Car & Van Hire in Portimao

Enterprise car hire locations in Portimao

Portimao is located 65 km from Faro Airport, the Algarve region's principal airport. Shuttle buses and taxis service the route into Portimao city centre, which takes roughly 55 minutes. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is available both in Portimao and Faro Airport, with pre-booking available. Rental cars are among the most convenient means of exploring the area.

What to do and see in Portimao

With a history dating to Phoenician settlement, Portimao is one of the Algarve's most vibrant cities. Nestled on the edge of the Arade River Estuary, this important city was once a shipbuilding centre and has a long tradition of seafaring. Today, the city's vibrant promenade and marina remain a central attraction. It's not uncommon to spot replica 16th-century caravels sailing along the shore.

Among Portimao's picturesque hikes is up along the Av. Tomas Cabreira to Fort of Santa Catarina. This medieval-originating fort was built to defend the coast from pirates. Its current structure dates from the 17th century and offers great views of the coast from its battlements. For a more detailed history of Portimao, head to the Museu de Portimao. This fascinating historical portrait of the city's recent past is located within a 19th-century fish cannery and details its sardine-packing history.

The 15th-century Igreja Matriz is both one of the city's most beautiful landmarks and among the grandest churches in the Algarve. It was partially rebuilt in the 18th century following a devastating 1755 earthquake. The city's fortunes then as an eminent port city are apparent in the gilded and marbled interiors. Follow the cobblestone alleys from the church to the coast to discover Portimao's vibrant dining scene, marked by the smell of traditionally grilled sardines.

Some of Portimao's greatest events celebrate its heritage. Portimao's Carnival takes on a piratical theme with nautical processions, costumes and balls through the festive season. If you're lucky enough to travel in August, visit the Portimao Sardine Festival, when local wines flow amid fireworks, music and sardine dishes. Regular musical festivals include Afro Nation and Rolling Loud, two big summertime events hosted on Portimao's beaches.

As for the beaches, Praia da Rocha is renowned for its length and width of sandy shores, just a stone's throw from the city centre. The area pulsates during the high season with popular bars and nightlife. Family-friendly beaches nearby include Praia de Alvor, a large beach with a boardwalk flanked by the stunning Ria de Alvor reserve. Then there's Praia do Alemao with its rocky grottoes and hidden beaches, and Praia dos Careanos with its secluded spots.

Car or van hire in Portimao will let you visit one of the Algarve's most popular areas and its stunning, natural surroundings. The Roman ruins of Quinta da Abicada and the Megalithic Monuments of Alcalar both make perfect day trips for history fans. For families, Portimao is surrounded by breathtaking nature, beaches and water parks, from Slide and Splash to boat trips through the magical Benagil caves.

Driving in Portimao

Portimao is a pleasant region to drive in. However, it's worth noting that some roads in the compact centre can be complicated to navigate with one-way streets and pedestrianised avenues. Luckily, the city is served by plenty of well-sign-posted car parks within easy reach of the main sights. In particular, areas around the riverfront and off Av. São João de Deus are perfect for car visitors.

Alternative means of parking include on-street options which, although convenient, become less prevalent during peak season. There are a wide variety of parking options in the city itself, from Saba garages to free-to-park short-term bays.

The city itself is well connected to the Algarve-wide A22 motorway. This 133 km stretch of mostly dual-carriageway road provides convenient links to major cities and tourist towns. An older Algarve route, the N125, also connects with towns like Lagos and Faro. The A22 further connects with the cross-country A2 at Amoreira, one of the country's major motorways connecting with Lisbon in the north.

As with the rest of Portugal, cars are driven on the right-hand side of the road. National rules to remember are that seat belts are mandatory and that driving documents must be at hand at all times when driving. What's more, children under 12 years old are not allowed to be seated at the front of the vehicle, and young children must have suitable booster seats.

In general, national speed limits ate 90 km/h for standard roads and 120 km/h on dual carriageways and motorways. In Portimao, you'll find mostly 50 km/h roads plus reductions to 20 to 30 km/h as signposted. The A22 motorway that connects Portimao with the wider Algarve region is a toll road. These are paid at booths, of which there are 5 between Portimao and Faro.

Driving in Portimao and the Algarve is far easier than in Portugal's larger cities like Lisbon and Porto. Roads are often quiet, and traffic levels are low, except during major tourist seasons. Most visitors to the city will collect their car hire in Portimao at Faro Airport, which is conveniently placed for driving throughout the region.

Car and van hire in Portugal with Enterprise

Enterprise Portugal offers a range of car and van hire services including one-way, long-term and short-term vehicle hire. Commercial clients can speak to our award-winning business rental team who will tailor a mobility solution for your needs and budget.

We are part of the Enterprise group, the largest transportation solutions provider in the world. Our global network covers more than 90 countries and over 9,500 locations, allowing us to serve your mobility needs, wherever you’re going.

We are committed to providing the best service possible and exceeding our customers’ expectations for quality and value.

Car hire in Portimao

If you are travelling with your family or in a big group, you may find a 7-seater or a people carrier will give you more space to travel comfortably with your luggage. For a city trip, a handy hatchback that’s easy to park may suit you better. For business trips or long drives an executive car will combine comfort and performance.

Whether you prefer automatic to manual transmission, no problem. If you want a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine, we’ve got you covered. You may also need GPS, a child seat or want to add another driver to the contract, let us know and we’ll arrange it for you.

Van hire in Portimao

Should you need to hire a van while you’re in Portimao, all our vans can be driven on a standard licence and are modern, clean and easy to drive. Just ask and one of our branch team will happily show you around your hire van to make sure you are comfortable with it before you head off.