It seems like everyone in Portugal is in Algarve in August, and it’s not hard to see why. The southernmost region of Portugal is surrounded by a wide array of beautiful beaches with the warmest water and sunniest weather you can find in the country during the summer. Most Portuguese families have their own vacation home there or rent one for several weeks or the entire month of August, where they’re within walking distance or a short drive to the beach and one of the major cities for shopping and restaurants. This also the case with my boyfriend’s family, who own an apartment in Loulé, where we spent five days with them last month just eating, sleeping and going to the beach. And when it’s so blazing hot and you have no air conditioning, you basically don’t want to do much more!
Now it’s true, there are many parts of Algarve that are quite touristy (namely the cities of Albufeira and Portimão) but there are still plenty of unspoiled towns and villages where you can enjoy the regions treasures – not just the beaches but the delicious food and local ingredients. And the best place to find them is at a local mercado, which we were lucky enough to be in Loulé where they have an excellent open market. My boyfriend’s grandparents got up early on several days to bring back some excellent fresh fish for lunch, while arrived there later in the morning to pick up some other tasty tidbits to share. Below are the photos I snapped in between my beach tanning sessions and food comas of some of my favorite local products and some homemade Portuguese dishes made with them, courtesy of the boyfriend’s very skilled avós who cooked for us