Alvor’s old fish market transformed into new cultural hub

Following months of renovation work, the new venue will be inaugurated on Saturday, March 11. The ceremony is part of the celebrations marking 35 years since Alvôr became a town.

Locally known as the “Lota”, Alvôr’s old fish market underwent several months of renovation to become a dynamic cultural hub for its local population and visitors.

The inauguration of the new venue, located down by the Ria, next to the old lifeboat station, will take place on Saturday, March 11, at 16h00.

Executed by the Portimão Council, the restoration and conservation work turned the building into a privileged space designed to pay tribute to Alvor’s rich heritage and to host cultural events.

The old fish market benefited from a vital intervention, part of a project started by the Municipality of Portimão and within the scope of the MAR2020 programme. Initiated in May 2022 and budgeted at €234,000, of which the EC funded more than €198,000, the intervention is a project created by the Museum of Portimão.

Featuring a new kiosk, the renewed fish market will now honour Alvôr’s community and the richness of its maritime heritage interactively. Offering information at the touch of a screen, the kiosk will provide visitors with access to detailed information on the historic fishing town and its people.

The inauguration of the building, owned by Docapesca, is part of the celebrations marking 35 years since Alvôr was classified as a town. A plaque allusive to the anniversary will be unveiled during the ceremony, which will be attended by José Apolinário, president of the Commission for Coordination and Regional Development of the Algarve, among other dignitaries.

Taking participants all the way back to 1988, an excerpt from the documentary “Os Pescadores” (The Fishermen), produced by RTP, will be screened. The film, featuring moments of daily life in Portimão and Alvor, shows Alvor’s old fish market when it was still fully operational.

The festivities will include a musical performance by students from the Escola Básica e Secundária da Bemposta and a tasting of local delicacies. A group of ladies from the local community will prepare snacks to evoke the town’s gastronomic roots, made in collaboration with the Faina restaurant and chef Emídio Freire.

There will also be an exhibition of photographs of the riverside area, depicting activities and places that existed in Alvôr over the years.

The fish market’s new interactive kiosk will be available to offer a wide range of information on the town and its area over the centuries, such as its tangible and intangible heritage comprising local fishing arts and trades, historic buildings, and rich gastronomic traditions.

As part of this project, over the last three years, Portimão’s Museum collected valuable assets from Alvôr’spopulation, significantly contributing to creating the interactive module available at the kiosk.

The “Lota” and its surrounding area will now be integrated into the municipality’s plan to create tourist circuits for the area. These include short guided walks along the Ria de Alvor that will feature themes such as cultural and natural heritage, maritime, fishing and environmental sustainability, ecotourism and history.