Ivone O.

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Praia da Rocha, the beach next to Portimão marina, is a bustling holiday resort in its own right. It became a tourist centre at the e...

Praia da Rocha, the beach next to Portimão marina, is a bustling holiday resort in its own right. It became a tourist centre at the end of the 19th century, when it was the favoured summer resort of families from, not only Portimão, but also the rest of the Algarve and Andaluzia; and in the winter with English visitors. The Hotel da Bela Vista with its Belle Epoque architecture, dates from this time and stands out amongst the modern buildings along the beach front.

The beach itself is vast, even in the middle of summer there is always plenty of space. The avenue, Tomás Cabreira, which runs along the top of the beach, is full of restaurants, cafes, and shops and is particularly lively at night with a variety of bars, and clubs to choose from. At the end of the avenue is the Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar, which was part of Portimão's defences against corsairs and pirates. It was built in the 17th and 18th centuries and gives a wonderful view of the beach and the cliffs on one side and the marina on the other.

The western end of Tomás Cabreira avenue was vastly improved in 2006, with new paved and landscaped pedestrian areas with seating to relax and enjoy the sunshine! The improvements then continued along the rest of the avenue and it is now looking really good, with new paving and trees, and car access restricted along a lot of the road, making it safer for pedestrians.

Praia da Rocha is popular all year around and it was lovely to see people of all ages enjoying the February sunshine, taking a stroll, relaxing on a bench or enjoying a drink at one of the many cafes.

Praia da Rocha is ideal for anyone who wants to be close to a fantastic beach, have plenty of places to wine and dine or party until late. There is also a casino along the avenue that hosts a show every night, with dinner and dancing if you like, apart from the oportunity to have a flutter on the tables! You really wouldn't need to leave the resort, so no worries about hiring a car if you don't want to. If you want to wander around the main shopping centre then Portimão is only a short walk or bus ride away.

There are all sorts of water sports available on Praia da Rocha, and a variety of boat trips are available from Portimão river front (along from the marina at the eastern end of the beach). A lot of events go on throughout the year - fantastic fireworks and live music to celebrate New Year, powerboat racing or jet-skiing on the river, and lots of beach sports and events during the summer.

If you want to travel a little further afield then there are lots of things to do within easy reach of Praia da Rocha. The water park, Slide and Splash, is in Lagoa - just a short distance away and Zoomarine near Albufeira isn't far either. It has outdoor pools (so don't forget your swimming gear) as well as the dolphins, sealions and birds of prey shows. We musn't forget golf - one of the Algarve's big attractions - there are several excellent courses within very easy reach of Praia da Rocha, including the championship course of Penina and newer courses near Silves (one designed by Nick Faldo and the other by Christy O'Connor jnr).

To get a taste of inland Algarve then pay a visit to Silves - an historic town with a large, well preserved, Moorish castle. It is situated on the banks of the Arade river, so one way of getting there is by boat from the river front at Portimão. The trip normally gives you about an hour (because of the tides) to have a look around before the return journey. It is very picturesque and the castle is the largest in the Algarve - well worth seeing as it's really quite spectacular.

If you are a serious shopper, then take a trip to Algarve Shopping Mall near Guia - you can always leave the menfolk on one of the couches in the sunshine while you browse the shops! There is also a food hall with a variety of restaurants and 'fast food' outlets to keep them occupied! The mall is easily reached along the A22 motorway - take the turning for Albufeira/Guia, then follow the signs for Guia and the mall is on the left over the road bridge.

Praia da Rocha is centrally located for lots of the attractions the Algarve has to offer but also has plenty to keep you entertained without leaving the resort!

Listed on TripAdvisor since
June 2017
Languages spoken
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