Are you excited to meet a different Algarve? We give you some tips to enjoy a Algarve Gourmet!
The Algarve (Al Garb as the Moors called it) is Portugal’s most southern region. It has always been Portugal’s “touristic card” because of its sandy beaches and warm weather. Actually, it is a region that has been known for years, at least since the 60’s, by distinguished visitors such as John Lennon, Sting, Cliff Richards and others, who used to spend seasons there (and maybe still do….).
From its many typical decorated chimneys and white-washed buildings very much influenced by Portugal’s Moorish legacy (Portugal was inhabited by the Moors until 7th century AD) to its fresh salt mines from where the best salt in the world is extracted (“Flor de Sal”), to the practice of great golf and all sorts of water sports, to our favourite city in the Algarve, Tavira, with its undulating roofs over austere aristocratic façades and spotless streets… there is so much to see….
Oh, by the way, not far from Tavira is the trendy Praia Verde Boutique Hotel, famous for its successful renovation and great Mediterranean cuisine.
You should not miss Algarve’s interior too. Not far from the city of Lagos, lie the amazing Santa Clara dam and the sleepy village of Santa-Clara-a-Velha, with its one restaurant, tiny church and possibly ten houses! You’ll feel you have travelled in time! From there, and when returning to coastal Algarve, take a detour to St. Vincent Cape (in Sagres), the wild and dangerous promontory from which the Portuguese left to conquer the world in 15th century.
Apart from its natural and historical landscape, Algarve is also a region of folklore (“corridinho” dance shows are a must), handicrafts (lots of red ceramics and wicker baskets) and typical gastronomy. Understandably, you will have plenty of opportunities to taste fresh fish and seafood. The best places to eat are the crowded little “tascas” or then top restaurants such as the one at Villa Joya hotel, the Ocean (in Porches), Gigi’s (in Almansil) or the off-the beaten track Adega Vila Lisa (in Mexilhoeira Grande). Our tips for “tascas” would be traditional dishes such as fish soup, tuna steaks with tomato, bean clams with a tasty local sauce, caldeirada (a kind of stew with various types of fish), grilled sardines, monkfish rice, partridge with clams…. and a huge glass of ice cold beer or white wine! Sweets are also one of Algarve’s many temptations: figs, almonds, oranges and carobs, to which are added much sugar and eggs. At least, try “Dom Rodrigos” or the little “almond cheeses”. Always order them from centrally located cafes where there are much people. Just relax and enjoy Portugal’s best!