On the coast of Porches lies Nossa Senhora da Rocha fishing harbour which roughly translates as ‘Our Lady of the Rocks. It is home to many things worthy of a visit including a medieval castle, an attractive chapel and some breath taking coves and beaches.
Chapel Nossa Senhora da Rocha is a pretty small white building with a pointed steeple at the end of a high narrow cliff. Its azulejo-covered interior is home to a 16th century statue of a Madonna and Child protected by a glass doors so that you can look in even when the chapel is locked. Next to the chapel there is a viewing area where you get beautiful panoramic views of Armação de Pêra and along the coast to Albufeira.
Beside the Nossa Senhora da Rocha fishing harbour Praia da Senhora da Rocha lies hidden. A little pearl of a beach it’s an ideal bathing bay if you don't mind sharing the fine sand with a few boats and nets belonging to the local fishermen. The fishing boats also take tourists, on request, to visit the area’s sea caves where you can admire the fascinating play of light and colour. They will also take you to isolated beaches which can only be accessed from the sea.
The beach here has all the facilities you would need for a family day out such as public toilets, showers and a lifeguard service. Right on the beach there is also a fine eatery, Restaurante Vilarinho, serving all the standards along with super-fresh fish dishes. If you walk along near the cliffs in the east, there are hollowed out waterholes to discover in the rocks. If you look west you'll also be rewarded with a panoramic view. A narrow tunnel leads to the neighbouring beach, Praia Nova. Nova beach is surrounded by abundant greenery, including junipers, wild olive and mastic trees. Many plants adapted to the saline environment can be seen growing on the cliff face to the adjacent bay giving shelter to numerous birds. On Praia Nova you can expect to see plenty of falcons, black-headed gulls, herring gulls and swifts but very few people. From the cliffs of Nossa Senhora da Rocha there is a popular walk along this stretch of interesting coast past some fascinating rock formations and towards Praia da Marinha.