Throughout most of the Algarve, you will find an array of handicraft shops, street stalls and fairs. These little places offer the perfect opportunity to pick up some traditional items from the Algarve that will make great gifts or souvenirs. Shopping in the Algarve means finding the most beautiful hand-painted blue tiles, miniature Algarve houses and chimneys, copper cataplanas, rag dolls, palm-leaf baskets, hats, bobbin lace, wooden stools and regional sweets that everyone will love. Watch out for the traditional “Rua das Lojas” or “Shopping Street” that you will find in all the main cities in the Algarve. Wander around the pedestrian-only streets and have fun window shopping. But don’t even try to resist the scent of fresh pastries wafting from traditional cake shops and the aroma of the best freshly-prepared regional sweets.
Stroll along Rua Direita in Portimão and marvel at its shops. Or explore the many little streets and alleys in the city of Lagos. In Faro, you have the Rua de Santo António (St Anthony’s Street), a veritable open-air shopping centre. The streets of Vila Real de Santo António are the perfect place to find everything you need for the home, from blankets and bath towels to tablecloths and sheets. Olhão’s seafront avenue, next to the markets, is a great place to sample the best seafood. Loulé, too, has a vast array of traditional handicraft shops. Stock up on the freshest fruit and vegetables, straight from the producers’ fields and orchards, at the traditional weekend markets.
Or pay a visit to the municipal markets, such as Loulé, Olhão, Tavira and Faro, where there are stalls selling fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. Here you will find the freshest fish and the tenderest meat. Some of the stalls also have a specialist on hand who will be able to give you some handy tips on how to prepare the products to get the best from them.
For more cosmopolitan options, you can explore the shopping centres in and around Portimão, Albufeira, Faro, Olhão, Loulé or Tavira.
Discover the beauty of the villages, towns and cities at the same time as you find out where to shop in the Algarve for the best gifts and unique memories that you will be taking home with you.