Top Portuguese Souvenirs | What to Buy in Portugal

Portuguese Pottery

Visitors to Portugal fall in love with its diverse landscape and favourable climate. But these are not things you can take back with you from Portugal! If you are travelling to Portugal and want to bring back keepsakes to remember your travels by, here is what you can get. From decorative ceramics to jewellery and from local wines to honey there are loads of excellent options for souvenirs from Portugal - something to go down the memory lane or to give as a gift to a loved one. Take a look!

Cork Products

Did you know that Portugal is the world’s leading producer of natural cork? It is also home to the largest cork forest in the world - the Montado. The protected cork oak forest ecosystem of Montado currently occupies an area of over 1 million hectares and includes areas in the Alentejo region, large areas of the Tagus Valley, as well as the mountain ranges of the Algarve.

The process of cork production begins with a cork oak tree that takes nearly 40 years to produce quality cork. The first stripping of the cork oak tree takes place when the tree is 20 years old and this produces granules of cork. It is only from the second stripping (there is a gap of nine years between each stripping) that the tree produces cork that is suitable for processing. The cork is processed for durability and strength and then turned into different products. 

Light, naturally soft and impermeable, you will find that cork can be turned into a range of items like - wallets, handbags, footwear, belts, hats, aprons, pens, jewellery, keychains, coasters, gift boxes and more.

Cork Products from Portugal

Practical, eco-friendly and beautiful, cork products make great souvenirs from Portugal. You will find shops selling cork products in almost every town, big or small, like the one pictured above which is from the historic town of Silves.


Ginjinha (or simply Ginja) is a Portuguese liqueur made by adding Ginja berries (Morello Cherry) and a few other ingredients to Aguardente (Portuguese brandy). The cherry liqueur is very popular in Portugal both among the young and the old and you will find numerous Ginja shops (bars) where you can sample a small glass of ginja for something like 1 Euro. In some shops, it is even served in edible chocolate cups! If you are travelling to Portugal, do head to a Ginja bar to enjoy this unique ginjinha experience.

Ginja - Portuguese Liqueur

We first tried Ginja in Albufeira and loved it. Sweet, strong and packing a punch, this cherry liqueur can be enjoyed as a special treat or even to end a yummy meal. It makes for a great souvenir and also a gift, especially for someone who loves fruit liqueurs.

You can pick up a bottle of Ginja from the traditional Ginja bar or from any Wine & Liquor store in Portugal.

Ovos moles de Aveiro

Know someone with a sweet tooth or someone who enjoys trying out new foods? Then Portugal's selection of doçaria (Portuguese word for all types of sweets, pastries, confectionery and cakes) would be a great choice as gifts or souvenirs for family & friends back home.

One of the most popular traditional Portuguese desserts is the Ovos moles de Aveiro which is a pastry made of egg yolks & sugar and encased inside small casings similar to communion wafers. Ovos moles come in many different shapes like seashells, barrels, fishes, conches or clams, all of which are related to Aveiro's (a city on the west coast of Portugal where the Ovo moles have said to originated from) history and culture.

There is an interesting story associated with the origin of Ovos moles. It is said that back in the day, nuns used egg whites to starch their habits. And this resulted in a surplus of egg yolks. They then experimented with different recipes that used egg yolks and one or two other ingredients to create desserts and that's how the nuns from the Mosteiro de Jesus in Aveiro came up with Ovos moles.

In the mid to late 1800s when the monasteries were dissolved, the nuns passed on their knowledge and recipes to some local women who began making and selling Ovos moles.

Ovos Moles De Aveiro

If you want to sample or purchase the most authentic Ovos moles, then visit Maria da Presentation da Cruz, Herdeiros, (in Aveiro) which has been operating since 1882 and is the shop where the most genuine and delicious Ovos moles are available.

Unable to make it to Aveiro; worry not as Ovos moles are available to buy throughout Portugal. Just make sure to pick a box that has the Protected Geographical Indication seal. Ovos moles is one of the two confectionery items from Portugal that has the Protected Geographical Status designed to protect regional foods.

Portuguese Honey

Honey ('Mel' in Portuguese) - a natural healthy treat from Mother Nature and also a great choice for a souvenir. It is a lovely natural gift for friends, family or for yourself.

In Portugal, many different types of honey are produced in the mainland. Honey can be classified into different types based on a number of factors like its floral origin (monofloral honey or multifloral honey), the time of the year they are produced, the region they are produced and so on.

Some of the popular honeys from Portugal that you could pick up are - the dark brown coloured Mel das Terras Altas do Minho (from the regions of Viana do Castelo, Porto and Aveiro), Mel do Ribatejo Norte (from Central Portugal), Mel da Serra de Monchique (wildflower honey from the Iberian Peninsula and Faro district) and Mel do Parque de Montezinho (rich amber in colour and with a strong a powerful scent).

Portuguese Honey

It is advisable to pick up honey from local Mel shops (most towns/cities have these shops) as you will be able to sample a variety of local honey and then choose based on the flavours you like. In addition to being available in standard glass jars, Portuguese honey also comes in beautiful, ceramic jars like the ones pictured above.

Olives and Olive Oil

In addition to its selection of egg-based desserts, wines/liqueurs and honey, Portugal is also popular for its olives and olive oils.

There are six regions in Portugal that are bestowed with the status of Protected Designation of Origin in the production of olive oil. These regions are Trás-os-Montes (far northeastern region of Porto and North of Portugal), Beira Interior (Beira Alta and Beira Baixa), Ribatejo (Abrantes, Santarém, Torres Novas and Tomar), Moura, Alentejo Interior (Portel, Vidigueira and Torrão) and Norte Alentejano.

If you are travelling to any of these regions, you can pick up bottles of hand-harvested olives, olives pâté, stuffed olives or olive oil to carry back as edible souvenirs. Olives and olive derived products are available to buy all through Portugal as well.


If you are vacationing in Portugal, you would have noticed that Portuguese Sangria is on the drinks menu at most restaurants and bars across the country. Sangria is an alcoholic beverage that has its origins both in Spain and Portugal. Only these two countries are allowed to label their products as Sangria.

The base ingredient in Sangria is always red wine. It is traditionally mixed with local fruits (nectarines, peaches, berries, apples etc.) and sweetened with sugar and orange juice. There is no standard recipe, with each brand or restaurant varying their recipe slightly. But no matter which part of Portugal you try Sangria in, it remains a refreshing drink that pairs well with Portuguese food.

Portuguese Sangria

You can pick up a bottle in most superstores, wine shops or from the duty free section in the airport.


For the cheese-loving friend or family member, you can take back some traditional and/or artisanal cheese from Portugal.

Cheese (Queijo) has always been an integral part of the Portuguese food scene and there is a wide variety of cheeses available across Portugal, some still traditionally handmade in small queijarias (dairy farm/shop where butter & cheese are made).

And just like Portuguese honey, Portuguese cheese is also classified based on the region where they were produced. Some of the popular cheeses from Portugal include:
- Queijo São Jorge: a semi-hard to hard cheese, produced in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores.
- Queijo Rabaçal: a sweet & delicate, semi-hard cheese that is made from a mix of sheep milk (2/3) and goat milk (1/3).
- Queijo Azeitão: originating in the town of Azeitão (south of Lisbon), this one is a creamy cheese made from raw sheep’s milk.
- Queijo de Castelo Branco: made from either goat or sheep milk, this cheese usually has a soft texture.
- Queijo de Serpa: semi-soft and buttery with a strong aroma, this cheese is from the Serpa region, in Alentejo.

Portuguese Cheese

These are just a handful of the popular cheeses, there are so many more, each with varied taste and texture combinations.


Pottery (ceramics) is a big part of Portugal’s craft heritage. We saw so many big and small potteries all across the Algarve when we visited the region. At some places we could see the artisans at work painting pots and working with clay. Each region in Portugal has its own different style and all are exquisite in their own ways.

Pottery items in Portugal

Some of the popular towns for pottery in Portugal are Caldas da Rainha (located north of Lisbon), Alcobaça (known for its vibrant & unique Alcobaça Cobalt Blue ceramics), Coimbra (in Central Portugal) and Redondo (in southern Portugal & known for its traditional utilitarian crockery). Even if you are unable to make it to any of these towns, you can still visit the innumerable potteries dotted across the country.

You will find everything from cups, bowls, plates, jugs, decorative vases, planters, ceramic figurines and more in bright floral themes, featuring country life scenes, nautical and religious motifs etc. If you prefer more minimalistic designs, then you will find that as well. There is something to suit all tastes and budget range.

Pottery items in Portugal

Pastel de Nata

Another traditional Portuguese dessert that you could take back as an edible souvenir is the Pastel de nata. It is an egg custard tart pastry that is very popular both with locals and tourists alike. 

Pastel de Nata has a history similar to the Ovos moles de Aveiro. In the centuries gone by, convents and monasteries used huge quantities of egg whites for starching clothes and the leftover yolks were then used to make a variety of pastries. It is said that the monks at the Hieronymites Monastery (in Lisbon) used to make and sell these pastries. And when the monasteries closed in the 1830s, they sold the recipe to the owners of a nearby sugar refinery who then set up the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in 1837 to make and sell these delicious treats. Even today they use the same old traditional recipe to make this ancient Portuguese sweet. 

Pastel de Nata

If you are visiting Lisbon, then do head to Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém to get boxes of these traditional pastries.

For those not heading to Lisbon, you can still pick these up from any local bakery. Every single bakery we visited in the Algarve sold these yummy treats. They are also available to buy at the airports. 

Port Wine

Produced in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal, Port wine (Vinho do Porto) is a fortified wine that is typically sweet and consumed mostly as a dessert wine. There are many styles of Port Wine to choose from with the four most popular ones being: White, Rose, Ruby and Tawny. There is something for each palate. 

Portuguese Port Wine

Although it is produced in the Douro Valley, Port Wine is available everywhere in the country, even in the supermarkets. 

For those looking to enjoy the full experience, you can opt for a guided Douro Valley Wine Tour where you can visit wine estates, meet with wine makers, try the region’s best varietals and pick up a few bottles as souvenirs/gifts. 

No matter what you decide to pick from the list above, you’ll be sure to remember your Portuguese holiday every time you look at it!

Also, drop a comment below and let me know what would be your top souvenir pick


  1. I love the look of the honey jars!

  2. I think for me it would have to be cheese!

  3. I'd love to check out their pottery. i also hear the Portuguese make interesting copperware as well.

  4. It would be hard to resist any of these souvenirs to be honest, but I'd definitely bring home a bottle each of Ginjinha and Port


Powered by Blogger.