Acclaimed beaches and a pair of historic fortresses are part of this haven for super-sized yachts. Its orange and red buildings contain shops, bars and restaurants.
Enormous yachts fill up the 620 berths of the Portimão Marina, a vast harbor in the corner of its namesake town. Historical forts stand beside upscale restaurants, bars and stretches of sand. Relax on the sand of Angrinha Beach or Rocha Beach and snap photos of the forests of masts rising from the large vessels.
Marking the southern end of the marina is Santa Catarina Fort. Gaze up at the 17th-century stone structure, then climb to its summit for stunning views of the marina. Descend to the harbor and stroll along the waterside promenade to see the boats. As a popular hangout for the rich and famous, this large marina shelters some of the Algarve’s most luxurious yachts.
An array of shops and restaurants lie within the orange and red buildings on a wide jetty that juts out into the marina. Consider lodging at the hotel at the heart of the harbor. Enjoy lunch with an excellent vista of the water and Angrinha Beach on the opposite shoreline. At the southern tip of the beach, spot the São João do Arade Fort. Visit the picturesque gardens of this fortification built in the 1600s.
Take a boat trip with one of the area’s tour operators, who offer dolphin watching, scuba diving and eco-tour cruises. Get surf lessons and rent watersports equipment to take out on the Atlantic Ocean.
Visit the marina at night, when lights brighten the iconic red and orange façades. Get a sense of the nightlife here by chatting with locals as you sip Portuguese wine.
Portimão Marina is on the estuary of the Arade River, as it enters the Atlantic Ocean. Drive south from the heart of Portimão for 5 minutes to reach the northern limits of the harbor. You can leave the car in the condominium’s private parking lot. Discover other attractions, such as Três Castelos Beach, Molhe Beach and the Ponta do Altar Lighthouse.