Buy Local this Christmas

To celebrate Christmas in Portugal, we have been looking around for gifts that will give your loved ones a unique flavour of the Algarve. Buying local will also help support the local economy and give your family and friends something truly special under the tree.

Once Upon a Portuguese Chocolate

WORDS Tania Soares

If there is one thing we can’t do without, it’s chocolate! Its varying flavours sweeten life’s moments and it melts in the mouth of those who can’t resist its charm. 

In Portugal, the chocolate story started when Avianense was founded in 1914 by António Lima and João Felgueiras. The men shared a common dream: to create their own chocolate factory. The first factory was established in Viana do Castelo, making Avianense one of the oldest Portuguese companies. Luciano Maciel da Costa took over the management of Avianense in 2005, and the factory moved to a new address in Durrães (Barcelos), where there is also a museum celebrating the brand’s history, keeping the scent of chocolate alive in northern Portugal.

The Imperador bonbon is undoubtedly the symbol of the Avianense brand, an iconic sweet that has withstood time and boasts a memorable flavour, combining the finest chocolate with toasted almonds. Luciano revived the brand by appealing to the collective memory of a nation. He perpetuated the essence of chocolate in the air and its history in Portugal. 

Like Avianense, other factories have contributed to sweetening Portugal at Christmas, such as the Regina factory, founded in 1924 in Lisbon, which produces the traditional caixa de furos

There’´’s no sweeter place to discover products from these leading brands than Mar d’Estórias. Visit the shop from Monday to Saturday and make your Christmas even sweeter this year!

Rua Silva Lopes, Nº 30, 8600-623 Lagos


Founded in January 2008 by Luís Miguel Pereira, 100ml was born from his ambition to place Portugal on the international map of perfumes and beauty care for both women and men who look for brands with a strong identity.

Part of the 100ml concept is Leme, which celebrates the adventurous spirit of the founder’s ancestors who were not afraid to dream big, with new olfactory discoveries to imbue your skin with the smells of Portugal. The brand celebrates the historic achievements of a proud nation who dared to carry out their dream and spread it to the four corners of the world. 

The company started with a collection of five soaps encapsulating five key moments of the Portuguese Discoveries. The exclusive perfumes are developed in Portugal and the packaging is designed to transport customers to destinations connected to Portuguese history. Decorative ceramic pieces embellish the collection, e.g. travel chests – inspired by the chests that carried valuable treasures brought from other continents – and scented notebooks.

The new range has a citrus floral fragrance, which will evoke the Algarve’s intoxicating aroma of flowering orange and almond trees.

The products can be bought in Autêntica in Sagres, in the gift shop at the lighthouse on Sagres promontory, Mar d’Estórias and Casa da Bli in Lagos or online at or

Photo books

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, where he completed an apprenticeship in photography with his father, Paul Gerace has moved to Lagos and is working to document the many beautiful vistas of the Algarve. One of his unique photo books would be a great Christmas present for Algarve lovers.

Birds of Portugal – Lagos and The Surrounding Areas 

This is a high-quality coffee table photo book showing the most colourful birds of Lagos and the surrounding area..

Lagos Portugal – A Photo Journey Into An Historic Town

From the marina and fishermen’s harbour to the colourful street art, the abundant wildflower season and the arrival of migratory birds, Paul captures the residents having fun in this photo book that features 171 photos capturing all that this colourful town has to offer.

Mapping the Algarve

Jula Osten is originally from Germany, but as a surfer, she loves to travel to find the best waves. Jula found a special connection with the Algarve and drew a map of Sagres, Luz and Lagos. She has now drawn maps of 12 different locations around the world.

“My inspiration within my maps comes from the place itself, as well as a variety of historical and contemporary cartographic sources. In addition to this, I rely on conversations with locals as well as my own observations that I make during my countless walks in the area.”

She prints her maps on a Risograph, which uses plant-based inks and stencils called masters, made from banana leaves, it’s a very environmentally friendly print method. Due to the unique process it creates a really vibrant but, at the same time, vintage-looking print, that comes very close to her original drawings.

Jula´s limited edition prints would make a unique gift for anyone this Christmas. 

Riso prints of her map of Luz & Lagos (Paper Cyclus Offset 250g/m2) can be purchased at Coffee & Waves,Tv. do Cotovelo 10, 8600-631 Lagos, Portugal.


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