You now have the choice between two large shopping centres with an enormous variety of shops to get almost everything you need, including large supermarkets. The closest one is at the entrance to faro, on the left hand side, called forum Algarve. The second, Algarve shopping is on the left hand side of the en 125 road in guia (opposite makro).
In the area there are several small supermarkets and shopping areas like quinta shopping and bougainvillea in quinta do Lago. Almancil, loulé and faro also offer a vast choice of shops.
Shops in the Algarve are generally open from Monday to Friday 09.00 - 13.00 and 15.00 - 19.00, and on Saturday mornings. The majority of shops close on Sundays. The exceptions are in the larger shopping malls and in Vilamoura marina where they tend to open over the whole weekend, particularly during the summer months.
It's always nice to take home a souvenir or two from your holidays and if you're looking for something particular to the region, here are a few suggestions:
Artesanato shops specialise in typical Portuguese arts and crafts, and are a good place to pick up a few ideas for gifts. As Portugal is the world's largest producer of cork, you will find an interesting assortment of objects including place mats, coasters and intricate little sculptures. Lace products such as tablecloths, decorative collars and pillow slips are popular buys, as are almond confectionery, and models of traditional sailing vessels, called caravels, carved in wood.
Pottery in the Algarve is particularly good and is usually produced with bold eye-catching designs or with scenes depicting the local area or history. Ceramic techniques were introduced to the Algarve by the Moors, and the tradition has never died. Among the region's products are terracotta pots for use in the garden, hand painted jugs, plates and bowls - each area having it's own distinctive designs. Also popular are the miniature versions of the ornate Algarvian chimneys that are seen on older houses throughout the region. Porches is the centre of the pottery industry in the Algarve and there are plenty of workshops and displays to browse around. In the summer months you will also find plenty of roadside pottery displays to tempt you.
Azulejos These hand painted glazed tiles decorate palaces and humble cottages, churches and bars all over Portugal. You can buy a single square with a pretty Algarvian motif, or a whole set for your patio, kitchen or bathroom!
Leather Portugal has long been noted for the excellent value of it's leather products and quality workmanship. Leather shoes (27 shoe shops in one street in Portimao!), stylish leather handbags, and a good selection of belts for men and women are to be found in the Algarve.
If you still need inspiration, visit the handicraft centres in Loule, and see the artisans, leatherworkers, coppersmiths, and weavers in their workshops. The copper Portugese cooking pot, the Cataplana makes an interesting souvenir as do locally produced wicker and cane items.