Top Tips to Eating Incredible Seafood in Porto
written by Gabriella Opaz | 19th December 2017
Eating seafood in Portugal is not merely a meal, it’s an experience! From the bustling cities to the tiniest fishing villages, you’ll always find a refrigerated display case featuring a feast of fresh fish and seafood. And when it comes to oysters in Portugal, there’s no better location than the Algarve, synonymous with white sandy beaches, sapphire blue and aquamarine ocean waters, and of course, the “fruit of the sea.”
Starting in the wee fishing village of Olhão, you’ll begin your tour with guided visit to the estuarine national park of Ria Formosa with an expert local biologist. The Ria Formosa Natural Park is one of the most amazing places in the Algarve, not only for its variety of landscapes but also because of its unique location. Chosen as one of 7 Natural Wonders of Portugal, its home to over 20,000 birds during the wintering period, and is a stop-over point in the migration routes between Europe and Africa.
Around 85% of Portugal’s clams and oysters are fished among its four low islands of Farol, Armona, Deserta and Culatra – the latter of which is home to the fishermen who will generously invite you to relax among a mountain of fresh shellfish and glass of cold Portuguese white wine. Today, you’ll not only explore one the most beautiful of these four islands, but you’ll have the privilege to both pick and savor your catch from the day. What could be better?!
My husband and I had a wonderful day on a private tour with Ryan throughout the Douro Valley. He is extremely knowledgeable and helped us learn to appreciate Port. Beyond the wonderful private tasting sessions, he also brought us to a delicious lunch at a local Portuguese restaurant. Throughout the entire day, he provided us with tips and recommendations for the remainder of our journey throughout Portugal. The whole day was the highlight of our trip! We would HIGHLY recommend it!
During this half day tour, you’ll explore the rich natural wetlands of Ria Formosa Natural Park with a local biologist; explore one of the most exquisite islands in the Algarve, renowned for its quaint and historic fishing culture; a guided harvest of both mussels and oysters to savor as an appetizer; and finally, a traditional Cataplana lunch sourcing fresh ingredients from the sea. Traditionally the Cataplana was made out of beaten copper in the shape of a clam shell, making it easy for hunters and fishermen to fill it up with the essentials like garlic, onions, olive oil, and fresh vegetables prior to catching fresh fish and game. Once caught, the Cataplana would be placed over a fire and would act like a pressure cooker in that it would steam the fresh food inside, locking in the flavors and juices while cooking – it’s the ultimate end to an incredible day! For those who adore stunning landscapes, fresh seafood and incredible Portuguese hospitality, you’ll adore this tour.
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