By Warwick Hattingh
Located in the Algarve of Portugal, Portimão’s main beach Praia da Rocha is decorated with yellow and orange rock caves contrasting with the beautiful blue Atlantic Ocean. The beach is paved with wooden walkways, pleasant restaurants and a lighthouse at the end of the pier. Here are a few of things we recommend you do when visiting the area.
1. Go to the beach — suntanning, running, walking or swimming
Covering 1.5 km, Praia da Rocha beach offers beach front resorts, rocky caves and crystal clear waters to swim in. We went early in the morning for a walk all the way down the shores – the beach only gets more beautiful and some of the coves are completely secluded. The water is still pretty chilly at the beginning of May but it warms up towards the end of the month and it’s the perfect summer activity, I highly recommend buying a lilo if you’re there for longer than a couple of days, they only cost €20 and are such fun to have (unless you’re traveling on a budget). The beaches are stunning so it doesn’t matter what you do whether it’s suntanning, swimming or playing volley ball, Praia da Rocha has it all.
2. Have a Cocktail or two or ten!
Remember the restaurants I mentioned? These just happen to serve the most flavourful cocktails. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours and they are so delicious. Not sure why but when you’re on holiday everything always seems to taste better! With the sea, sun and sand in the backdrop and a cocktail at the end of the day always goes down well. There are no shortage of them either with the multitude of restaurants along the beach offering a variety of concoctions to holidaymakers. We definitely recommend trying out Spot 3 at the very end of the beach, they had super comfy chairs and the most delightful (and very large) sangria!
3. Explore the Caves (by boat or beach)
The caves and rocky outcrops make a breathtakingly beautiful coastline! It certainly is one of the Algarve’s most prominent features and it is absolutely stunning. Some of the caves along the coastline can be explored by foot but watch out for the changing tides as some areas are only accessible during low tide and you don’t want to get stuck there! Others can be explored by boat or kayak. These are magnificent caves that you can go into and explore. These caves and cliffs that meet the beautiful blue water along the shore really do make for a picture perfect holiday.
4. Go Kite Surfing, Wind Surfing or just go Surfing
It is common to see an array of water sports going on just off the shore. When we were there (at the end of May) the water wasn’t exactly warm and there was still a large number of people taking advantage of the wind and surf. Inside the bays where there is less waves the kite boarders really manage to pick up some speed. If you enjoy surfing, the late afternoon provides the perfect opportunity. Even with the colder water, there were several surfers taking advantage of the waves in the corner of the beach where there was no protection from the wind.
5. Check out the Night Life
With such a great beach atmosphere with easy access to the town it’s no wonder that there are dozens of clubs and pubs along the edge of the beaches. The music echoes down from the rooftop down to the beaches calling you up. The nightlife is at its best during the tourist season with all pubs and clubs full as well as restaurants along the beach. This makes for an extremely lively ambience every day of the week!
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