Portimão, so much more than Sun and Sea

Portimão is a city rich in history and culture, with monuments, archaeological sites and churches that are definitely worth a visit during your summer holidays. BIKE MY SIDE & ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

If you visit the beautiful city of Portimão in the summer you know that you can find magnificent beaches such as Praia da Rocha, Praia do Vau or Praia do Alemão, good restaurants with fresh fish and shellfish – do not forget that this is a fisherman’s land – and a Lively nightlife, with bars, discos and beach clubs for all tastes. But, Portimão is so much more than Sun and Sea …

What only few knows is that this is also a city rich in history and culture, with monuments, archaeological sites and churches in the so-called Historic Center of Portimão, in Alvor and in the vicinity that are undoubtedly worth a visit during your summer holidays.

Walking in the starlights

An interesting way to get to know the heritage of Portimão on summer evenings is through the nocturnal cultural tours, organized on four Fridays, in the light of the stars, by the Portimão Town Hall, where participants are invited to make the journey between the Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes, Jardim Bívar, Manuel Teixeira Gomes House, Largo 1º de Dezembro, Igreja Matriz, Alameda da Republica and Largo 1º de Maio.

Igreja

There are also night walks to discover the interesting Islamic heritage of the fishing village of Alvor which has three buildings of Islamic origin currently transformed into small chapels. In this cultural tour you will visit the Morabito de São Pedro, the Morabito attached to the main Church of Alvor and the religious building, the Ethnographic Museum, the Castle and the civil architecture of the village

ALVOR-À-NOITE-Igreja-Matriz-de-Alvor

Alcalar

About 10 km from the center of Portimão you will find the megalithic monuments of Alcalar, where about 5,000 years ago, lived a prehistoric community. In this amazing outdoor museum you can discover the daily life of the first prehistoric communities and their rituals.

alcalar

Museu de Portimão

The cultural ex-libris of the city is undoubtedly the Museum of Portimão, one of the most awarded Portuguese museums in Portugal and abroad, which was inaugurated in 2008 and has already been awarded with the “Council of Europe Museum 2010” by the Europe Council.

Museu_Portimao_Fachada_Poente

Installed in an old fish cannery on the right bank of the River Arade, the Museu de Portimão invites you to discover the origins and evolution of the community, the territory and the most striking aspects of the industrial and maritime history of Portimão.

passado

Divided into three different tours “Origin and Destiny of a Community”, “Industrial Life and the  Challenge of the Sea” and “From under of the waters”, we are invited to explore into the past and discover ancient ways of living and traditions that the museum helps to keep alive in the present time.

O mundo rural

In the permanent projection room, the 20 minutes film “The Game of Sardine”, filmed in 1946 in Portimão in the S. António and S. Francisco factories, shows the process of producing canned sardines. It is worth watching and witnessing real images of the hard and demanding daily life of the Algarve canning industry.

A industria conserveira

In the factory’s old water cistern, where rainwater was collected and reused for supplying the brine tanks and the factory’s boilers, you can discover the Ocean Revival project that is based on the deliberate immersion of four warships of the Portuguese Navy for the formation of a unique artificial reef in the world, with the ideal conditions for the establishment and proliferation of marine fauna and flora, a reason of great interest for lovers of the underwater world.

fundo do mar

Visiting the Museu de Portimão is a great family program for a hot summer afternoon to escape the hottest hours on the beach, helping to enrich and further diversify your Algarve vacation experience.

And when you book the Bike my Side “Postcard Collection” sidecar tour you will immediately receive a €1 discount voucher to cash in on your entry ticket at the Museu de Portimão.

The next time you are on holidays in Portimão, do not forget these insider tips and get to discover the more cultural and probably more unknown side of this fantastic Algarve city. You will love it!

Museu de Portimão Contacts

Rua D. Carlos I, 8500 – 607 Portimão | Tel.: + 351 282 405 230
museu@cm-portimao.pt | http://www.museudeportimao.pt

Centro de Interpretação Alcalar

Tel.: +351 282 471 410 | alcalar@cm-portimao.pt

Cultural Night Tours

The registrations for these tours are free of charge but with limited number of participants and must be made prior to the day before the respective tours, through the following contacts: email: gabinete.patrimonio@cm-portimao.pt or Tel.: +351 282 470 799 /+351 282 480 488

Bike my Side private sidecar tours

Tel.: +351 917 015 996 | algarve@bikemyside.com | www.bikemyside.com 

Guaranteed to make you smile

Touring the Algarve in a sidecar motorcycle has a kind of magical feeling about it. You will find yourself smiling and waving at complete strangers for the simple reason that you just feel happy! BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Yes! You are in the Algarve and it’s summer!

But, did you know that you can discover all the beauties of the region and at the same time, escape the tourist mess?

If you are visiting the Algarve on holidays and prefer a more quite adventure, our sidecar tours are the most enjoyable way you will find to experience the beautiful city of Portimão, the surroundings beaches, local treats and breathtaking landscapes whilst travelling in comfort, style and 100% safe aboard our classic motorcycle sidecar.

Três Irmãos

All you have to do is sit back and relax in the freedom of an open-air  environment  as your experienced Bike my Side driver and guide entertains you with stories and interesting facts about the Algarve – all the most famous tips and secrets that only a local knows.

Flavours on the go Algarve

As this is your own private tour we can stop at any time for you to take pictures and videos so you will be able to share your special journey for years to come with friends and family and have memories that will last a lifetime!

Algarve Sweets

Bike my Side Sidecar Tours are ideal for people of all ages, shapes, sizes and abilities as we travel at a leisurely pace and do our best to avoid  busy main roads.

sardinhas assadas

Touring the Algarve in a sidecar motorcycle has a kind of magical feeling about it. You will find yourself smiling and waving at complete strangers for the simple reason that you just feel happy!

Bike my Side Sidecar Tours Algarve winerays

Yes, it’s summer. Yes, you are in the Algarve and you can make the most of it!

For more information & reservations just visit us www.bikemyside.com 

 

5 Great reasons to visit Monchique the top of the Algarve, Portugal

Monchique, a quite different Algarve so genuine and so interesting to discover.
BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

When choosing the Algarve for your holiday’s destination you may not know that besides the sun, sea, beach, golf, culture and delicious gastronomy and all other amazing activities related to a holiday destination of sun and beach, you can find not far from the coast, a green paradise, fresh and full of alternative attractions, called Monchique.

The municipality of Monchique is characterized by a diversity of activities that have lasted in time and continue to be developed in traditional ways, with great interest and an important part of the Algarve identity.

Do you like honey, original handicrafts, firewater and mountain products?

If so, here are five good reasons to take a leap up to Monchique hills while you’re in the Algarve.

 

1. CALDAS DE MONCHIQUE

The Caldas de Monchique are known as the “Sintra” of the Algarve. A cool, green, serene spot, where there is a small square wrapped in large trees and refreshing water fountains, perfect for a picnic. If you like thermal baths, the Monchique Spa is excellent with its mineral-medicinal waters, used since ancient times for treatments.

Caldas

2. MONCHIQUE VILLAGE

In the centre of the village you can enjoy a magnificent view from the belvedere of the São Sebastião park, visit the Monchique main church dating from the beginning of the 16th century, the Convent of Nossa Senhora do Desterro, enjoy the narrow streets of the village, contemplating the vast white houses with the typical chimneys and stop to visit some of the craft houses. And of course, taste the traditional firewater, here called “Aguardente de Medronho” .

Monchique Experience I

3. FOIA

Climbing to the highest point of the Algarve – Foia – is a must. From Foia you can see a great stretch of landscape from the Cabo de São Vicente to the Serra da Arrábida. A breathtaking landscape! Prepare to be amazed!

Foia Way II

Foia view

4. MOUNTAIN FOOD AND ANCIENT TRADITIONS

In Monchique, in addition to being able to enjoy architectural, historical and cultural heritage along with the many natural beauties, you have a very rich traditional gastronomy, honey, traditional sweets and the medronho.

In Monchique, there is an important artisan activity of producing very good pig sausages and “presunto” from the “Porco Preto da Montanheira”.

Beekeeping is also a typical activity of Monchique and the “Honey of the Monchique Mountains” is a high quality product with “Protected Designation of Origin”.

The manufacture of the Aguardente de Medronho and make bread are another traditional activities of the Monchique hills.

Flavours

pão

5. GREEN BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPES

The Serra de Monchique is affectionately nicknamed “Jardim do Algarve” – the Algarve green garden. Crystalline banks, leafy trees and a natural freshness that contrasts with the warm Algarve coastline that complements even more, your holiday experience in the Algarve.

Monchique hills

Monchique hills2

Monchique, a quite different Algarve so genuine and so interesting to discover.

Keep the suggestion and … have a good time during your Algarve holidays!

 

Discover Portugal street art and free spirit

The next time you come to Portugal, do not forget to ask where you can find some open-air-museums, with criations of street art and free spirit. You will like it for sure!

When you come on holidays to Portugal you expect to find tasty food, excellent weather, breathtaking scenery, warm water beaches, amazing historical monuments and truly hospitable people.

What you might not be expecting to find is a true open-air museum on the streets of Lisbon and also a bit throughout the Algarve, as we can start seeing on the streets in Portimão, Lagoa or Lagos.

Although graffitis has existed for decades, in recent years, artists have been progressing their works from mere scribbling that were often even visually polluting, to the point that one can in our days even speak of street art.

In Lisbon, the creation of the GAU (Urban Art Gallery) and the 2010 CRONO project, where some of the best international artists participated, including Momo, Blu, Sam3, The Gemeos, and Vhils gave a true impetus to this freedom of creation that began to be quite impressive for the most attentive eyes.

In Portimão, the Mário Belém mural on a side wall of a house in Praça 1º de Maio, in front of the Portimão City Hall, with the theme “Be careful of everything”, is a good example of these ephemeral creations which are more than simple graffitis, but rather, true expressions of a free creative spirit that feels so good to discover when least expecting, when turning a corner.

The following photographs are only small samples of the street art that you can find in Lisbon or in the Algarve.

Hello cat Urban art Portimão
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Fado style Portimão
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Urban Art Fado
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Urban Art at Portimão
Portimão, Algarve Street Art
Street Art Lagos
Lagos, Algarve Street Art
Fado urban art Lisbon
Lisboa, Portugal Street Art

So, the next time you come to Portugal, do not forget to ask where you can find these open-air-museum works of art, totally free of charges and so pleasing to the eyes.

You will like it for sure and you will add this to the long list of wonderful things to discover in Portugal.

Feel relaxed, free and cultivate yourself in every way, while you are in Portugal!

Urban art Lisbon
Bike my Side discovering Lisboa Street Art

10 Top things to do in Lisbon, Portugal

Do not worry about your next visit to Lisbon, Portugal, because we have already chosen for you, the sites you should not miss! Get ready!

Lisbon is a vibrant city with lots to do and visit!

Indeed, the list does not end up in only ten things, but for us, just like when going to Rome, you have to see the Colosseum and go to the Vatican, in Lisbon these are places and details you must definitely visit.

So, shell we start your trip to Lisbon right now?

  1. Historical Belém and pastry tasting

Probably, Lisbon most iconic touristic attraction celebrating Portugal glorious past. A delightful combination of historical monuments, fascinating museums and beautiful green parks, all aligned with the cooling waters of the Tejo river.

Tasting the famous Pásteis de Belém at the traditional home of the cake is also something not to be missed. Get ready to face some queues, depending on the time of year, because everyone who visits Lisbon wants to taste these delights!

Belém histórico Lisbon

  1. Torre de Belém ex-libris of Lisbon and the jewel of Manueline art

Built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor, the Torre de Belém was the preliminary point for many of the voyages of the Portuguese discovery age. For the sailors it was the last vision of their motherland.

And Unesco says… Belem Tower was declared a World Heritage monument because:

“It is a reminder of the great maritime discoveries that laid the foundations of the modern world.” 

As they know what they say, nothing like coming to discover it with your own eyes!

Torre de Belém Lisbon

  1. Padrão dos Descobrimentos a modern monument dedicated to the Portuguese maritime discoveries

On the edge of the Rio Tejo you can find this remarkable modern monument designed to promote Portugal national self confidence while honouring the great Portuguese explorers. A curiosity… on the court floor in front of the Padrão dos Descobrimentos there is map, which traces the extent of Portuguese influence around the world. Amazing, hum?

Padrão dos descobrimentos Lisboa

  1. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos the greatest example of Manueline art

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is one of the most complex religious buildings of Portugal!

Vasco da Gama spent his last night here before his impressive voyage to India and the church was used later by the sailors wife’s to pray for the safe return of their loved ones.

It is tremendous! Expect long queues to get inside but it is absolutely worth it.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.jpg

  1. Alfama – Mouraria

The oldest and most picturesque part of Lisbon where you can feel the essence of this city, where most of the typical restaurants (like the Houses of Fado) and monuments are concentrated.

Lose yourself in the narrow labyrinthine streets of Alfama and Mouraria and discover  Lisbon’s most charming neighbourhoods.

Alfama Lisboa

  1. Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comércio is the biggest and most beautiful square in Lisbon where you must stop for a picture and enjoy the views.

Terreiro do Paço

  1. Baixa-Rossio-Avenida da Liberdade, Marquês de Pombal, city center

These areas reveal a greater Lisbon after the earthquake of 1755 and like the Champs-Elysees and other immense European boulevards, expect to see a large roundabout and a monument, in this case, to Marques de Pombal, the prime minister responsible to rebuilding the city after the great natural disaster.
avenida-da-liberdade-lisboa

  1. Major belvederes of Lisbon

An essential part of the city’s charm, visiting some of these belvederes it’s almost mandatory. We will not describe much to keep the beauty of the surprise…

miradouro-sao-pedro-de-alcantara-lisboa

  1. Santa Luzia – Senhora do Monte – São Pedro de Alcantara – Graça – Santa Catarina

Stretching along the slopes of the riverside along the Tejo, Lisbon, the city of the seven hills, offers excellent views from viewpoints on higher points or terraces of monuments. These are some of the most famous, so fix these names!

NAC_Miradouro-Santa-Catarina

  1. Bike my Side Tours in Sidecar, Vespa or Jeep

In fact, you do not need to worry too much about your next visit to Lisbon, Portugal, because Bike my Side, whether in a sidecar, Vespa or Jeep will guide you to know these and other wonders. In a relaxed and fun way, get to know Lisbon, one of the most beautiful European cities. Just enjoy the ride!

Lisbon sidecar tours fun

10 Things to do in Portimão, Algarve

If you are on holidays in Portimão, in the Algarve, here are some suggestions for things to do to make the most of your vacation!

If you are on holidays in the Algarve, in Portimão, our advice is to think and act like a local, because only then will you truly feel the magic of this region, escaping the confusion of the tourist concentrations.

There are lots of places and things to do, but here are some of our favourite things to do in the Algarve, Portimão…

1. Visit the Local Market

Here you can find the famous fresh Algarvian fish. Now it is summer, there are sardines already, but during the rest of the year, you can taste a lot of fish and shellfish. The fishmongers are friendly and always available to tell a good story.

Local Mercado

2. Go to Rua do Comércio

Although some stores have already closed, there are some that remain and share with us some of our history. Clothes, pastries, articles in linen and cotton, shoes …. It is always a good opportunity to look for an original souvenir.

Rua do Comercio Portimão

3. Portuguese canned fish are among the best in the world

If you want a light meal, at Maria do Mar you will find good suggestions of canned fish for connoisseurs and collectors.

Canned Fish Portimão

4. Regional sweets for all tastes

After a taste of the sea, nothing like a sweetie to cheer the heart. In Portimão there are several pastries with regional sweets and homemade cakes, but our preference goes to A Casa da Isabel for the many prizes that have been received and for being a stopping point for residents throughout the year.

P1230045

5. Our local flavours

At Mercearia do Algarve a local grocery store like in the old days, you can find a variety of regional and organic products with a great idea of ​​what is produced in the region. The regional Algarve bread is a delight and here is sold the bread of Monchique which is one of the most famous and tasty.

Mercearia do Algarve Portimão

6. Praia da Rocha and Fortaleza de Santa Catarina

Praia da Rocha and its extensive beach are one of the most famous beaches of Portimão. Now that it’s summer, of course, there’s no need for a swim. In the rest of the year, strolling on the beach is also very pleasant.

Praia da Rocha

7. Alvor and the ria

Alvor is a few minutes from Portimão and well worth a visit. The view of the Ria de Alvor, a stop at one of the local restaurants or simply wander the streets, are worth it.

Alvor

8. The Portimão Museum and the history of the city

An old fish factory, which is now a museum, tells the story of the city’s relationship with the canning industry, the sea and the river. An interesting way of knowing the origins of Portimão, the evolution of the community and the most striking aspects of the industrial and maritime history.

Museu_Portimao_Fachada_Poente

9. The Waterfront of Portimão

The riverside area of ​​Portimão, all of it crafted in the typical Portuguese sidewalk is a great spot for a late afternoon stroll. With garden benches along the seafront, this wide pedestrian promenade is a pleasant place to rest and enjoy the scenery.

DESPORTO_ZonaRibeirinha

10. Bike My Side sidecar tours

All these places and many more in Portimao and in the surrounding area are part of our list of favourite things to do in the Algarve. Bike my Side tours offers you these and many more discoveries and adventures! So, lets go and have some real fun!

Visit Portimão with Bike my Side

To the sky and beyond! Are you ready?

If you are looking for a real fun and excitement during your Algarve holidays you cannot miss this combination of a sidecar ride and skydiving tandem jump!

 

For those who are in the Algarve for holidays and looking for an epic and unforgettable adventure, Bike my Side and Skydive Seven have found the perfect combination!

Are you ready?

The adventure begins on land, with a unique and unforgettable classic sidecar motorcycle ride in the stunning city of Portimão, Praia da Rocha, Alvor and surroundings, with so many secrets and natural beauties to discover.

Bike my Side Algarve in Ferragudo

Get ready to zigzag along picturesque streets and feel the freedom to ride in a sidecar!

Bike my Side Original sidecar tours

Riding in a sidecar allows you to see the world in a totally different perspective while having such a fun!

England Girls Sidecar tours

Then from Portimão Aerodrome is time to let the adrenaline rise! Securely harnessed to a qualified tandem skydiving instructor you will experience the thrill and excitement of freefall and enjoy the breath-taking sea views over the coastline of Portugal.

DCIM100GOPROG0011695.

There’s a short ride in an awesome plane before you take an exhilarating leap from 5000m! Your instructor will then open the tandem parachute after 65 seconds of free-falling and fly you safely back to earth.

Skydiving Algarve

This amazing combination of land and sky experience – sidecar ride and tandem jump – allows you to discover unique land and sky views with a real sense of freedom and pure adrenaline.

Skydive Algarve

Have you been able to catch your breath now?

Definitely, a once in a lifetime experience and your real summer adventure in the Algarve!

Can you imagine? To the sky and beyond! Just come and do it!

More information and reservation: http://www.bikemyside.com/contacts-reservations/