A journey through the churches and chapels of Portimão

On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along the streets, relax  in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!

With the Easter religious time still in mind, we decided to present to you a small itinerary that will take you to discover the churches and chapels of the beautiful city of Portimão, in the Algarve.

The religious heritage in Portimão, is not vast, but quite interesting and worth a visit.

Starting from Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square, with the city map in your hands, go towards the old bridge, attentive to the architectural details and look for the secular Chapel of St. Joseph. Then, get lost in the streets and alleys towards the Igreja Matriz, the main church of Portimão and end this part of the journey, in the Church of the College of the Jesuits.

Teixeira Gomes
Manuel Teixeira Gomes Square

From here, you can go to Rua do Comércio to see the latest fashion trends and to the Rua Direita to taste some regional products at Mercearia do Algarve, discover some tasteful typically Portuguese gifts at the Tradição Portuguesa shop, indulge yourself with a regional sweet at Casa da Isabel or a tidbit at  Maria do Mar. After this relaxing moments, it is time for a longer walk along the riverside, crossing the interior of the city, to discover the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo. 

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Portuguese gifts

Chapel of St. Joseph

This centenary chapel, located next to the old bridge of Portimão, was built in the 17th century. For several years, it was a place of worship for St. Joseph, patron of the naval carpenters who worked in the shipyards near to this place. Inside, some baroque traces. The tiled flooring enhances the gold-framed frame with the image of Christ crucified. The exterior is a little run down. It is closed to the public, opening only for Eucharistic celebrations, on Sundays at 5:00 p.m.

Capela Sao Jose
Chapel of St. Joseph

Main Church of Portimão

Dated from 15th century, the main church of Portimão is located in the highest part of the city, inside the old walls.

Igreja Matriz
Main Church of Portimão

The late-Gothic portal is inspired by the most imposing monument of the time, the Monastery of Batalha and in it are identified fine sculptures of musicians and women in frame. Various styles, such as Baroque, Rococo and Manueline styles, are the fruit of the various phases of reconstruction and artistic enrichment of the temple.

Interior
Interior of the Igreja Matriz de Portimão

Church of the College of the Jesuits 

Located in the Alameda da Praça da República the Church and the Jesuit College was built at the end of the 17th century by order of D. Diogo Gonçalves – whose mausoleum remains in the main chapel – as gratitude for having found in Portimão a good port of refuge, after a strong storm at sea.

Colegio
College of the Jesuits 

Unlike the Jesuit buildings, this building fully assumed the Baroque style. With the earthquake of 1755 the building suffered some damage, highlighting the vaults, which contributed for a refurbishment of the main facade.

The austerity and simplicity of the architecture of the Restoration are present within the Church-Hall.

Interior
Interior of the church of the College of the Jesuits

The Church of the College of the Jesuits was even chosen by the Marquês de Pombal to set up in the region of Portimão a new Algarve Cathedral (Diocese), a project that did not happen in the end.

Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Amparo

This simple chapel, of Arab origin, was christianized and dedicated to Our Lady of Amparo, also known by Our Lady of the Milk, well represented in a screen behind the altar, breastfeeding her baby. Here the pregnant women went to receive their blessing. The chapel was built in the likeness of the ancient Islamic marabouts, having been restored 30 years ago.

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Church of Our Lady of the Milk

On your next visit to the Algarve, come to Portimão, taste some local gastronomy, stroll along Rua das Comércio and Rua Direita, relax  in the riverside area and discover the city’s religious heritage. You’ll appreciate it!

The rebirth of the Algarve Wines

Next time you are on holidays in the Algarve, instead of drinking, try tasting an Algarve wine – look at it, smell it and finally, taste it. You will probably be savoring a prized wine, appreciated by renowned oenophiles and your senses will love the experience! BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

Who has been on holidays in the Algarve probably knows that good quality wines are produced here and has probably, tasted some.

What is probably less known is that the major Algarve towns lend their names to the four main wines regions, the so called DOCs “Demarcated Regions”: Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira – and that the Algarve wine tradition come from ancient times.

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Vinhos do Algarve official website

It is uncertain when the mythical Mediterranean drink – the wine – reached the Algarve.

The first news of contact with wine, revealed by archaeological remains, suggest for more than two thousand years ago, what is comprehensive, considering the nature of the soil and the climate of the south of Portugal.

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Algarve Vineyard

In fact, the importance of the vineyards in this region dates back to the Arab presence in the Algarve, a time when grapes were already grown and wines of good quality were exported.

Recently and for many years, due to several reasons, it seemed however that the Algarve wine would be a tradition to be lost. But, in recent years the trend has been reversed with the appearance of new producers who have given a new breath of fresh air to the Algarve wines.

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Quinta dos Vales – Estômbar

In 2017, the Algarve wines have won their place among the best in the main international and national competitions, often surpassing the most optimistic expectations, with the region obtaining, for example, in 14 international competitions (such as the International Wine Challenge 2017, Mundus Vini Spring Tasting 2017, Mundus Vini Summer Tasting 2017, AWC Vienna 2017, the Wine Masters Challenge 2017, just to name a few), 73 distinctions or medals (gold, silver or bronze) in white, red and rosé wines, from 17 Algarve producers.

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Quinta João Clara – Alcantarilha

The outlook for 2018 is very optimistic with a significant increase of the wine production in the 2017/18 wine year, in values above 50%, which makes the Algarve, the wine growing region that has grown the most in Portugal.

Vineyard on the west coast of Portugal
Casa Santos Lima – Present in 5 Portuguese regions including the Algarve, Tavira

Next time you are on holidays in the Algarve, instead of drinking, try tasting an Algarve wine – look at it, smell it and finally, taste it. You will probably be savoring a prized wine, appreciated by renowned oenophiles and your senses will love the experience!

squid and wine in algarve
This is also the Algarve – delicious food and award winning wines

Here you can see the list of Wines from Algarve awarded in International Competitions in 2017. And the winners are…

Bike my Side wine and tapas tour
Bike my Side prepared an experience where you can taste some awarded wines while touring

 

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.
BIKE MY SIDE AND ENJOY THE RIDE | TRAVEL AND LEISURE BLOG PORTUGAL

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.