Portimao is the largest city in the western Algarve, and used to be the centre for ship building and fishing. Portimao's rich fishing heritage is depicted by street art.
The city's old and once bustling fishing docks have been responsibly transformed into a scenic promenade, leading to the quaint and tree lined plazas of the old town. There are pleasant pedestrian shopping streets and historic buildings.
The most attractive part of the town is the riverfront which runs from the marina to beyond the road bridge. One of the few historic highlights of Portimao is the Igreja Nossa Senhora de Conceicao, dating back to the 14th century, very little of the original church survived the 1755 earthquake. The immediate area of the church retains some charm with little shops selling traditional lace, ceramics, leather goods and baskets.
Of course Portimao is best known for the fantastic beach of Praia da Rocha. Located 3km south of the town and is one of the most impresive stretches of sand on the Algarve coast. At the eastern end of the beach are the remains of a 17th century sea fort, Forte da Santa Catarina.