Algarve International Circuit, Portimão, Portugal

Initially hosting MotoGP in 2020 as a stand-in circuit during the COVID pandemic, the Autodromo Internacional Algarve has since firmly established its place in the calendar, receiving high praise all round.

Quickly becoming a favourite among fans and riders alike, the modern, 4.7km long circuit is renowned for its undulating nature, consisting of 15 turns and including a big downhill slope into numerous tricky right-handers following the main straight.

The track’s width makes it fantastic for overtaking, and the technical prowess required to negotiate some of the more difficult bends really separates the men from the boys.

As the first race of the season, just before the Argentinian MotoGP, if you’re chasing some early spring sunshine then the Portuguese GP can provide your fix. Situated in the beautiful algarve region on the southern coast of Portugal, you’ll find the circuit smack bang in the middle of the nearby towns of Lagos and Portimao, approximately a 20 minute drive or taxi ride (€20) from each.

Autodromo Do Algarve is one of the most demanding tracks ever!

Michael Van Der Mark,SBK Yamaha Rider

Popular among international visitors thanks to its excellent accessibility from Faro airport, fans flock from all over the world to see their favourite riders burn some rubber in one of Europe’s most celebrated holiday gems. The closest train station is Mexilhoeira Grande, around 10 KM away.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira stormed to victory on home turf for the first edition here in 2020, leading from start to finish after claiming his maiden MotoGP Pole.

Most of the grandstands at the Portimao circuit provide very respectable views that cover large parts of the circuit. There will be toilet facilities available at every single stand , along with at least one point of sale for food and beverages.

Riders will be chasing a strong start to the season in Portugal by stamping their authority early on, so expect some particularly exhilarating and aggressive racing to kick off the season in impeccable style.

Viewing Options

Main Grandstand / Bancada Principal

The enormous main grandstand at the Portimao circuit is renowned for having absolutely breathtaking, widespread views covering a massive portion of the track.

With a capacity of 16 000, you’re going to be surrounded by hoards of passionate motorsport fans from all corners of the globe, so an electrifying atmosphere can be expected.

Its location overlooking the main straight ensures the perfect view of the start and finish, and there are also 2 huge video walls perched opposite so you can follow the riders even on the rare occasions they’re out of your direct line of sight.

Being the main grandstand, If you buy a seat here you’re going to be right in the thick of things. There are plenty of food and drinks stalls nearby in case you get peckish throughout the day. Toilets are in close proximity too.

The grandstand is covered, so you’re safe from any adverse weather, though the chances of these are pretty low.

Gate M is the nearest entrance to where you need to be, so you should enter the circuit through here.
The main grandstand is split into the lower track level option and the upper ‘superior’ tier option. The lower level is slightly cheaper, but still gives you a spectacular vantage point to watch the race unfold.

There is an upper tier option in the main grandstand, which provides the most widespread views available at the track, with about 70-80% coverage.

Despite being one of the most expensive options at Portimao you really can’t beat it. It’s well worth splashing out that little bit extra if you can afford it. You won’t be disappointed.

West Stand

Also located on the main straight and to the left of the main grandstand, you’ll find the West Grandstand. If atmosphere is high up on your list  when it comes to making a decision regarding where to sit, then this grandstand should be on your radar. It’s close to where the majority of the fans will be, and has a good view of the start/finish line. 

As the riders hurtle towards the intense first corner on the first lap, the view you’ll get as they manoeuvre their body and bikes into positioning before slingshotting out the other side will leave you lost for words.

That being said, it doesn’t quite match that breathtaking, head-on view you might get to experience in the Meo stand.

Regardless, the first turn is an overtaking hotspot at Portimao circuit so you’re almost guaranteed an exciting day of spectating.

Be aware that access to the big screens in the West stand isn’t as good as it could be, so bring some binoculars if your hoping to catch sight of a screen in the distance.

There are toilets nearby, and the odd food and drink zone dotted around too. Expect to be queuing a short while for things though, as it is a busier part of the track.

The West stand is a very sturdy option at Portimao – its decent value, and energy is always high when you’re on the main straight.

This grandstand is not covered so bring appropriate clothing and sun protection.

North Stand / Bancada Meo

Overlooking the extremely intense first corner, the North Stand also known as the Meo grandstand at the Portimao circuit is definitely one of the better choices when deciding where to sit on race day. It’s one of the more expensive options at €115 per ticket for the 2023 edition, but for good reason.

Offering an unbeatable, head on view of the first turn, you’ll be in prime position to witness the riders battle for position as they accelerate off the start line, racing towards you before slingshotting out the other side.

As an overtaking hotspot, the view gets better and better throughout the course of the race as excitement continues to build. It’s not just turn 1 you can see either – you get a very good view of the second and third turns, with turn 4 visible further in the distance too if you’re lucky.

There’s a huge big screen on the inside of the track so you won’t miss a moment. If you can , get seats nearest the left of the grandstand for a slightly better view of this. Sit nearer the right if you aren’t bothered about the big screen and the start is what matters to you most.

There are toilets located in close proximity, along with food and drink facilities nearby too. You’re close to the main straight, so only a stone’s throw from all the hustle and bustle around the main fan areas.

Gate 5 is what you need to be looking for when entering the circuit.

The Meo Stand is fairly expensive, but you get what you pay for. If for any reason the Main grandstand isn’t for you, this should be next on your list.

Lagos Stand / Bancada Lagos

At €100 per ticket in 2023, the Lagos stand comes in at the mid-tier price point, and this is a pretty good reflection of the experience that it offers.

Located to the left of the Meo grandstand, you don’t quite get those spectacular head-on views of the home straight that you can find in its pricier counterpart, but it still offers a very respectable vantage point nonetheless.

You’ll be in a great spot to see turns 2, 3 and 4, which is one of the more exciting parts of the track, and there’s a large video wall on the inside of the track at the right hand side. This gives you access to the other parts of the circuit that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.

Amenities are close by, with toilet access and food and drink stalls on hand. Neighbouring the Meo stand and being not too far from the main straight, the atmosphere here is sure to be electric. Gate 4.B is the entry point, so keep an eye out for the signage for that.

The Lagos stand is a good, mid budget option for those that want a decent view without burning all of their funds before they get to race day.

Portimão 2 Stand / Bancada Portimão 2

Located at turn 8, the Portimao 2 stand offers a unique race perspective at a mid-range price point.

A seat in this grandstand gives you a view covering the particularly technical downhill section of track that leads into a tight and narrow corner.

If you’re a photographer of any sort, then this is definitely the place to be. There’s an opportunity to capture some truly breathtaking shots, as the riders hug the tarmac before catapulting off into the distance.

Be aware though that according to some trip advisor reviews, some fans have had issues getting their ‘professional looking’ photography equipment into the circuit, so it’s probably a good idea to be prepared with a smaller back up camera.

At €100 per ticket, a seat here isn’t cheap, but isn’t as expensive as some of the other options either.
There is a big screen located on the inside of the track, along with toilet facilities nearby. Food and drink is available, but there aren’t as many options at Portimao as you might find at some other circuits, so be prepared to queue a little longer than usual.

Gate 4 is the nearest entry point for this grandstand.

Portimão Stand / Bancada Portimão

Bancada Portimao looks out over an apex bend – if you want to see your favourite racers really squeezing everything out of their bikes, then it’s brilliant. That real, nitty-gritty, knees to the floor racing that every MotoGP fan craves.

The riders remain in sight for a decent amount of time too, and you can see them weave away into the distance as they tussle for positions in those latter stages of the lap.

Entry is through gates 3 and 3.B. There’s a video wall that comes as standard, best viewed through some binoculars to guarantee you don’t miss any of the race antics.

Toilets and food and drink stalls are just a short walk away. You are a bit further away from the heart of the circuit though with it being at the other side of the track, so the atmosphere might not be of the same calibre as you’ll find in the busier grandstands.

It comes in at the mid/high end price point. If you’re going to spend this much, it’s probably better to just spend that tiny bit extra for a seat in the main grandstand.

Sagres Stand / Bancada Sangres

Possibly one of the worst seats at the Portimao circuit due to its pretty restricted view, the Sagres stand reflects this with its price, at just €65 per ticket.

Being one of the worst doesn’t mean it’s absolutely terrible, it’s just that the majority of the grandstands at Portimao are much better than at most circuits. It has a view of two latter stage corners, which no doubt will offer up some exciting and key race moments.

The view isn’t of much more though, and when there are numerous other stands that offer pretty widespread coverage of the circuit, there are obviously much better options.

At Portimao, there is no free roaming around the circuit like you often can at some others in the calendar.

This means whichever grandstand you choose, you’re pretty much stuck there for the whole time.
There is a video wall on the inside of the track so it’s not like you’ll have no idea what’s going on elsewhere during the race. There’s food and drink stalls and toilets nearby as usual too.

Gate 3 or 3.B would also be your entrance point if you get a seat here. If thats the case, it is by no means the end of the world. It’s cheap so you’ll be saving a nice bit of money, and the view is still OK, but I’d suggest going for somewhere else if you get the choice.

Solverde Stand / Bancada Solverde

The cheapest option at the Portimao circuit is the Bancada Solverde. It provides a view that’s pretty similar to Sagres, and while it isn’t awful, there are certainly better choices to make when deciding where to sit.

Like all the grandstands, it’s split into blocks. If you can snag one of the seats to the left side of the grandstand closer to Bancada Sul, you’re going to be much better off than those at the opposite end.

At the side near Sagres, access to the big screens isn’t great, and the view of the circuit is relatively restricted.

Toilets and food and drink stalls are in close proximity, but expect queues throughout the day as there isn’t really enough per grandstand in most cases.

You’ll enter through gate 2.

If money saving is important to you but you still want the MotoGP experience, then Solverde may be the choice for you. At just €55 per person, its hard to say too many bad things about it as for that price, you can’t expect the world.

It’s a respectable view of a small area of track, but if you’re chasing that once in a lifetime race day excitement then you’re better off sitting elsewhere.

Sul Stand / Bancada Sul

At the mid-lower end of the spectrum, there’s Bancada Sul. At €85 per head, it’s fantastic value, and the view is much better than Sagres and Solverde as you get a very healthy view of the main straight.

Being positioned perfectly to overlook the last corner, you’re also in a brilliant spot to witness what is perhaps the most exciting aspect of the race.

The last bend is a blind entry, downhill right-hander that really tests the riders’ technical prowess and ability to push themselves and their machines to the very limit. You won’t be short of action with a seat here, and you wont break the bank trying to afford your seat either.

There’s a massive big screen for you to follow along, and toilets and food and drink stalls are a stone’s throw away. Being close to the main straight, main grandstand and finish line, you really get to feel that buzz in the air as the fans cheer on their idols.

The Sul grandstand is one of the better options at Portimao, so be sure to consider it when purchasing your race day tickets.

Best grandstand at the Portugal MotoGP in Portimão

It’s hard to beat the head on views you’ll get at the North Stand also called Bancada Meo. The MotoGP racers head straight towards you creating one of the best grandstand views at the Algarve International Circuit, Portimão. Well worth the ticket price.