Travel 4 minutes 03 April 2024

3 Days in The Algarve

The Michelin Inspectors' guide to a gastronomic trip to this beautiful spot on Portugal's south coast

The Algarve, surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic and marked by an indescribable light that will thrill any photographer, is also a paradise for lovers of good food. Over the course of three days, travellers can immerse themselves in an unforgettable gastronomic journey, exploring a variety of restaurants that celebrate the authentic flavours and rich culinary heritage of the region.

© Pestana Alvor South Beach
© Pestana Alvor South Beach

Day 1: Arrival in Portimão

Having arrived at Faro airport and journeyed along the Via do Infante, your trip begins with a stay at the Pestana Alvor South Beach, an architectural masterpiece with Art Deco styling. It's a seafront spot that combines comfort, convenience, style and a spectacular view of the ocean. With its range of swimming pools and impeccable service, the hotel offers the perfect introduction to the Algarve's relaxing atmosphere.

© Vitor Barros / NUMA
© Vitor Barros / NUMA

Dinner at NUMA

In the evening, dine at NUMA, located in the lively city of Portimão. Found on a busy street, NUMA welcomes guests with its refined ambience and inviting décor, where wooden fixtures and warm hues creating a cosy atmosphere. The menu is a celebration of the best local and Portuguese produce, presented in two excellent tasting menus and an à la carte selection that is a feast for the senses. The house specialities, such as 'carabineiro' and 'bife de lombo', are true gastronomic calling cards that reflect the culinary excellence of the region.

Igreja Matriz de Alvor © Getty Images
Igreja Matriz de Alvor © Getty Images

Day 2: Exploring Lagos

The second day begins with an invigorating breakfast at the Pestana Alvor South Beach, followed by a journey through the picturesque town of Lagos, where you'll have the opportunity to explore the beating heart of Algarve gastronomy.

Lagos Bay with the Municipal Market in the background © Getty Images
Lagos Bay with the Municipal Market in the background © Getty Images

Lagos Municipal Market

Filled with the tantalising aromas and vibrant colours of local produce, Lagos Municipal Market is a must for food-lovers. From fresh fish and shellfish to juicy fruits and colourful vegetables, the market is a true paradise for the senses. The hustle and bustle of the shoppers and the traders chatting amiably creates a wonderfully lively atmosphere. Be sure to to enjoy a coffee on the market terrace while taking in the breathtaking view of Lagos Bay, as well as exploring the shops that offer a variety of regional artisan produce.

© Pedro Silva Correia, Avenida
© Pedro Silva Correia, Avenida

Lunch at Avenida

Next, treat yourself to a wonderful gastronomic experience at the nearby Avenida, located opposite Lagos Marina. With an open kitchen that allows customers to interact with the chef, this restaurant offers a diverse menu that includes the best of Algarve seafood. Dishes are a celebration of the freshness and quality of local ingredients, with stand-outs including the matured meats brought in from José Gordón's renowned El Capricho. The restaurant's relaxed and welcoming atmosphere invites diners to relax and enjoy an unforgettable meal by the sea.

Ponta da Piedade © Getty Images
Ponta da Piedade © Getty Images

Exploring Ponta da Piedade

In the afternoon, you'll have the chance to explore the stunning Ponta da Piedade, one of the Algarve's most impressive landscapes. With its golden cliffs and dramatic rock formations, the site offers breathtaking views of the ocean and a unique opportunity for a memorable photoshoot.

A boat trip to the sea caves is an unmissable experience, where you can explore secret caverns and secluded coves while admiring the natural beauty of the Algarve coastline. It's normal to leave the visit completely soaked in salt water, but remember that it's good for the body and the mind!

Mar d'Estorias: A Seaside Retreat

To end the day on a high note, kick-back at Mar d'Estorias, a multifunctional space that combines a restaurant, a souvenir shop and a rooftop bar with spectacular views of the ocean. A fresh orange juice and a traditional Algarvian sweet treat are the perfect accompaniment to a moment of relaxation by the sea, where you can reflect on the day's experiences.

© Marcelo Lopes / Al Sud
© Marcelo Lopes / Al Sud

Dinner at Al Sud

In the evening, enjoy a truly exceptional dining experience at the Michelin-Starred Al Sud, located in the elegant Club House of the Palmares Ocean Living & Golf resort. Under the guidance of renowned Chef Louis Anjos, the restaurant offers a 'Discover' tasting menu that highlights the best flavours from the region, from fresh seafood to succulent meats and organic vegetables.

Each dish is a culinary work of art, created with passion and dedication to provide a unique and memorable experience. The restaurant's sophisticated and welcoming atmosphere invites diners to sit back and enjoy an evening of gastronomic delight, where the authentic flavours of the Algarve are celebrated in style.

Day 3: Local Delicacies and Sweet Treats

The trip culminates with a visit to the charming Praia da Rocha in Portimão and the vibrant city of Albufeira, where travellers have the opportunity to explore a variety of restaurants and pastry shops that celebrate the traditional flavours and sweets of the Algarve.

© Luís Ferraz / Vista
© Luís Ferraz / Vista

Lunch at Vista

To say goodbye to the Algarve in style, enjoy a memorable last meal at One Michelin-Starred  Vista, located in the Bela Vista Hotel & Spa. With breathtaking views out over the Praia da Rocha beach that certainly live up to its name, it has a pleasingly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere

The cooking celebrates local fish and shellfish and, with Chef João Oliveira at the helm, each dish is beautifully crafted, prepared with the best quaity ingredients and presented with elegance and style.

Riviera Pastelaria in Albufeira

Once you've made your way to Albufeira and taken one last stroll along the beach or through the city streets, stop off at Riviera Pastelaria, one of the region's best-known pastry shops, which offers an excellent variety of regional delicacies and traditional sweets.

Every item is an irresistible temptation, created with passion and dedication. Savour these traditional flavours as you bid farewell to the region – and be sure to take some home so that you can evoke wonderful memories of your trip time and again.

Albufeira © Getty Images
Albufeira © Getty Images

We hope you find this tour of the Algarve serves as the ideal introduction to the cooking of the region, whose culinary identity includes nods to its Arab past and a bounty of locally landed seafood. Enjoy!

Address Book

Pestana Alvor South Beach: Praia do Alvor, Praceta do Barinel 1, 8500-088 Portimão
NUMA: Av. Miguel Bombarda 17, 8500-299 Portimão
Lagos Municipal Market: Av. dos Descobrimentos, 8600-668 Lagos
Avenida: Av. dos Descobrimentos 53, 8600-645 Lagos
Mar d'Estorias: R. Silva Lopes 30, 8600-623 Lagos
Al Sud: Campo de Golfe de Palmares, 8600-250 Odiáxere
Vista: Bela Vista Hotel & Spa, Av. Tomás Cabreira 1, 8500-510 Portimão
Riviera Pasteleira: R. do Município ES, 8200-161 Albufeira

Hero Image: Ponta da Piedade © Getty Images


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