District of Faro

Beaches, Sun and Night

Gastronomy and Wine

Last update: May 2023

Praia da Rocha and Holidays in Portimão
Portimão, crossed by the Arado River, is a parish, a city and a county > from the district of Faro, in Algarve, in the southern region of Portugal.

In addition to being a very popular place to spend your holidays, Portimão is the fifth best city to visit in Portugal, according to a national survey by the specialized company Bloom Consulting.
See Best places to visit in Portugal.

Guia de Portugal
Portimão - Photo: Filipe da Palma/Portimão City Council

A bit of history

The capital of sardines
"Portimão has a long fishing tradition that developed especially between the 19th and 20th centuries, with the advent of the canning industry and tourism. A large part of the buildings that we can see belong to this period. see walking through the streets and squares of its historic center, as well as the structure that houses the Museum of Portimão, excellent restoration of an old cannery which received the Museum of the Year award from the Council of Europe in 2010. Here, homage is paid to the people and the city that for centuries lived exclusively to the sea" [Visit Portugal].

Praia da Rocha em Portimão, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © Images of Portugal
Praia da Rocha in Portimão, District of Faro, Algarve © Images of Portugal

Top beaches in Portimão

With several beaches along its privileged coastline, the beaches we highlight are:

Praia da Rocha


Praia dos Três Castelos

Find out more: Beaches of Portimão

Praia da Rocha and Holidays in Portimão

The beautiful Praia da Rocha, one of the ten beaches of Portimão, is the postcard from Portimão and one of the postcards of the Algarve and Portugal.
Find out more: Beaches of Portimão

Fishing Port

Portimão is also an important port and center for fishing. Incidentally, the origin of the name comes from the Latin Portus Magnus, great port. Seafood and fish are at the base of local cuisine and gastronomy in Portimão.
See: Traditional cuisine of Portimão

Sardinhas em conserva, produto típico de Portimão, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © / CC
Canned sardines, typical product of Portimão, District of Faro, Algarve © / CC

Portimão preserves

The canned fish industry was of great importance in Portimão, especially from 1950 to 1970. The Museum of Portimão, whose headquarters are in the former Fábrica de Conservas La Rose, by Feu & Hermanos exposes the trajectory of this important activity in Portimão. La Rose sardines were sung including in fado by the fado singer Hermínia Silva (Monumentos de Portugal).
Learn more: Conservas de Portimão

Where to eat in Portimão

During your stay in Portimão, take the opportunity to taste the rich and varied local cuisine. There is several restaurants, bars and cafes where you can have a snack and sample Algarve, Mediterranean and international cuisine. Check out our suggestions below.

Learn more: Where to eat in Portimão

Museu de Portimão, antiga fábrica de sardinhas em conserva, Portimão, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © / CC, ilustração
Portimão Museum, former canned sardine factory, Portimão, Faro District, Algarve © / CC, illustration

Portimão, Land of Gastronomy

The sardine on bread is in Portimão!
A well-known phrase to indicate the importance of fish in traditional cuisine and in Portimonian gastronomy.

"It is in the riverside area, next to the dock, that you can find most of the restaurants where you can taste the grilled sardines, the dish that most stands out in the local gastronomy. Despite being consumed throughout the region and throughout the country, it is famous in Portimão and has festival honors in August. But there are many other specialties of fish and shellfish to try, such as clams, whelk bean stew, cataplanas or stews. Fava beans or maize porridge and the region's traditional sweets based on almonds and figs are just a few more. ingredients of this offer that doesn't stop here [Visit Portugal].

City of Portimão

The City of Portimão (49,263 inhab., INE 2021) is the main agglomeration and capital of the municipality of the same name. Its center is located about 2 km from the sea.

What to see in Portimão

Portimão, in addition to the beautiful beaches, has a varied natural, cultural and historical heritage. A visit to the Historic Center and to the Museum of Portimão allows the visitor to discover the events that marked the development and progress of the county (municipality).

Learn more: Attractions of Portimão

What to do in Portimão

Lovers of active holidays in Portimão will have plenty of options to practice sports (see below), tours and excursions around the municipality..

Learn more: What to do in Portimão

Mapa de Portimão, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © Google
Map of Portimão, Faro District, Algarve © Google

Area and Population

The Municipality of Portimão is one of the sixteen municipalities of the Algarve, in the south of Portugal. With an area of 182 km², it has a population of 59,896 inhabitants (INE, 2021).


Portimão is bordered to the north by the municipality (municipality) of Monchique, to the east with Silves and Lagoa, to the west with Lagos; and to the south, with a small coastline along the Atlantic.

Portimão, the capital of the Western Algarve

Thanks to its central location on the west coast of the Algarve, in addition to being an important urban centre, Portimão is also known as the capital of the Western Algarve. Its beautiful beaches, with emphasis on the famous Praia da Rocha, receive thousands of national visitors and foreigners, especially during the summer.

Praia em Portimão, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © Images of Portugal
Beach in Portimão, District of Faro, Algarve © Images of Portugal

Portimão, Past and Present

The former Vila Nova de Portimão, "like other places on the Algarve coast, played an important role in commercial and cultural exchange between the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and North Africa" [2].

Portimão, favorite destination

Thanks to its beautiful beaches, Portimão receives thousands of national visitors and foreigners, especially during the summer.

Golfe em Portimão, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © / Internet, ilustração
Golf in Portimão, Faro District, Algarve © / Internet, illustration

Sports in Portimão

Sports lovers have several options to choose their favorite activity. From swimming, hiking, sports water sports or golf, check below where to practice your favorite sport.

Find out more: Sports in Portimão


Portimão, Patrimônio Histórico, Distrito de Faro, Algarve © Google Earth Pro
Portimão, Historical Heritage, District of Faro, Algarve © Google Earth Pro

Parishes of Portimão

The municipality (municipality) of Portimão is divided into 3 parishes. The following are parishes of Portimão:

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