Shopping in Vale do Lobo
When you're holidaying in the stunning location of Vale do Lobo, you may want nothing more than the chance to relax under azure blue skies, stroll by the ocean and take it easy by the pool.
If you're after a more energetic holiday, there's plenty to keep you amused with the championship level tennis courts, the award-winning golf courses and the many watersports which can be enjoyed down by the sea.
But even if you have no intention of indulging in a spot of retail therapy, you might find that the boutique shops available in the resort are too much to resist. Here's a guide to shopping in Vale do Lobo.
Getting the essentials
Although you may plan on eating out in one of the many gourmet restaurants on the resort every evening, you may need to stock up on supplies for your villa or apartment.
There's a supermarket on the entrance to the site which can supply you with all of your basic needs - and more! - For the duration of your stay.
You'll find it well-stocked with all the foodstuffs and drinks you might need while you're there. It's also very convenient, opening from 8-8pm.
If you leave the resort, just a few minutes by car in the next town of Almancil, there's Aldi and Apolonia with British brand names that you will recognise. If you're buying in bulk, this can be a more economical option.
Good old Aldi is available in Almancil
Although it's always useful to know where you can buy some milk, or grab a newspaper, if you're hoping to do some serious shopping, it's the boutiques that you'll want to find.
At the heart of the Vale do Lobo complex, you'll find an exciting range of designer and boutique shops which are impossible to ignore.
Vale do Lobo Shopping lies in the Parque do Golfe area in the centre, which has practical essentials such as a bank and a newsagent, as well as a vast array of designer retailers.
There's top of the range cosmetic company Farmarosa, expensive jewellery from Select Designs, top fashion wear from Tommy Hilfiger as well as sportswear from brands such as Nevada Bob's.
And if you find the whole shopping experience too exhausting, there's even a beauty parlour on site, ready to give you a relaxing treatment to renew and reinvigorate your flagging energy.
Outside the resort
Back in the nearby town of Almancil, you'll find a number of speciality shops which can be useful if you've come to Vale do Lobo to plan your wedding.
An arts store in Almancil
Examples of some of the shops you'll find in Almancil that you won't find easily elsewhere include a special confectionary retailer (not the kind of sweets you buy in newsagents!) Doces Pecados, an antiques and furniture dealer Casa Sonho and Ely Flores, a specialist florist.
The Fonte Santa Gypsy Market is held in Quarteira every Wednesday morning and is a colourful and vibrant affair. This isn't the place to find authentic designer gear but you will find many beautiful handcrafted items made from Portuguese tradesmen, often using techniques handed down through the generations.
Held just a mile outside Vale do Lobo, the Quarteira market takes place on a flat green opposite the infamous Marufo Restaurant.
Another market worth checking out is the fish market at Loule which is held on Saturday mornings. Being a coastal location means the fish and seafood is fresh from the ocean, creating succulent and moist dishes when cooked.
It's not just fish that's on offer here though, as it's a traditional farmer's market. You will therefore find delicious fresh fruit and vegetables and local produce, such as cured meats. This can be the perfect place to pick up the most delicious supplies for a picnic before heading off for a day out.
Aside from the food, you'll also find a number of traditional wicker-makers plying their trades at this market and you can pick up a beautiful woven piece of furniture, or a glass-smooth ceramic as a souvenir for a fraction of the price.
If you want to stick to upscale boutiques, the nearby resort of Quinta do Lago has a spectacular luxury range of shops. A similar type of resort to Vale do Lobo, Quinta do Lago caters for upmarket clientele with designer brands and exquisite quality goods in a range of boutiques and stores.
Everything in one place
Vale do Lobo really does offer the perfect location for all your holiday needs.
With upmarket, designer boutiques onsite and a convenience store, you need never leave the resort all week if you simply want to take it easy. If you fancy exploring the local area, the markets at Quarteira and Loule have fascinating markets while Almancil has speciality venues.
Everything for a spot of retail therapy, all within easy reach….don't say you weren't warned!