Portimao is the biggest town in the western Algarve and sits on the bank of the Arade river facing Ferragudo on the opposite bank. The town is a mix of late 19th, early 20th century buildings and has a lovely Marina with ochre and terracotta colors which is located at the eastern end of Praia da Rocha at the entrance to the Arade river.
The Fortress of Santa Catarina was built in 1621 to defend Sives and Portimão from Spanish and Moorish attacks. Just in front of Portimao there is a small village called Ferragudo. Located across the river estuary, it is is a beautiful and picturesque village with traditional houses belonging to the local fishermen and the fortress of Sao Joao de Arade.