The Algarve attracts nature-lovers for its idyllic beaches and stunning coastline, but there are plenty of activities to do indoors as well, including visiting the local art galleries. Showcasing both local and international pieces, they provide a closer look at south Portugal‘s culture. Here’s our pick of the best.
For appreciating some beautiful examples of contemporary art, sculptures, and fine art digital prints, the Côrte-Real Gallery is among the top places to visit around Albufeira. Don’t expect the hustle and bustle of this popular tourist destination, however, as the gallery is located off the beaten path and feels more like an artist’s home and workshop. It’s also a great place to buy souvenirs, and sells a mix of items including (but not limited to) postcards, books, ceramics, glassware, paintings, and even furniture.
This is one of Faro‘s best galleries for contemporary art, and it’s also one of the smallest. Sitting on the ancient city walls, the views don’t stop within the gallery but they extend outside too, including sweeping panoramas of the Ria Formosa. Most of the artworks found at this location are the creations of Portuguese artists, but a few exhibits highlight international names as well.
Why not pair your gallery experience with a wine tasting? The LiR Galeria de Arte is a co-operative space in Lagoa that also functions as a large winery. This is one of the Algarve’s most special galleries in that it’s one of a kind, showcasing work from over 30 artists in a truly unique space.
Some galleries have a personal touch. This spot is just that – an artist from France specializing in painting, Corine Thinon opened this working space/shop/gallery in Lagos, Algarve and now exhibits her pieces for purchase. Prices range from €30 (US$34.20) for prints, to between €1,000-€2,000 (US$1,139.65-2,279.26) for larger paintings.
This cozy spot in the more traditional town of Tavira is an art and photo gallery, in addition to a shop offering an abundance of original souvenirs and gifts. Casa das Portas Sobre a Ponte sells everything from silk scarves to ceramics and paintings.
Tavira has another gallery that’s also a museum, situated in a classic palace and which portrays notable moments through Tavira’s and Portugal’s history. Call in advance to find out which art exhibits will be on display at different times of the year.
The beautiful ArtCatto Art Gallery, spearheaded by Londoner Gillian Catto, showcases work from international artists. Located further inland from the busiest parts of Algarve, this gallery in Loulé is a short drive from Faro, Albufeira, and Quarteira.