Destinations / January 23, 2017. By Paulo Tavares
When Michelin star chef Dieter Koschina asked Pedro from Maria do Mar in Portimão to do a tasting of their canned fish products at the gourmet festival, Rota das Estrelas, his initial reaction was “I don’t have the capacity to prepare for this”. He needn’t have worried within no time the chefs were eating fish from the tins.
Petinga (tiny sardines on toast)
A really delicious healthy fish burger
My mother used to buy these when I was young and I had forgotten how good they taste. Pedro explained to us that the best canned fish is prepared the way it has been done for decades. Precooking it and using traditional recipes to flavour the fish. Alongside Port wine these have to be one of Portugal’s best gifts to the world.
Portimão is located on the banks of the River Arade. It is very pleasant to stroll along the riverfront to Praça De Bivar.
The old docks have been transformed into a promenade lined with restaurants and cafés many selling traditional Portuguese food at good value. From here you can take a boat trip to the inland town of Silves.
We really enjoyed the museum located along the riverfront. It is housed in what used to be the old fish-canning factory on the right bank of the River Arade.
The museum’s permanent exhibition is a window to the history and culture of the region from prehistoric times to the present day. There is a reconstruction of the fishing and fish-canning industry once the core economic activity in Portimão. It is accompanied by life size models and sounds.
Near the museum is the sailing club Clube Naval De Portimão. There is a fancy restaurant upstairs with magnificent views over the water, the fish dishes are really good. Downstairs the café is great place to enjoy a coffee or a beer.
Portimão is the thriving commercial support to the resorts of Praia da Rocha and Alvor. It has excellent public transport connections making it easy to visit the beach of Alvor. There is a wooden walkway approximately 5km, that crosses the mud flats of the Ria de Alvor nature reserve. The pathway provides scenic views over the estuary which is a haven for bird life. It extends behind the beach across the dunes.