São Brás

São Brás
Click to watch the video about this village

Click to watch the video about this village

The story of the cork trade and industry in Portugal is unquestionably linked to the history of São Brás de Alportel, an area famous for producing the best cork in the world.

It was the cork oak plantations that drove the municipality’s commercial development forward in the 19th century and made it the biggest cork producing area in the world, which led to the creation of a municipality independent from that of Faro in 1914.

Also worth mentioning are the environmental qualities of São Brás, to which the establishment of the Vasconcelos Porto Sanatorium at the beginning of the last century bears witness. The building now houses the Centre of Rehabilitation Medicine of the South, where there is also a small museum recalling the building’s history.

Other important sites to visit are the Church of São Brás, the Episcopal Palace and the Algarve Costume Museum, a venue that hosts exhibitions, concerts and other events.

São Brás de Alportel is a place with strong ties to the past. One example of this is the fact that it is the only municipality in the Algarve to keep alive the tradition of holding the Procession of the Hallelujah on the Easter Sunday morning, also known as the Festival of the Flower Torches.

There is much to discover about the culture of São Brás in the video on the left and on the pages where the secrets of some of the recipes representing this town’s culinary heritage are unveiled: gazpacho, chickpea soup with spinach, cherry-coloured chicken and walnut cake.