In the days of the Phoenicians , the Greeks and the Carthaginians , Portimão was a small place of commerce and had a natural port at the mouth of the River Arade. During the time of the Arab occupation, the river represented Silves - the capital of the Algarve at that time - the most important link with the sea.
With the development of the fishing and canning industries, at the end of the 19th century, Portimão became an important economic center, whose decline was marked by the recession in the early 1980s. Portimão - where the famous Praia da Rocha and Praia do Vau are located - is today a modern tourist city with a strong commercial nature and a very busy nightlife.
Providing a calm contrast, it is located on the other side of the mouth of the River Arade , the small fishing village of Ferragudo . Just a few kilometers further east is also the well-known tourist resort of Carvoeiro , with its elegant villas and hotels.