Discover the freshest produce in the Algarve at the local markets, where you can buy fresh fish and other typical ingredients.
Do you particularly enjoy getting to know the people and their customs when you travel? Did you know that there are places where you can get the essence of the people of the Algarve? The Portuguese are known for their love of sitting at the table for hours and chatting over a meal. The best place to get to know the people of the Algarve is at the local markets. Come and discover the ingredients that can be found on the region's tables and be inspired by the Algarve's freshest produce.
Photo by Viv’o Mercado
There is one indispensable rule for knowing the local markets, and that is: wake up early! It is in the morning when the best products are available at the stalls in the Algarve's local markets, and it is also in the morning when the locals like to scour all the stalls looking for the best product.
Do you know the first place to go for fresh fish or the juiciest fruit? If not, here you will find information about some markets in Lagos and in neighbouring towns.
Avenida Municipal Market
A visit to this market is a must. It is located in a building with a historic façade on one of the busiest avenues in Lagos. Boats leaving the Lagos marina for the sea pass directly in front of it, and tourists also like to stroll along here to get to know the colours of this city.
This market is the oldest in Lagos and has three floors. As you enter, the first floor is dedicated to the sea. This is where the famous fish of the Algarve is sold, with a freshness that you see immediately and can taste in your mouth later. In addition to fish, there is also seafood. Ask for recipe suggestions at the stalls and venture into your apartment kitchen. There is nothing better than ending the day on one of our terraces with a seafood dish.
The fruit and vegetables that go with the side dishes may be found on the market's second floor. The fact that the majority of the products are from the region makes it even more important that you opt to shop at this market.
On the third and final floor, there is a lovely restaurant with views of the sea and the marina. On the staircase that connects these three floors, you can see the works of local artists and the poem by Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen on the wall. A Portuguese poet who loved the city of Lagos.
Timetable: Open Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm.
Location: Avenida dos Descobrimentos, Lagos.
Distance from Belmar Resort: The market is 8 minutes from the resort.
If getting up early isn't your thing, there's a market in Lagos that opens in the afternoon. Despite the late opening hours, the products are fresh, organic and come from the city's vegetable gardens or from neighbouring towns. Besides vegetables and fruit, you will find handicrafts and other products whose concern is sustainability. The organisation of this market gives a seal to the stalls with 100% organic products to identify the brands that follow this environmentally friendly concept.
This market no longer has children's entertainment, live music, or food stalls due to the pandemic, but we hope it will return soon.
Timetable: Open every Wednesday, from 4 pm to 8 pm.
Location: Rua Vasco da Gama - In front of the Paços do Concelho building. From July 2022, this market will be held at this new address.
Distance from Belmar Resort: The market is 7 minutes away from the resort.
This market was founded in the year of the Carnation Revolution in Portugal. In 1974, a market was established in Lagos to assist vendors in selling their goods. Do not be confused if you hear someone call this market Agrarian Reform (Reforma Agrária). In the city, this market is known by these two names and both are frequently used.
At the Levante Market, or Reforma Agrária if you prefer, you can find organic vegetables, fruit and colourful flowers. This market is held outdoors until the end of June. The action was taken to avoid Covid-19 contagions and to reclassify the same building that housed the Levante Market since its inception.
Timetable: open every Saturday from 6 am to 2 pm.
Location: car park at the Lagos Sports Complex. From July 2022, this market will move to a building with the same name. Find out the new address here.
Distance from Belmar Resort: the market is 10 minutes away from the resort.
Santo Amaro Municipal Market
If gastronomy moves you, especially a good fresh fish recipe, this is the place to visit. In summer, you'll find the Algarve's typical sardines, great for the grill and served with fresh tomato salad, lettuce and peppers. Big fish also populate the stalls at Santo Amaro market. Here you will find seabass, sea bream or other species caught in the early hours of the morning.
If you are lucky, you may also get to see exhibitions by the city's creative community in this building.
Timetable: Monday to Saturday, from 7 am to 3 pm.
Location: Rua da Filarmónica Primeiro de Maio, Lagos.
Distance from Belmar Resort: The market is 6 minutes from the resort.
If during your stay you decide to visit other cities in search of the freshest products, check out our suggestions below.
Portimão Municipal Market
This place is crowded with vendors, customers, and others who come for breakfast on Saturday mornings. This market in Portimão's centre has a little bit of everything: fresh flowers, Algarve fruit, fruit from all over the world, vegetables, fish, and seafood. In the vegetable and fruit area you will find stalls from local producers of small production, and right after, the larger stalls with fruit and vegetables. There is also an area dedicated to Algarve meats and charcuterie. The most popular area in the morning is the fish market. Stroll through the different stalls and find out what is best for your lunch.
A modest café on the ground floor of this market opens early in the morning and closes after lunchtime. Its speciality is bifanas (pork meat sandwich), and we strongly recommend you try this delicacy.
Timetable: Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm. Open on Saturdays from 7 am to 2 pm.
Location: Avenida São João de Deus, Portimão.
Distance from Belmar Resort: The market is 25 minutes from the resort.
Loulé Municipal Market
This market is a little out of the way from the Belmar Resort, but we assure you it's worth the trip. The architecture of this market is inspired by Arab culture, and the reddish tones of the domes stand out against the other buildings in the area. In the morning, fresh produce is offered at the stalls, but in the evening or even at lunchtime, you can also have a snack at the market's restaurant stalls. This market impresses with its architecture and the life it brings to the city.
Timetable: Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 10:30 pm and Sundays from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm.
Location: Rua José Fernandes Guerreiro, Loulé.
Distance from Belmar Resort: The market is 49 minutes from the resort.