I always enjoy a good mooch around a market, and it seems so do the Portuguese . Most villages and towns have a market one day a week, and bigger towns several times a week. These are the general markets, selling fruit, veg, meats ,cheeses ,plants, tools, shoes , clothes etc .
On the increase also are a number of second hand/ antique markets or car-boots/craft markets . These are generally held once a month on either a Saturday or Sunday.
One of the biggest general markets in the area is in Arganil. It takes place every Thursday on the small streets at the top of town. Starting around 8.30 am it goes on until around 1 pm . There is a small car park at the start of the market , but it gets very congested , and for ease it is better to park in the large free car park down the hill near to the supermarket Mini Preco, which is only a 5 minute walk away .
The first time I went to Arganil, I was surprised at the variety of things on offer. If you need something,it is likely you can find it at Arganil market. If they don’t have it, then I get the feeling if you ask, they will have it the following week !
The market has a lively atmosphere, and the traders are happy to enter into market banter, whatever your nationality. Some stalls have items with a marked up price whilst others are open to negotiation. It never does any harm to try and get a better deal, after all that’s what markets are all about, and the worst that can happen is they won’t drop the price.
There are stalls selling clothes, underwear, shoes, bedding, towels, curtains, music, wicker baskets, kitchen utensils ,furniture, plants, flowers, handtools, and loads more .There is even a man who sharpens knives and scissors . As I said, a good variety of stalls.
In one area there are hens, chickens, ducks and sometimes rabbits for sale . Animal lovers might find it a bit distressing to see so many birds packed into cages and boxes, but it is the way of life here .The birds look in good health, and it always one of the most busy stalls.
One of my favourite stalls is the tool man. It is like an old fashioned ironmongers, selling rakes ,hoes, chisels ,knives, axes, fire companion sets, etc. ( made by the man himself ) as well as some strange looking tanks and apparatus that are apparently for making wine, or distilling the spirit Aguadente. It is an amazing stall and seems to stock every hand tool imaginable. I love trying to work out what the various implements are for, as I try and pick up a few new Portuguese words.
The fruit and veg stalls , along with the other food stalls , selling cooked meats cheese, salt cod, sausages , bread and cakes are found together in an indoor market. There are also a few tables and chairs outside and it’s possible to get a drink and a snack, if you want a break .
If you fancy a nice cold beer or a small glass of port , then head for one of the small bars at the edge of the market ( near the top car park). Or once you have finished at the market head down the hill into town where you can get some lunch or a coffee and cake from one of the many cafes or bakeries.
There are some nice little shops in Arganil town centre to wander around, as well as banks pharmacies and the post office . Just remember that apart from the cafes, most shops close around 12.30/1300 until 14.00/ 1500.
Happy bartering !!!