Sweeping beaches, golden sunsets and waterfront cafés are all part of the deal when it comes to Portimao holidays.
Perched by the Arade River on Portugal
's southern coast, dinky Portimao boasts some of the best beaches in the Algarve
. It's next door to king of the coast, Praia da Rocha – a two-kilometre stretch of yellow sand. The waves close to shore are gentle enough for swimming, and the whole picture's protected by towering cliffs.
You can cram in extra beach time at Meia Praia in one of the region's best-loved resorts – Lagos, which is only a 30-minute drive away from Portimao. Or, make a beeline for the old town, where 16th-century walls enclose a maze of cobbled streets, cosy restaurants and historic churches.
With its riverside location and long-standing fishing tradition, life here revolves around the water. Seafood restaurants still serve grilled sardines near the docks – a classic Portimao favourite. Meanwhile, the marina's the part of town with the most bustle, where people gather for dinner, drinks and sunset strolls.