Monday, October 22, 2007

Algarve, Portugal?

My friend is leaving for a week in Algarve next Saturday. Do you have any recommendations for her? What to do, where to eat, what to buy? They'll be golfing most of the time, but they have plenty of free time as well. And what should I ask her to bring home for me? :)

9 comments:

winnie said...

Where are thei going to be?
I live in the Algarve.

Tesse said...

We are going to Vilamoura, is that close to where you live? Please do tell me everything that we have to do down there! =)And what we have to eat! (And what to bring home to Anne ;))

Anonymous said...

Hello! My family is from Portugal, though not from Algarve. I would suggest you buy some portuguese chourico (portuguese sausage, and mild...the HOT can sometimes be very very hot!) and definitely Portuguese custard tarts if you find them at bakeries. My grandpa owns a portuguese bakery here in Canada, and the custard tarts are popular with everyone!

Enjoy your visit!!!!
Melissa

ptasia said...

Hi,
Portuguese custard tarts are lovely - I ate "the genuine" ones from Belem (and the bakery/tea house is worth a visit... though maybe a bit far from Algarve, but could be combined with Lisbon). In southern Portugal, I stayed a few days in Tavira - it's a charming if a bit sleepy town, all old buildings, bridges and Fado music from loudspeakers on the town hall (or so it was three years ago - I heard they stopped playing the music - pity). It's a 30 min train ride (and the train itself is antique!) west from Faro. Take note the town is not by the sea, you have to take a boat to Isla di Tavira to go to the beach. Still, I definitely recommend it for the unique atmosphere. And speaking of food... I ate great clams and pork there (I forgot the name in Portuguese: porc alentejana perhaps?) and grilled sardines of course. There was also a nice tea house on the main street.

ptasia said...

Error correction: Tavira is east, not west of Faro.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
You should definitely try the grilled sardines. For sweets and since you are in algarve, try the Dom Rodrigos (a small treat made with eggs and cinammon). Try also the pão alentejano, a typical bread and is very good. Have fun!

algarve_holidayer said...

Hi Anne

I would recommend ´Bacalhau com Natas´a delicacy eaten by the locals very regularly! This is bits of desalted cod and potato in a creamy sauce. Portuguese love cod!

I had this in Portimao, near Praia da Rocha and it was great. I hope your friends can come down to Ferragudo (a quaint little village near Portimao)away from touristy Vilamoura. There they´ll find The Sueste´ a perfect restaurant for grilled fish. A typical starter there is ´Xarem´ (cornmeal with cockles). This was a dish eaten by fishermen in days gone by!

I hope your friends have a great time in the Algarve. It´ll be difficult not to wherever their base is!

Anonymous said...

hi anne,

they have a great Zara clothes shop, about 20 minutes from albuerfia (sp). you can get a taxi there, the spainish clothes are really cheap, but well made and cool!! well worth a trip to that shopping complex! Hopes she has a great time
meg from ppp

Eddie said...

Vilamoura is very close to everything, this time of year is different than in the summer, but there are lots of good fish, cataplana, and seafood rice dishes also. The flaming chorico is one of my favorites, so if you see it on a menu try it as an appetizer, camarao a guillo is another - very garlicky shrimp but very good. Dry figs stuffed with almonds and spices will also start showing up around this time of year along with roasted chestnuts.

I would also recommend the pasties de nata and chocolate salame there is another dessert called morgado that very rich and mostly almonds but quite good. You can find a monthly leisure guide here www.algarvebuzz.com.

As far as to what to bring home, port, wine, aguardente, chorico, and if you have marzipan fans there is a wonderful cafe on Rua de Santo Antonio in the center of Faro that has hand crafted marzipan, they're beautiful and Faro almonds are some of the best in the world, so this is the place to get good tender marzipan. Tavira is on the east side of Faro but has some very good restaurants also, if you get a chance take a drive and you’ll find some jems in those historic streets.

There is a crazy amount of desserts and wine to choose from, so you might want to get familiar with some before you go out to dinner, the same site as above will give you some pointers. You will have your hands full but don’t forget to bring some back for friends! Enjoy!