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Your guide to Praia da Rocha
All About Praia da Rocha
Most people come to the small town of Praia da Rocha, on Portugal’s famous Algarve Coast, for two reasons: to spend warm sunny days at the beach and to spend nights enjoying the town’s renowned entertainments. Praia da Rocha’s main beach is regarded as one of the best in the region. It’s sheltered by sandstone cliffs, which provide calm waters for swimming, and is ideal for soaking up the sun or reclining on a rented lounger under an umbrella. The mild conditions favor watersports — have a ride on a jet ski, go windsurfing, or spend a few lazy hours on a pedalo.
By night, Praia da Rocha’s street life kicks into gear. You can start your night off at one of the many restaurants along the beach promenade or on the main street, feasting on tiger prawns or bacalhau scrambled with eggs and potatoes, then move on to the town’s karaoke rooms, pubs, and dance clubs.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Praia da Rocha
Praia da Rocha experiences a Mediterranean climate with warm sunshine year round. June through August are the hottest months, so ensure you pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat. In July, the biggest beach festival for hip hop, dancehall, and R&B in Europe takes centre stage in town, drawing internationally known DJs and musicians. The spring and autumn months are possibly the most pleasant times to visit, as you won’t experience the stifling hot temperatures of summer, but you can still expect plenty of warm, sunny days to enjoy the beach. Wintertime is much quieter in Praia da Rocha, and although it will be cooler, you can still expect sunshine and mild weather.
Top things to do in Praia da Rocha
Fortress of Santa Catarina
A short walk from the eastern end of Praia da Rocha’s main beach is a cliff that leads to the remains of this 16th-century fortress. Once used to defend the area against pirates, it now offers panoramic views of the cliff-lined beach to one side and Portimão Marina to the other. The ruins also play host to many events throughout the year.
Plunge into the Atlantic at the Ocean Revival Park in Portimão, renowned as one of the best spots to wreck dive on the Algarve. Four boats from the Portuguese navy, all of which have played key roles in the country’s military history, were deliberately sunk here. This site, which does not charge admission fees, has been described as an underwater theme park with loads to see, and there are dives for all abilities.
A short 20-minute stroll from the centre of Praia da Rocha brings you to Portimão, the second largest city on the West Algarve. Portimão, founded in the 19th century, retains a traditional feel, full of picturesque buildings and tree-lined plazas. Along the riverfront, the lovely Manuel Bivar gardens offer green expanses for relaxing in as well as shade from the hot sun.