Fringing the Arade River and Praia da Rocha beach, scenic Portimao is a hub of the western Algarve. From flopping on golden sands to riding boats and touring local wineries, it’s easy to fill a day in this port city. Here’s how to get the maximum from 24 hours in Portimao.
Start in adventure mode with one of Portimao’s most popular activities: a trip to the Benagil Caves. Home to secret beaches, these wave-sculpted sea caves are Instagram-heaven and reachable only via the water—so a boat trip is your best option. Alternatively, widen your horizons with an extended cruise that takes in more of the beauty spots along the coast, from other grottos and rock formations to Algar Seco’s sea pools. If you prefer staying on land, join a Jeep tour along the Arade River and nearby Praia da Marinha, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches.
You’ll find countless ways to enjoy Portimao’s shores: bounce across the waves on a Jet Ski, spot dolphins in their natural habitat, or simply lounge on the beach. Those interested in the Algarve’s gastronomic scene might opt for a food or vineyard tour—or up the fun factor on a motorbike sidecar tour with stops to taste tapas and wine.
With the fading sun glinting on the sea, dusk in Portimao is a wonderful time to explore. Save your feet on a Segway ride around the marina and Praia da Rocha, or head for Cape St. Vincent, Europe’s southwesternmost point, to watch the sunset—join a tour to skip the hassle of arranging your own transport. If you missed a boat trip earlier, conclude your Portimao stay in style, with an early-evening cruise to the Benagil Caves that includes snorkeling and Champagne to toast the sunset from the deck.