Portimao is one of the loveliest spots on Portugal's Algarve coast. The town itself is a charming old fishing port, which has become a fully-equipped but still relaxed resort. Head down to the harbour district to sample some of the area's famous seafood as fresh as it can be, and time a trip to fit in with the Sardine Festival in August for an extra delicious time. There are fine local beaches at Ferragudo (where sunbathers can also tour the Castelo de São João), while outdoor enthusiasts can kayak, try caving or just hike along the beautiful Arade River. Visitors will find excellent golf courses, motor sports facilities and every imaginable water sport available at local resorts, while staying in Portimao opens up the whole Algarve coast for exploration.

As with any popular tourist area, the Algarve around Portimao has some poor hotels, along with some truly exceptional ones. The Bela Vista hotel in nearby Praia da Rocha firmly fits into the latter bracket, with its fabulous sea views, great pool and renowned service. For a more offbeat, but still excellent accommodation option, Tipi Algarve offer a new twist on the hotel with fully-furnished luxury tents, while there are great complexes like Clube Vilarose for younger people to enjoy, with their vibrant nightlife and pool culture. Families might also want to investigate renting an apartment in Portimao, which can deliver great savings. A fine apartment can be found at Praia da Rocha or the Oasis Parque resort, both near Portimao.

Portimao is a gateway to the Algarve which specialises in making tourist experiences as easy and fulfilling as possible. So staying at a hotel or apartment in Portimao makes it that much easier to access tours to nearby beaches, rent cars to explore the rest of the coast, and to enjoy the local seafood catch. The town is a charming destination for families, offering something a little different to bustling resorts while retaining all of the attractions a beach lover could need.