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Portimao being on the south coast of Portugal comes under Western Algarve the second largest city after Faro with a population of around 55,000 inhabitants.
From the EN125 driving across the impressive bridge which crosses the Arade River finished in 1991. On the left hand side you will see what look appear to be people, they are scarecrows to protect the salt fields. Salt is gathered into piles in the warmer months, and then loaded into sacks by hand to be taken away for cleaning. The bridge give views towards Portimao harbour, which have the capacity for large cruise line ships?
Like many towns in Portugal, the earthquake of 1755 destroyed much of the city and little was done to rebuild for almost 100 years. The waterways soon began to regain imports and exports. In 1924 it became a city and has not looked back since becoming one of the Algarve’s most loved cities for tourist.
The new marina has put Portimao back on the map being the epicentre of water sports in the Algarve and with Day fishing trips, you can even go Dolphin watching. Portimao has in recent years been focusing on sinking redundant ships and vessels to encourage scuba diving making one of the top spots in the Algarve. Sinking the vessels is not just about scuba diving but creating a coral reef to bring back natural wildlife. There are river boat tours to the historic town of Silves with the stunning castle that dominate the town.
The city’s streets are full with plenty to see; in the centre is Largo 1 Dezembro, a paved garden square. Well shaded for those hot summer days the large building nearby is the birth place of Manuel Teixeira Gome, the 7th president of Portugal and renowned writer. The square is surrounded by plenty of bars and cafes making a good resting place for coffee. With the large nearby fountain giving a cooling affect.
You cannot help but noticing the seating benches with hand painted tiles covering the history of Portugal’s main events. The city has good pedestrian areas closed to the traffic, and only to open at rush hour. You will find Portimao is a traditional city and its many bars, restaurants & pasterias with an amazing choice of cakes and pastries. Portimao is popular with the Chinese with many shops and restaurants for those wanting something different.
Whilst touring backstreets its worth looking up to see the ornate ironwork balconies and stoneware urns that sit on the parapet walls and hand painted tiled facades. On the edge of the town is the large municipal indoor market, open every day for fresh fish and daily produce.
If wanting to try local cuisine without eating in a restaurant you will find many sell take away. Popular with office workers and range from pasta dishes to suckling roasted pig, normally sold by weight.
A visit is not complete to Portimao without a stroll along the1 ½-kilometre marina front, with an assortment of yachts & boats.
Trains Portimao has a train station, which connects the town with most other towns and resorts along the Algarve coast. Faro airport are approximately 1 hour 20 minutes by train, while Lagos is a mere 20 minutes away.
Sailing. Portimao is the host and venue of many prestigious sailing events including the annual Portimao, Portugal Match Cup event part of the Match racing tour.
Powerboating Portimao coastline has also been hosted the sport of power boating. The Portuguese Grand Prix of the Sea run by Powerboat P1 as part of its international championships.
Motorsport Inland near Portimao is the Autodromo International do Algarve. A race and test circuit officially recognized for the highest categories both for cars and motorcycles.
Portimao Old city hall
Marble statue roundabout
Portimao main square fountain
1 ½ km long marina front