Despite the huge supermarkets that conquered Portugal like Auchan, Intermarché, Aldi & Lidl, the market life of Portugal is still very bibid and has kept his importance.
Farmers, fishermen, tradesmen & horticulturists are setting up their stall early in the morning. Every town or village probably has his own covered market place. Most of the time, these buildings are a beautiful example of classic architecture. For example the market in Olhoa, situated at the harbor, which is an impressive building with two towers and a skeleton that could be made by Mr. Eiffel himself.
Too bad lots of those markets have to compete with the modern shopping centers that arise everywhere in the country. But, we have to admit, the shopping centers are not that unattractive and they can be seen as monuments of modern progress. In Lisbon you will find the largest shopping mall of Europe and in Guia, in the Algarve, you will find yourself in Disneyland when visiting the local mall. Lots of families come here on Sundays to have a good time. With huge food squares & lots of lovely stores inside, these malls are the perfect afternoon experience.
But, the true Portuguese market is located outside, on a big sandy square close to the local church, or near a deteriorated sports center. These markets are announced in local papers attract visitors from all over the area. At the beginning of the market you can find the pastry stalls. The dough products are baked in burning oil and are most of the time blended with an abundance of cinnamon & sugar. When you continue the market you will find lots of shellfish & snails, available in bowls & boxes, a true delicacy. Another delicious sweet always present, are the strawberries, available throughout the whole year and only one euro for one kilo. At one o’clock, when the market is running towards its end, strawberries are almost sold out, so please take that into account.
If you want to check out these markets and lively atmosphere, feel free to check out our Private Tours, Tour Packages & Day Tours. A visit to these markets, when passing one, is practically always included in our visits.