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And for a glimpse into the distant past, the megalithic monuments north of the city remind sightseers of how it all began.The award-winning Portimão Museum makes imaginative use of a former sardine cannery to present one of the most engaging collections of archaeology and ethnography in the Algarve.Among the traditional industries showcased, the Algarve's boat building heritage is given deserved recognition, with a dedicated installation charting this once in-demand skill.
Diving enthusiasts are in for a treat: the coastal waters contain the world's largest artificial reef.
The permanent exhibition is divided into eight themed galleries and allows you to step back in time and ponder the social history of the city and local communities, from prehistoric times to the present day.
Arranged in chronological order, artifacts on display include fine examples of Roman and Islamic amphorae, some excavated from the River Arade.
The La Rosa factory was completely refurbished to accommodate the museum, and half the floor space preserves the original canning production line.
The equipment has been restored to near perfect condition, and visitors of all ages can learn about the processes involved - from the "heads-off" hall to the all-important tins.
Sun seekers can head for Praia da Rocha, one of the region's finest beaches.