Don't know about you, but I love to buy local products whenever I travel, both for me and to offer my loved ones. Portugal is loaded with amazing products at excellent prices that are great for you to take home. As we are full speed into Christmas day, after my Gift Ideas for Travelers, give you some gift ideas for what to buy when you visit Portugal that can be nice or original gifts back home.
Maybe you only visit Lisbon, but Portuguese countryside is lovely and, specially in Spring, full of wild flowers. You can take pictures and you can bring some seeds home (check if you can, some countries don't allow travelers to enter the border with foreign seeds or plants) and reproduce some of the beauty of our countryside in your gardens or flower pots. Sementes de Portugal (1) presents a portfolio of about 350 autochthonous species seeds. This unique project permits both Portuguese and visitors to bring to their gardens some of the most emblematic flowers of this country.
Food and drinks are great options for you while visiting this country. Portugal has a diversity of outstanding wines at unbelievable prices. Portuguese olive oil is of top quality. Cheese, ham and chorizos are to die for. Some of the best sea salt is collected here. Cakes, biscuits and traditional sweets won't disappoint you.
So, why not take something sweet like this Paupério biscuits (2)? This traditional brand from 1874, produces artisanal biscuits with high quality ingredients under the higher standards of food safety. They have different packages, all with lovely vintage designs, and a variety of delicious products that reminds us of our granny's cookies. Take one of this with you to offer and surely will be a success.
Portugal has several brands of fine tableware and decorative pieces. My favorite decorative ceramic pieces are from Bordallo Pinheiro (3). In 1884 Bordallo began his ceramics production, developing pieces of great technical, artistic and creative quality, such as azulejos (blue tiles), pots, table centerpieces, pitchers, plates, vases and ceramic animals, among others. Bordallo's ceramics, where fauna and flora is adopted as decorative inspiration, became well known, especially for its artistic quality, both at a national and international level. I have many antique pieces from Bordallo, but one of my favorite new pieces is the sardine. You can find a multitude of designs and they are a really fun and original gift.
Founded in 1824, the Vista Alegre (5) was the first industrial unit dedicated to producing porcelain in Portugal. Since then, the company has showed a constant effort to adjust to design evolution and art movements, that is reflected in its products. In its portfolio you can find the more traditional designs along with new artistic projects from both Portuguese and foreign artists, architects and designers.
You can also choose a beauty product to bring home to a friend, like creams, colognes and soaps made with natural products according to artisanal methods. That's the case of Cleo Soaps (4) from Tomelo, a eco development company. This creamy hydrating natural soaps are made with donkey's milk permitting to contribute to the preservation of an autochthonous species that is in risk of extinction. The animals are raised free and milked manually. There are other products like facial creams and exfoliating soaps (inside a pure sheep wool bag) that feel great in the skin.
All this products are favorite of mine and can be found on line (through the links). Many of them are also available at Vida Portuguesa, a gorgeous shop you can find both in Lisboa and Porto. You can also read, and look at the photos, in our article about it.