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Day trips from Praia da Rocha
Praia da Rocha is a lively and popular beach resort that is located on a stunning stretch of coastline. The resort is a modern affair with giant white hotel complexes lining the top of the cliffs with varied restaurants, cafes and bars at ground level. Praia da Rocha is a fantastic holiday destination but the town lacks the traditional charm of southern Portugal. This guide will provide details of popular day trips from Praia da Rocha that discover the real uncommercial side of the Algarve.
Day trip to Silves
Silves is an appealing and relaxing town that was once the Moors’ capital of the Algarve. The Moors ruled between the 9-12th century their power base was the imposing red brick castle that stands atop of the hill and used the Arade River as a means of transport and communication. Today Silves makes for fantastic destination as a day trip to discover real and traditional Portugal.
Silves contains charming streets of open air cafes that winds up the hill to the beautifully restored castle. Down by the cooling Arade River the ancient Ponte Romana spans the river and leads a wonderful viewpoint on the opposite hill to the city.
The pretty town on Silves with the cathedral and castle at the top of the hill
The historic buildings close to the main square are traditionally painted or decorated with specialised glazed tiles while the mighty Se cathedral is the most important religious building of the region. Silves has a pleasant slow place that is as far removed from hectic Praia da Rocha. Silves can be reached by a short bus journey from Praia da Rocha and for an extensive guide to Silves please click here.
Day trip to Lagos
Lagos is one of the most popular resort towns on the western Algarve, which has managed to develop responsibly around its historic centre. Lagos is more of a mature destination than Praia da Rocha but the town hides some unique tourist attractions and makes for an enjoyable day trip.
Within walking distance of Lagos is the Dona Ana beach which is regarded as the most picturesque beach of the Algarve. Further along the coast are the dramatically carved cliffs of the Ponta de Piedade and a popular side excursion is to hire a boat to navigate through the grottos and caves of the high weathered cliffs. For a guide to Lagos please click here.
The stunning Dona Ana beach near Lagos
Central Lagos contains a mixture of traditional buildings that overlook the small estuary and the marina complex. Guarding the entrance to the estuary is the small sand stone coloured fort and large sections of the city walls still remain. There is a lot to see and do in Lagos and it makes for a great day trip from Praia da Rocha. Visitors can travel to Lagos by train or bus, both of which depart from Portimão.
The historic centre of Lagos
Portimão is the nearest major town Praia da Rocha and is just 3km north of the resort. For such an important city Portimão has an infectious relaxed ambience and a noticeably slower pace. Important sights include the grand Colégio dos Jesuítas church and the impressive town hall.
The Colégio dos Jesuítas church in central Portimao
The central shopping district of Portimão follows narrow pedestrianized streets that open up on large plazas, while to the east of the city is the marina and river front. Portimão may not contain enough sights for a full day but is easily accessible from Praia da Rocha either by bus, taxi or a 20 minute walk.