The unprecedented rates of current biodiversity loss have motivated a renewed interest in environmental and biodiversity monitoring. The need for sustained monitoring strategies has prompted not only the establisment of new long-term monitoring programmes, but also the rescue of data from historical or otherwise archived sources. Amongst the most valuable datasets are those containing information on intertidal systems, as they are particularly well suited for studying the biological effects of climate change. The Portuguese rocky coast is quite interesting for studying the effects of climate change on the distribution of species due to its geographical orientation, latitudinal patterns in temperature, species richness, species' distribution patterns and availability of historical information. This work aims at providing a comprehensive picture of the distribution and abundance of intertidal macro-invertebrates and macro-algae along the Portuguese rocky coast in the early 2000s.This study provides a description of the rocky shore intertidal biodiversity of the mainland Portuguese coast in the early 2000s. The spatial distribution and semi-quantitative abundance of a total of 238 taxa were assessed at 49 wave-exposed locations. These data provide a comprehensive baseline against which biodiversity changes can be effectively and objectively evaluated.