Visiting local markets is one of my favorite things to do in Portugal. It’s a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the local community. I love hearing the market sellers calling out their wares and the hubbub of people crowding around the stalls.
Markets are an age-old tradition in Portugal. Every town has its regular market day. In days gone by it was the only way people could buy items they didn’t grow themselves. Nowadays, market day is the still the time when residents shop for fresh produce and take the opportunity to meet and chat with their neighbors.
My village, Chãos, (roughly pronounced shah-oosh) has a market every Sunday morning. The indoor market area features vendors from two different bakeries, a fish seller, two butchers, two vegetable stands and a stand that specializes in cheeses, bacon and chorizo sausage. On the plaza outside, there are a couple of ladies selling vegetables and olives and a van that has linens.
If you are hungry, there is couple that sells grilled chicken and fries. Or, you can get coffee and a drink in the tiny cafe inside at the back of the market and another upstairs in the community hall. It’s a great time to meet friends.
Pots, pans and live chickens
The second Sunday of the month is the “big” market in Chãos and the plaza is covered with vendors. That’s when you can buy a pair of jeans, sneakers, pots and pans, tools, live chickens and ducks, plants and young fruit trees, and the distinctive terra cotta colored Portuguese pottery.
Towns around where I live have their own different market days. Tomar, a town of about 22,000, holds its market on Fridays. Its market covers several acres in the center of town. One of the things I like best about the Tomar market is the stands selling dried fruit and nuts. You can buy quantities of walnuts, almonds, dried figs and apricots. There is even a variety of items like Chia or sesame seeds and quinoa!
The other towns near me, Ferreira do Zezere and Freixanda, hold their markets on Mondays. So, I have plenty of choices to indulge my love of markets. The prices are always great. I load up on vegetables, buy plants for my garden and have also scored a slinky pair of jeans and some lovely sheepskin slippers!
2 thoughts on “Loving the marvelous markets of Portugal!”
I do love markets as well, going from town to town to follow the merchants.
Great way of life, beats the shopping malls!!!
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Love this reporting on the market in Tomar and Chaos. Nice to know someone is walking around and sharing what you see, hear and smell! Cheers to you, Rosalie! DeWitt Smith
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