(All photos in this post were provided by professional photographer Daryl Gabin – https://www.daraclephotography.com/)
During your stay at Vale do Lobo (or nearby areas), you should definitely check-out the local Portuguese markets which offer a true and unique experience in a vibrant atmosphere, so here
Quarteira Fish Market (Saturday Mornings)
Quarteira is a Portuguese Beach front town which is a short distance from Vale do Lobo. it belongs to the same council, which is Loule, and is approximately a 15min drive from Vale do Lobo. On the furthest Western side of Quarteira, along the beach front, they have a local fish market on Saturday mornings which sells…you guessed it:FISH!
There is an incredible variety of fresh seafood that has been freshly caught by the local fishermen. There are also clothes stands that sale summer clothing, hats, towels and beach gear and very reasonable prices. You will also find some great typical Portuguese cafes where you will enjoy authentic Portuguese coffee, or perhaps a beer or two? Your choice.
View Quarteira Fish Market in a larger map
Fonte Santa Gypsy Market (also referred to as Quarteira Gypsy Market – Wednesday Mornings)
This is a MUST-SEE attraction that you cannot afford to miss. And it is literally a mile away from Vale do Lobo! If you know where the famous Marufo (aka Chicken Shack) restaurant is, then you will find this market quite easily as it is held in the big flat open area opposite the restaurant (please find map below).
Most of the vendors at this market are from Portuguese Gypsy origin, and they sell items such as jewelry, clothing, shoes and plenty of other accessories. It is a vibrant atmosphere with plenty on offer. Needless to say, if you come across a Ralph Lauren shirt that is being sold for 10 euros – don’t expect it to be genuine!
You will always find knock-off designer label at these types of markets, but you will also find high quality leather shoes and belts, umbrella’s, beach towels and summer dresses that are decent quality and outstanding value.
View Fonte Santa (Quarteira) Gypsy Market in a larger map
Loule Fish & Farmers Market (Saturday Mornings)
Loule is the main city of Loule council – which is where Vale do Lobo is located. It is a beautiful traditional Portuguese town, full of life, stunning architecture and a real Portuguese atmosphere. The local farmers market is held in a recently renovated Arabic hall building in the centre of town. You will find many sign-posts as you are approaching Loule, and will probably find it difficult to park as you approach the town centre.
Most of the produce that is for sell in this Portuguese market is from local farmers, so plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, cured Portuguese meats and the Fish market that sells freshly caught seafood. There are also plenty of market sellers that offer tradional Portuguese wicca furniture and ceramic ornaments that make great original souvenirs to decorate your home with.