Portimão - the home of our race
Portimao traces its origins back to a small trading port of the Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians. Located at the mouth of the River Arade it provides a natural harbour and has at times been known in its past as a home for smugglers and pirates. The river also provides the sea access to the up-river ancient city of Silves which was once the capital of the Algarve during the Moorish occupation.
At this time the place was named Porcimunt but later in 1504 it was recognized as a town and granted the name “Vila Nova de Portimão” and became part of the possessions of the Castelo Branco family until the 17th Century. Much later it was commonly renamed as Portimão and was extensively developed in the 19th century to become one of the most important centres on the Algarve of the fishing and canning industry until the early 1980s when the recession drove the remaining factories out of business.
The town with some 35,000 inhabitants is essentially commercially orientated and was the main shopping town of the whole Algarve during the 1970s and 1980s. The town's church dates from 1476. The town council has a very active cultural department and there are always different events happening throughout the year.
The Municipal Museum is housed in an old sardine canning factory and here regular exhibitions are held that cover art, history, and general culture, all of a local and national content. The Marina de Portimão close to the Praia da Rocha adds the fascinating sight of the many boats and a further choice of bars and restaurants in which to pass the evening.
On the river front near the square with the cafés many different boat tours and deep sea-fishing outings can be booked.
Portimão is a wonderful city to enjoy a quick get away or a special family holiday.