guest post by Amy Baker of MyDestinationInfo.com
One things for sure, when deciding where to go on holiday there are a few important factors to consider: Where will you stay? What will you do? And most importantly for you food lovers, what will you eat? The Algarve, Portugal is well known for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of Europe and has carved itself a reputation for having some wonderful restaurants.
The seemingly endless number of Algarve restaurants are known for serving up the freshest seafood, the tastiest sardines and the most succulent traditional Algarvian stews. Here is a run-down of some of the regions best spots.
When you think of The Algarve you instantly picture long stretches of sand and crystal clear waters and it is understandable that you wouldn't want to venture far from the shore to enjoy your food. Canico inside the Prainha complex in Alvor is one of the most interesting of the beachside restaurants. Just arriving is an experience as it can only be reached via an elevator which descends down into the cliff from which the restaurant is carved. Every table offers views of a secluded cove making it a perfect spot to watch the sun go down. Windsurf in the quaint fishing village of Alvor is another great spot to try for beachside dining.
If you are happy to spend a little extra to treat yourself then look no further than Vila Joya, the regions only two Michelin star restaurant. Head chef, Dieter Koschina, uses the freshest fish combined with French haute cuisine to ensure his guests enjoy the ultimate dining experience. Another high class affair is the Casa Bitoque in Gaia. This spot is great if you're after a romantic spot to woo someone special. Be sure to sample some of their mouth-watering desserts.
The first thing that springs to mind when you think of The Algarve is sardines and it would be criminal to visit and not sample some for yourself. Follow the locals and head to Portimao. The first thing that will hit you upon arrival at the quay with be the smell of barbequed fish and the calls of the fisherman peddling their catch. If you weren't hungry before you arrived, we guarantee that your mouth will be watering in no time. These restaurants are similar in price and have near identical menus so it will be a case of choosing wherever you can find a table, especially in peak season. The sardines will be grilled right before your eyes and served up with fresh bread, new potatoes and salad. Our top tip? Don't be afraid to eat with your hands like the locals do...we're sure it makes them taste better!
Adega Vila Lisa is a rural restaurant located near to Lagos and Portimao, and has earned itself quite the reputation for serving up wonderful traditional dishes and is constantly listed as one of the best restaurants in Portugal. The signature dish is Pernie de Pork which is slow roasted in a woodfire oven. Make sure that you book in advance and be sure to get detailed directions as it is tucked away and not easily identifiable as a restaurant - that's what gives it its charm.
It's clear that if good food and good wine are something that you look for when planning your holiday then the Algarve is for you. You will be so spoilt for choice when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner that you may do little else but eat, but what’s the harm in that? You're on holiday!
For more information on The Algarve’s restaurants head to My Destination Algarve.
Photo Credits: sardines, Canico, Vila Joya,sardines, Adega Vila Lisa