Many of the shops in Albufeira old town and on "the strip" concentrate on holiday merchandise like sunglasses, beach and casual wear, accessories and gifts and in the summer there are lots of street stalls as well! There are also pharmacies, wine shops, post office and all the usual shops you would expect to find.
Food shopping in Albufeira is easy as there is a good selection of supermarkets to choose from that stock most things you are likely to want. There will always be a mini-mercado close by apart from the larger supermarkets like Modelo, Lidl and Pingo Doce. There is also a large shopping mall "Algarve Shopping" near Guia which includes a large Continente supermarket and cinemas as well as over 100 shops. The supermarkets stock gluten-free and diabetic foods and if you are travelling with a baby you can buy several of the same brands of baby milks (albeit with slightly different names) that baby is used to. Shopping for vegan and vegetarian food in Albufeira is easy in the supermarkets but there are also health food shops if you really can't find what you are looking for.
Algarve Shopping Mall is mainly open air and includes a large Continente supermarket on the ground floor and cinemas and large food hall on the first floor. There is plenty of parking both covered in the underground park and open air. The food hall has fast food, self service buffet and traditional restaurants and there is access to plenty of outside seating if you want to take a coffee break in the sunshine. The cinemas show English language films and you'll find all the latest releases. You can check the cinema programme on-line to see what's showing .
There are plenty of shops to keep you busy with over 25 men's and women's clothing and fashion shops including Zara, Morgan, Mango, H&M, C&A and Pepe Jeans and for more sporty clothing QuickSilver, Ericeira Surf and Sportzone.
Algarve Shopping also has children's shops (clothes, toys, prams etc), several shoe shops, perfume and cosmetic shops like The Bodyshop and Sephora, accessory shops, jewellers, home furnishings, electrical, gifts, opticians and mobile phone shops to name but a few! If you still can't find what you are looking for then next door to Algarve Shopping is another retail park! This one includes Iceland, Nike outlet store, Casa (everything for the home) and Shoe World.
Algarve Shopping - Opening hours:
- Shops: 10.00 to 23.00 and 10.00 to 24.00 in summer and December
- Restaurants: 10.00 to 23.00 (Sunday to Thursday and holidays), 10.00 to 24.00 (Friday, Saturday and day before holidays), 10.00 to 24.00 every day in summer and December
- Continente Hypermarket: 09.00 to 23.00 (Sunday to Thursday and holidays), 09.00 to 24.00 (Friday, Saturday and day before holidays), 09.00 to 24.00 every day in summer and December
- Cinemas: 12.30 to 24.00 (Sunday to Thursday and holidays), 12.30 to 02.00 (Friday, Saturday and day before holidays), 12.30 to 02.00 every day in summer and during December
For more information you can visit the website for Algarve Shopping. The site is currently only in portuguese but you can browse to see all the shops (lojas) in the mall.
Albufeira has lots of mini-mercados as well as the bigger supermarkets for your food shopping, and they all stock fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh bread, milk, meat, fish and all the traditional food items you would expect to find. If you really miss those everyday foods from home, don't worry because you can them all in Albufeira as well. There is an english food shop and even the smaller supermarkets keep very good ranges of familiar brands of baked beans, bacon, sausages, jams and marmalades (even frozen English sliced bread is imported!).
Albufeira Supermakets ('Supermercados')
- Pingo Doce - Urb. Bela Vista. Opening hours daily: winter: 8:30 to 21:00; summer: 8:00 to 21:00 and in July and August: 8:00 to 22:00
- Continente - 'Algarve Shopping Centre'. Sunday to Thursday and holidays: 9.00 to 23.00; Friday and Saturday and day before holidays: 9.00 to 24.00
- Modelo - Cerro Alagoa, Vale Mangude. Opening hours daily: 9.00 to 22.00
- Pingo Doce - Urbanização da Quinta da Correeira. Opening hours daily (including Sundays and holidays) : 9.00 to 21.00; Summer: 8.30 to 22.00.
- Lidl - Caliços. Opening hours daily (including Sundays and holidays): 8.00h to 22.00
- Aldi - Quinta de Valverde E.N. 125, Guia. Open daily 09.00 to 21.00
- Pingo Doce - EN125, Guia (retail park next to Algarve Shopping). Open daily from 09.00 to 22.00
- SPAR - Rua Dunfermline, Edf. Poente da Aldeia, Bloco B, Areias de São João
- Apolónia Supermarket - Sitio Vale do Rabelho, Galé, Guia. Open 08.00 to 20.00 (October to May) and to 21.00 in the summer.
To help you find what you are looking for when you are shopping we have listed some portuguese translations for daily staples, different meats and cuts of meat and some of the many fish and seafoods that you are likely to come across.
Daily food shopping staples:
- Milk - "leite" comes in skimmed ("magro"), semi-skimmed ("meio gordo") and full fat ("gordo").
- Cheese - "queijo"; goat's cheese "queijo da cabra"
- Butter - "manteiga"; margarine "margarina"
- Bread - "pão"
- Water - "agua"
- Tea - "chá"
- Coffee - "café"
- Meat - "carne"
- Fish - "peixe"
- Marmalade - "doce de laranja" ("Maramalada" is quince jelly - very good with a tasty cheese)
- Chicken - "frango"
- Turkey - "perú"
- Pork - "porco"
- Beef - "vaca"
- Lamb - "borrego"
- Veal - "vitela"
- Rabbit - "coelho"
- Duck - "pato"
Some of the other Portuguese food shopping words that may come in useful:
- Sirloin steak - "bife de vazia"
- Thin pork steaks - "bifanas"
- Steak - "bife de vaca"
- Minute steak - "bitoque"
- Lamb chops - "costeletas de borrego"
- Ham - "fiambre"
- Pork steak - "febras"
- Pork loin - "lombo de porco"
- Mince - "picar"
Sometimes a pack of meat will indicate what type of cooking it is suitable for:
- Grill - "grelhar"
- Roast - "assar"
- Boil - "cozer"
- Stew - "estufar"
If you are buying sliced meats you can either ask for it by weight or by the number of slices that you want, for instance: "Seis fatias" (pronounced "saysh fatee-ash") six slices.
Fish and seafood shopping:
There is a huge variety of fresh fish ("peixe") and seafood ("mariscos") to choose from, both in the supermarkets and at local fish markets. So that you know what you are looking at:
Fish - "Peixe"
Sardine - "sardinha"
Tuna - "atum"
Cod - "bacalhau"
Salmon - "salmão"
Sea bream - "besugo"
Small mackerel - "carapau"
Mackerel - "cavala"
Cuttlefish - "choco"
Bream - "dourada"
Swordfish - "espadarte"
Sole - "linguado"
Hake - "pescada"
Sea bass - "robalo"
Mullet - "salmonete"
Monkfish - "tamboril"
Squid - "lula"
Octopus - "polvo"
Seafood - "Mariscos"
Clam - "ameijoa"
Small clam - "conquilha"
Barnacle - "perceve"
Oyster - "ostra"
Cockle - "berbigão"
Prawn - "camarão"
Crab - "Carangueijo"
Crab (large) - "sapateira"
Lobster - "lagosta"
Razor clam -"lingueirão"
Mussel - "mexhilhão"
Whelk - "búzio"
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Gluten-free products like pasta and biscuits are available in Modelo and Pingo Doce supermarkets and the Continente at Algarve Shopping has a really good health food section. You will also find gluten-free food in health shops and some of the mini-mercados. Gluten free breads are not as common in the supermarkets but you should be able to find brands like Schar in health food shops.
Continente (Algarve Shopping), Modelo and Pingo Doce supermarkets as well as health shops and most of the mini-mercados stock sugar free ('sem açúcar') biscuits, crackers, chocolate and preserves.
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It's always difficult to know what to pack when you are travelling with babies, so here are the brand equivalents for some popular baby milks:
- Cow and Gate baby milks are marketed under the 'Nutrilon' brand in the Algarve.
- Nutrilon 1,2 and 3 are equivalent to Cow and Gate 1,2 and 3
- Nutrilon Confort 1 and 2 are equivalent to Comfort 1 and 2.
- Nutrilon AR 1 and 2 are for babies with reflux.
- Nutrilon HA 1 and 2 are hypo-allergenic but are not Soy based.
- Aptamil milks are still marketed as Aptamil in the Algarve - Aptamil 1, 2 and 3; Aptamil Pepti; Aptamil HA (1,2 & 3) for infants with allergies and Aptamil Confort (Comfort) 1 & 2.
- SMA baby milks are sold as S-26 Gold 1, 2 and 3 (from Wyeth Nutrição) which are equivalent to SMA 1,2 and 3. There doesn't appear to be an equivalent of SMA Extra Hungry.
- SMA special milks (with their portuguese equivalents) - Wysoy (Visoy), Staydown (S-26 AR) and SMA-LF( S-26 sem lactose).
The supermarkets commonly stock Aptamil and Nutrilon baby milk powders including the HA (hypo-allergenic) range, but other brands and the special milks like those for reflux are stocked in the 'farmácias'.
All of the main supermarkets and many of the smaller 'mini-mercados' also stock a good range of jars of baby food and packets of baby cereals. Blédina (a Milupa brand ) do both jars and various baby rice and cereals. Baby Fennel drink is also available from Blédina, the portuguese translation for fennel being "funcho".
Cerelac baby jars and cereals (made by Nestlé) are also commonly available.
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Vegan and Vegetarian food shopping in Albufeira
Vegetarian and vegan products are now very easy to find and most supermarkets have a good range. Albufeira has "Continente" "Modelo", "Pingo Doce" and "Apolónia" supermarkets which stock a good range of tofu and soya products like sausages, burgers and grills, dried soya pieces and tofu blocks, soya spreads, soya milk plain and flavoured and soya desserts, soya ice-cream. Pingo Doce is particularly good for reasonably priced Tofu and Seitan blocks and also stock vegetarian pate and vegan mayonnaise. Their own brand soya milk also works well in hot drinks as it doesn't curdle as many do. "Apolónia" supermarket at Galé is particularly good for vegans and vegetarians stocking the things you can't find anywhere else like Quorn products, vegan cheeses etc. It also stocks a wide range of ingredients, condiments and sauces for chinese, indian and japanese, as well as english, cooking.
The Portuguese use a lot of beans ("feijões") in their cooking and these are plentiful in all supermarkets either canned or dried. Pulses are also readily available.
There are normally some vegetarian meals in the freezer section, but do check the price....we have come across a pack of 4 vegetable grills for just under 10€ in one shop and less than 5€ in another!
Not all food is clearly labelled as suitable for vegans or vegetarians, so some of the words to watch for in the ingredients are:
- 'ovos' (eggs), 'leite' (milk), 'queijo' (cheese), 'manteiga' (butter)
- 'carne' (meat), 'peixe' (fish), 'frango' or 'galinha' (chicken)
- 'gelatina' (gelatine), 'gordura animal' (animal fat), 'banha' (lard)
- 'derivados do leite / laticínios' (milk / dairy derivatives)
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