagos, which was the epicentre of Portugal’s Age of Exploration. There are all sorts of attractions related to this, including a former slave market and a well-preserved fortress. What’s more, a stunning blue-flag beach, Praia dos Três Irmãos, is located right on the doorstep.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Portimão
The best time to visit Portimão
Sun-kissed Portimão has hot summers, with the temperature ranging from 20-27°C from June all the way through to September – great news for people wanting a beach holiday outside peak months of July and August.
But the Algarve can also be considered a winter sun destination. The temperature in December and January averages 13-14°C (with highs of 17°C). Although it might be too cool for sunbathing, it’s perfect for outdoor lunches and stunning clifftop hikes.
Did you know?
- Portimão is built on the site of Portis Hanibalis, founded around 550 BC
- Well-known for its seafood restaurants, Portimão hosts a popular sardine festival every August.
- Portimão has become famous for the Autodromo do Algarve, a motor racing circuit that doubles as a popular event venue.