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Praia da Rocha, with its excellent sandy beach and esplanade lined with restaurants, shops and bars, is an ideal holiday destination for the whole family.
The magnificent sandy beach is sheltered by craggy sandstone cliffs and boasts fascinating rock formations jutting out of the sea. Tunnels through the cliffs allow access to the neighbouring beaches.
A walk along the cliffs to take in the exquisite coastal scenery is highly recommended. At the top lies the Fortress of Santa Catarina, an excellent place to watch the sunset. Built in the 17th/18th centuries, it features spectacular views of the sea, a river, beaches and cliffs, and houses an old chapel.
Beach activities include sun tanning, windsurfing, swimming or boat trips off the coast. Alternatively, there are three golf courses, a bowling alley and a nearby water park offering a free shuttle service. Praia da Rocha is known for its nightlife, with several nightclubs, bars and a casino to choose from. There are numerous restaurants, located primarily on the promenade. A comprehensive shopping centre stands at the edge of the resort and good bargains can be found at the gypsy market held on the first Monday of every month on the road into Portimao.
Portimao, the Algarve's largest town, can be reached within a few minutes by bus or taxi. Lagos is well worth a visit for its Roman ruins, while Carvoeiro is an attractive beach alternative. Further inland lies Silves, boasting a 1200-year-old castle and Monchique, with its curative springs and mountain views.
The Algarve can be easily reached from Faro International Airport using the N125, or by road from Europe, using the IP1 motorway from Spain. There are also coach and rail services to the Algarve from most European cities. Additionally, it can be reached through the many ports spread all along the south Portugal coast.