Loulé is a typical Portuguese inland town 17 km north of Faro. The focal point is the Moorish inspired covered market. On Saturdays it expands to include the surrounding streets. Farmers from the Algarve and Alentejo regions come to sell their produce creating a colourful scene.
The most bustling corner of the market is where fishmongers sell enormous quantities of fresh fish and seafood.
In a quiet corner a knife sharpner, Sr. Alfredo Potra, sets up shop where people still bring their kitchen knives and scissors to be sharpened.
To get a taste of local life, walk in the cobblestone streets around the market. Artisan traditions such as basket making, woodwork and pottery still survive.
We visited Pedro Rocha whose skilled hands transform clay into beautiful pieces. He learnt the craft from his father and continues the family tradition with his sister, Elizabete who hand paints the items in their workshop. His other sister Célia sells the pottery in their shop in the market.
You can also part of the TASA Project, set up in 2010 with the goal of revitalizing the traditional crafts and algarvian knowledge. Designers incorporate new ideas to ancestral know-how to give a contemporary and functional flair.
Items from the TASA shop in Loulé
People from the Algarve have always used cork to solve everyday problems.
Loulé is also host to one of the most popular cultural entertainment events in the Algarve, Festival Med. It takes place every year towards the end of June bringing people together in the centre of Loulé to celebrate cultural diversity mostly through music with performances by famous musicians from all over the world. Festival Med is more than a music festival with activities including; gastronomy, handicraft, street performances and a dedicated space for children.
We hope this has inspired you to visit Loulé and if it has be sure to come back and tell us about it in the comments below