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With a long history as a
fishing port (the Romans already used its natural harbour), Portimão has
developed in the last decades, as most of the Algarve, into a tourist centre,
being filled with hotels, restaurants and a lively commerce.
It became a popular holiday destination due mainly to the beach of Praia da Rocha, a series of sandy coves, small bays and curious looking rocks.
Another tourist destination is Alvor, an ancient fishing village from Roman and Moorish times which is sufficiently pretty, with its typical white-washed houses, to be visited in the low season.
In contrast, the town of Mexilhoeira Grande is eminently rural, but maintains a picturesque atmosphere.
Portimão is also ideal for those who enjoy big game fishing, but other water sports such as jet ski, sailing, windsurf and diving are available in various points along the coast.
At Parque da Juventude (Youth Park), more radical sports are practised, as it includes facilities for bicycles and skates (half-pipe, mini-ramp and fun box), a racing track, a playground, etc.
The nights in Portimão are also animated, with bars and discotheques available to all purses. Visitors enjoying stronger emotions can try their luck at the casino in Praia da Rocha; in Alvor, small bars and restaurants inserted in the local typical architecture provide an interesting alternative.