Beaches of the Municipality of Portimão
The shore line of the municipality stretches between two important wetland areas: the Ria de Alvor to the east and the estuary of the River Arade to the west, places where the wave-battered rocky coast gives way to peaceful water and banks of fine sand and mud. In the Ria do Alvor, a recognised wild life sanctuary, you can appreciate the peaceful way of life of those who live from the great wealth offered by the tides: fish farming, salt-pans, shellfish picking and non-industrial fishing are the livelihood of the local communities. In its turn, the River Arade was for many years a vital communication route between the coast and the inland regions, providing an outlet for essential goods such as cork and playing host to the Algarve’s most important fishing port.
Nowadays the river is navigated above all by fishermen and tour operators, forming part of the municipality’s tourist supply. But Portimão’s most famous and distinctive feature is the beautiful scenery of its jagged and intensely coloured rocky coastline, along which, nestling amongst the cliffs, are many welcoming beaches of golden sand. The varied supply of shops and accommodation, as well as the support facilities offered for enjoying water sports such as windsurfing, sailing, diving or deep-sea sports fishing, have made the municipality’s beaches even more valuable as highly attractive tourist destinations.