A few weeks ago we decided it was about time we dropped in to São Brás de Alportel rather than whizzing past as we usually do en route to Alentejo or returning the long way round from Alcoutim.  DSCN0946DSCN0913
As with many towns in the Algarve finding your way to the centre is a challenge, there are always side roads which look fascinating and roads which look like they are going no where but are in fact the main road in.  By chance we found free and long term parking opposite the market, which was great as it meant we also found quickly a cafe full of locals to have our morning ‘bica’ and ‘cha verde’, and what I can never resist ‘pastel de nata’.  In fact I’m not alone in this, check out Salt of Portugal’s posts.

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There were only a few stalls in the market as unlike Olhão most of the towns in east Algarve only run full markets one day of the week.  However the stalls that were selling their wares looked great.  There was no cheese for sale in the market that morning, but opposite the market cafe is a butchers which sells cheese, and even better there is also the cheese factory just around the corner which has a small shop so if you love the Portuguese cheeses São Brás de Alportel is a must visit.

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DSCN0922It was now time for a short stroll before lunch – yes our Algarvian lifestyle always involves food – and DSCN0942there is plenty to see from roman roads to churches to palace gardens. DSCN0935DSCN0914São Brás de Alportel is on the cork route which explains many of the beautiful buildings, there are wonderful views across the surrounding countryside from the Bishop Palace gardens and as always hidden in alley ways and small roads lovely homes and art.  I’ve mentioned before how fabulous the public art is in the Algarve, what makes it so special is you come across it unexpectedly.  It isn’t just in the main squares or galleries, it can be found anywhere.  And in São Brás de Alportel it wasn’t just sculpture we came across.

A chance to practice your arithmetic!

A chance to practice your arithmetic!

We weren't the only ones out walking

We weren’t the only ones out walking

DSCN0907We didn’t go to the museum partly because I was hungry but mainly because we’ve been so disappointed by the museums that we now prefer to focus our time on Algarvian landscapes, architecture and food.  And São Brás de Alportel didn’t disappoint, we found a lovely restaurant on the main road and thoroughly enjoyed their dishes of the day.

Before I go I must just share one final thing – one of the sights I love is locals watching the world go by, but I’ve never dared take a photograph.  On this visit though I couldn’t resist.

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I know she isn’t real but the artist has captured exactly what is a regular sight, especially in Olhão.