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Praia da Rocha Portugal – Fully updated for 2018!

Praia da Rocha is an enjoyable, bustling and jovial resort town, which during the summer, is one of the liveliest towns of the Algarve coastline. Praia da Rocha is a town that is focused solely on two aspects; the beach and having fun. This is not a destination for an immersion into Portuguese culture, it is a place to lounge on the beach, eat great food and then embrace the night!

Praia da Rocha

The beach, cliffs and town of Praia da Rocha

That said, there is history and culture close by, in the form of interesting day trips and excursions, and the town does boast many great holiday activities, including power boat rides, water parks, and jeep tours. Praia da Rocha is a classic beach holiday destination, with an outstanding beach, lots going on, and buzzing holiday atmosphere, while also having a wide-reaching appeal, including families, young couples or the more mature tourist. This guide will provide an introduction to Praia da Rocha, and is designed for tourists considering a holiday to this buzzing summer town.

 

 

Quick overview of Praia de Rocha

Praia da Rocha and Portimão……

Before we get to far into this article we should explain the relationship between Praia da Rocha and Portimão, as confusingly they are used interchangeably. Praia da Rocha is the resort town along the coastline, while Portimão is a major residential city 3km inland from Praia da Rocha. For the fun holiday resort, which this guide is detailing, you want to be based in Praia da Rocha and close to the beach.

Why Visit Praia da Rocha?

Praia da Rocha is one of the Algarve’s most popular resort towns and offers a diverse selection of entertainment, sights and activities, suitable for all ages. The town is set above one of the finest beaches of the Algarve, a vast expanse of soft golden sands, which is lapped by the crystal-clear sea waters.

 

 

Praia da Rocha has an extensive selection of restaurants and bars, and the nightlife is varied and colourful. The main street of Tomás Cabreira is filled with themed bars, and is always a hive of activity, while the marina complex has a more exclusive and stylish ambience.

Praia da Rocha beach

The massive beach is the main attraction of Praia da Rocha

Who should visit Praia da Rocha?

During the summer season Praia da Rocha is a busy and hectic town that is perfectly suited for visitors who enjoy a buzzing and vibrant atmosphere. Praia da Rocha’s main draws are the stunning beaches, excellent restaurants and energetic nightlife; do not expect to find culture or heritage from Praia da Rocha.

Outside of the summer months Praia da Rocha is calmer and has a slightly more mature atmosphere, making it ideal for visitors who want a relaxing and inexpensive holiday.

Praia da Rocha themed bars

Themed bars and fast-food joints are found to one end of Praia da Rocha....

Praia da Rocha marina

while the chic hotels and marina are at the other end of Praia de Rocha

When to Visit Praia da Rocha and Southern Portugal?

Praia da Rocha and the Algarve have long hot summers and pleasant spring and autumns. Winters are mild, but the weather can be unpredictable. June through to August is the height of the tourist season and the town will be at its most hectic, with the majority of hotels fully sold out. If planning a summer holiday to southern Portugal always book accommodation and flights well in-advance.

Praia de Rocha weather

The average weather of Praia da Rocha

The weather is suitable for spending time on the beach from mid-May until the end of September and the mid-seasons can be a great time for a bargain holiday. Praia da Rocha closes down for winter in October and reopens for Easter and during the closed season the region will feel very quiet as there is not a large permanent population. The one exception is the Christmas holidays when there will be a significantly number of tourists.

 

 

Praia da Rocha for families and young children

Southern Portugal is a good destination for children and Praia da Rocha popular with families. Having children also, we would recommend Praia da Rocha and the central Algarve based on the followin:

• The beaches are safe, with clean and calm sea waters, and are supervised in the summe.

• The Portuguese are a very family focused nation and children will be welcomed in all restaurants.

• Supermarkets stock all common items, and pharmacies are widely available all minor ailments.

• English is widely spoken by all who work within the tourist industry, and language will never be an issue.

During the summer Praia da Rocha will be very hectic with a diverse range of ages and tourists, this ecliptic mix of visitors may not be ideal for young children or families seeking a purely relaxing holiday.

Praia da Rocha for 2018

The Algarve is currently experiencing an unparalleled rejuvenation; new businesses are opening, hotels are being refurbished and there is a sense of confidence and optimism about the region. Praia da Rocha is expecting a record number of visitors for 2018 and this follows the sell-out summer in 2017.

This popularity does mean that to secure the best prices for accommodation and flights they must be booked far in advance. Fortunately, most hotels reserved via internet booking websites do not require a deposit, therefore negating any monetary penalty if plans are changed in the future. Our advice for you, if you are seriously considering a holiday to Praia da Rocha book your accommodation now, as it will sell out. For a summary of the best hotels in Praia da Rocha, based upon current and true reviews, please click here.

 

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Does Praia da Rocha have good beaches?

Praia de Rocha has a large and beautiful beach, which can easily accommodate all of the summer time tourists. The beach stretches along the length of the town and there is a pleasant promenade that makes the entire beach easily accessible. Further along the coast the sandstone cliffs hide small coves and quieter beaches, ideal for those wishing to escape the crowds. For a guide to the beaches please click here.

Praia da Rocha deserted beaches

The deserted beaches to the west of Praia de Rocha

The sea waters of south Portugal are clean but very cold as they are feed by the Atlantic Ocean, instead of the warmer Mediterranean Sea. The beach of Praia de Rocha is supervised by lifeguards and there are no dangerous currents making them suitable for children and families. There are all manner of water sports and activities including; jet skis, banana boats, kayaks and parasailers.

Day trips from Praia da Rocha

From Praia da Rocha there is a regular bus service to the much larger town of Portimão and the sights of the city can be easily seen within half a day.

From Portimão there are bus services to Silves and this is the best (easily accessible) day trip from Praia da Rocha. Silves was the ancient capital of the Algarve and the city is dominated by the highly fortified red brick castle. Silves is a pleasant town with an unhurried atmosphere that provides a glimpse into the traditional side of Portugal.

 Silves portugal

Silves is a traditional Portuguese town

The second day trip from Portimão is to the historic harbour town of Lagos, with its beautiful coastline of highly weathered cliffs, grottos and sea caves (known as the Ponta da Piedade). In the town there are pretty cobbled streets, numerous historic monuments, and a large marina.

Ponte de Piedade lagos

Lagos is a pretty and historic town

Other enjoyable excursions from Praia da Rocha include the full day boat cruises that follow the coast westwards to Sagres. For an enjoyable walk follow the cliff top promenade to the small town of Praia do Vau. For a guide to the day trips please click here.

Warning, please read

There have been a number of sham residential letting websites, which have appeared on the internet, with bogus or copied listings (often of real apartments). These websites look professional (guarantees, refund polices etc) and often the comparative prices are significantly cheaper. Only ever book an apartment through a trusted website (booking.com, homeaway.co.uk etc) and never pay for accommodation by bank transfer. For more details please see the TripAdvisor forum post:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g189111-i330-k11450362-Beware_Villa_Scam_bogus_company_PT_Villas_Algarve-Algarve.html

(link opens new link)

Note: This type of scam is not just limited to the Algarve but is found in all major tourist destinations. The Algarve is just ripe for it, as demand for accommodation outstrips supply.

Theme parks and water Parks in Praia da Rocha?

There are no theme parks or water parks directly in Praia da Rocha but there are shuttle buses to the major parks of the Algarve. The best water park is Slide and Splash, a huge complex of insane slides, flumes and rubber ring rides. The best theme park is Zoomarine, a combination of waterpark and sea world that specialises in dolphins. Both theme parks are excellently maintained, with great attractions and are enjoyable for visitors of all ages; the only down side are the tourist inflated entrance fees.

Restaurants, eating out and food in Praia da Rocha

Visitors to southern Portugal will discover that eating out provides great value, as food and drink are significantly cheaper than back at home. In Praia da Rocha there is a wide selection of restaurants that cover all styles of cuisine and dining, which include Portuguese, English, Indian, Chinese, Italian and Spanish. The evening meal is an important part of the Portuguese day, therefore meals tend not to be rushed and last for a good couple of hours. Tipping is not compulsory but it is often expected as it helps to boost the meagre wages of the waiting staff.

Beach front cafes

The beach front cafes

Praia da Rocha Airport

The main international airport of the Algarve is near the town of Faro which is approximately 70km to the east of Praia da Rocha. The Faro airport is a major hub served by many of the major European airlines and all of the low cost airlines have flights to Faro.

Air Tap

Air Tap is the national carrier of Portugal

There is very limited public transport from Faro airport to Praia da Rocha and the journey is very time consuming, requiring two buses and a train journey. It is advisable to pre-book airport transfers and a shared transfer with a mini bus or coach starts from 30Euros while private transfer will be around 60Euro.

Praia da Rocha's Appearance

Praia da Rocha is a small and compact town which has meant the large hotels and apartments complexes have built high into the sky but this does not detract from the beautiful natural scenery of the area.

 

 

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