Praia da Rocha is a lively holiday resort in the western Algarve which is around 75 kilometres west of Faro. It first became a popular holiday destination at the end of the 19th century and has been welcoming international holiday crowds ever since. The elegant Hotel de Bela Vista, which dates from this time, stands out amongst the modern apartment buildings on the beach front. The beach itself is huge so even at high season there is plenty of space for everyone. The resort sits next to Portimão Marina, where the River Arade meets the Atlantic Ocean. The nearby town centre of Portimão, which is the biggest town in this part of the Algarve, has a lively nightlife, great shopping and a plethora of bars, restaurants and cafes.
Where to Stay
As Praia da de Rocha is solely a holiday resort, most of the accommodation consists of high-rise apartment blocks or villas which are all geared up for the tourist season. The area is jam packed full of villas and apartments for rent which can be booked for short or long-term stays. A typical apartment in Praia da Rocha faces the beach and offers spectacular sea views, normally with a balcony where you can watch the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the modern apartment buildings also feature communal outdoor swimming pools so the kids can play and you can cool off from the scorching summer heat. A Praia da de Rocha villa can accommodate larger groups of families or friends, and could be the perfect alternative to an overcrowded and impersonal hotel. Holidaying couples may not be able to afford the luxury of a spacious villa so, a private fully equipped apartment booked through Wimdu provides a great romantic solution. Apartments or villas in Praia da Rocha are also really convenient for families with children because you have all the amenities you would have at home such as a fully equipped kitchen or a living room with comfy sofas.
- The average water temperature in Praia da Rocha in July is 20 degrees celsius.
- January is the wettest month here with an average of 12 days of precipitation.
- The Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar was built in 1621 to protect the City of Silves from Spanish Pirates and the Moors.
- On the main strip there is a branch of the Portuguese version of Burger King, “Burger Ranch”.
- All of the golf courses in the Algarve are no further than 15km from the beach!
Things to See and Do
If you are looking for sun, sea and sand for your summer holiday, then this is the ideal European destination for you! The Praia da Rocha Beach is the main attraction which stretches out from the rocky coastline. It is possible to visit at any time of the year and even in February you can take a stroll along the beach in the sunshine. For the kids, you could take a day trip to the Slide and Splash Water Park, which is just a 20-minute drive from the resort. A little further afield is the Zoomarine which has outdoor pools, dolphin shows and birds of prey. Golf is the staple attraction in the Algarve and there are several golf courses within easy reach of the resort including the Penina Championship Golf Course.With a huge selection of places to wine and dine scattered along the beach, visitors will definitely not go hungry during their stay here. Along the main street, Tomás Cabreira Avenue, there is a casino which hosts shows every night. Stay up partying till late in one of the avenues nightclubs or bars. During the day, you can go shopping or walk along to the 17th-century Fortress of Santa Catarina de Ribamar, which was once part of Portimão’s defences. From the fortress, you can take an unforgettable holiday snap with views the picturesque cliffs or marina in the background.
Eat and Drink!
With over 200km of coastline, it’s not surprising that the fish and seafood are a staple part of the diet for people in the Algarve. You can find may restaurants and bars around the town that serve excellent fresh fish dishes as well as all types of meat dishes. There is plenty of international food options available to visitors, but you should definitely keep an eye out for some of the local dishes that are available. Bacalhau is a very popular local dish that that consists of dried salt-cod preserved in the same way as it was in the days of the first sea voyages in the time of the Portuguese Discoveries. Bacalhau is eaten today in many different forms by the Portuguese and used in many different dishes. Feijoada is another popular local dish which is a thick bean stew with pork, bacon and sausage. Wild boar, pheasant and hare are also popular during the hunting season, but tend to be found on the menu more in inland areas. If you don’t feel like eating out, you always have the option of cooking in your self-catering accommodation. As there bars and pubs, there are plenty of them all over the town, which are in expensive and always have a great atmosphere.
The Algarve does have a bus and train network, although the services can be limited. Seeing the region by car is probably the best way to make the most of a trip here. There is a good network of roads, specifically the A22 Motorway which runs from the western village of Bensafrim following the coast along to Monte Francisco on the Portuguese/Spanish border.Faro International Airport can be reached within one hour by car along the A22 Motorway. It is sometimes called the Algarve Airport, as it is a very busy airport with many international flights connecting the Algarve to the rest of Europe. More than ten car rental firms are represented so it’s easy to hire a car for your holiday in this sunny and beautiful part of the world. If you just want to take it easy in Praia da Rocha, it really isn’t necessary to leave the resort until your flight beckons you back home. You will be provided with everything needed for an amazing relaxing holiday in the Algarve sun. However, if you are feeling adventurous, you could always hop in a car and discover the rest of this spectacular southernmost region of Portugal. To the east of Praia da Rocha, the picturesque coastal city of Albufeira is just a 40 minute drive away. Heading west, you’ll reach the extremely tourist-friendly city of Lagos in around 30 minutes' drive.