Fresh from the sea

What better way to get the summer feeling than by eating fresh fish?

But how and where to get your fish fix in the Algarve? It depends: want to buy it on the market or straight from the fishermen? Feel like preparing dinner at home or rather eat in a restaurant? Whatever floats your (fishing) boat, you’ll find it on the next pages.

See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2015


Fishermen in action

Fishing is part of the Algarve’s history (read more about the fishing industry in the article about the fish auction). See with your own eyes that the seafood is fresh by watching the fishermen unload their catch.

Cockles and clams

When the tide is out, local fishermen look for cockles and clams in the mud of the Ria Formosa lagoon near Fuseta. They’re walking backwards while holding a metal grid with a bag attached to filter out the shells, the same way it has been done for centuries. (Buy on the market in Fuseta or Olhão.)

Picture by Marijke Verschuren


Santa Luzia is the place to catch octopus. Get up early on weekdays if you want to see the unloading of the boats. During daytime, the small harbour is worth a visit as well: fishermen can be seen mending their nets in front of their huts and octopus jars are piled high. (Buy on the market in Tavira)

Picture by Marijke Verschuren


Anglers balancing high on the rocks can be seen all over the Algarve, like here in Monte Clérigo. Forget peaceful staring out over the water, these guys take it to the extreme by finding the best spots – which are naturally located on narrow cliff edges. If they’ve caught a lot, they’ll happily sell you some. (Otherwise, buy on the market in Aljezur)

Picture by Geerd-Olaf Freyer

Fish markets

Fish for dinner? Buy it at the market. Usually, markets are open from Monday to Saturday and have the biggest selection on a Saturday. General rules: come as early as possible, don’t be afraid to have a look around and compare what other stalls are offering. Ask the market sellers to clean your fish if you’re not keen on doing this yourself. (No, unfortunately they won’t take the bones out of your sardines).

Picture by Yayeri van Baarsen


You’ll find the biggest and most famous fish market of the Algarve in Olhão. Right on the waterfront, dozens of stalls offer a huge selection of seafood.

The fish is sold in one of the red brick buildings; meat, vegetables and other produce can be found in the other. Outside the market halls you’ll find plenty of cafés.

Picture by Marijke Verschuren



The municipal market in Tavira is located on the eastern side of the town in a big hall.

Next to various fish stalls there’s also vegetables, meat, dried fruits, honey and even bread on offer; so one stop and you’ve got your dinner sorted. There’s even an organic shop with biological products outside the hall.

Picture by Marijke Verschuren


The relatively unknown fish market in Aljezur briefly made international headlines when the British Prime Minister and his wife bought some squid there in 2013.

Popular in Aljezur’s small market are sea bass, dory and sea bream, locally caught in the west Atlantic.

Picture by Marijke Verschuren



See original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine July 2015

Posted in Features.

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