Festivals and fairs celebrating the regions’ gastronomy are held in towns and villages regularly, must see food festivals include the annual traditional Sausage Fair of Monchique in March, while in August you can participate in the Portimão Sardine Festival and the Olhão Seafood Festival.
Michelin Star and authentic local cuisine
The Algarve boasts the most Michelin Star restaurants in the whole of Portugal. In 2020 the region is home to 6 Michelin starred establishments, (and 8 stars as Vila Joya and Ocean have 2 stars each).
As well as its exclusive offering of fine-dining, many of the local restaurants in the regions towns and villages of the Algarve offer extensive menus of both modern and traditional Algarvian dishes, made with locally sourced produce and ingredients.
Vines love Portugal’s southernmost region for the same reason its tourists do - it’s perfect and temperate climate with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine every year. Major towns that lend their names to the region’s four wine DOCs are Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira.
Must do activities in the Algarve
Sip the finest local wines produced across the region on The Rota Dos Vinhos do Algarve (The Algarve Wine Route).
Enjoy an alfresco lunch of sardines or fresh seafood in Portimão, or in Olhão, next to Ria Formosa promenade. Heading inland try the stews and dishes of rich game and meat with strong, aromatic flavours. For a sugar-fix, the almond, carob and orange-based sweets are worth a try, as is the classic Dom Rodrigo dessert. And when in Monchique, the Medronho (traditional fruit brandy) makes for a remarkable digestif.
Algarve - A gastronomic paradise
The Algarve’s food is inspired from the sun, the earth and the ocean. Locals insist on using local fresh and honest ingredients and the region boasts a wealth of gastronomy, including an abundance of fine seafood, taking full advantage of its coastal location. Fresh daily catches often include cockles, clams, oysters and squid, sea bass, sea bream, mackerel or sardines. In many Algarve fish restaurants, the catch of the day is sold by weight. Visitors can try the much celebrated “cataplana”, a local favourite dish made of mussels, clams, chorizo, bacon, garlic, onions and olive oil and also recommended is the regions famous fish stew “Caldeirada”.
Inland, poultry and pork, fresh vegetables and dried pulses are the primary ingredients in the majority of local dishes. Traditional dishes are delicious slow-cooked meat stews, served with pulses and fresh vegetables, smoked and cured meats and traditional Algarvian bread which is often used as a main ingredient in the preparation of certain dishes. Bread baking in the region is just as an important part of the culture as is wine, cheese and pastries.
A gastronomic wine in the Algarve
The Algarve wine-producing region is coming of age. In recent years there has been a steady increase both in the number of producers and in the quality of the wines produced. The majority of Algarve wines are of above average quality, putting them on a par with the best that is produced in Portugal’s other wine regions.
Due to its geographical location and countryside, the mild climate all year round ensures the grapes ripen sun-kissed to produce high quality wines all throughout the Algarve region.