Do you ever feel the need for retail therapy when you're on your Summer holiday? Something a bit different from the beach? Or maybe you've forgotten the bikini or swimming togs and urgently need
eto purchase a replacement!
Only 40 minutes from the Villa is a new shopping experience at Loule. There are three elements to the shopping centre here. IKEA at one end, the MAR complex in the centre and the Designer Outlet at the opposite end.
If you are travelling from Castro Marim on the A22 you need to aim for junction 13. You'll know you're close to your destination when you see the stadium on your left and the yellow & blue of IKEA on your right. Exit at Junction 13 N125-4 and follow signs for IKEA or Designer Outlet.
You can find a list of all the shops in MAR Complex here: www.marshopping.com/en/algarve/stores. Our most important discovery was a mega sized Primark (Penneys) store, which has all the usual great value for money clothing options. Given the cost of checked in luggage, it would be nearly as cheap to visit Primark and buy your wardrobe when you arrive!
For the Designer Outlet, think Bicester Village, in the UK (or Kildare Village for the Irish). All the brands are here and you can find out if your favorite is listed here:
The complex is open from 10 am until 11 pm, Sunday to Thursday (and 10 am to midnight on Friday and Saturday). There are plenty of options for food (including McDonalds and KFC) plus plenty of car parking (3,500 spaces)!
If you don't want to travel too far and can cope with a less extensive range of shops then the Grand Plaza in Tavira may suffice. More information here: http://www.taviragranplaza.com/EN/Welcome.html
Nuala & Matthew
We fell in love with the Eastern Algarve a few years back. We'll try and impart our knowledge of the area and other travel tips via these blog posts.