Portimao is not a resort but a busy Portuguese town on the river. Here you can find the real Algarve and shop for style or bargains. After the regional capital of Faro the town of Portimao is the Algarves main commercial centre.

The pedestrianised town centre combines the fashionable with the slightly tatty, but is a great place to shop for those truly unique presents. Choose to buy furniture, decorations or households at what are bargain prices compared to the designer stores in UK. There are carriers who will transport back to the UK.

For the more modest spending spree Portimao has a reputation as the place to buy shoes, and the better the shoe, the more you will save. The shops which specialise in these over runs from the northern Portugal shoe industry are within a few minutes walk of the city centre.

Portimao was once a hub of the fish canning industry. What remains today is grilled sardines on the quayside. The restaurants need no advertising just follow the delicious smell.

Portimao is not a resort but a busy Portuguese town which bustles with life. Here is the real Algarve and it seems barely aware of the thousands of tourists who visit nearby Praia da Rocha and Alvor.

After dark the riverside parks and squares take on a distinctly southern European atmosphere as families come out to stroll, meet friends and drink coffee in the many open air cafes. This is pavement café culture at its best and you cannot fail to feel relaxed by the atmosphere. In fact the greatest risk is that you get to like it so much that you don’t want to go home.