This attractive resort towards the western end of Portugal’s Algarve coast offers a choice of protected anchorages, full service marinas, and first-rate marine services.
Most visiting yachts stay in the Marina de Portimao, the southern most facility, which offers berths for 620 yachts of up to 50m length and 5m draught. The marina’s boatyard, just below the bridge a mile and a half further upstream, has capacity to lift vessels of up to 300 tonnes, including multihulls of up to 9m beam. All marine services are available both here and at a selection of other boat yards upriver.
The Marina de Portimao is a well protected facility in a quiet and attractive setting near a selection of good restaurants and an excellent sandy beach.
There are two further smaller marinas a little further up the Arade River estuary that offers lower rates, particularly in medium and high seasons. The bay southeast of Marina de Portimao is a popular and secure anchorage, other than in strong south or southwesterly breezes, but suffers from wash created by commercial traffic using the estuary. It may also be possible to find more sheltered anchorages off creeks on the eastern shore further upstream, and yachts that can drop their rigs can find good shelter above the low bridges two miles inland. It should be noted that tides run fast, especially in midstream.
The beach to the south of the marina, outside the estuary.
On the western shore the town of 55,000 people offers a wide selection of bars and restaurants, as well as excellent south-facing beaches. Overall, the impression is one of a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere than the size of the town might suggest. The eastern shore is relatively sparsely populated, with smaller villages and scattered beachfront restaurants that offer a great place to watch the sunset.
Being only 41 miles on good roads from Faro airport Portimao is an excellent spot for crew changes, or indeed to base a boat full time. There are direct flights to a large number of both major and regional airports across Europe, as well as a seasonal service to Toronto.
The anchorage on the east side of the estuary.
Photos Credit: Rupert Holmes
8487/8490 The Marina de Portimao is a well protected facility in a quiet and attractive setting near a selection of good restaurants and an excellent sandy beach.
8561 The anchorage on the east side of the estuary.