Vegetarian and vegan travel: follow next year’s travel trend in the Algarve

Do you wish to taste some less traditional cuisine while in holidays in the Algarve? Find in Portimão some great veg-friendly spots and discover how delicious this alternative cuisine can be. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Accordingly to Regis St. Loius, Lonely Planet writer, vegetarian and vegan travel will be one of next year’s travel trends and we could not agree more.

Whether it is for healthy issues, animal or planet concerns, or simply to vary tastes and try new foods and flavours, vegetarian and vegan food is here to stay.

If you are vegan, vegetarian, raw food lover, or simply wish to taste some less traditional cuisine while in holidays in the Algarve, you can find in Portimão, some great veg-friendly spots which are well worth a visit, for the quality of the food and the friendliness of the staff.

Azul Naturally Healthy, Alvor

If you think vegetarian food is boring and tasteless, you are mistaken. In Azul Naturally Healthy eating is fun and colourful. Marisa Marques manages with a smile this small and friendly space in Alvor that serves meals 100% vegan, organic and gluten free. Here there is the believe that we can eat healthy food in the most natural way possible taking advantage of what nature gives us the best and being ethical towards animals and the environment. Serves lunch, drinks and coffee. There is also a small grocery store where you can buy some organic products for an original souvenir.

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Ask for the Peanut Butter Candies you might be lucky and savour some real sweet vegan and raw delight.

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Armazém Integral, Portimão

Armazém Integral is an original healthy food store in Portimão that sells in bulk and also serves 100% vegan meals, juices and raw desserts. Here you can find special and varied flours, healthy pastry, superfoods, oilseeds, seeds, cereals natural supplements, and more, all in bulk, for a sustainable and tailor-made consumption, always at your disposal with the attentiveness and kindness of the couple Érika and Adérito. A vegan dish, a fresh juice and a raw dessert are served for lunch every day of the week to eat on the site or to take away.

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Meals vary during the week and are always tasty but our highlight goes definitely to the original raw desserts that surprises all customers. Ah! And you must also taste the vegan ice creams. They are delicious!

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Mercearia Bio Café, Portimão

Just around the corner from Armazém Integral, you can find the Mercearia Bio Café that started its adventure ten years ago as the Mercearia Bio, an organic grocery online. The dream of Pedro Gonçalves, the owner, grew and materialized in the Mercearia Bio Café, where besides the commercialization of organic products, organic fresh, drinks and organic non food, you can have breakfast, light lunch, a snack or drink a natural juice, everything 100% organic certified. The Mercearia Bio Café has a cosy interior space, a small but pleasant outdoor terrace with partial river view and always a friendly service.

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If you are a coffee lover, you must taste their genuine organic coffee.

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Super Juice – Juice and Smoothie Bar, Praia da Rocha

Super Juice is located on Praia da Rocha and offers a variety of fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies, as well as salads, sandwiches and healthy snacks. It is less than 1 minute from the famous Praia da Rocha and we can even see the sea from the terrace. A relaxed space with a typical beach bar décor. If you want to start the day with an energizing juice before a dive, this is a great option. On the menu there are also salads and sandwiches with various vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian options, and two varieties of hummus.

Super juice

For a healthier holiday time, Green Detox is the juice you’ll want to try

Green Detox

Taberna da Casa da Tocha, Portimão

Casa da Tocha is situated in the center of Portimão, in an early 20th-century building. With a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, Taberna da Casa da Tocha serves meals, snacks and wines. Every day there is a fish dish, a meat dish and a special raw vegan of the day – a place that will appeal to all, vegetarians, vegan, raw food lovers, and non-vegetarians. The wine cellar offers a careful selection of Portuguese wines, with special emphasis on the Algarve wines. Casa da Tocha also has a family-friendly hostel with a maximum capacity of 10 people.

Casa da Tocha

The guacamole nachos are a real treat you can not fail to experience.

Nachos de guacamole e salada

Vegetarianus, Portimão

Vegetarianus is a small restaurant in the center of Portimão that exclusively serves vegetarian dishes, also offering the take away option. The couple that owns the restaurant is very friendly and makes delicious dishes that leads us to know new flavors and to truly realize that vegetarian food can be as, or more delicious, than the traditional cuisine. Every day there is a variety of different and colorful dishes and desserts that sometimes seem almost impossible that only two people can make so much delicious food in one morning! It is a residents’ lunch spot, so if you want to get a table easily, we suggest you go early in the opening hour at 12:00am.

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The food is all tasty, but our highlight goes definitly for the salty pastries that with a salad and a natural juice, are by themselves a delicious and healthy meal.

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If you wish to know more veg-friendly eateries across the globe you can check the Lonely Planet article here.

Aguardente de Medronho, the nectar of the gods of the Algarve

With the autumn and the first rains, it begins in the Algarve, the harvesting season of the arbutus, the fruit from which the famous Aguardente de Medronho is made.
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With the autumn and the first rains – which have been slow to fall this year – it begins in the Algarve, when the branches of the arbutus are filled with red and orange fruits, the harvesting season of the arbutus, the fruit from which the famous Aguardente de Medronho is made.

The arbutus is a spontaneous plant typical of the mountains of the Algarve and the south of the Mediterranean.

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Its fruits, yellow, orange and red, appear in mid-October and November and look like wild strawberries, although rounder and rough in texture.

Those of red colour already mature are sweet and edible and even quite healthy because they have an antioxidant action.

The use of the fruit of the arbutus for fermentation and distillation or for the confection of jams is a practice that dates back many centuries throughout the mountainous area of ​​the Algarve.

The distillation technique with stills originates in the Egyptian and Greek civilizations and usually takes place in mid-February.

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The fruits are carefully collected, fermented in wooden kettles, after which, after some time, they are distilled in copper stills.

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The quality of the fruit, its harvest, the care with the fermentation, the distillation and its time of duration, are some of the secrets of each producer. Secrets that are transmitted from generation to generation, so that the final product – the Aguardente de Medronho from the Algarve – is unique throughout the world and of unparalleled flavour.

A true gods’ nectar from the mountains of the Algarve, which you cannot fail to prove next time in the Algarve!

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If you want to know a little more about the stages of the arbutus – picking, fermentation, distillation and bottling, just look here.

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Aguardente de medronho, o néctar dos deuses da serra do Algarve

Com o Outono e as primeiras chuvas – que este ano tardaram a cair – começa no Algarve, a época da apanha do medronho, o fruto a partir do qual se faz a famosa aguardente de medronho algarvia. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | BLOG DE LAZER E VIAGENS POR CÁ

Com o Outono e as primeiras chuvas – que este ano tardaram a cair – começa no Algarve, quando os ramos dos medronheiros se enchem de frutos de cor vermelha e alaranjada, a época da apanha do medronho, o fruto a partir do qual se faz a famosa aguardente de medronho algarvia.

Para quem não sabe, o medronheiro é uma planta espontânea típica das serras algarvias e do sul do mediterrâneo.

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Os seus frutos, de cor amarela, alaranjada e vermelha, surgem em meados de Outubro e Novembro e parecem-se com morangos silvestres,  embora mais redondos e de textura rugosa.

Os de cor vermelha já maduros, são doces e comestíveis e até bastante saudáveis pois têm uma ação antioxidante.

O aproveitamento do fruto do medronheiro para fermentação e destilação ou para a confeção de compotas é uma prática que remonta há muitos séculos em toda a zona serrana algarvia.

A técnica de destilação com alambiques tem origem nas civilizações egípcias e grega e normalmente, realiza-se em meados de Fevereiro.

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Os frutos são cuidadosamente recolhidos, colocados a fermentar em pipas de madeira, após o que, passado algum tempo, são destilados em alambiques de cobre.

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A qualidade do fruto, a sua colheita, os cuidados com a fermentação, a destilação e o seu tempo de duração, são alguns dos segredos de cada produtor. Segredos que são transmitidos de geração em geração, para que o produto final – a aguardente de medronho algarvia – seja única em todo o mundo e de sabor inigualável.

Um verdadeiro ex-libris das serras do Algarve que não pode deixar de provar!

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Se quiser saber um pouco mais sobre as fase do medronho – a apanha, a fermentação, a destilação e o engarrafamento, espreite aqui.

8 Curiosidades que provavelmente desconhece sobre Lisboa

Lisboa, cidade do Fado, de uma luz mítica e romântica que encanta quem a visita. Aqui ficam 8 curiosidades para aguçar ainda mais o interesse em descobrir a capital de Portugal!
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Lisboa, cidade do Fado, de uma luz mítica e romântica que encanta quem a visita, tem tanto para visitar e mostrar além do óbvio. Estes são somente alguns factos interessantes que vão de certo aguçar ainda mais o interesse em conhecer a capital de Portugal. E claro, entretanto, pode sempre brilhar junto dos seus amigos com estas divertidas curiosidades!

1 – Lisboa é conhecida como a cidade das sete colinas (Castelo, Graça, Monte, Penha de França, São Pedro de Alcântara, Santa Catarina e Estrela). Esta designação remonta à época da ocupação romana, em que se afirma que Lisboa teria sido fundada sob 7 colinas, tal como Roma. Em cada colina, podemos encontrar diversos miradouros com vistas únicas e magnificas da romântica capital de Portugal.

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2 – Os Lisboetas são conhecidos como “alfacinhas” porque no tempo dos árabes, as alfaces eram cultivadas de forma abundante em Lisboa. De facto, a palavra “alface” é de origem árabe.

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3 – No subsolo de Lisboa existem as enigmáticas Galerias Romanas da Baixa, pouco conhecidas pelos turistas e que só abrem ao público durante três dias por ano. As visitas este ano, vão realizar-se a 22, 23 e 24 de Setembro e já estão esgotadas!

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4 –  A estátua do Cristo Rei na margem esquerda do rio Tejo é uma cópia do Cristo Redentor do Rio de Janeiro, tem uma altura de 28 metros e o monumento na totalidade atinge os 100 metros de altura.

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5 – A zona de Belém tem duas construções classificadas pela UNESCO como Património da Humanidade: o Mosteiro dos Jerónimos e a Torre de Belém que antigamente vigiava a entrada dos barcos no rio Tejo.

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Mosteiro dos jeronimos

6 – Lisboa é o lar da livraria mais antiga do mundo. A livraria Bertrand existe desde 1732. Está localizada no Bairro Bairro Alto. A livraria foi destruída no terremoto de 1755 que destruiu a cidade, mas foi movida para o mesmo local onde pode encontrá-la ainda hoje e desde 1773. E por isso entrou para o Guinness como a livraria mais antiga do mundo ainda em actividade

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7 – Lisboa é mais antiga do que Roma. Lisboa tem cerca de quatro séculos mais do que Roma e Portugal manteve as suas fronteiras originais desde 1139, tornando-se assim o país mais antigo da Europa.

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8 –  A Ponte Vasco da Gama, inaugurada em 1998, é a ponte mais longa da Europa e uma das mais extensas de todo o mundo, com 17,3 km de comprimento, 12 dos quais, sobre as águas do estuário do rio Tejo.

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Visitar, Lisboa, viver em Lisboa está na moda e todos os anos há mais e mais turistas que escolhem a capital de Portugal como destino de férias. E é bem fácil perceber porquê! 

8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Lisbon

Lisbon is the city of Fado, with a mythical and romantic light that enchants who visits it, Here are 8 interesting facts that will certainly sharpen your interest in getting to know the capital of Portugal.
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Lisbon, the city of Fado, with a mythical and romantic light that enchants who visits it, has so much to visit and to show beyond the obvious. There is so much to discover and here are just some interesting facts that will certainly sharpen your interest in getting to know the capital of Portugal. In the meantime, you can always make a good impression on your friends with these fun facts!

1 – Lisbon is known as the city of the seven hills (Castelo, Graça, Monte, Penha de França, São Pedro de Alcântara, Santa Catarina and Estrela). This designation goes back to the time of the Roman occupation, in which it is affirmed that Lisbon would have been founded under seven hills, like Rome. In each hill, we can find several belvederes with unique and magnificent views of the romantic capital of Portugal.

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2 – The Lisboetas are known as “alfacinhas” because in the time of the Arabs, the “alfaces” (lettuces) were cultivated abundantly in Lisbon. In fact, the word “alface” is of Arabic origin.

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3 – In the basement of Lisbon there are the enigmatic Roman Galleries of Baixa, unknown by the tourists and only open to the public for three days a year. The visits this year, will be held on 22, 23 and 24 of September and are already sold out!

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4 –  The statue of Christ the King on the left bank of the river Tejo is a copy of Christ the Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro, has a height of 28 meters and the monument in total reaches 100 meters in height.

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5 – The Belém area has two buildings classified by UNESCO as World Heritage: the Jeronimos Monastery and the Torre de Belém – formerly guarding the entrance of the boats on the river Tejo.

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Mosteiro dos jeronimos

6 – Lisbon it’s home to the oldest bookstore in the world. The Bertrand Bookshop has been around since 1732. It is located in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto neighborhood. The bookstore was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake that ruined the city, but was moved to the same location you can find it today and since 1773. And so it came to Guinness as the oldest bookshop in the world still in business.

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7 – Lisbon is older than Rome. Lisbon has been around four centuries longer than Rome and Portugal has maintained its original borders since 1139, making it the oldest country in Europe.

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8 –  The Vasco da Gama Bridge, inaugurated in 1998, is the longest bridge in Europe and one of the longest in the world, 17.3 km long, 12 km of which are on the waters of the Tejo river estuary.

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Visiting Lisbon is in fashion and it conquers more and more tourists every year…It is easy to see why!

The wonders of Lagoa do Algarve

10 Wonders of Lagoa do Algarve will be in competition. Start your discovery here and pick your 5 favorites until August 31st. BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG | PORTUGAL

Lagoa is already well known for its beautiful beaches, crafts and wine. But there is much more to discover … Historical places, breathtaking natural landscapes, secular churches, intimate convents, among other sites and monuments, revealing the culture, history and traditions of this Algarve county, undoubtedly worthy of a visit.

Now, 10 of these wonders will be in competition to elect the last five “Wonders of the Patrimony of Lagoa”. The voting takes place until 31 August and the winners will be announced on 2 September.

Here is the list of wonders to contest so that you can visit and make your choice.

1. Natural Coastal Landscape – Algar de Benagil, Praia da Marinha, Algar Seco

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2. Promontory of Senhora da Rocha

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3. Nossa Senhora da Encarnação Church (Porches)

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4. S. José Convent (Lagoa)

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5. Nossa Senhora da Luz Church (Lagoa)

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6. São Tiago Church (Estômbar)

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7. Misericórdia Churches: Lagoa and Estômbar

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8. Sítio das Fontes Natural Park

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9. Santo António Chapel (Mexilhoeira da Carregação)

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10. Traditional urban hull of Ferragudo

Bike my Side Algarve in Ferragudo

You still have time to discover these wonders of the Algarve. Then, just leave your vote here. The invitation to participate in the selection of the “5 Wonders of the Municipality of Lagoa” is extended to all citizens, Portuguese and foreign residents in the county or not.

By the way, do not forget to share the photos of your experience in our Instagram and Facebook! #bikemyside_tours

Good rides through the lands of Lagoa do Algarve!

As maravilhas de Lagoa do Algarve

10 Maravilhas de Lagoa do Algarve vão estar a concurso. Comece aqui a sua descoberta e eleja as suas 5 favoritas até 31 de Agosto.
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Lagoa é já bem conhecida pelas suas belas praias, artesanato e vinho. Mas, há muito mais para descobrir… Povoações históricas, deslumbrantes paisagens naturais, igrejas seculares, conventos intimistas, entre outros sítios e monumentos, reveladores da cultura, história e tradições deste concelho algarvio, merecedores sem dúvida, de uma visita.

Agora, 10 destas maravilhas vão estar a concurso para eleger as 5 derradeiras “Maravilhas do Património do Concelho de Lagoa”. A votação decorre até 31 de Agosto e os vencedores serão conhecidos a 2 de Setembro.

Aqui fica a lista das maravilhas a concurso para que as possa visitar e fazer a sua escolha.

1. Paisagem Natural da Orla Costeira – Algar de Benagil, Praia da Marinha, Algar Seco

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2. Promontório da Senhora da Rocha

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3. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Encarnação (Porches)

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4. Convento de S. José (Lagoa)

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5. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Luz (Lagoa)

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6. Igreja de São Tiago (Estômbar)

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7. Igrejas da Misericórdia: Lagoa e Estômbar

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8. Parque Municipal do Sítio das Fontes

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9. Capela de Santo António (Mexilhoeira da Carregação)

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10. Casco urbano tradicional de Ferragudo

Bike my Side Algarve in Ferragudo

Ainda vai a tempo de partir à descoberta destas maravilhas algarvias. Depois, é só deixar o seu voto aqui. O convite para participar na escolha das “5 Maravilhas do Concelho de Lagoa” é alargado a todos os cidadãos, portugueses e estrangeiros residentes no concelho ou não. 

 E já agora, não se esqueça de partilhar as fotografias da sua experiência no nosso Instagram e Facebook! #bikemyside_tours

Bom passeio por terras de Lagoa do Algarve!