July 15, 2024
Expat Guide: Living in Portimao

Portimão is located in the district of Faro, in the Algarve region. Many British expats have moved here to start a new life and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. This area is mainly known as a popular tourist center with fabulous beaches and stunning rock outcrops. Its attraction lies in the amazing diversity of tourist-friendly establishments and countryside. The beaches in this area feature water sports facilities, golden cliffs, bars, restaurants, and plenty of animation.


This city offers a unique mix of modern apartment blocks and late 19th, early 20th century buildings in the older part of the town. Portimão covers a total area of 182.06 square kilometers and has 55,818 residents. It is the biggest city in the western Algarve. Its main beach – Praia da Rocha – attracts tens of thousands of tourists and holidaymakers every year. Other local beaches include the Marina Beach, Praia de Alvor, Beach of the Three Brothers, Praia do Vau, and Beach Careanos.

Locals and tourists who visit this town can indulge in various water sports such as diving, sailing, and windsurfing. They can also go fishing or play golf. Portimão is a place where people live in communion with nature without having to give up the comfort of living in a cosmopolitan area.


The area where the city is now located was settled in prehistoric times. Archaeologists have found vestiges of the Celtic, Greek, Phoenicians, Roman, Visigoth, and Moorish occupation. The present town was founded by King Alfonso V. The city was conveniently placed to enjoy the fruits of the boom in international trade. Many local products, such as olives, figs, fish, wine, and oil were regularly exported in the port of Portimão.

The town suffered damaged following the 1755 earthquake, but was reconstructed in the next few years. In the 20th century, Portimão become populated by chalets and houses built for tourists.


The city features a large number of museums, theaters, art galleries, shopping centers, cafes, and restaurants. It also offers a complete sporting agenda throughout the year, including windsurfing competitions, kite surfing, yachting, Formula 1 speed boats, and the world famous Dakar rally.

Locals can also visit the marina, which boasts designer shops and international restaurants. If you love art and culture, head over to the Museu Municipal Manuel Teixeira Gomes, Fortaleza de Santa Catarina, or Igreja da Nossa Senhora da Conceição. These cultural attractions reflect the city’s past and offers valuable information about its history and traditions.