What to do when it rains in the Algarve?
Rain is uncommon in the Algarve, although it happens for the good of everyone. Do you know what you can do on a cloudy day?
If you follow our advice, you'll see that a little rain doesn't hurt anyone. Allow yourself to explore different activities and destinations in this region where the sun shines more than 300 days every year.
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Temperatures in the Algarve in the middle of winter are 15 degrees. The temperature drops to a frigid 10 degrees at night, but that's nothing compared to the conditions felt further north, where it's typical to hit negative degrees. If it rains while you're on holiday in the Algarve, you don't have to stay indoors. Take advantage of the opportunity to explore the other side of the region. In this article, we offer some suggestions for grey days.
Tasting of wine and medronho (arbutus berry) in the Algarve
The benefit of being a wine and spirits enthusiast is that you can sample them at any moment. Whether it's summer or winter, the Algarve has a variety of wineries that offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to try their wares. The best part about these experiences is that you can also tour vineyards and learn about the region's rural side.
The first suggested experience could not be better: a wine tasting at a winery regarded as one of the best in Portugal. There are numerous activities to select from, and if you decide to visit at the last minute, simply go without making a reservation. Quinta dos Vales has thought of everything and has tastings available on their panoramic terrace with views of the gardens.
If you want something more structured, you can pay a visit to the winery and even participate in a wine tasting with comments from an experienced oenologist. Workshops are another activity available at this farm. Learn how to bake bread, work cork, or paint tiles before strolling through the colourful sculpture’s gardens.
Tasting the Algarve's most famous spirit is not to be missed among the activities you can do in rainy weather. Medronho is one of the drinks that will warm you up on cold days, and if you have never tried it, you should do so in Monchique, the Algarve's medronho capital!
Medronho is an ancient drink, and several families in the Monchique highlands are dedicated to picking this scarlet fruit from the slope. The method of distilling this fruit has not altered over the years, so the taste is authentic. During the medronho (arbutus berry) tasting in Monte das Lameiras, you will learn more about the procedures and taste the drink straight or with honey and cinnamon.
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Nothing beats taking advantage of rainy days to visit culturally significant locations. Aside from being indoors, you'll learn about each city's creative aspect and perhaps a little of its history.
Do you want to learn about Portuguese history in an educational setting? This experience is appropriate for both adults and children. The Wax Museum of Discoveries is a perfect site to learn about the time of the great Portuguese findings, the caravels that carried so many men overseas, and the prominent people that communicated these discoveries to the world in an amusing fashion. Prepare to see a wax figure of Prince Henry the Navigator, the nobleman who began the expeditions from the Algarve.
In the winter, the museum closes on its weekly Monday off.
The Museum of Portimão is housed in a massive, refurbished building on the Arade River. The Feu Factory, a former cannery, shares the same structure. Visit the pioneering exhibition that explores the tale of the cannery's former workers. It depicts the rooms where the fish was arranged, the ways used to get the fish from the sea to the can, and the old practices of smoking figs and dried fruits, which led to the city of Portimão's economic development.
Another room in the museum presents temporary exhibitions on photography, visual arts, and other artistic subjects. The building's modest amphitheatre accommodates performances, concerts, and cinema. You may find out more about the latter activities on social media or the corresponding website.
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The Algarve's traditional cuisine
Will you agree with us when we say that a nice meal tastes different when it's raining outside? The Algarve is well-known for its beaches and hotels, but its more traditional side shines through in every plate of sea-inspired delicacies and Mediterranean-inspired food. In our recommendations, you'll find two restaurants where you should book a table right away.
Our next suggestion is not near the Jardim da Meia Praia resort, but we hope you will take advantage of the short trip to the Costa Vicentina to get to know the area and try the delicacies fresh from the sea. You can get your fingers dirty at this restaurant, which serves barnacles, razor clams, clams and other delicacies that will make your mouth water. Main dishes on the menu include feijoada de búzios (bean with whelks) or feijoada de polvo (beans with octopus) with sweet potato. The latter is also a typical local delicacy, but it comes from the countryside. If you want something simple but full of flavour, ask for the fish of the day. Before you leave the resort, we recommend booking a table in advance.
Please take a seat. You will get a multi-sensory experience of the fragrances and flavours of the Algarve while enjoying a magnificent perspective of one of the region's most stunning beaches. Camilo restaurant is one of those places that everyone should go to at least once in their lives. And, because it's raining outside, take in the spectacular view of the waves while you wait for specialities like fried prawns or Alvor estuary oysters to come to the table. We couldn't go wrong with the traditional cataplana with fresh fish for the main meal. This dish is served for a minimum of two people and must be pre-ordered. If you don't like fish, the fried squid "à algarvia" will make others jealous.
Take a look at Camilo beach from the top of the long wooden stairway when it stops raining, even if just for a few minutes, and plan a summer visit.
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