PRAIA DA ROCHA, 3km south of Portimão, has one of the Algarve’s broadest beaches, a fantastic swathe of sand backed by low cliffs. The eastern end of the beach is overlooked by the walls of an old sea fort, the Fortaleza da Santa Caterina, which was built in 1691 to guard the mouth of the Rio Arade – the fort’s terrace offers splendid views across the ocean in one direction, and over a modern marina and the estuary the other way. Sadly, the rest of Praia da Rocha is a splodge of ungainly high-rise hotels, bars and a casino that sit on the clifftop, with the beach reached down steep steps from the elevated main street, Avenida Tomás Cabreira. But at least most of the bars, restaurants and hotels boast fine views of the sands and sea – and it remains pretty lively whatever time of year you visit.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

Budget trips: 20 of the cheapest places to travel

That ever-growing travel wish list might be putting some pressure on your pocket – but there are plenty of destinations where you'll get more bang for your b…

11 Oct 2017 • Emma Gibbs camera_alt Gallery
Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Where to eat in Lisbon: an area-by-area guide

Lisbon has rightly garnered a reputation as being one of Europe’s hippest cities – but Portuguese cuisine remains somewhat unknown. Rest assured, though, Li…

24 Aug 2017 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best beaches in Portugal

The 10 best beaches in Portugal

For many travellers, Portugal is synonymous with images of golden sun-baked beaches. And with a generous 1700 kilometres of coastline, there’s enough sand for…

28 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook