PORTIMÃO: A CITY OF CONTRASTS.
Trying to sum up all that Portimão is in a few paragraphs literally impossible, so we’re gonna lift part of the veil of everything that is waiting to be discovered… by you.
Nothing quite beats starting the journey right in the middle of town. At Praça da República you’ll find an extremely cozy area, with local commerce, cafes and restaurants, as well as the Jesuit College; on the right side of Colegio’s Church you’ll find the Diogo Gonçalves Museum, home to one of the largest and most paramount collections of contemporary paintings in the Algarve.
Right at the top of Praça da República you’ll be able to see part of the old City Wall, and going up Avenida João de Deus, you’ll find the Mother Church of Our Lady of Conception. Go down Rua de Santa Isabel and delight yourself with the Manuelline inspired doors; and don’t forget to walk along Rua Júdice Fialho, where it used to stand the old City Wall and Ribeira’s Door.
Next stop, Largo da Barca most definitely; a place where for centuries the connection of both river banks was made; there you won’t have any trouble finding a restaurant to try one of Portimão’s most prominent dishes: grilled sardines; and since you’re by the riverside, be sure to visit Rua Júdice Biker, where you may visit some of the oldest pastries in town and taste our delicious traditional confectionery like the Dom Rodrigo’s or the Morgados.
Right in front of the old pastries you’ll find the 1º de Dezembro Garden, as well as Sárrea’s Palace gardens and if you keep walking you’ll arrive at 1º de Maio Square and its Bívar Palace. Be sure to go down Rua D. Carlos I which will lead you to the Old Fish Canning Factory, home to Portimão’s Municipal Museum, and revisit some of the city’s history.
Nearby you’ll find the São Francisco Convent and its church, magnificently located by Arade’s River and from then onwards, head straight to Praia da Rocha and finish the journey with a breathtaking view of the ocean right from the Santa Catarina de Ribamar’s Fortress.