in the district of Lagoa in the Algarve, Porches is a small town known for its
wine and pottery production.
Every year, Porches
welcomes a sea of people, that come to stay in its luxury resorts, play golf
and enjoy the tranquillity of its beaches. The
town has been occupied since the Neolithic Age, according to archaeological
vestiges like the menhir established near the Convent of João José, that dates
back to 5000-4000 BC. There are around 2,000
people living in the village and most of them still make a living as potters.
The most popular pottery
workshop in Porches is the Porches Pottery, which was founded by the Irish
artist Patrick Swift and the Portuguese artist Lima de Freitas in 1968. Here
you can watch artists hand paint pottery and when you’re done enjoy a cup of
coffee at the workshop’s café, Bar Bacchus. Besides Porches Pottery, there are other
workshops worth checking in the village such as Olaria Pequena and Casa Grade.
Porches also has an incredible heritage, including its Mother Church built in the 16th century and the Nossa Senhora da Rocha Fort, a stunning white structure perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Inside the fort, there is a small chapel from the 15th century that often hosts weddings in the Algarve.
The coastline of Porches is
made up of ochre cliffs and grottoes formed by the erosion of the waves over
the centuries. It’s on top of these cliffs that you will find the award-winning
resort Vila Vita Parc, which is home to a two-star Michelin restaurant named
Ocean. Away from the coast, the
village is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards and fruit trees.
One of the most remarkable
sights in Porches are its chimneys. These colourful artefacts are placed above
the roofs of the houses and were used to represent the wealth of the family
that lived there. The best examples of these chimneys are in Rua da Chaminé,
Travessa do Correio and above the restaurant Leão de Porches.
Porches has several gastronomy events during the year, including a Snail Festival in July and an Octopus Festival in August. Other important celebrations include the Festival of Nossa Senhora da Rocha on the first weekend of August and the festival of Nossa Senhora da Encarnação on the first weekend of September.
On the 3rd Sunday of the month, the village also organises a small flea market near the Associação Cultural Desportiva Recreativa.