If you want to make shopping part of your Algarve holiday, you have plenty of options.
The Portuguese love their shopping centres, and visiting them often serves as a day out for the whole family. All of the centres mentioned below have cinemas in addition to a wide range of shops, and plenty of places to relax.
Whether you have a shopping day planned as part of your break, or experience a day of poor weather and need a way to get out of the rain, any one of these three malls will keep you well entertained.
Algarve Forum, Faro
Algarve Forum is located on the outskirts of Faro, and is very near the airport, making it a good stop-off point on the way to or from a flight.
The shopping centre is built around a large and attractive central courtyard area, allowing non-shoppers to soak up the sun with a coffee or a beer while their companions hit the stores.
There are dozens of shops here, with more being added all the time. This is the only place in the Algarve where there’s an Apple store, and there’s also a FNAC entertainment shop here for books and Blu-Rays.
Fashion chains abound, and there’s also an enormous Jumbo hypermarket.
This particular shopping mall is a notably good bet during the Christmas season, when you’ll find stunning decorations and a small ice rink.
Algarve Shopping, Guia
Algarve Shopping is located in Guia, near the tourist mecca of Albufeira. It’s the oldest of the malls listed here, but is still well maintained and well stocked with dozens of stores.
Like most Algarve shopping centres, it employs a clever indoor / outdoor design, so there’s room to enjoy the sun or hide from the rain, depending on what’s needed on the day.
There’s a huge food court upstairs with an abundance of local and international chain eateries, and a few more upscale dining options, including a sushi restaurant.
Shoppers will be spoiled for choice here, with everything from surf shops to video game and toy stores.
Aqua Shopping, Portimão
Aqua is the Algarve’s newest shopping centre, and it shows. The mall is state-of-the art, with wide open plazas letting in the sun.
Here, you’ll find a branch of Jumbo, perhaps the largest hypermarket in the Algarve, which alone could consume hours of your time. But there are hundreds of other stores too, with mainstream chains mingling with high-end fashion brands.
As usual, you’ll find a food court upstairs, where the Chinese buffet restaurant seems particularly popular with the locals. Here there’s also an enormous projector screen, where you’ll find hundreds of people sitting and relaxing if Benfica are playing!