Porches is a very small town in the Central Algarve that’s primarily famous for its pottery but also its wine. The town itself has a population of around 2,000 people, and is very small and quiet with just a few bars, restaurants, and small shops.
Despite the town’s small size, Porches is home to many high end and popular restaurants like O Leão de Porches and VILA VITA Parc Biergarten. If you’re looking for somewhere to come and just eat, Porches is definitely worth considering.
Porches is located inland and, although it lacks easy access to a beach, the nearest beach (Praia da Senhora da Rocha) really isn’t very far away: around 4.7 km or 7 minutes by car.
Handpicked accommodation in Porches
- Casa Bela Moura – Boutique hotel with swimming pool, hot tub, and bar that’s situated 3 km from Porches Town Centre and just 1.5 kms from the nearest beaches: Praia do Vale do Olival and Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha.
- VILA VITA Parc – Award-winning luxury hotel with 10+ restaurants, including the 2-Michelin star Ocean restaurant, 4 km from Porches Town Centre and 700 m from the nearest beach: Praia da Cova Redonda.
- Villa Paraiso – Adults Only hotel with swimming pool and hot tub that’s situated 1.3 km from Porches Town Centre.
Things to do in Porches
Go pottery shopping
Along the N125 between Lagoa and Porches, you’ll find plenty of pottery shops including the most famous of all: Porches Pottery.
Here you’ll find pottery shops selling everything from crockery and cookware to flower pots, tiles, statues, and more.
Note: although these shops just 1 km from Porches, they’re on the side of a busy road. You’ll either need to drive or take a taxi.
Visit the Igreja Matriz de Porches
The main church in Porches is the Igreja Matriz de Porches. The church was originally built in the 16th Century but very little remains of the original church particularly after the 1755 earthquake which destroyed everything but the chancel.
Aside from the altar, the interior of the church is fairly simple with white walls that are partly tiled with blue 18th-century tiles.
Wine tasting & art browsing at Galeria de Arte
Just a 5-minute drive from Porches, LIR Galeria de Arte combines art exhibitions and wine tasting. The wines are locally-produced, and the gallery showcases work from local Algarve artists. You can buy a wine flight and try several different wines or there’s a café if you want something more driver-friendly.
Fort and Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Rocha
Situated on the edge of a cliff promontory that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, this picturesque chapel and fortress is definitely worthy of a photo or two.
Located just 4 minutes’ drive from Porches lies one of the most popular attractions for families visiting the Algarve: Aqualand. One of several waterparks in the Algarve, including Slide & Splash and Aquashow, Aqualand’s most famous rides include Crazy Race, Hydra, Rapids, and the Flying Mattresses.
Tickets for Aqualand can be purchased from AlgarveFun.com.
Getting to Porches
Renting a car
Although there are some bus services from Porches to other towns in the Algarve, Porches isn’t particularly well-connected and you’ll probably want to get out and visit nearby attractions like some of the nearby beaches, Aqualand water park (if you have children), and to nearby towns like Ferragudo and Silves.
While you could do this by public transport (with several changes), it’s definitely a lot easier if you rent a car at Faro Airport. Most major car hire companies, like Hertz and Europcar, have a presence at Faro Airport and you can easily compare prices using comparison sites like Rentalcars.com, Skyscanner.net, and Kayak.
Get the Guide: Renting a car at Faro Airport.
There are several bus routes connecting Porches with Armação de Pêra, Lagoa, Portimão, and Senhora da Rocha (where you’ll find the beach: Praia de Nossa Senhora da Rocha). Timetables can be found on Eva Bus.
Lagoa and Armação de Pêra, both roughly 5 km from Porches, will have many more bus routes to other destinations in the Algarve and South of Portugal.
Longer distance coaches also depart to and from Porches and go to Lisbon and other major cities in Portugal. Tickets and timetables can be found on Rede Expressos.
Porches doesn’t have a train station. The nearest train station to Porches is Poço Barreto, which is a little over 5 km away.
Taxis (and taxi apps)
Taxis can be booked by calling Taxi Arade (English-speaking) on 00-351-282460610. Uber and some other taxi apps are available in the Algarve, but you may have to wait a bit as the drivers will probably have to come from nearby towns like Armação de Pêra.