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Praia Da Rocha Overview

The impressive resort of Praia da Rocha lies west of Alvor on the sunshine coast of the Algarve. There has been a holiday resort here since the 1930s but the original town grew significantly in the 1970s. The resort centre enjoys a stunning location with the mighty Rio Arade heading inland to the east of the main beach. Portimao lies a short distance away with the river forming a smart waterfront. The town of Praia da Rocha sits above the magnificent beach with pathways and steps carved into the rocks providing access. There is a convenient promenade running the length of the beach that connects the Santa Catarina castle in the east with the natural look out point at the far end of the beach.

Dazzling marina

The broad sweeping beach stretches the length of the resort and really defines Praia da Rocha. The town looks down on the beach and it is the natural focus of any holiday. The area is busy with impressive hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants as well as a great range of water based activities. The dazzling marina is to the east of the resort, beyond the harbour walls, on the Rio Arade.

Old town of Portimao

The old town of Portimao is a short walk inland from Praia da Rocha. To the west, the city is busy and unattractive. If you follow the river to the east of the city you will get the chance to explore the incredible modern beauty of the marina. The area is thriving and the boats coming and going make a thrilling sight. The fish restaurants along the river front provide a handy resting place for a long lingering lunch as well!


Things to do in Praia da Rocha


On the beach in Praia da Rocha

The mighty Praia da Rocha seafront dominates the compact resort. From the tiny Praia da Marina in the east to the more tranquil Praia do Tres Castelos to the west, the wide expanse of soft white sand is perfect. The area around the marina is great for families with the Agua Beach Club providing a great base for a fun day at the beach. First time visitors to Praia da Rocha should take a little walk along the wooden boardwalk behind the beach. It is lined with simple beach cafes and restaurants. From here you can take your pick from more than a dozen walkways that lead down to loungers and parasols set out in formation.

Top Tip:

For a great view of the beach take a walk along to the Fortress of Santa Catarina next door to the marina.

Eat and drink in Praia da Rocha

The main street running the length of the resort, Avenida Tomás Cabreira, is lined with mid-range cafes, bars and restaurants. You will find this area busy throughout the day and night with hungry and thirsty visitors. There are lots of Irish bars as well as cocktail bars and live music venues. The restaurants that line the beach offer a different experience with freshly cooked fish served up with a view of the Atlantic thrown in. It may be worth reserving a table on the sand for a true holiday dining experience.

Top Tip:

Get away from the crowds and walk along to the more intimate Praia da Marina. There are several small restaurants serving up delicious fresh local specialities.

Praia da Rocha nightlife

Avenida Tomás Cabreira is at the heart of the late night scene in Praia da Rocha. You will find a great range of bars with live music a regular feature. There are some late night clubs if you are looking to keep the party going. The casino offers an alternative night with cabaret acts, plus bar and restaurant all within the imposing Hotel Algarve Casino. Alternatively, take a stroll down to the marina. There are some local bars plus the smart new bar in the Hotel Tivoli.

Shopping in Praia da Rocha

The local shopping opportunities are to be found on and around Avenida Tomás Cabreira. This busy avenue runs the full length of the resort and is lined with places to eat, drink and shop. You will find a range of stores offering everything from holiday essentials to local ceramics, jewellery and clothes. For a wider range of shops, Portimao is a short distance away. You will find smart boutiques alongside local artisan traders. There is also a local market in Portimao six days a week specialising in the best local produce.

Top Tip:

For a full scale shopping experience take a trip to Continente Shopping Centre just outside the resort centre.

Things to see in Praia da Rocha

Families will love the water based fun to be had in the surrounding area. The Dolphin Safari which runs from the marina is a thrilling high speed ride plus the chance to see the local dolphin population in their natural habitat. The water park in Lagoa, Slide and Splash, is a short drive away and well worth a visit.  On dry land, the nearby town of Lagos is a great place to visit with the natural harbour and historical town the stars of the show. If you’re taking the kids you may need to add in a visit to the local zoo.


We Recommend


Senhora da Rocha

This restaurant sits on the main beach, easily accessed via the boardwalk. The outdoor terrace is spectacular on warm evenings. Fish is the obvious speciality but the steak is always good if you’re a meat lover. Senhora da Rocha is great for lunch or dinner but is also a lovely spot for a refreshing drink during the day.

Ireland's Eye

Ireland’s Eye is a great all-rounder on the popular Avenida Tomás Cabreira. It’s a perfect place to call in for breakfast but is also the ideal spot for a late night singing along to the live music. The lively terrace overlooks the beach.

New Year’s Eve

If you’re taking a winter break over the New Year this is one fireworks display not to be missed. The spectacular location of the resort means you can enjoy displays that seem to be going off all around you as nearby Portimao and the marina are lit up as well as the beachfront festivities.


Fast Facts


  • Currency – EUR
  • Time Zone – GMT + (0)
  • Travel Time – Faro (FAO - 2 hours 45 minutes (London)
  • Transfer Time – 1 hour 30 minutes (Bus)



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Google - 4.7 out of 5
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