Spoilt by living within walking distance of the best markets in the Algarve (I’m not at all biased, Olhão da Restauração daily and Saturday markets are the best!) we rarely take the time to deliberately visit a market elsewhere. But last week we decided to visit ‘Mercado Municipal de Faro’, first though we went for a ramble through the town not only was it a Monday stroll I was looking for Thursday Doors!
Not many of the millions who visit the Algarve every year take the time to explore its regional capital, and even those that do discover its delights tend to stay in the harbour area or the beautiful Cidade Velha (old town). Even so there are still streets in the Cidade Velha which you can have completely to yourself. Rather impressive given there are only about six streets within the old town walls.
Did you spot the street art above? It is one of the delights of Portugal along with of course the azulejos.
Away from the old town Faro is a mixture of hideous 1980s buildings, the occasional modern delight and numerous beautiful historic buildings in varying stages of decay or restoration. Faro is not for those who expect beauty on every corner, but it is a great day out or overnight stay for those who like to get off the beaten track.
There were two buildings in particular which caught my eye on this ramble The first we delighted to see is in the middle of a restoration programme. And the second building was just as incredible as the beautiful Palácio Belmarço. This splendid highly decorative building is still known by its original name ‘Vivenda Marília‘. It was commissioned in 1930 by Dr. Rita da Palma, and is considered to have strong Moroccan influences. If you want to find it yourself, it is on the corner of Rua Dr. Justino Cúmano and Rua Almeida Garrett.
Oh I nearly forgot the reason for our stroll, the Mercado Municipal de Faro! It is located in a rather impressive building, and even on a Monday it was relatively busy inside. The stalls are much larger than those in Olhão, and much of the produce looked more expensive. All of it looked rather lovely though.
For more photographs of the old town do visit my earlier posts – here and here, and if you are interested in a guided tour of this lovely city then you’ll be delighted to learn there are twice daily FREE walking tours. Simply head for Arco da Vila (the monumental arch near the harbour) and look for the friendly guide with the red umbrella. They will be there at 11am and 3pm between October and May, and at 10am and 4pm in June, July, August and September. More details here