– fresh produce and local bargains
Most towns and cities in the Silver Coast region will have daily markets or stalls selling fresh produce. For the best deals look for produce that is in season and where the price is clearly marked.
In addition there are a number of weekly flea markets that are held throughout the region and these can be great places to pick up a bargain. Be prepared to haggle though – prices sometimes mysteriously rise when the customer is obviously not a local.
Some of the main ones in the area are:
Alcobaça; As well as a weekly flea market every Monday the town hosts two big annual fairs. Feira de São Bernardo takes place over six days in August and Feira de São Simão runs for five days at the end of October. Both feature local handicrafts, produce and products; restaurants serving local food and a full programme of entertainment. On the third Saturday of the month an antiques fair is held in the town.
Caldas da Rainha: A daily fruit and vegetable market is held every morning until 1pm in the Praça da Fruta, and there is an indoor fish market in the lanes nearby with fresh catches daily from the ocean around Peniche. A flea market takes place every Monday. An antiques fair takes place in the city park on the second Sunday of every month.
Leiria: The annual May Fair takes place between May 1 and May 23 this year.
Nazaré: A morning market is held in Avenida Vieira Guimarães every day except Mondays, and there is a flea market on Friday mornings.
Óbidos: Every Saturday from 9am to 3pm an organic produce market is held at the main entrance to the town, Porta da Vila. On the first Sunday of the month an antiques market is held in the car park outside the castle walls.
Pataias: A huge Sunday morning market where just about everything is sold, from fruit and vegetables though to CDs, clothes and electrical items. To get to the market take the road from Nazaré to Marinha Grande and turn left at a mini roundabout marked São Pedro do Moel.
Peniche: The market here is a great place to buy fish straight off the boats. It is held from 7am to 2pm every day except Mondays. There is also a big monthly market held behind the Intermarche supermarket on the last Thursday of each month, with the exception of August.
Santana: Probably the biggest in the Silver Coast region is the Sunday market at Santana on the road to Santarem. To get there take the IC2 towards Leiria and take the Benedita turn off. The market is signposted from there. It starts early and finishes around 2pm.