Every year, we head to the Algarve to enjoy a week of summer holidays. We have already visited several towns and cities but in recent years we have chosen Portimão to relax on the beach. However, Portimão does not only live on the beach and the municipality has a lot more to offer. Stay on that side to find out the places you can visit in Portimão and Ferragudo.
Read also: 5 Beaches With Warm Watter in Portugal
The beaches are one of the main reasons people visit Portimão. The main beach of the city is Praia da Rocha, with extensive sand and unique beauty, much because of its enormous rocks. Right next to Praia da Rocha there are smaller, equally beautiful beaches, where you will feel very welcome, like Praia dos Três Castelos, Praia do Amado and Praia do Vau.
After visiting the beaches, we suggest you to park on 28th May street in front of the Arade river (the parking is free and has a central location). By the river you will find the Museum of Portimão. This museum is the result of the restoration of an old canning factory from the late 19th century. The museum’s aim is to promote the culture and history of Portimão, linked to the canning industry and maritime activities.
Igreja Matriz de Portimão
The Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição is the main Church of Portimão. The church was built in the 15th century but was damaged by the 1755 earthquake. However, the church has been restored and has a gothic construction in tones of white and yellow and a beautiful interior.
Jesuit College and Church
Near the church, in the Praça da República, you will find the Jesuit Church and College. Built at the end of the 17th century, the college has a past linked to the teaching of theology and literature. Currently, the space belongs to the City Hall, Misericórdia and the Third Order of Saint Francis.
Fortress of Santa Catarina
The Santa Catarina Fortress is located in the area of the Portimão Marina, near Praia da Rocha, a few kilometres from the street where you parked (so we suggest you go back to the car and drive to the fortress). The fortress was built to watch over and protect the entrance to the river Arade. This site currently offers one of the best views over Praia da Rocha, the Arade river, Ferragudo and the sea.
10 minutes away from Portimão, you will find the fishing village of Ferragudo. The village is very picturesque and has a charming riverside area. You will get lost in the narrow streets with colourful houses and facades full of flowers. As you walk through the streets, you will always be accompanied by the smell of the roasted fish that hovers in the air of the numerous restaurants in the village. You will get lost exploring the streets and alleys with a past strongly linked to the sea.
In Ferragudo, you will find the Castle of São João de Arade which, like the Fortress of Santa Catarina, was built to watch the entrance of the river. The castle is privately owned and the best way to admire it is at Praia da Angrinha or Praia Grande. We suggest you go early to get down to the beaches. We ended up not visiting because we were late and we could not park!
🍴 Where to eat: If you’re a fan of pizza, we recommend you to try La Gioconda Pizzaria, located in Portimão.
Liked this post? Save it on Pinterest!