Skip to Content

Praia Da Rocha the Beach Area in Portimão – Algarve Portugal

Praia da Rocha is the main beach area of Portimão in Algarve Portugal. Visiting the long Praia da Rocha beach with lovely fine golden sand, safe waters, and a nice boardwalk is one of the best things to do in the Algarve. This is a perfect beach for a day trip with easy parking. Stunning rock formations and the red cliffs backing the beach create amazing beach scenery typical of the area.

golden sand of praia da rocha beach with buildings on the cliffs in the background
The golden sand of the beautiful Praia da Rocha with large hotels on the cliffs behind the beach.

The boardwalk on the beach is lined with plenty of shops and restaurants to grab some refreshments while relaxing on the sand. Take the stairs from the beach to the top of the cliffs to explore the lively and pedestrian-friendly Avenue Tomás Cabreira. The beautiful modern Praia da Rocha area is perfectly suited for a beach holiday, packed with bars, restaurants, and hotels close to the beach. 

Favorite Tours from Praia da Rocha

Getting to Praia da Rocha 

It is easy to get to Praia da Rocha by regular buses from the Portimao historic town. Faro Airport is the closest airport in the surrounding region. The Aerobus (Route 56) from Faro Airport to Portimão/Praia da Rocha departs several times daily. The bus journey takes 1 hour and 25 minutes, costing EUR 11.

​A rental car is the best way of transport in the Algarve and the most convenient way to get around. Uber works well in the Algarve and can be used to get around the Praia da Rocha area.

Rental Car is our preferred way of renting cars in Portugal and around the world.

Praia da Rocha golden sand and small waves on the spacious beach
The spacious Praia da Rocha beach with soft golden-colored sand is so large there is always plenty of space.

The Praia da Rocha Neighborhood

Located in the Portimao municipality Praia da Rocha is a resort town with hotels, shops, and restaurants along the cliff top above the beach. Filled with many high-rise hotels mainly built in the 1980s and 90s this modern beach strip is a different town compared to the cute white-wash Portuguese fishing villages on the Algarve coastline. Praia da Rocha is located 2.5 km, about 5 minutes to drive, from the center of the city of Portimao and 5 km from the Aqua Mall shopping center district. The Avenida Tomás Cabreira is the area’s main street, leading to several viewpoints with panoramic views of the beach. 

The shopping street in Praia da Rocha - Avenida Tomás Cabreira
The Avenida Tomás Cabreira is a nice walking street in the Praia da Rocha area.

Places to Stay in Praia da Rocha


Mid Range


About the Beach at Praia da Rocha

In Portuguese Praia da Rocha translates into ‘Rock Beach‘, this is the main beach of Portimao. This beautiful beach has Blue flag status for meeting cleanliness and safety standards. A fantastic beach for swimming with clear water and very few rocks in the water. There are some amazing rock formations to be found along this large beach backed by ochre and yellow cliffs. A long boardwalk right on the sand connects several restaurants and bars.

restaurant on the beach
Several restaurants and bars are located on Praia da Rocha next to the board walk.

This area’s hotel complexes and various hotels are on top of the yellow and red sandstone cliffs that tower above the spectacular 1.5 km long white, sandy Praia da Rocha Beach. The streets of Praia da Rocha are packed with bars, restaurants, and hotels.  

Facilities on Praia da Rocha Beach

  • Lifeguards are on duty during the bathing season. 
  • Sunshades, parasols, loungers, and some watersport equipment are available for rental on the beach. 
  • Public toilets at Praia de Rocha Beach are available along the boardwalk on the beach.  At the Marina end of the beach, there are free public toilets and a disabled toilet with baby change facilities, these toilets get cleaned regularly. The beach bar restaurants have toilets for customers.

Kids Playground on Praia da Rocha Beach

There is a nice playground on Praia da Rocha Beach for children with a see-saw, slide, swings, a climbing frame, etc. right on the sand. The playground is located next to the boardwalk, on the sand downstairs from the Jupiter Hotel.

kids playground on the beach
Playground for Children on Praia da Rocha. A great spot for children to play on the sand in Portimao with swings, a see-saw, a climbing frame, and more.

Surfing at Praia da Rocha Beach

This long sandy beach of Portimao is also a nice surf spot, the sandbank along the beach results in plenty of peaks with fun lefts and rights. Close to the river mouth, there is sometimes a barreling left.  This spot is popular with the local bodyboarding crew with hollow, wedgy waves. Surfing in Sagres or Lagos are other good spots to check out in the area.

Praia da Rocha is a nice beach for learning to surf with boards for rental and lessons available in the marina. The best time for surfing in Praia da Rocha is in winter when there is more swell.

surf boards outside a rental shop
Surfboard rentals for Praia da Rocha are available at the Portimao Marina next to the beach.

The Boardwalk next to Praia da Rocha

Stroll along the long wooden boardwalk following the beach for a nice, easy walk next to the beach. There are several nice restaurants on the boardwalk where you can get something to eat or drink.

 Admire the stunning beach from the viewpoints. There are some excellent viewpoints above the beach. Três Castelos Viewpoint (viewpoint of the Three Castles) located above the beach’s western end offers great views of the area. 

busy boardwalk with many shops next to the beach
The boardwalk with many restaurants is a nice alternative to walking on the sand.

Close by Beaches

Praia dos Três Castelos is the closest beach to Praia da Rocha. Located just west of Praia da Rocha the two beaches are separated by a large cliff. You can walk on the big beach from Praia da Rocha to Praia dos Três Castelos through a tunnel in the cliff. The name of this beach comes from the three large rocks in the water that represent three castles. The beach is characterized by many big rock formations in the water and sand. A large, beautiful beach sheltered by the ochre cliffs that is great for swimming. Rockpools exposed at low tide are nice for kids to play in. It is easy to find parking here.

Walking west from Praia dos Três Castelos the opposite direction than Praia da Rocha, Praia do Amado is the next beach followed by Praia dos Careanos. 

Praia dos Careanos is a small beach with colorful rock formations in the background. This beach is nice and quiet most of the time. Getting here is a bit more difficult since access is by a steep set of stairs. Facilities is limited with only a small shop on the beach. 

Beach walks

During low tide, you can walk from Praia da Rocha to Praia dos Careanos on the beach. This is the perfect setting for long beach walks. On top of the cliffs is a nice walking trail, with a great view of the Portimão coastline. The Forte de Santa Catarina is located on the cliffs on the eastern side of Praia da Rocha and was built in 1621 to protect the city of Portimão against Spanish pirates. The fort offers great views of the beach and cliffs. 

boardwalk on the sand
The long boardwalk on the beach at Praia da Rocha is great for a walk. Alya is walking here pushing Summer in the stroller.

Walk on Avenue Tomás Cabreira

Tomás Cabreira Boulevard is a 1.5 km long pedestrian-friendly street running on the cliffs above Praia da Rocha. With limited traffic and a vibrant vibe, the street is the perfect place for walking around the cafes, shops, and restaurants during the summer months. In the daytime Avenida Tomas Cabreira is a great spot to get something to eat while this is a party area at night with many bars, clubs, and live music.

Go on a Boat Tour from Marina de Portimão

The Portimão Marina is located on the western side of Portimão, right next to the beach of Praia da Rocha. This important tourist port is a deep harbor designed to host large yachts up to 50 meters and boats can easily drive around in this spacious port. Several superyachts can dock here and are something special to see. Driving to the marina from the center of Portimão is well-marked. The NH Marina Portimao Resort is the colorful resort in the marina overlooking the ocean and Portimão Marina.

yachts in the marina
Several boat tours depart from the Portimão Marina at Praia da Rocha.

Several Boat tours depart from the Marina de Portimao. Don´t miss seeing the spectacular Benagil Cave or riding with schools of dolphins when visiting this famous holiday destination. 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.