[Portugal] Tavira: 5 days of seafood and Vinho (Verde)

Finally, I’m back in one of my favourite countries again! I’ve been to new countries in recent years but this year I wanted to return to some countries I like (and even one I shun).

On cloud 9

Moments before touchdown

Low tide

I flew into Faro and got picked up at the airport by private transfer and went directly to Tavira from there. Takes about 45mins to reach this medieval, Moorish small city in eastern Algarve, 25km from the Spanish border.

It’s nice to hear Portuguese again. Their nasal sounding language is a bit peculiar but I still think it’s lovely. Map of Algarve with popular places on it.

First dinner, even though it’s near bed time for us. What the hell do we care, we are on holiday!

I don’t normally drink white but when I do it’s only Riesling, or vinho verde/Alvarinho (or Spanish Albariño).


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The partner loves fish, and I’m partial to shellfish. Sea bass and clams with garlic, white wine, olive oil.


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We don’t know a dignified way to eat seafood. Just dig in with bare hands and enjoy.

Just got here and already had 2 beers and a bottle of Alvarinho, fish and clams. We are content.

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Thanks, very cool! We’re traveling to your side in about two weeks, and your pictures always whet my appetite. Eat on!!

Looks wonderful! Portugal is one of my favorite countries to visit. I have not yet been to the Algarve region, so I’ll be eagerly following any posts that you care to share.

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Nice pictures! I am on my way to Porto!

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LISBON: ** Michelin Starred Chef José Avillez …

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A few hours in Lisbon while we were on a cruise is my only experience of Portugal. Can’t really say why, but we’ve just never fancied it. Maybe too much like Spain which we do visit regularly.

Barca - what were the dishes in your photos? Did you enjoy them?

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Shrimp in garlic

Cod fish croquettes

Grilled seabass, boned at the table


Cod

I should post on a different thread.

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@Harters,

Absolutely extraordinarily sublime exquisiteness. The wines and cheeses we had were bespoken jewels.

Photo 1) Wild Cod with spinach.
Photo 2) A Chocolate Confectionary. ( A Nutty Chocolate Candy ) sitting on a box, for serving purpose.
Photo 3) Lobster on a bed of White Portuguese Crab Gaspacho.

There are many historical nuances between Portugal and Spain, and totally different gastronomy and indigentious grape varieties.

For us, they are very different, however, to foreigners, perhaps they see similarities.

Have a lovely evening.

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Shrinkrap, I don’t mind at all. Looks like you are having a nice time in Portugal as well.


Bought a few pastries from a cafe downstairs and ate them on the rooftop “terrace” of my lodging.

In this shot you can see “bolo de arroz”, or rice flour muffin. The pasteis de nata are not too sweet, I could tolerate them. And what else? They don’t taste egg-y, are not sickly sweet, and have a rubbish crust like the impersonators around the world.

On the roof of my lodging. We are smack in the middle of this tiny town.

One of the main tourist drags is on the right. I saw nothing on the camera’s rear screen. The morning sun was blinding.

A river runs right through town, this is one of the bridges.

Lunch menu

Cod, Algarvian-style. From what I could tell, it was first pan-fried then topped with saucy tomatoes. I love tomato-heavy cuisines.

Seared tuna steak. A massive one, literally half the size of the plate. Tuna and octopus are specialities in this part of Algarve. It’s big enough that the scales are visible.

The bill is a lot smaller than last night’s dinner. This restaurant is more my style, which is cheap and cheerful. The server saw my prop (yellow card) and thought it was clever. He put the restaurant’s business card on the table next to the bill when I was making this photo. Notice the 23% tax on alcohol.

Went to the market this morning to get some stuff for dinner.

I also paid for the rock that’s attached to all the barnacles. It’s a lot heavier than the barnacles.

Golden hour on rooftop terrace

20 euro Alvarinho in paper cups

At the market earlier

And the price… ouch. I paid 20euros/kg in Porto.

Below my building is the very centre of the town.

Minutes before we were engulfed in darkness. We took our time eating and drinking.

Medieval Moorish bridge just outside the door

At my lodging you are welcome to help yourself to a shot of nice port.

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Which is the one you shun?

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Will be there later this year.

@Presunto You’ve probably seen this, but I thought of you.

Faro, Portugal

Thanks. Maybe next time. We are staying in Tavira.

Just finished all the fruits. Bought at the mercado yesterday.

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Do you know if Faro is a big airport? Are there direct flights there from many places in Europe?

Certainly regular flights to Faro from northwest England. At least five just today from Manchester.

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@shrinkrap

By no means, is it enormous like Barcelona or Madrid or Lisbon or Rome, or Marco Polo, Venice.

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Yes, Faro is an international airport and gets quite busy in high season (from March to Oct).

Speaking of tourists, languages I hear are (not in any particular order): German, British English, Dutch, some French, Spanish. The Portuguese are multilingual, they also speak French and Spanish as second and third languages so these tourists can just speak their own languages here.

Pensioners outnumber us all, though. Northern Europeans love south of Portugal and south of Spain.

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When in Portugal you do “Bica” properly. Portuguese drink strong coffee throughout the day, often with a bite of something. Always make time for a bica.

The pie in the middle is actually chicken with a hint of curry. Took a tiny bite and I had to wash it down with a whole cup of bica immediately.

We biked to a fishing village 3km away for lunch. Santa Luzia is known for octopus. Even calls itself “octopus capital”.

My bike next to the sign

There’s a designated bike path to towns and villages along the coastal route. Fortunately, people with cars are not so stressed and maniacal drivers like in some (Med.) countries.

Lunch in Santa Luzia. There’s more octopus than in the picture. Not salty and not soggy. You add olive oil and/or salt to it yourself.

Fish here are big. We don’t have fish steaks so big at home.

Portuguese don’t do rare fish so if you expect that you will be disappointed.

I’ve only just seen it now. Interestingly, the tuna belly has a 23% tax on it. The swordfish is 13% as other food. I want to find out why that is.

What the fish look like at the market:

Must be a huge tuna. My steak yesterday was huge.


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Picnic on the roof again.


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Two different kinds of presunto (one costs 10 euros more per kilo and tastes better).

Our building and where we sit every time. We introverts, have moved our table to the farthest corner away from other people.

By the time the wine is finished.

Bought a bag of fresh piri-piri peppers at the market today and tried one with dinner. I overestimated myself this time. Whoa. Took a bite and it sent me fumbling for water.

I think it’s like Thai red chillies, very hot but not aromatic. I prefer scotch bonnets.

The aftermath of the barnacles yesterday. I saved them all from a previous trip to Portugal.

Found my snack

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I thought I had seen something hinting at your name here!

@Presunto,

The white tuna is probably imported & that is why you paid a larger tax than on the locally caught fish.

Portugal is not known for its White Tuna. It is a northern Bay of Biscay traveller …

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold