A journey through the churches and chapels of Portimão

On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along the streets, relax  in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!

With the Easter religious time still in mind, we decided to present to you a small itinerary that will take you to discover the churches and chapels of the beautiful city of Portimão, in the Algarve.

The religious heritage in Portimão, is not vast, but quite interesting and worth a visit.

Starting from Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square, with the city map in your hands, go towards the old bridge, attentive to the architectural details and look for the secular Chapel of St. Joseph. Then, get lost in the streets and alleys towards the Igreja Matriz, the main church of Portimão and end this part of the journey, in the Church of the College of the Jesuits.

Teixeira Gomes
Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square

From here, you can go to Rua do Comércio to see the latest fashion trends and to the Rua Direita to taste some regional products at Mercearia do Algarve, discover some tasteful typically Portuguese gifts at the Tradição Portuguesa shop, indulge yourself with a regional sweet at Casa da Isabel or a tidbit at  Maria do Mar. After this relaxing moments, it is time for a longer walk along the riverside, crossing the interior of the city, to discover the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo. 

Bordalo
Portuguese gifts

Chapel of St. Joseph

This centenary chapel, located next to the old bridge of Portimão, was built in the 17th century. For several years, it was a place of worship for St. Joseph, patron of the naval carpenters who worked in the shipyards near to this place. Inside, some baroque traces. The tiled flooring enhances the gold-framed frame with the image of Christ crucified. The exterior is a little run down. It is closed to the public, opening only for Eucharistic celebrations, on Sundays at 5:00 p.m.

Capela Sao Jose
Chapel of St. Joseph

Main Church of Portimão

Dated from 15th century, the main church of Portimão is located in the highest part of the city, inside the old walls.

Igreja Matriz
Main Church of Portimão

The late-Gothic portal is inspired by the most imposing monument of the time, the Monastery of Batalha and in it are identified fine sculptures of musicians and women in frame. Various styles, such as Baroque, Rococo and Manueline styles, are the fruit of the various phases of reconstruction and artistic enrichment of the temple.

Interior
Interior of the Igreja Matriz de Portimão

Church of the College of the Jesuits 

Located in the Alameda da Praça da República the Church and the Jesuit College was built at the end of the 17th century by order of D. Diogo Gonçalves – whose mausoleum remains in the main chapel – as gratitude for having found in Portimão a good port of refuge, after a strong storm at sea.

Colegio
College of the Jesuits 

Unlike the Jesuit buildings, this building fully assumed the Baroque style. With the earthquake of 1755 the building suffered some damage, highlighting the vaults, which contributed for a refurbishment of the main facade.

The austerity and simplicity of the architecture of the Restoration are present within the Church-Hall.

Interior
Interior of the church of the College of the Jesuits

The Church of the College of the Jesuits was even chosen by the Marquês de Pombal to set up in the region of Portimão a new Algarve Cathedral (Diocese), a project that did not happen in the end.

Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo

This simple chapel, of Arab origin, was christianized and dedicated to Our Lady of Amparo, also known by Our Lady of the Milk, well represented in a screen behind the altar, breastfeeding her baby. Here the pregnant women went to receive their blessing. The chapel was built in the likeness of the ancient Islamic marabouts, having been restored 30 years ago.

Morabito de Portimão.JPG
Church of Our Lady of the Milk

On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along Rua das Comércio and Rua Direita, relax  in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!

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Vegetarian and vegan travel: follow next year’s travel trend in the Algarve

Do you wish to taste some less traditional cuisine while in holidays in the Algarve? Find in Portimão some great veg-friendly spots and discover how delicious this alternative cuisine can be. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Accordingly to Regis St. Loius, Lonely Planet writer, vegetarian and vegan travel will be one of next year’s travel trends and we could not agree more.

Whether it is for healthy issues, animal or planet concerns, or simply to vary tastes and try new foods and flavours, vegetarian and vegan food is here to stay.

If you are vegan, vegetarian, raw food lover, or simply wish to taste some less traditional cuisine while in holidays in the Algarve, you can find in Portimão, some great veg-friendly spots which are well worth a visit, for the quality of the food and the friendliness of the staff.

Azul Naturally Healthy, Alvor

If you think vegetarian food is boring and tasteless, you are mistaken. In Azul Naturally Healthy eating is fun and colourful. Marisa Marques manages with a smile this small and friendly space in Alvor that serves meals 100% vegan, organic and gluten free. Here there is the believe that we can eat healthy food in the most natural way possible taking advantage of what nature gives us the best and being ethical towards animals and the environment. Serves lunch, drinks and coffee. There is also a small grocery store where you can buy some organic products for an original souvenir.

Marisa

Ask for the Peanut Butter Candies you might be lucky and savour some real sweet vegan and raw delight.

Bombons

Armazém Integral, Portimão

Armazém Integral is an original healthy food store in Portimão that sells in bulk and also serves 100% vegan meals, juices and raw desserts. Here you can find special and varied flours, healthy pastry, superfoods, oilseeds, seeds, cereals natural supplements, and more, all in bulk, for a sustainable and tailor-made consumption, always at your disposal with the attentiveness and kindness of the couple Érika and Adérito. A vegan dish, a fresh juice and a raw dessert are served for lunch every day of the week to eat on the site or to take away.

armazem

Meals vary during the week and are always tasty but our highlight goes definitely to the original raw desserts that surprises all customers. Ah! And you must also taste the vegan ice creams. They are delicious!

raw

Mercearia Bio Café, Portimão

Just around the corner from Armazém Integral, you can find the Mercearia Bio Café that started its adventure ten years ago as the Mercearia Bio, an organic grocery online. The dream of Pedro Gonçalves, the owner, grew and materialized in the Mercearia Bio Café, where besides the commercialization of organic products, organic fresh, drinks and organic non food, you can have breakfast, light lunch, a snack or drink a natural juice, everything 100% organic certified. The Mercearia Bio Café has a cosy interior space, a small but pleasant outdoor terrace with partial river view and always a friendly service.

Mercearia 2

If you are a coffee lover, you must taste their genuine organic coffee.

Cafe b

Super Juice – Juice and Smoothie Bar, Praia da Rocha

Super Juice is located on Praia da Rocha and offers a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, as well as salads, sandwiches and healthy snacks. It is less than 1 minute from the famous Praia da Rocha and we can even see the sea from the terrace. A relaxed space with a typical beach bar décor. If you want to start the day with an energizing juice before a dive, this is a great option. On the menu there are also salads and sandwiches with various vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian options, and two varieties of hummus.

Super juice

For a healthier holiday time, Green Detox is the juice you’ll want to try

Green Detox

Taberna da Casa da Tocha, Portimão

Casa da Tocha is situated in the center of Portimão, in an early 20th-century building. With a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, Taberna da Casa da Tocha serves meals, snacks and wines. Every day there is a fish dish, a meat dish and a special raw vegan of the day – a place that will appeal to all, vegetarians, vegan, raw food lovers, and non-vegetarians. The wine cellar offers a careful selection of Portuguese wines, with special emphasis on the Algarve wines. Casa da Tocha also has a family-friendly hostel with a maximum capacity of 10 people.

Casa da Tocha

The guacamole nachos are a real treat you can not fail to experience.

Nachos de guacamole e salada

Vegetarianus, Portimão

Vegetarianus is a small restaurant in the center of Portimão that exclusively serves vegetarian dishes, also offering the take away option. The couple that owns the restaurant is very friendly and makes delicious dishes that leads us to know new flavors and to truly realize that vegetarian food can be as, or more delicious, than the traditional cuisine. Every day there is a variety of different and colorful dishes and desserts that sometimes seem almost impossible that only two people can make so much delicious food in one morning! It is a residents’ lunch spot, so if you want to get a table easily, we suggest you go early in the opening hour at 12:00am.

vegetarianus

The food is all tasty, but our highlight goes definitly for the salty pastries that with a salad and a natural juice, are by themselves a delicious and healthy meal.

pasteis doces e salgados

If you wish to know more veg-friendly eateries across the globe you can check the Lonely Planet article here.

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 

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 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/