Portimao : A picture perfect Portuguese town
Portimao is located in the Algarve region, southern coast of Portugal, on the banks of the Ria de Alvor. It is served by the nearby Faro airport and, although being small, has an international flair much loved by tourists.
The Algarve region of Portugal is a honey pot for international travellers, who flock in their thousands all year round. Portimao is no exception and while offering plenty when it comes to sand, sea and sun, the area also boasts a long and interesting history dating as far back as the Neolithic period. Proof of which can be seen in burial grounds in both Monte Canelas and Alcalar. Excavations have uncovered a small town in Vila Velha de Alvor dating from two to three hundred years BC.
The entire region was a strategic naval area, with trade routes to the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean and to North Africa; and artefacts have been retrieved which attest to the presence of the Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians during these times. Roman excavations, Renaissance churches, chapels and castles and Moorish ramparts in the port, all pertain to a long, interesting and colourful history to be explored.
For those who enjoy nature at its best, wander around the sand dunes between the sea and the cliffs. Explore the nature to be found on the banks of the Ria de Alvor and hike up the hills covered in wild plants, flowers and pine trees.
Portimao Portugal region has the best of long, soft, sandy beaches with safe swimming for all the family. The best known are Alvor which is miles long and stretches all the way to the estuary of the Ria de Alvor; Tres Irmaos and Prainha, a string of very small beaches connected to each other by a series of tunnels in the bordering rocks, which have been created by the sea over millennia. Joao de Arens, another small beach at the base of cliffs which has some lovely rock formation and islands to explore; Vau, known for having water which is rich in iodine; and Praia de Rocha, the most well-known resort in the area, whose sand stretches as far as the eye can see.
Golfers who visit Portimao Algarve region have five links to choose from. Two of them were designed by Sir Henry Cotton and they all lie between the cliffs and the sea, offering the most beautiful of views of the surrounding area.
Anglers can always find a quiet spot to relax and cast their lines, but Portimao Algarve region is best known for big game fishing, especially the fighting swordfish. Being on the coast, the town also offers scuba diving, water skiing, parasailing, windsurfing and yachts and boats for hire, for hours of enjoyment on the open sea.
The economy of the area is based mainly on tourism, but agriculture and fishing also play a part. Fish and seafood form a large part of the cuisine of the area, together with the fresh produce farmed close by. The sweet tooth of the Portuguese is shown in desserts and baked goods, made mainly with almonds and figs.