As Western Algarve’s biggest town, Portimão is certainly the place to be if you like having everything around you all at once. As a perfect location for the discerning history buff as it is for the hedonistic party animal, cheap Portimão holidays never fail to leave visitors with long and happy memories.
A built-up town centre offers the perfect chance to snap up some souvenirs, enjoy an ice cold drink in the sun at a cafe or absorb some of the fascinating history of Portimão. Portuguese kings like Alfonso III and Alfonso V played pivotal roles in shaping the town over the last thousand years, and strong industries in fishing and shipbuilding have historically driven its economy. Though tourism is a main source of income these days, these maritime roots are still evident in the flocks of ships and boats you will always see along the Rio Arade.
In a town with the sea so much at its heart, visitors here enjoy delightful weather. Go any time between June and September and you’re likely to enjoy temperatures rarely falling below 20°C, making it the perfect climate for a dip in the water. Even in the winter, temperatures are often in the mid-teens.
Like anywhere in the Algarve, December to February can be very wet, so pack wisely and put aside some ‘indoor days’ if you visit at this time of year. This shouldn’t be too difficult, with a range of bars, restaurants and indoor markets to keep you busy.
As is par for the course throughout Portugal, Portimão is a town that loves its sports, and these take place both on land and at sea. Every summer, a beach football competition takes place, with Brazilian players in particular tending to show off their silky skills on the sand. It’s also a prime spot for activities like powerboat riding, scuba diving and motorsport.
If you’re less of an adrenaline junkie and have more of a hankering for heritage, consider taking a look at 17th Century Santa Catarina Castle or exploring the ruins of Quinta da Abicada, which date back to Roman times.
Mornings in Portimão and nearby Olhão are always greeted with a haul of fish straight from the sea, so there’s nowhere better to get a taste of fresh sardines, clams and even octopus. Though the freshness is flavoursome, another delicious local offering is ‘bacalhau’, which is dried cod served with salt and often cream.
Desserts are usually locally sourced too, with figs and almonds frequently lending their distinctive essences to freshly baked cakes and flans.
A peaceful place by day, Portimão turns on its head at night – particularly at the marina. Revellers enjoying cheap Portimão holidays in the summer are likely to be entertained by some of the most famous DJs on the planet. With casinos intertwined among the bars, it’s a real night to remember in this jewel of the Algarve.