Whether it’s a county seat or a civil parish, there are very few places in the Algarve that don’t have one or more markets. Of course, there are the shopping centres and the other types of markets – hypermarkets, supermarkets and minimarkets. But they’re not the same thing. Fortunately for the region’s residents and visitors, there’s always plenty of choice. At some of the Algarve’s markets, you feel like going in to take a look, just because of what they’re like and, well, just because...
The twin buildings of Olhão Market, for example, are perhaps the best-known hallmark of the city. With their large cylindrical turrets and brick-coloured walls, they certainly stand out among the small, white, cube-shaped houses of the city. And anyone going for a stroll along the Avenida 5 de Outubro, which runs alongside the Ria Formosa waterfront, should definitely stop for a look.
No less impressive is Loulé Market, whether from an architectural point of view or because of the myriad colours and smells that captivate all your senses. The recent renovation work was rewarded with a prize from the Portuguese Tourist Board, Turismo de Portugal, which distinguishes infrastructures of public interest capable of attracting new visitors.
The architecture of the market in Silves is of a different type. A typical example of the architecture known as “Estado Novo” (New State Style) or “Português Suave” (Soft Portuguese Style), the armillary sphere and the municipal towers of mediaeval inspiration provide the setting for a traditional space, quality goods and the very relationship between buyers and sellers.
And then you have the markets in Faro, Quarteira, Vila Real de Santo António, Portimão, Tavira and many, many more.
In the Algarve, the traditional markets give visitors the opportunity to do much more than simply look at the goods on display. Here, not only can you choose quality and freshness but you will also often find the best prices. And you can also get tips on how to prepare these typical products from the people who know them best. Choose from seasonal fruit and vegetables or fish and seafood so fresh you can still smell the sea air. These ingredients are the magical gateway to the world of flavours of the Algarve.