By Darren Griffiths

Where to stay in Portimao, Portugal - The Best Areas

21st February 2023

A bustling port town, Portimao in Portugal is a hidden gem for those looking to explore more of Europe. While most tourists flock to Lisbon or Porto, Portimao is not always on the agenda. But for travelers really looking for the authentic Algarve experience, Portimao is the place to be. 

A lively beach town, Portimao is also renowned for its traditional Portuguese food and nightlife. Whether you’re looking to relax on a beautiful beach or after some excitement, Portimao strikes a great balance between the two. Make sure to try some traditional seafood while you’re there; snack on grilled sardines while enjoying the relaxed city vibes.

The best way to explore the things to do in Portimao and its different areas is by renting a car, as driving to the various beaches may be the fastest way to see as much as possible. If you’re not sure where to stay in Portimao, here are some top ideas.

Related reading:
Not sure if Portimao is for you? Then check out more best towns and places to stay in the Algarve!
Check out the 15 Best Things to do in Algarve – Boat Tours & More!

Praia da Rocha

Primarily known for its beaches, there are actually quite a few to choose from. Praia da Rocha is usually the first choice for where to stay in Portimao, and for good reason.

Stretching for about two kilometers,  it is punctuated by towering rock formations and limestone cliffs. Praia da Rocha was one of the first towns built for tourism, so while it may not be as pretty as others, there’s a lot to do in terms of restaurants and nightlife. One of the best areas in Portimao, here are some accommodation options for Praia da Rocha:

Budget: Hotel Santa Catarina Algarve

Close to Praia da Rocha, Hotel Santa Catarina is an ideal option for those looking for a budget option without sacrificing quality. If you’re not sure where to stay in Portimao, this might be an excellent place to start. Offering private balconies and air-conditioned rooms, the hotel also has some great dining options for traditional Portuguese dishes. 

CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY – Hotel Santa Catarina Algarve

Mid-range: Hotel da Rocha

Also not far from Pria da Rocha, Hotel da Rocha offers spacious suites, free wifi, 24-hour reception, and a quick walk to the beach. Rooms have a living area with a television, as well as a bathroom and balcony for guests. Plus, the hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, a bar, and a fitness room to ensure you have all the right amenities for your trip without being too far from the beach. 


Luxury: Bela Vista Hotel & Spa – Relais & Chateaux

Located in a historic building, Bela Vista offers chic boutique accommodation with direct access to the beach. One of the best places to stay in Portimao, the hotel consists of three individual houses, each with its own unique design and theme. With private balconies overlooking the ocean and traditional Algarvean and Portuguese food available, each feature is thoughtfully designed to give guests the best resort experience possible. 

CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY – Bela Vista Hotel & Spa – Relais & Chateaux

Praia da Vau

Luckily for travelers, there are plenty of different beach options in the area, so you don’t have to worry about where to stay in Portimao. Tucked in a corner, Praia da Vau is a beautiful beach that’s only a kilometer away from Praia da Rocha. A sandy shore, visitors can admire the immense limestone cliffs while relaxing and exploring the coves. 

Budget: Hotel Alcaide

Only 200 yards away from Praia da Vau, this is one of the most convenient options if you’re not sure where to stay in Portimao. Hotel Alcaide offers affordable accommodation while still having great amenities, such as an outdoor pool, sun loungers, and a complimentary breakfast. 


Mid-range: Oceano Atlantico Apartamentos Turisticos

One of the best places to stay in Portimao, this contemporary apartment hotel has designer furnishings, private balconies with beautiful views, and a kitchenette. Close to the city center and the beaches, this is one of the best areas to stay in Portimao. Guests can also enjoy a furnished sun deck as well as an indoor swimming pool. 

CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY – Oceano Atlantico Apartamentos Turisticos

Luxury: Monte Santo Resort

If you’re looking for a luxury experience while enjoying what Praia da Vau has to offer, this might be the best option for you. A quick drive from Praia da Vau, the resort offers six outdoor swimming pools as well as spa facilities. With luxury suites and panoramic views, this is one of the best places to stay in Portimao. The resort also offers private security and a children’s area, so that families can enjoy the area together. 


Portimao Center

A small town, Portimao is easy to explore and enjoy. The center is one of the best areas in Portimao and has some great sites steeped in history. For example, the parish church – also known as Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição – is one not to be missed. Dating back to the 15th century, this is the main church of Portimao. Although parts of it were destroyed in the earthquake of 1755, some of its Gothic structure still remains. Another main attraction is the big city square,

Igreja do Colégio dos Jesuitas. Also known as Jesuit’s college, the building dates back to the 17th century. The college also has one of the largest churches found in the Algarve, with woodwork dating back to the 18th century.

Budget: Residencial Pimenta

Located in Portimao’s center, Residencial Pimenta is a great option when looking at where to stay in Portimao. Simple rooms, private bathrooms, and located close to beaches and city sites, this has the best of both worlds. Rooms are air-conditioned and have a TV, desk, and wardrobe; some rooms also have a seating area with sofas. Guests can enjoy room service, breakfast buffets, and explore some of the nearby restaurants. 


Mid-range: Hotel Globo

Modern in design, Hotel Globo is one of the best places to stay in Portimao. It features panoramic views of the city and the Arade River. Guests can enjoy the rooftop hotel, modern furnishings, and spacious seating areas. The rooftop hotel features not only authentic local cuisine, but also regional wines in a lively, fun setting. 


Luxury: Villa Rio Guest House Suites

Located in the heart of the City Center, Villa Rio is located close to all the great sites. Villa Rio is a few hundred yards away from  Portimao Jesuit College and 0.7 miles from Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição. The guesthouse has an outdoor swimming pool, ATM, seating area, and air conditioning. Guests can enjoy a breakfast buffet in the mornings and a sun terrace for relaxation.  

CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY – Villa Rio Guest House Suites

Portimao Marina

On the western side of Portimao, the marina is a lively spot where visitors can enjoy spending time throughout the year. Close to other popular holiday spots such as Praia da Rocha, it offers a mix of fun and relaxation. The marina is easily accessible via all forms of transport, but the best way to enjoy it is to walk from Praia da Rocha and enjoy the beautiful ocean views.

Budget: Dom Carlos I

A five-minute drive away from Praia da Rocha and the Marina, Dom Carlos I offers a lovely setting for those looking for options on where to stay in Portimao. The accommodation offers air-conditioned rooms, a 24-hour reception, and a common seating area to meet and mingle with other guests. Local ingredients are used for the breakfast buffet offered every morning. 


Mid-range: Vista Marina Apartamentos Turisticos

A ten-minute walk away from Praia da Rocha, Vista Marina offers a great place for visitors to stay, as well as amenities. There is a pool and landscaped garden for visitors to enjoy, as well as a sauna, fitness center, and an indoor heated pool. Rooms are fitted with air-conditioning units and come with a balcony complete with panoramic views of the pool. There is a kitchen in each apartment with a dining table as well. 

CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY – Vista Marina Apartamentos Turisticos

Luxury: Tivoli Marina Portimao

Overlooking the marina, the hotel is a five-minute walk away from Praia da Rocha. With two pools, air-conditioned rooms, and furnished balconies, Tivoli Marina Portimao has a lot to offer visitors. Each room is designed with a modern touch and comes with a satellite TV, kitchenette, and a dining area. Breakfast is provided, alongside two restaurants and a snack bar for guests to enjoy a variety of different kinds of food while enjoying panoramic views. 


Portimao Ribeirinha

Portimao is also home to a charming riverside esplanade, which is another option for those looking for ideas on where to stay in Portimao. Home to the old docks of the city, it has evolved over time to become a relaxing area to enjoy the sun and views of the river Arade. Close to other areas – like the city center and Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes, a popular town square – it is easily accessible. 

Budget: Ribeirinha’s Apartment

Guests can enjoy views of the city while staying in one of the best areas in Portimao. Located close to sites such as the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Conceição and TEMPO – Teatro Municipal de Portimão – visitors can explore Portimao easily. Each unit has a seating area with a TV, kitchen, dining area, and a shared bathroom.

CLICK HERE FOR AVAILABILITY –  Ribeirinha’s Apartment

Midrange: Santa Isabel

Located a mere 200 yards away from the Arade River, Santa Isabel is a convenient option when thinking about where to stay in Portimao. Rooms come with a private bathroom, desk, wardrobe, fan, and TV. There is also a sun terrace for guests to enjoy. A ten-minute drive to other sites such as Praia da Rocha, it is easy and accessible.


Mid-range: Residencial Arabi

Located in the bustling area of Manuel Teixeira Gomes square, Residencial Arabi is close to the heart of the city while overlooking the Arade River. There are a variety of rooms available, all of which include en-suite bathrooms. Each unit comes with cable TV. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast in the morning. A mile away from Praia da Rocha and other sites, this is one of the best places to stay in Portimao.


These are just some of the options available to travelers when looking for where to stay in Portimao. The area is filled with a variety of resorts, villas, hotels, hostels, and bungalows, so there is something for every budget and travel style when enjoying the lovely beaches of Portimao.

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To help plan your Algarve vacation, here’s a look at where to stay in Portimao, Portugal with accommodation options in each area to suit all budgets.

To help plan your Algarve vacation, here’s a look at where to stay in Portimao, Portugal with accommodation options in each area to suit all budgets.